The Importance of Pre-Employment Background Checks at the Workplace

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Recruitment is an important process in the workplace. It is through this process that firms are able to enlist new workers into their workforce. Firms always look to hire the best and it is for this reason that the recruitment processes are usually vigorous and detailed. Open jobs are advertised online or on print media. Deserving applicants apply to the posts and those who meet the stated requirements are usually invited for a face to face interview. The candidates are then ‘grilled’ on their suitability to the post and the best from the lot hired to the post. The recruiters, at this point, can conclude that they have done their best to recruit qualified members into their workforce, but is that really the case? There is a lot that job seekers fail to reveal to recruiters during the interviews and in their resumes. This is in an attempt to hide past failing and records that can paint them negatively in the eyes of potential employers. Recruiters that fail to investigate candidates beyond the face value could end up with unfit workers who are a threat to themselves and other workers at the workplace. And that’s where background checks come in.

Background checks before hiring.

Background checks delve deep into the surface so as to get a clear picture of the applicant in question. They are particularly helpful in unearthing past wrongs that candidates may choose to hide from recruiters. Some of these issues include criminal records, drug and substance abuse, terrorism activities and sex offense. This information helps recruiters make informed hiring decisions and to avoid hiring candidates with questionable traits that can interfere with the workplace environment. Performing these checks on potential employees is a time-consuming and costly process that most recruiters tend to avoid. The result of this is usually costly court battles brought about by a bad hire. Firms are able to avoid these expenses by hiring private investigators to perform background checks on the applicants and recruiters in Arizona can hire private investigators Phoenix for this. Here are other reasons why background checks are very important before recruiters make hiring decisions.

  1.      It scares those with something to hide from applying.

Applicants with questionable records will shy away from applying to a job post when it is made clear beforehand that all the applicants to the post will be subjected a background check. This, therefore, weeds out undeserving applicants and recruiters are left with a pool of qualified and honest individuals to choose from.

  1.      It highlights past criminal records.

When recruiting members into their workforce, firms tend to avoid applicants with criminal records. This is because people with criminal records come off as dangerous and unreliable and in an effort to ensure that the workplace is safe for both the workers and the clients, most recruiters avoid hiring individuals with criminal records. The said individuals may have reformed their ways to become law abiding members of the society but the recruiters still deserve access to this information to be able to make informed hiring decisions. This is only possible with a detailed background screening to check whether that applicant has been charged with any crime in the past. Those that fail to do this can end up with a convicted sex offender on their payroll and have its workers and customers sexual harassed by the recruit.

  1.      It verifies an applicant’s academic credentials.

The competitive nature of the job market has seen some applicants lie about their academic qualifications to land a job. The situation is so rife with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) claiming that almost half of the resumes contain false information. As a recruiter, a background check on the applicants is the only way to verify the applicant’s academic credentials. This way you are able to avoid hiring under-qualified applicants to critical positions in the workplace. In specific instances, a person is legally required to possess certain degrees or professional certificates to able to perform the job and it is only when you conduct a thorough background check that you will be able to ascertain whether the individual possesses the said academic qualifications.

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  1.      It ensures that the workplace is free of drugs.

Every employer would love the workplace environment to remain safe and conducive for business transactions and this entails keep drugs away from the office. Drugs have a disruptive influence and they reduce the productivity of workers at the workplace. Recruiters should, therefore, ensure that the new hires are not addicts or drug dealers. A thorough background search would unearth all this information and as such, recruiters are able to make the best hiring decisions for the firm. A background check would only reveal past drug charges but to make sure that you are not hiring current users, recruiters should run a drug test along with the background check so as to ensure that current users without previous drug charges do not make it into the workforce.

  1.      It ensures due diligence.

An employer would be held liable for the employee’s misgivings when it is found out that he or she did not carry out a background check prior to employment. The litigation cost could rise to millions of dollars depending on the nature of the fault and recruiters are able to avoid all these costs by consistently carrying out background screenings on potential employees.


The importance of pre-employment screening at the workplace cannot be underestimated. Most job applicants would do anything to secure the position on offer even if it means giving false information and their hiding past shortcoming. It is, therefore, up to the employer to perform a background check on each and every applicant to not only verify the qualifications of the applicants but to unearth past records that an applicant may not reveal on his or her application. Background checks may be costly but they help organizations hire the best candidates into their firm’s workforce.

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Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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