Employee Background Checks: Do you Really Need Those?

Employee Background Checks: Do you Really Need Those?

Are background checks actually important? Well that is a good question. Let’s start off with the actual value proposition behind a background check.

Background checks like a national police clearance are conducted to try and protect a company or some other workplace from possible risks that may arise from persons within the organisation.

Background screening is considered an imperative pre-employment step before making a final hiring decision that will be cemented in the form of an employment contract. Majority of the time, workplaces would assume that the job applicants on their CV or in person are telling the truth when applying for the job on offer. It can be proven from research that most of the time, new job applicants are honest in their resume or CV however, there are a number of cases (around 40%) where they can hide the truth from the employer or to some degree mistate items on their resume or CV that make it factually incorrect.

In the prospects of trying to ensure that a workplace is hiring the right candidate for the job, a background and / or police check should ideally take place before the employment is finalised.

Background check

Why does my workplace ask for a background check?

To find the answer to this question, let’s look into the value proposition behind background checks:

1. They highlight criminal history records in accordance with spent convictions legislation

Knowledge of a potential job applicant’s criminal record can help influence HR teams and make a final decision on the suitability of the applicant in the particular position they may be assigned. For example, certain industries like aged care providers mandate the use of police checks before workers can be placed in roles where they have unsupervised access to vulnerable persons (e.g. the elderly).

2. Background checks can help avoid liability

A potential new recruit may possibly be unqualified for the job, or may have some personality trait or previous experiences that causes issues for the business down the track. Negligent hiring may be proven in court if it can be established that the company failed to carry out necessary background checks.

3. Ensure the safety and wellbeing of the workplace

Most employers are well aware that the safety of the workplace is one of the top priorities and if it is compromised then there is a possibility that the company or employer will be held accountable for such actions.

Background check matters to small business

Why It’s Important

The existence of a state based police check like a police check SA or a police check VIC is part of a growing incentive to not do the crime. It contributes to the old adage: “don’t do that, it’ll be hard to find a job in the future.”

This is absolutely true. If you are trying to get a job, entry-level, in a place like a bank or a corporate law office, it’s no surprise that they’ll want their individuals to have a clean record.

They have more to lose in terms of reputation and image if they have, let’s say, a registered sex offender in their offices. It makes sense that it would be difficult for a convicted and charged thief to get the position of manager in a retail operation. These are all analyzed by human resources to project risk. What risk does an individual have to the reputation of the people of the company?

The bottom line

The first line of defense when it comes to ensuring the safety and the integrity of your workspace is the national police check. Again, it’s not that people who made mistakes don’t deserve jobs, it means that one is allowed to weigh the risks before hiring. The variables of human action are clear as day throughout history. This is the safest time to be alive, strangely enough. Let’s keep it that way.

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