Candidate Background Checks More Important Than Ever by Dan Charney, President, DRI

A significant number of job candidates falsify information on their resumes. Surprisingly, many applicants who fabricate their information still land the job. How is that possible?

According to Neil Adelman, President of Safeguard, a comprehensive background screening company in Beachwood, Ohio, “About 50% of resumes contain incorrect information and many businesses either lack the proper in-house resources or initiative to carry out full employment verification procedures or criminal record checks. As a result, companies can easily make poor and costly hiring mistakes.”

There are a variety of reasons why candidates falsify information. From my experience, the reasons run the gambit of trying to hide periods of unemployment, conceal substance abuse, and/or hide a criminal record. For some, it’s simply to get the competitive edge in today’s economy and fierce job market.

According to the Wall Street Journal and the Society for Human Resource Management, here are the top reasons why employers should screen their applicants:

  • Reduce Legal Liability
  • Ensure a Safe Work Environment
  • Prevent Theft & Other Criminal Activity
  • Comply with State Law
  • Assess Overall Trustworthiness

I’d like to add two more…it saves time and money. For example, I recently advised a client of mine to conduct a thorough vetting process before hiring my candidate or any candidate for that matter. The hiring manager said it was their policy to hire first and then check. Unfortunately, they initiated their criminal background check well into his first month of employment, after on-boarding and training were completed. To their dismay, they found criminal activity in his past that if repeated, would put their company at risk. They terminated his employment immediately. Neglecting to do a background check before hiring was a costly mistake for them. Thousands of dollars in company resources including financial, human capital, and time were wasted.

I recommend that the best time to do a background check is when you narrow the playing field to one or two candidates and before a job offer is even discussed. Employment and background verification is too important for your company to hesitate on, delegate to an untrained employee, or disregard your state’s guidelines and requirements.

Frankly, you have a duty to take care of your workforce as well as mitigate risk for your company. That’s why DRI uses screening services before hiring our own employees and recommend the same to our clients.