In many industries, submitting to a background check is a normal part of getting hired for a job. From working in a grocery store to driving freight trucks long distances on the road, many employers take steps to better understand the individuals they choose to employ. In some sectors, such as childcare and education, background checks may even be a legally mandated part of the process that companies cannot skip.

Not everyone feels the same way about pre-employment vetting, especially in industries that don’t have any legal requirement to do so. Some companies skip background checks altogether as a matter of convenience or because of a mistaken belief that the process is costly and time-consuming. While some businesses opt to omit the background check as a means of expanding opportunities to job seekers in their community, doing so requires accepting some level of risk.

For the average business owner simply trying to find safe and qualified individuals to come and work for them, skipping a background check could put your company at risk. A quick look at some of the most important statistics reveals precisely why so many businesses have a standardized vetting process they use for doing their due diligence on every applicant.

Managing Risks Using Background Checks

No business sets out to staff itself with anyone who isn’t fit for the job or might pose a risk to others. Unfortunately, it can and does still happen, sometimes even despite your best efforts. According to a survey by Career Builder, a significant majority of employers, about 69%, report that they have made a “bad hire” at some point in the past. That could mean many things, from someone who misrepresented their skills to a person who went on to harm someone or destroy company property.

In the same survey, 41% of those who said they’d dealt with the effects of making a bad hire estimated the cost of their mistake at around $25,000. A quarter of those who responded said they experienced even worse financial damage, with costs of up to $50,000. Lost productivity, physical damage, embezzled funds, and other elements contribute to this cost, not to mention the investment necessary to hire and train a replacement for the bad hire.

Even from a purely financial perspective, business owners will find many good reasons to invest in thorough vetting. Consider that the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates that companies experience more than $50 billion yearly losses from employee theft. Can you afford to hire someone who isn’t trustworthy enough?

Background checks do more than let you look at criminal records. They can also include efforts to verify the information an applicant gives you during the hiring process. Do they really have that college degree? Did they actually work in the job roles they say at the companies they claim? The Society for Human Resource Managers says that 53% of resumés contain false information, and other surveys consistently demonstrate that applicants will lie to secure a job.

There’s one more good reason to include background checks beyond financially protecting your business and making well-informed hires: there are legal risks, too. Even when you don’t have an obligation under the law to background check applicants, you’re still responsible for what someone does in your name.

If you hire someone who goes on to commit a crime on the job and a background check would have revealed troubling information, you could face a negligent hiring lawsuit. A verdict against a business can carry fines in the tens of millions of dollars, not to mention the legal expenses incurred in your defense.

Background checks let you understand more about who you hire, verify information on their resumé, and act as a critical element of due diligence to shield your business from potential liability.

Choosing a Partner to Provide Your Business With Background Checks

Understanding why it’s important to use background checks is just the first step. Where should you turn when you need help? Choosing a partner to support your efforts to vet job candidates is not a decision to make lightly. Ideally, you should connect with a business that understands your needs and ensures you can quickly begin reviewing information relevant to your specific applicants. What are the major elements of a successful background check partnership?

First and foremost, you should look for a company that is both active and in good standing with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, an important professional organization. Choose a business that is well-established with a history of capably providing background checks to many different industry partners over a long time. Working with an established partner gives you access to critical experience and insight, making your process more effective.

Second, you will need to be certain that any reporting agency you work with has the capabilities to offer the reach you require. There are many kinds of background checks that can all consult different resources. Look for a partner that can provide checks from the county level up to the state and federal levels. Other reporting products could include motor vehicle reports, resumé information verification, and more. Be sure you can find all you need through a single partner.

Finally, don’t forget that there are critical elements of legal compliance to consider when using background checks. Regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act and several other state and local laws, background checks are a powerful tool when used correctly. However, there are penalties for misuse. A partner that understands compliance and can keep you informed on changes in our jurisdiction is a vital asset to streamline and improve your hiring without running afoul of the law.

Exploring the First Steps to Improve the Quality and Safety of Your Hiring

When you choose to expand your business and hire more workers, make sure you have the right tools to verify their skills and vet their backgrounds. Background checks shouldn’t be a major barrier to screen out many applicants but rather a tool you can use to confirm that someone will be a good fit for your business. It is just one part of the overall consideration of any potential new candidate for a job.

Experienced support and advanced tools make this effort simple, cost-effective, and easy to repeat at any scale. With help from, you can access custom-tailored vetting services and an in-depth knowledge base to learn about every aspect of this process. With years of experience and a proven track record of providing our clients with five-star service and support, we can help you create a screening package that makes the most sense for your business.

Visit today to learn more and to get started on equipping your business with a process to enhance confidence in every new hire.