One of the most common questions we hear from prospective clients is this: Why is pre-employment background screening important?
Let's dig into four compelling reasons...
1. Pre-employment background screening will protect your recruitment investment.
According to Glassdoor, the average U.S. employer spends $4000 to hire a new worker.
Obviously, some companies will spend less while others will spend considerably more, but the point is the same: Recruiting quality employees costs money. If you continually hire "bad eggs," you're wasting valuable dollars. Plus, you shouldn't underestimate the ripple effects bad hires can have, like reduced productivity and lower workplace morale (thanks to a revolving door of people coming and going).
A pre-employment background check can help protect this investment by ensuring that . . .
- The candidate has the requisite education/licenses/certifications
- The candidate has the requisite work experience
- The candidate has references that can speak to the person's character and whether they might be a good culture fit for your organization
- The candidate doesn't have a criminal history that would prove problematic for the job the person is being hired for
2. Pre-employment background screening gives hiring managers a quantitative edge when making a qualitative decision.
Think of a pre-hire background check as the quantitative complement to a hiring manager's qualitative assessment. The two go hand-in-hand when it comes to making smarter hiring decisions.
During the interview process, the hiring manager gets a sense of the candidate's soft skills—how well they listen, how they communicate, how they solve hypothetical problems—and whether the person might be a good fit for the organization. This is a subjective assessment guided by the hiring manager's own training and experience within the organization—as well as a good old-fashioned "gut check."
A pre-employment background screen can offer an objective balance to the subjective. On a resume, this means things like educational background, licenses/certifications, and past employment. Sure, the hiring manager and candidate might discuss these items during the interview, and the hiring manager can certainly evaluate how the person talks about these experiences. But only a thorough pre-employment screening can corroborate the facts.
An example: The HR manager is wowed by the candidate's job titles and educational background but learns through a pre-hire check that the candidate has embellished their experience. Talk about an excellent counterpoint, right?
And, as we noted above, a pre-employment screening can provide information that's not included on a resume or application, such as criminal history. Whether a person's criminal history should influence the hiring manager's decision is something for the hiring manager to decide (and, when appropriate, to discuss directly with the candidate). But the hiring manager can only discuss it with the candidate and perform a legally sound individualized assessment if the hiring manager has an accurate picture of the candidate’s criminal background in the first place.
3. Pre-employment background screening helps weed out liars and makes sure no "gig" falls through the cracks.
Sadly, people do lie on their resumes. Weeding out liars and embellishers is important, and this is something that a pre-hire check can do efficiently and economically.
Plus, a pre-hire background check is also a great way to verify multiple gigs. After all, it's not unusual for people to work two or three jobs at any given time. But the so-called gig economy can make conducting employment verifications and reference checks cumbersome—which, in turn, makes it easy for companies to justify ditching them altogether.
But wouldn't you hate to learn three months after hiring someone that if you'd simply checked all of the person's most recent gigs, you would have discovered enlightening information that would have influenced your hiring decision?
We've stressed before that education and employment verifications still matter. Instead of ditching them, give the task to a reputable background check company that knows how to conduct these checks quickly and efficiently.
4. Pre-employment background screening has evolved.
This isn't your grandma's pre-hire background check. Today's pre-employment screening includes the "traditional" education/employment verifications and criminal history checks. But now you can add other checks to the mix—ones that can further boost a hiring manager's qualitative assessment. We're specifically referring to social media background checks.
Good Egg’s social media background check solution will scour an applicant's publicly available online activity for behaviors that could put your company and workforce at risk. It identifies and flags the following:
- Hate speech
- Insults and bullying
- Obscene language
- Threat of Violence
- Toxic Language
- Drug-Related Images
- Explicit/Racy Images
- Violent Images