The most effective way to predict future behavior is to look at previous behavior; that’s where pre-employment screening comes in. Employee background checks are a low-cost way to protect profits and, more importantly, a company’s image. There is a lot of fear about conducting background checks, so a lot of companies don’t do it. The best way to avoid all of the legal pitfalls is to use a company that specializes in employee background checks. They know the laws and most importantly, all of the best sources of information.
When a person is involved in stealing from their employer, it’s usually not the first time they’ve done it. After nearly 20 years of conducting internal theft investigations, I’ve found that most cases involve people who’ve been caught before. Effective screening can remove these risks from the applicant pool. As a person becomes more experienced at stealing from their employer, they become bolder and less fearful of the consequences, causing them to steal more in a shorter time frame. The employee with a history of theft is a greater loss risk and using a background check company can weed them out during the application process.
Address verification is a key component of employee background checks. A long time ago, I noticed that an applicant had addresses mostly in the local area, but suddenly moved hundreds of miles away into a very rural area with the same address for several years, then recently moved right back to his previous address. The rural address hundreds of miles away………when address verification was ran, it was found to be a State Prison where the person was incarcerated for credit card fraud. Had we not found this out through pre-employment screening and the person subsequently began stealing customer credit card numbers, we would have faced not only liability and losses, but also a lot of negative publicity.
An often over-looked area in employee background checks is the company image. I once worked for a company that began to receive phone calls that they had a known sex offender working behind the counter in a store that served families with children. Our concern was that in these particular locations, the employees worked alone or with one other person. A review of our screening showed that no criminal background was found in the county he lived in. We quickly decided to ask a background check company to take a look and found that he was on the Sex Offender Registry in another state, and had moved without notifying them. Can you imagine the liability for a company if something happened at the store? We immediately made the decision to begin using a background check company on 100% of our employees.
The cost of an effective pre-employment screening program is far less than the cost of employee theft, fraud losses, liability costs, and lost revenue through negative publicity that can occur without it. Think about the return on investment by investing a little up front versus the cost of the loss incurred. The time and money invested in investigation (cameras and personnel), and the fact that the odds of recovering money after a loss from the suspect are incredibly low; employee background checks are the better route.
For more information about pre-employment screening contact us or call 1.770.426.0547.