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What Are the Top Reasons for Employers to Conduct Background Checks?

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Background checks are a common occurrence, yet many employers wonder whether a background check is necessary in all cases. Weighing the benefits and risks of background checks is one way employers can make informed decisions about how to use background check information as part of the hiring process. 

Here are some of the most common reasons employers use background checks.

Make Better Hiring Decisions

The first reason many companies use background check information is because it enhances the decision making process during hiring. A background screening provides information that can help employers make better hiring decisions. 

When hiring managers seek a background check during the hiring process, they can gather valuable information, including:

  • Confirmation of a candidate’s education, employment history, credentials, and licenses
  • Insight into any past criminal behavior and the results of that incident
  • Information on the candidate’s credit history and ability to meet financial obligations
  • Data on a candidate’s drug use status

This information provides an additional perspective on a candidate. Because background check information often comes in a standardized format, it can also be used to compare candidates directly, allowing for a more objective approach to choosing the best candidate for the job. Any questionable results can be used as the basis for further exploration during an interview as well, if the candidate is otherwise highly promising. 

Using background check information in hiring can also help hiring managers ensure they move forward with candidates who are able to do the job well. The company can focus on interviewing and hiring those who will help the company stay on the right side of applicable laws and regulations. 

Build a Safer Workplace

Another valuable reason companies rely on background checks during the hiring process is to help them maintain a safe work environment. There are several ways a background check can be used to boost the safety and health of the workplace.

For example, a background check that seeks information on relevant licenses or credentials boosts workplace safety by ensuring that a potential new hire has fulfilled the training, education, testing, and other requirements necessary to earn and maintain their credential. Employers can trust that the candidate knows basic safety and wellness procedures related to their job, and that this knowledge is kept current. 

Background screenings that include drug testing focus on worker safety and health more directly. Drug testing helps employers determine whether a worker is capable of making sober decisions on the job. When a drug test comes back clean, the company also knows that drugs are not among a worker’s potential health challenges – and healthier workers are better able to contribute to the team’s overall productivity. 

Comply With Legal and Industry Requirements

Many employers start their relationship with background screenings because they are required to perform a background check under a local, state, or federal law or regulation, or because their industry requires background checks in certain situations. 

Compliance with applicable rules is certainly a benefit of performing background screenings. These rules are often targeted to industries and job roles in which having certain types of information is essential to basic health, safety, and performance. For instance, an employer may be required to check the license of a health care provider in order to ensure the candidate is in fact qualified to treat patients or to run drug tests for truck drivers to protect the health and safety of both the driver and others on the road.

While compliance can feel like a chore at first, it performs an essential role: It sets a baseline for skill and behavior in order to protect health and safety. When employers perform these background checks, they ensure their new hires meet or exceed that baseline. 

This emphasis on health and safety can in turn help reduce liability for the employer in two ways. First, the employer avoids the liability of non-compliance with the law itself. Second, the employer lays the groundwork for a company culture and procedures that can mitigate the risk of injury or accident in the workplace. Both outcomes provide better protection for the employer and a better working environment for new hires and veteran staff alike. 

The Background Check Help Employers Need

Background checks provide essential information during the hiring process and during employment. To gain the benefits of fast, accurate background screenings, talk to the experts at Metrodata Services. As a PBSA-accredited provider, we focus on providing thorough, accurate, prompt information that also complies with FCRA and other applicable regulations. Contact us today to learn more.

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