As a small business owner, you are probably curious about the pros and cons behind background screening your employees. After all, every decision you make has a real impact on your business. You might be considering cost, risk, and whether to partner with a third-party provider or to background screen applicants and employees internally. To help you weigh that decision, here are the pros and cons of implementing a pre-employment background screening policy.
Pro: Background Screening Reduces Your Exposure to Liability
By having a comprehensive background screening process in place, you can reduce your liability and exposure to negligent hiring. But what does that really mean? Negligent hiring liability holds employers of all sizes responsible for what they do know, but also what they should have known about their employee. Without having all of the facts available to you, you can open up your business to a negligent hiring lawsuit.
Con: Background Screening Can Take Time
Taking anywhere from 24 hours to up to a week, background checks can put a brief hold on your hiring and onboarding process. There can be delays in getting proper documentation from the applicant or HR may have a backlog of work. If you need an employee to start work right away, it can be tempting to skip the background check process, or delay it until after the applicant is hired. However, that can be even more costly, opening you up not only to liability, but also to the risk of needing to let that employee go and start from scratch again.
Pro: Background Screening Creates Trust
According to a Career Builder survey, 38% of employees have lied about their previous job responsibilities. Additionally, applicants can have fake diplomas, work histories, or references. Implementing a comprehensive background screening program helps the applicant start his or her position with your company off on the right foot by establishing a transparent relationship.
Con: Background Screening Costs Money
There’s no getting around it – someone does need to pay for the background check. If your business is running tight and looking to cut corners, you might think this would be a good way to save money. However, the average settlement for a negligent hiring lawsuit is a massive $1 million – much more expensive than a pre-employment background check!
Pro: Background Screening Reduces Loss
Employee theft is a massive problem with one study reporting that 95% of employees steal from their employers. It is on the rise, and Business News Daily names poor pre-employment screening as one of the reasons. Knowing about previous theft convictions up front can help you make your hiring decision with material facts.
When weighing whether to implement a background screening program, don’t try to DIY and expose your business to material risk. Contact ClearStar today, and work with a trusted screening partner.