Criminal background checks should be part of every company’s pre-employment screening process regardless of industry or position. A good background check should search federal, state, county and local records for convictions and arrests. A comprehensive background check should include civil court records, such as bankruptcy proceedings and liens. Additionally, it should cover sex offender registry searches.
Protects The Company’s Investors
Criminal record checks are a vital part of the due diligence process for companies seeking investors to fund their growth. Investors want to know they can trust those responsible for managing their funds and executing business strategies. Investors may lose faith and withdraw funding if an employee with a criminal record is involved in a serious incident that damages the company’s reputation or brand identity. Conducting a criminal background check before bringing someone on board is the best way to protect the company from financial loss and damage to its reputation. A background check can uncover many potential issues, including drug crimes, violent criminal convictions, and dishonesty. It can also reveal whether an individual has a history of bankruptcy and details about past legal trouble that could impact the quality of their work.
A criminal history records check is particularly important for positions that handle sensitive data or finances, such as financial planners, and those that provide services to vulnerable populations, like healthcare workers. It’s also a good idea to run criminal background checks on contractors before engaging them. Continuous monitoring provides alerts when an employee or contractor has reportable criminal records activity without requiring the expensive and time-consuming process of a full criminal background check. It helps companies avoid financial losses and reputational damage while controlling costs by limiting the number of rescreens required to take immediate action.
Protects The Company’s Reputation
A background check can uncover much information about a candidate’s character and behavior. Whether it’s a conviction for a violent crime or something more subtle, such as a history of using social media to promote hatred and discrimination, these things can damage a company’s reputation. A criminal records check can also help protect the company’s assets and reputation by preventing fraud and theft. A good background check will flag anyone who may steal products, embezzle funds or commit other crimes that put the company at risk of financial disaster.
In addition, a criminal record check can help prevent an employee from becoming a danger to the company’s employees or customers by identifying a history of violence. It’s important for positions with vulnerable populations, such as children and older adults. A comprehensive criminal record check is a crucial step in the hiring process for most businesses. A thorough search includes federal, state and county-level criminal records and identifies all arrest information that resulted in a conviction and pending cases. It’s important to partner with a consumer reporting agency (CRA) committed to running FCRA-compliant searches to ensure that the information you use is accurate.
Protects The Company’s Employees
A criminal background check is a critical step in hiring to ensure your company has a safe and productive workplace. It allows you to avoid bringing on employees with violent histories, which could put your staff at risk of injury or harm your business’s reputation. It’s estimated that 1.75 million work days and $55 million are lost each year due to violence in the workplace. While criminal history searches are the core of most companies’ candidate screening protocols, they are not the only search types that should be run.
In addition to federal, state, and local records, you can also conduct a civil court check to uncover any outstanding lawsuits that an applicant has filed or been involved with. Civil court searches can reveal liens against an applicant’s property and child abuse cases, which might not have resulted in a conviction. You can also run a social security trace, which uncovers information like the applicant’s current address, previous addresses, and relatives.
Some states restrict the information that can be reported by consumer reporting agencies, such as pending criminal cases or convictions over seven years old. An experienced CRA can help you comply with these laws and follow EEOC guidance when conducting criminal background checks. In addition, a reputable CRA can provide you with a fast turnaround time for most searches by working with local courts to speed up results even when the county’s records aren’t digitized.
Protects The Company’s Customers
A criminal records check can identify dangerous convictions that might threaten the safety of customers who visit your business. Before recruiting candidates for jobs involving direct contact with vulnerable groups like children and the elderly or handling sensitive information, thorough background checks are frequently undertaken as part of this type of verification. An extensive search includes searching county and state criminal databases and federal courts for cases prosecuted by the Federal Government (including PACER) to reveal crimes including mail fraud, identity theft, embezzlement, domestic violence, illegal gambling and more.
Depending on the job, some employers also use searches of police and law enforcement records and additional state court databases. A comprehensive check is particularly important for positions that require a high level of security, like those that handle sensitive information or financial data. Generally, the focus is on felony and misdemeanor convictions since these are more serious and demonstrate guilt. Moreover, most employers are interested in finding out if the candidate has a record of convictions that may impact the company’s business in any way. Businesses need to conduct a thorough and complete check to avoid unfavorable hires that can negatively impact the reputation of their business, increase costs such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims, or even lead to litigation.