I have worked as a retail manager and as a supervisor in a university library. Part of my responsibilities includes hiring and being sure applicants are free of criminal backgrounds. The University automatically runs pre-employment screenings and my retail employer did as well once I submitted my choice for hiring. For business owners who are not part of a government agency or a national chain, it may be up to the owner to make hiring decisions. If you are that owner, do you make the effort to have background checks run on your prospective employee? From my experience in retail, I found that often the employees who were stealing were doing so because they worked in an area where there could not be a supervisor all the time, such as in a stockroom. Cashiers who were caught stealing often did so because supervisors did not have a significant amount of time to train and coach, they were busy trying to keep lines down, getting change for registers, addressing transaction problems and so forth. How much time do your employees work unsupervised? Can you be in your business 24/7? A background check company can help you feel more at ease about the people you hire.
What a background check company can do for you is they can check on an applicant’s past. Many people think that such checks are limited in scope, but a background check company can verify an applicant’s educational experience. In the retail company I worked for executives were required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Anyone can put down whatever they want on an application and if no one is running a check you are taking their word for it and you have no idea who this person is. Does your business have a vehicle or vehicles for day to day operations? They can check the driving record of an employee you are allowing to get behind the wheel of your car or truck. And yes, criminal history is an important part of what a pre-employment screening can do for you.
Has this applicant done anything that should concern you? It may be they had a misdemeanor on their record and you are willing to give that person a chance. But what if the applicant has more serious charges that might be an indicator of the behavior they might exhibit in your business with your customers or your other employees? Recently in my research for information on other topics I started coming across some stories in the home healthcare sector that peaked my curiosity. I noticed quite a few cases of home healthcare workers who were arrested for stealing from the people who were in their care. Please understand that this is not an indictment on home healthcare workers. As with any group, the vast majority of employees care about the patients they are assigned to help. They do work long hours and difficult shifts, and I had a relative and a close friend who were both under the care of very good home health care providers. These workers do work with little supervision and are in positions that give them the opportunity to steal from people who are vulnerable. In one case in Greenwich, Connecticut, a home health aid was accused of stealing a total of $163,177 from a 90 year old woman under her care. As reported by greenwichtime.com, on May 1, 2015, the suspect had two other larceny arrests on her record. Additionally, the home health care company that hired the suspect, “would not discuss screening practices” (referring to pre-employment screening).
In another case, a woman was arrested after being accused of stealing more than $25,000 from a client. According to Chron.com, in a Dec. 21, 2015 article, the home healthcare worker was on probation for an earlier case of welfare fraud. In this case, the son stated that background checks did not include fingerprinting so that was how the employee covered her history. While that may be true in this instance, I would argue that a thorough pre-employment screening by a reputable company should be able to uncover a questionable past.
Regardless of the type of business you operate, checking out who your prospective employees are before you hire them only makes good sense. A reputable background check company can conduct solid pre-employment screenings and minimize your risk of bringing the wrong person onto your team.
A Background Check Company is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.