Beyond the many negative reasons to screen potential employees, employers with comprehensive background screening programs also reap many benefits.
- Compliance with federal requirements
Federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation (DOT), oversees drug and alcohol testing programs on mandated employees. It’s important to know what regulations govern a particular industry. For example, the DOT requires employers to conduct a pre-employment drug test and obtain a three-year drug/alcohol test history. Additional regulations set forth by the DOT require employers to monitor their employees on an ongoing basis. DOT employers who fail to conduct this screening are subject to penalty fines. While a variety of factors are considered when fines are assessed, record-keeping fines can begin at $500 per day and the fine for knowingly falsifying records can be $5,000.
- Better attendance and lower turnover
Employers who conduct thorough background screening, including reference checking, experience better employee attendance rates and lower turnover. In addition, employers may see reduced healthcare and workers’ compensation costs. While costs associated with healthcare, job-related accidents and workers’ compensation may seem unrelated to background screening, there is a correlation. Hiring the best overall employees makes a difference in terms of attitude, safety and performance. When a drug-free workplace program is also in place, employers experience even greater cost savings. Employers should conduct a post-conditional job offer workers’ compensation search on applicants for jobs that require manual labor, standing for long periods of time or performing other duties that can lead to stress injuries such as chronic back pain. Unfortunately, fraud associated with workers’ compensation claims, especially in regards to back and other chronic pain that is difficult to measure, is well-documented. Employers who search workers’ compensation records take an important step toward protecting themselves from professional claimants.
- Less employee theft
Overall, employers who conduct background screening experience fewer incidents of employee theft, fraud, embezzlement and shrinkage. Screening may reveal past theft or other criminal behavior, possibly preventing a bad hire, but also having a solid background screening program sends a message to potential employees. It demonstrates than an employer is concerned about who has access to financial or material assets and that the company will take appropriate action if necessary.
- Fewer incidents of litigation
Background screening enables an employer not to hire a potentially bad employee, reducing the risk of accidents, criminal activity and violence—all of which may result in litigation. While no screening program can completely eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit, a company with a comprehensive screening program in place will have documentation to demonstrate that it took reasonable measures to investigate the employee’s background pre-hire. Consequently, the exposure to a courtroom trial, bad publicity and hefty penalties is greatly reduced.
- Better productivity
The more an employer does to evaluate applicants—whether through interviews, reference checking or background screening—the better its overall workforce will be. And, the stronger the employee pool, the better a company’s overall productivity and performance will be.
- More qualified employees
When a company screens its applicants, the company is more likely to find qualified employees for its open positions. Employment, education and professional verifications are just the beginning when determining whether an applicant will appropriately fit your needs. In addition, protect everyone in your employ by checking criminal histories of applicants. The comfort knowing the most recent hire does not have violent past can help build morale among a company’s personnel.
- Confirm an applicant is who they claim
In today’s society where identity theft is a common problem, employers want to ensure a potential employee is who they claim. Confirm an applicant’s social security number by running a check on whether or not the number is valid. In addition, a critical post-hire check is the I-9 verification which must be conducted within three days of an employee starting his or her job. This search allows an employer to know whether or not a person can legitimately work in the United States.
Source: HR Management</em