Why is background verification crucial prior to hiring?

Published on Nov 24, 2017

Recently, a friend of mine and an HR of a tier 2 company told me that his company was having a tough time dealing with the employees. His organisation sacked two employees for their misconduct and behaviour towards fellow employees. Moreover, it was found that one of them was involved in criminal activities.  

Following this issue, the company has recently introduced stringent hiring policies that apply to both internal employees and new talent.  

As a talent consultant I asked him whether his company followed the procedures of background verification prior to hiring to which he instantly replied no. I confronted him and told him the importance of background verification and how it plays a crucial role in determining the brand of the company.  

Here is what I listed out to him: 

Criminal history: 

No company would like to work with a candidate having a criminal history. Often people lie about their past experiences to HR professionals during interviews. The primary aim of running a pre-employment background check is to highlight any convictions in a candidate’s past. This check can help in understanding if the candidate is a potential threat to an organisation, based on which an HR professional can make refined hiring choices. 

The overall picture of the applicant:  

Apart from criminal history, a background check will reveal a candidate’s professional and personal characteristics. It gives an understanding about their past performance at work, their credit worthiness, family and mental health. In brief, an HR professional gets to know the applicant on a much better note.  

Verification of relevant documents: 

A pre-employment test also takes into consideration documents such as driver’s license, bank statements, property documents, passport etc. This documents help an HR professional to flag any candidate furnishing false information. It also gives an idea about an applicant’s creditworthiness or any debt that will not hold any bearing on a candidate’s ability to perform on the job. 

Company branding: 

Employees are the face of any company; they represent their company and are the role models to other potential job-seekers. However, if a company has employees with a proven criminal record or fibbing employees, it can terribly bring down the reputation of the company. Pre-employment tests evaluate an employee’s worth and thus helps an HR to think about alternative hiring options.  

It fulfills requirements: 

A background verification check simplifies the hiring process. It offers information about candidates in a jiffy and thus helps a recruiter to decide what action to take next. Besides, these tests also document past and present history for the recruiters’ references. 

Employee welfare: 

When it comes to recruitment of any new talent, your employees’ safety is a priority before settling down on a decision. Before introducing a new individual to a firm, it is essential to assure your employees that the new candidate is free off criminal records and is a respectable professional from reputed firm or establishment.  

A pre-employment test will help a recruiter to weed out candidates who are a potential threat to the employees and customers of an organisation. It will keep sexual offenders, violent, sadists, alcoholics and other such individuals at bay, thus helping a recruiter maintain the decorum of the company.  

Lastly, a background check offers an HR manager or recruiter peace of mind. It dodges uncertainties and common doubts relating to recruitment and brings you peace of mind that you will require to run the business efficiently.