1. It highlights criminal history.
The primary reason most employers run pre-employment background checks is to flag any criminal convictions in an applicant’s past. Sometimes, these criminal charges posit someone as dangerous, unreliable, untrustworthy, or otherwise not suitable for hiring. Other times, the charges are minor, out of date, or irrelevant to the job at hand. Either way, an employer deserves to have this information in order to make an educated hiring decision.
2. It flags past infractions that might impact an individual’s ability to perform a job.
In addition to criminal history, some background checks will highlight driving records, credit histories, or other information. True, there are times when a spotty driving record with numerous license suspensions, or a credit history fraught with missed payments and debt, will hold no bearing on an applicant’s ability to perform the job at hand. For positions that actually involve driving or the handling of money, though, such information is absolutely relevant.
3. It fulfills due diligence and avoids liability.
Say you don’t run a background check on a person, and hire them for a truck driver position. One night, they get into an accident while on the job and cause a massive car pileup on the highway. The police at the scene arrest your worker for driving under the influence, and it turns out that person has gotten two DUIs in the past. Because you didn’t do your due diligence and run a background check to make sure this person was a fit candidate for the truck driver job, you could be held liable for the accident.
4. It gives you a full picture of your applicant.
Most job applicants might as well be actors for how much they put on a performance during a job interview. The goal of any job searcher is to charm their interviewer and come across as a friendly, professional person. This “performance” can even extend into the resume, where applicants might exclude certain jobs or other information. A background check can help you cut through the façade and find out who this person really is—and more importantly, whether they are a person you want to hire.
5. It keeps employees and customers safe.
Quite simply, some of the applicants you are going to meet during a pre-employment screening are dangerous. From violent criminals to sex offenders, there are individuals that you simply cannot risk hiring. But what if you don’t know about the risk of hiring those individuals? What if you hire a sexual predator without running a background check, only to have that person assault or rape one of your customers or one of your other employees? Just like with the drunk driver example above, you could be held liable for such incidents. So run the background check to protect your employees and customers from harm.