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Employee Background Checks

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Employee Background Checks


Hiring new staff is a ponderous, laborious, costly and tedious process and sadly a necessary evil if you intend to recruit any new member of staff into your organisation, given the staggering and indeed overwhelming numbers of application forms, interviews and phone calls you will have to spend time processing, it is understandable that employers want to cut corners. However, regardless of the cost both in terms of money and actual working time diverted, it is imperative that you carry out as stringent and extensive background checks as possible. Employee background checks are vital in any type of business, and this is something you can ignore at your peril.

The whole rationale of employee background checks is that not only do the most qualified people fulfil and perform the respective tasks, but that sensitive roles and tasks are not performed by persons who for whatever reason are unsuitable to execute them. You may have heard the old adage of “a chain is as strong as its weakest link”, and this is especially true of any organisation regardless of size, type or profits, in a team based environment each person must rely on the respective skills and abilities of the others. If one employee does not quite meet the standards required then the entire business can grind to a halt. In a service orientated business this can spell disaster if an employee for example has poor interpersonal skills, and can lead to a serious dent in consumer confidence.

The potential for harm does not just lie in terms of poor attitudes, or lack of ability, employee background checks are crucial for weeding out people who pose greater risks, such as those with a criminal record, or those who have been declared bankrupt. Such people will be pre-disposed due to either their personality or personal circumstance to cause problems for you, whether it is in terms of embezzling funds, or exploiting their position for personal gain.

Certain types of business and organisations MUST ensure that they conduct employee background checks as a means of protection for the “clients” of the business. If you operate a business that cares for children, you will not want a convicted child abuser or paedophile on your payroll! It is a sad reflection of the world that we live in that people cannot simply be taken at face value that they wish to work with vulnerable people of society without cynicism and suspicion arising. However, given the frightening potential for harm both actual and potential, such precautions whilst unpleasant, are entirely necessary. Employers must ensure that they exercise due diligence in conducting thorough employee background checks, not only for their peace of mind and assurance, but so as to ensure that they do not place their customers or resources in jeopardy. In some cases, such an obligation is not merely a legal one, but a moral one as well, for the prevention of wicked conduct, through abuse of power and trusted positions. As Leonardo Da Vinci once said: “For evil to prosper, good men need do nothing.”

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