Reference & Background Checks

Thinking of Skipping That Background Check?

Your company has conducted multiple interviews, and every interviewer gives the job candidate a thumbs-up. The position has been vacant for weeks, and the work is piling up.

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Should you take a chance and skip the background check?

Why Check

Here are a few reasons to take the time to check.

According to Backgrounds Plus, a provider of professional background screening:

  • More than 40 percent of all resumes contain fraudulent information
  • 10 percent of all applicants have criminal records – most not reported during the hiring process
  • 60 percent of requests for college education verification find falsified data
  • One in six employees has a drug problem
  • 30 percent of all business failures are caused by employee theft
  • On average, more than 50 percent of new hires do not work out

According to Mind Your Business Inc., a provider of pre-employment background and EEO investigative services:

  • 10 percent of all background checks have at least one serious red flag
  • Workplace violence accounts for 18 percent of all violent crime
  • Employers have lost more than 78 percent of all negligent hiring cases
  • Workplace drug and alcohol use costs U.S. businesses an estimated $100 billion each year

What Checking Involves

According to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), employment background checks can contain information from a variety of resources and may include:

  • Criminal and civil record checks at county courthouses, state repositories, federal courts, and/or international courts
  • Driving records checks
  • Drug testing
  • Verification of employment, education, professional licensure
  • Reference checks
  • Registry checks, such as sex offender and child and elder abuse lists
  • Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals List (SDNL)
  • Export Denial List search
  • Patriot Act searches (terrorist watch lists)
  • Office of Inspector General (OIG) search and other healthcare sanction lists
  • Financial industry checks, including SEC filings, FINRA, and Federal Reserve sanctions
  • Credit history (a person’s credit score is not included in a pre-employment screening report)
  • Accessing the FBI’s criminal database system when mandated by law

Best Practice

As the above information shows, there are numerous reasons to conduct background checks. But in case you’re not convinced, here’s one more. According to Mind Your Business, 90 percent of American corporations perform background checks.

Was your job candidate previously rejected by another employer, because of what a background check revealed?

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.