Conducting a background investigation for employment when hiring not only helps save your company’s reputation but also thousands of dollars. If you are an HR manager or a company owner looking for strategies to hire the right people, this post is for you.
I am Wayne Bisard, a 26-year law enforcement veteran currently working as a private investigator in mid-Michigan. I help clients to run full background checks on the prospective employee they are considering hiring.
Many employers trust job applicants with their credentials. However, this approach sometimes leads to severe damage to the company’s reputation while costing them substantial financial damages. For instance, hiring an employee with a history of misconduct or sexual offence can bring your organization a bad name. Furthermore, asking that employee to resign will cost you thousands of dollars in severance compensation.
So today, I am going to share valuable insight with you on how your organization can run efficient background checks to safeguard business reputation as well as avoid hefty payouts.
What Does a Background Consist?
This depends on the nature of your business and what details are you looking to find out. For instance, you may want to know if the potential employee has a criminal history or if the person is a sex offender.
Some employers may only want to verify if the new employee has a valid driver’s license. If you are hiring for a senior position such as a CEO or a manager, you may want to know extensive details about the background of a potential candidate.
Employers often hire people to find out later that the skills the candidate listed on the background are not their forte. The reason is that the companies do not conduct an adequate background investigation for employment. In my experience, it can take from 30 to 40 hours to carry out a single background check for the most complex cases.
Why a Background Investigation for Employment?
First and foremost, background investigation allows you to verify a candidate’s employment history and skills they claim to possess. Secondly, it helps you verify the educational credentials of the applicant.
Here is a classic example that I am personally aware of. Many years ago, one of my wife’s former supervisors showed up at a work meeting one day with a certificate and stated that he had obtained a bachelor’s degree overnight. When in reality, he had paid $75 to get it and had not actually earned the degree. Therefore, as an employer, you must verify that the applicant has a valid and genuine degree. Other aspects include eliminating the chances of an employee being a criminal or sex offender and ensuring that they are a good fit for your organization.
Importance of Digging into Employment History
You must verify the employment history of the potential candidate because many times, people will leave out bad employment history from their CVs. I have done many background investigations where one of the previous employers had fired an applicant for misconduct, and the applicant did not mention that particular job on the application. Imagine that!
Hiring such employees can cost your company hefty financial payouts if you ask them to leave later. The story I am about to share will explain how.
I had a client who came to me after they hired a CEO to run their company. Several years went by, and then one day they received a letter from somebody. The letter stated that they were a former employee who worked underneath this CEO. The writer of the letter revealed that the CEO had a history of misconduct and had done some things to this particular employee. After running a thorough investigation, the employer decided to allow the CEO to resign. However, doing so, they ended up paying the CEO about $50,000 in a severance package. This is not all, as there can be other consequences for not carrying out pre-employment background investigations.
I had a case where a client hired a manager to work in their company. The manager did something wrong, causing the company to be in the paper. Once that happened, it damaged the company reputation and dramatically decreased the amount of business they were getting. These incidents could have been avoided easily if only the aforementioned companies had been diligent in running a background investigation. A background investigation for employment helps you vet out such applicants and save your organization’s time, money, hassle, and, most importantly, reputation.
Duration of a Background Investigation
It is all subjective. The timeline of a background investigation depends on what you are trying to achieve. It may take anything from a day up to 10 days. However, some of my most complex background investigations have taken up to 15 days. It all depends on how fast I can get documents and information needed from different organizations and places.
Cost of Background Investigation
You can do an in house investigation that will cost you to pay an employee hourly wages. However, you must not forget that you will have to spend more time and money creating policies and forms. Therefore, outsourcing it and hiring a private investigator is a more viable option with added benefits which are:
- Background investigation is a time-consuming activity, and not many managers have that much time to conduct an adequate background investigation. Therefore, a third party offering background investigation for employment can be your savior. They have the expertise on where to look for the right information on the potential employee. This will ensure that you have comprehensive background verification to make a well-informed hiring decision.
- Cost is another major factor. Although it may cost you a little more to hire a background investigator, it can save you a lot of hassle. This is important because hiring the wrong person will not only hurt your business’s performance and reputation but in the worst case, you can be sued.
- Hiring an external background investigation for employment helps with impartiality. This way, a potential candidate cannot come back and say, “You were biased, or you did not like me; that is why you did not hire me.” A background investigator will have no skin in the game; therefore, they do not care whether the person in question has a good or a bad background. The job of a background investigator is to find out the facts and deliver them to you. This way, you can tell any potential candidate questioning your hiring decision that “We hired an outside agency that was impartial to complete your background investigation, and you are just not a good fit for our organization.”
- Usually, hiring an external agency to run a background investigation for employment makes a candidate a little more comfortable. It is a little nerve-wracking when a hiring manager is interviewing you about your background. Therefore, someone from outside the organization asking questions makes the candidates feel more at ease.
Now that you get a bigger picture of how background investigation for employment can help. Your organization will be able to make the right hiring decisions. Furthermore, using the information I have shared with you in this post will ensure the integrity of your business reputation while avoiding any monetary damages.
I am going to publish a guide on how to conduct a background investigation for employment very soon. In the meantime, visit our website for more information on a background investigation for hiring employees.
Use the link below to get a free guide for conducting background investigations.