Pre-Employment Screening Is An Imperative Function For Any Company
A friend and I were recently out shopping at the mall and I asked her opinion on whether I should let my daughter, who is 8, walk or ride her bike to school. We live in a small rural town, which is quite safe, and the school is only three-quarters of a mile from our house. She has been asking me for a while now, and I am hesitant to let her. She is capable but I worry about other factors. After being a police officer for 15 years, I have a somewhat jaded view of society, and I worry about someone abducting her or her getting hit by a car or worse. My friend said that walking for her kid is not an option, but she said she wouldn’t let her daughter walk because there are too many creeps out there. She said you can never be sure about a person’s true nature, even the people you work with. She then described an incident she had at work with a new hire employee, which re-affirmed how important it is to do Pre-Employment Screening.
My friend is an HR specialist for a small company and deals with hiring new employees. She stated that her company is not willing to pay a background check company for Pre-employment screening of new applicants, so she can never be sure what type of employees they are hiring. She recently interviewed an applicant who looked great on paper. She said that they verified the applicant’s employment and references and had no reservations about hiring him. After the employee was on the job for about two weeks, another employee came to her and told her that they thought the new hire was a registered sex offender. My friend did some more research on her own and confirmed that the employee, she had hired was a registered sex offender, and only lived a few miles from her home. This caused her great concern and made her wonder what other crimes he had been convicted of, including the offense that got him on the registry. Now she and other employees feel awkward and uncomfortable around him at work and she doesn’t know how to handle the situation.
I am the Director of Security for a mid-size company and I manage our pre-employment screening program. Our company understands the importance of conducting employee background checks and how pre-screening allows us to hire quality employees and reduce overhead by decreasing turn-over. I have discovered that employee background checks also provide peace of mind to existing employees by ensuring a sense of safety and security within the work force. I think about how my friend and her co-workers are now uncomfortable around this employee and how that impacts their performance and ability to work as a cohesive team. She can’t fire him based on this information, and now she has no option but to try and have a positive working relationship.
Our company utilizes a background check company that manages our employee background checks. This is an important process for us, because it allows us to complete an individualized assessment for each candidate to determine whether their background could have a negative impact on our company based on the job they are going to perform. Our background check company also ensures we are compliant with FCRA requirements and that we are abiding by state law in regards to the type of information we are using to make employment decisions. My friend is right. There is no way to know a person’s true character, by simply reviewing a resume, checking references and conducting an interview. We have no way to truly know what may exist in a person’s background without performing pre-employment screening. The same holds true in our personal lives, and I think I will continue to go with my gut feeling, and have my daughter ride the bus to school. I am sure being in law enforcement and loss prevention make me a more conservative parent, but it also allows me to be more knowledgeable of the risks so I can make better decisions both personally and professionally.
I strongly believe that paying a small up-front cost to perform pre-employment screening is imperative to maintaining a strong, competent and dedicated work force. So if you own a small business please consider background screening as a necessary expense and factor it into your budget. I promise it will save you time and money in the long run.
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