How Background Checks Can Help Ensure Safety in the Workplace

When hiring someone, you must ensure they do their job well. A criminal background check can help you do that. Background checks are often used in safety-sensitive positions to avoid liability for negligent hiring. They can also help verify identities.

Verifying the Identity of the Candidate

Employers need to verify the identity of the candidates they hire to ensure they are who they say they are. This can be done through a criminal background check or an SSN trace. These checks can help prevent issues with new hires who may have provided false information, such as their age or where they live. This can be particularly problematic in safety-sensitive industries.

Performing a criminal background check can reveal an applicant’s past convictions for various crimes, including felony and misdemeanor offenses. This can be useful in determining whether or not an employee will pose a risk to their fellow employees or customers. Criminal records searches can also reveal pending charges or lawsuits against the candidate. These searches can also reveal if the candidate is listed as a sex offender.

In addition to criminal records, background checks can also reveal an applicant’s credit history, which can be used to determine their level of financial responsibility. A credit report can uncover tax liens, bankruptcy filings, missed payments, civil judgments, and more. 

Verifying the Qualifications of the Candidate

Background checks are a staple in many hiring processes because they help verify important candidate information. They also can uncover issues that may need clarification in an interview. For example, a background check can reveal that an applicant has a criminal record of violence or has a history of dishonesty or fraud. These problems can cause legal liability for the employer, so it is important to vet all candidates thoroughly to mitigate these risks. It is important to note that the results of a background check depend on the type of searches an employer conducts, so it’s best to tailor the search to the position and types of information you are looking for. For example, a criminal search conducted on an entire county will return different results than a national search.

Additionally, the EEOC has set guidelines for how an employer should use this data to ensure it does not discriminate based on race or gender. A background check starts with identity verification, which includes checking the date of birth and Social Security number to confirm an individual’s name and address. It also can include a reverse phone number lookup to see who is calling, which can be helpful for people who are sick of getting calls from telemarketers and want to know who is behind those mysterious hang-ups. It is also common for employers to review a candidate’s social media accounts as part of their screening process. However, this review should be carefully calibrated not to violate the EEOC’s guidelines and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Verifying the Work History of the Candidate

Generally, employment verifications focus on verifying hard facts like the dates of employment and job titles held. This is because human resource teams do not want to get into a subjective pursuit, such as evaluating a candidate’s work ethic or character, and they are bound by privacy laws to only speak positively about the employee.

Conducting a background check is essential for businesses looking to prevent negligent hiring lawsuits. These suits are based on the theory that if an employer hires someone who has committed certain crimes in the past and goes on to commit those crimes at the workplace, the company is liable for the damage caused. In addition to criminal checks, other types of searches can help ensure safety in the workplace. These include identity verification and SSN tracing, which can be used to confirm that an applicant is who they claim to be. These searches can be conducted by HR departments or by consumer reporting agencies. Another type of background check is a reference check, which can be conducted by contacting previous employers to ask about an applicant’s experience and character. This can be a great way to find out about the honesty of a potential employee, as well as their level of expertise and how long they have been in the industry.

Verifying the Work Experience of the Candidate

Performing a background check can help employers verify the education, credentials, and work experience of potential hires. These checks can also reveal red flags that may disqualify candidates from safety-sensitive positions. Moreover, background checks can help employers comply with federal, state, and local laws related to employment screening. For example, a background check can confirm that an employee is legally allowed to work in the United States. It can also help employers avoid legal issues by identifying if a candidate has a criminal record. Background checks can also provide information about an employee’s credit report or online activity. In addition, they can show whether a candidate is listed in the sex offender registry. Moreover, background checks can help companies protect their data and intellectual property.

Employers can make fully informed hiring decisions with the full picture presented by a background check. This helps them avoid negligent hiring lawsuits and ensures a safe working environment. For example, an employer who hires someone to handle cash might consider a background check that reveals a history of theft. In addition, an employer who hires someone to enter customers’ homes or work with their personal information might conduct a criminal background check.