Consider the following scenario: You hire someone who seemed great on paper and interviewed perfectly and you’re thinking, “This person is really going to help us out.” But a week later, a couple of police officers show up to see an employee, holding some papers that look really important. When you speak with them, the officers explain that your new employee has six active warrants for his arrest. It seems one of your other employees recognized this new worker and called the authorities anonymously. Your new employee is arrested and handcuffed in full view of other employees and several customers in the reception area. The local newspaper reports the arrest, revealing that three of the warrants were for domestic violence and the other three involved drug sales. Now, your company’s name is associated with this alleged criminal, which is not only embarrassing, it could end up costing money and your reputation.
The next day one of the officers comes back to ask you to sign some paperwork. During the conversation he asks, “You didn’t do a background check on this person?”
Unfortunately, this story is not that uncommon. It doesn’t mean you can’t trust people. Of course, you can. And no background check can ever ensure you that a new employee will work out wonderfully. But by doing nothing, you don’t give yourself a fighting chance.
With a legally compliant background check policy, even the most basic one, you put the odds in your favor that your will hire the best people and minimize the many potentially damaging personnel risks. We, along with your legal counsel, can help you create and implement a policy that will work and that is affordable. Bad publicity and lawsuits are much more costly than any background check.
Contributed by Steven J. Austin of LABORCHEX.
Through the Michigan Chamber partnership with LABORCHEX, members get discounted pricing to employment background screening services. To learn more, please email Kym Lewis or call him at 1-800-880-0366.