Hiring a New Employee? Here’s Why You Should Run a Background Check

Background checks are the process by which you, or a business that employs you, conducts an in-depth examination into the background of any prospective new employee. Employers may use a background check to find out whether the prospective employee has any prior criminal record, or has some other sinister history, like violence, which could be a hazard to their working environment or to others working at the company. Employers use background checks to collect all kinds of information about their job candidates, so that they can make an educated hiring decision.

Employers typically perform background checks for all new hires, as well as periodic checks for existing employees. Background checks can be conducted by any employer, but some employers prefer to contract with background checking companies that are more knowledgeable about conducting different types of checks for prospective candidates. The best time to perform a background check in the hiring process is after you share a contingent offer to work with the candidate, but before you commit them.

You will want to make it clear to the candidate — in writing — that you can use information from a background check when making decisions about their employment, then obtain their written authorization for obtaining a report. If you do conduct the background check and you decide to move on from hiring a candidate, you need to give them the option of providing an explanation or correcting any incorrect background check information in their report. You may want to go beyond the standard report by reaching out to a candidate’s past employers and personal references, and perhaps checking out their publicly available social media accounts.

A background check, before hiring, looks at the candidate’s background to find out if they have had any criminal or other legal difficulties, and it can also be used to check employment and education. The ban-the-box law still allows employers to do a pre-employment background check, but it cannot be done before the candidate is interviewed or before an employer offers a job to a candidate. These days, however, with the growing number of scary stories about dangerous felons working at retailers or rapists working at schools, an increasing number of hiring managers are asking their applicants to submit to a pre-employment background check. It used to be that an application, a resume, and a simple interview was all that was needed for most employers to figure out whether they wanted to hire someone.

To be sure, hiring new employees can be something like walking on a tightrope. As a result, employers that conduct thorough South Carolina background checks across the board can feel safer knowing that they have hired someone safe, honest, trustworthy, and reliable for the job. The primary benefits to running background checks on employees include limiting potential violence or illegal conduct, reducing corporate liability and legal costs including malpractice for hiring, and preventing inappropriate matches to roles and the corporate culture. According to a survey, 78% of candidates lie on their job applications, so a background check is essential for making sure that you are eliminating insecurity and bringing in the right candidate for the role.