Criminal background checks are still important for workplace and customer safety
Last month I wrote about what to consider when thinking about
hiring someone with a criminal record. Criminal justice reform and movements like Ban the Box can confuse HR professionals and
business owners who perform criminal record checks during their employment
screening process. The uncertainty ultimately causes them to wonder: should we
still be checking criminal histories? The answer is yes, and here are a few
- Kevin Rosenquist
No company wants to bring a dangerous person onto their
staff. You want your other employees to feel safe at work and you certainly don’t
want anything bad to happen. Checking an applicant’s criminal history can help
ensure that the person you are bringing in doesn’t pose a threat to anyone else
at your company. A person with multiple convictions for assault could be prone
to engaging in fights and could end up hurting another employee.
In addition to providing a safe place for your employees you
also want to ensure your customers are safe, whether they come to your business
or whether your employees go to them. If you provide a service that sends
employees into people’s homes you don’t want that person to have a history of
assault, theft, or worse. Plus, it’s a great marketing tool to be able to tell
potential customers that all your employees are vetted through a legitimate
background check company.
Running a retail company? Then it’s probably a good idea not
to hire a person with three convictions for retail theft in the past five
years. Hiring a manager with access to large amounts of cash? Someone with a
robbery conviction last year could put you at risk for lost money. Do your
employees have access to sensitive data like Social Security Numbers? It would
be good to know if the employee you are considering has ever been convicted of
identity theft or fraud.
Peace of Mind
It sounds cliché but peace of mind goes a long way for you
as a business owner or HR professional and for your staff. Getting a clean
criminal background check back on a new employee gives you confidence that the
person you’re bringing in doesn’t pose a danger to anyone. It does the same for
the rest of your staff by showing them that you care about their safety and well-being.
I’ve had clients that have never run background checks before they hired us and
they have stressed how much better they feel knowing that the person they hired
does not have a past that would cause concern.
Getting criminal records as part of your pre-employment
screening is still an important part of onboarding a new employee. Just
remember what I always preach; be sure to get your screening done by a
reputable background check company.