Employers conduct criminal background checks to reduce the risk of hiring someone with a history of theft, fraud, or violence. They are most concerned with convictions because they offer proof of guilt that an arrest record or pending charge does not. Criminal background checks search municipal, county, state, and federal records for misdemeanor and felony convictions. Sealed and expunged records typically do not appear in searches.
It Saves You Money
Hiring the wrong person can cost your business in many ways, including employee theft, insurance premiums, customer complaints, lawsuits, cybersecurity risks, and lost productivity. When you apply for criminal background check, it is an investment in your company’s reputation that pays off by protecting your employees and customers. A standard background check includes felony and misdemeanor convictions, arrest records, pending criminal cases, civil judgments, prison records, domestic terror watch lists, and other information. A more comprehensive search may include driving records, credit checks, education verification, employment verification, drug testing, and more. An experienced service provider can quickly retrieve these records and save you time and money by managing the process. As the workforce shifts to more flexible work options, it’s essential that your background screening services can keep pace with changing demands. Whether hiring contingent workers to fill temporary gaps or looking for permanent staff, background checks can help you make suitable hires that will add value to your company and contribute to its success. A criminal record check should be part of every employer’s hiring process to protect their customers’ and employees’ safety and security. Fortunately, there is an international movement to move the question of criminal history from the beginning of the hiring process to later in the interview, called “ban-the-box.” A background check can reveal that a candidate has a record, but doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be a good fit for your job.
It Saves You From Legal Issues
In addition to saving money by outsourcing criminal background checks to a trusted provider, employers can save themselves from legal issues related to negligent hiring and retention lawsuits. By following EEOC-recommended guidelines and using proper screening procedures, businesses can protect themselves from the financial burden of employee theft, property damage, or even customer and client harm caused by an incompetent or dangerous new hire. A standard criminal background check usually includes information about felony and misdemeanor convictions and any pending cases or arrests. Often, these reports also include details such as the date of arrest, the charges, the case number(s), and the disposition of each case. Most employers are more concerned with convictions rather than pending charges since there is no proof of guilt without a conviction. However, some states limit how far back a background check can look for records of convictions and may also have restrictions on the reportable crimes. Other types of data culled from a background check might include civil court data, such as collections histories or bankruptcies, employment and education history, including verified degrees and diplomas, and results of a sex offender registry search. It is also important to verify identity by running an SSN trace and a national criminal database search and checking for warrants, probation status, and whether the candidate is on government watch lists or sex offender registries.
It Saves You Time
Background checks search municipal, state, county, and federal criminal records databases to report an applicant’s misdemeanor and felony convictions and pending criminal matters. Turnaround times vary based on the scope of the search. For example, a social security number (SSN) trace, a national criminal records search, and a sex offender registry check typically return results within one to three business days. Searches that involve county criminal record repositories or jurisdictions without digitized records take longer. Depending on the jurisdiction’s laws, a background check can uncover more information than criminal convictions. For example, arrests that didn’t lead to conviction, charges of which the candidate was acquitted, and even records from foreign countries are sometimes included in background checks. Some background checks also report domestic and global watchlists that show industry bans, such as healthcare sanctions. Employers that partner with a third-party background check or screening service for their screening needs can save time and help ensure legal compliance. Experienced CRAs follow state and local reporting laws, including ban-the-box and fair hiring regulations, that limit what information can be used during the hiring process. They also have professional relationships with thousands of courts, allowing them to speed up the search process even when records aren’t digitized.
It Saves You From Mistakes
A criminal background check will reveal information about a job applicant. It may include felony and misdemeanor convictions, pending charges, and arrests that didn’t lead to prosecution or were later expunged from an individual’s record. It also reports civil judgments and convictions from states, counties, and townships. In addition, a background check often includes search results from national and international sources.
Having accurate criminal records is essential to hiring employees for your business. It can save you from loss of business, lawsuits for negligent hiring, and the expense of firing or disciplining an employee who commits a crime. It can also help you avoid costly legal issues with your customers or other members of the public whom a dangerous employee might harm. However, it is essential to consider when hiring that some crimes or convictions are more severe than others. In some cases, it can be illegal for businesses to hire individuals who have a history of violent crimes or who have been charged with serious fraud or embezzlement. Additionally, some state and city laws (sometimes called “ban the box” laws) regulate when employers can ask candidates about their criminal history and how much weight they can give those records in hiring decisions.