From protecting your brand’s reputation to minimizing risk and liability, background screenings are a vital step in building any type of successful and sustainable business.
Skipping the background screening of job candidates is no small risk and could be costing your brand in more ways than you might realize.
At CBY Professional Services, Director of Operations Shawna Kane and Chief Growth Officer Susan Davis know the ins and outs of background screenings. Through decades of industry experience, they have seen time and again how failing to properly screen job candidates can tarnish a brand’s reputation.
Three ways skipped screenings can hurt your business.
1. Increased risk of lawsuits, theft, and fraud: Before coming to CBY, Susan spent 32 years in the banking industry, most of that time as a hiring manager. Not doing your due diligence of promising applicants can lead to lawsuits, she says.
If a business fails to conduct background screenings of job candidates, it might be liable for any harm caused by an unscreened employee who happens to have a history of criminal activity, fraud, or other misconduct. This can result in costly lawsuits, damage to the company’s reputation, and a loss of customers.
A company handling finances needs to check if a candidate has any history of forgery, fraud, or embezzlement. Employees with a history of financial crimes might use their positions to commit similar offenses, resulting in significant financial losses.
“You’re hurting yourself if you don’t do something to protect the company you’ve taken time to build,” Susan says.
2. Damage to brand reputation: A business’s reputation is essential to its success, and hiring employees who falsify records can damage the brand’s reputation.
“Anybody nowadays can go online and get a pretty good copy of a college degree or high school diploma and say they qualify, but it’s a fake,” Shawna says. “We find people send us fake diplomas or GEDs or claim to have earned a degree they haven’t. If you’re hiring somebody that needs specific qualifications, you should be checking that out.”
3. Failure to comply with legal requirements: Certain industries, such as health care and finance, are required to conduct background screenings under the law. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in legal consequences, such as fines or the loss of licenses.
Background screenings and clearances also are required for anyone who works with or around children. That means a contractor, landscaper, or maintenance person going into a school or child care center to work on a project needs to have proper clearances.
Should you hire someone with a criminal background?
background screening is just the beginning of the hiring decision process. For some organizations, it might be part of their mission to hire people with a criminal background and they are a vital part of community reentry programs.
In 2022, the RAND Corporation conducted a study on the benefits and challenges of hiring individuals with a criminal background. The study found that hiring individuals with a criminal background can have several benefits, including:
- Reduced turnover rates: One study cited in the RAND report found that hiring individuals with a criminal record reduced turnover rates by as much as 50 percent.
- Increased job satisfaction: According to the RAND study, individuals with a criminal background often have a deep sense of loyalty to the company that gave them a second chance.
- Access to a large pool of potential employees: Hiring individuals with a criminal background can increase the potential workforce and provide access to a large pool of potential employees. Individuals with a criminal background can bring valuable skills and experience to the job.
Companies should carefully assess the risks and benefits of hiring individuals with a criminal background, then have policies and procedures in place to support their successful employment. Companies should also provide training and support to help these employees succeed in the workplace. Background screenings provide employers with the information they need to make informed decisions that align with their mission and values.
Protect your company from discrimination lawsuits
Employers should be mindful of the potential discriminatory impact of their background check policies and take steps to ensure fairness and inclusivity in the hiring process. Background screenings need to be the same for all employees.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employers should establish a targeted screening process that considers the nature of the job, the specific offenses that may be relevant, and the time that has passed since the offense.
Employers should also give applicants the opportunity to explain any negative information found during the background screening and should only disqualify them if their criminal history is directly related to the job.
The CBY solution
Many companies and nonprofits need help determining what screenings they’re required to conduct.
“We ask companies what their policy is on background screening and many times they do not have one,” says Shawna. “Companies don’t always know what they need or what they are missing. Outdated polices are common.”
When it comes to conducting background screenings, it’s essential to understand the difference between state and federal searches, Shawna explains.
State and county searches find misdemeanors and felonies prosecuted in state and county courts, while federal searches turn up crimes that violate federal law. It’s crucial to conduct multiple types of searches because most crimes are violations of state or local laws.
CBY is equipped to handle the background screening needs of virtually every industry. Its goal is to make the process as simple and quick as possible, saving business leaders time and money. CBY offers a wide range of pre-employment screening solutions to businesses of all sizes, including criminal background checks, drug testing, employment verification, education verification, and professional reference checks.
CBY’s professionals have decades of combined experience in conducting these searches, offer a broad range of other services, and have a deep understanding of their clients’ needs. Contact CBY today to ensure that your company is hiring the right people for the job.