The Truth About Rushing Employee Background Checks

employee background checks.jpgAnybody feel like you are overcommitted?  Ever exhale and say to yourself, where has this day gone? My dad once told me that life really moves fast the older you get.  According to my kids, I have turned into my day so it is no surprise I totally understand what he was saying.

I have a great wife, 5 kids and a million activities from homework to sports, a growing business, launching a new business and volunteer board commitments.    So I am constantly rushing….from meeting to meeting.  From work to home. Rushing through dinner.  Off to practice.  Back home.  Kids need to shower (the 3 boys would never shower on their own), homework, reading and then it is time to hit the sack and rest up for another busy day.

I have also had the pleasure of meeting 2 Indiana State Police Officers over the past 6 months while in a rush.  Fortunately, this ended in a warning each time (and also put me further behind).

Hitting home?

Life is busy.  Work is busy.  We live in a world where everything we need is available quickly.  And we are impatient.  Guilty.  Thank you Mr. Internet.

But life requires some balance or we will burn ourselves out.  Balance isn’t easy though, is it?

Just like a busy life brought me into the radar (literally) of 2 police officers, constant rushing with employee background checks will get you in trouble.  Let’s look at the impact of rushing a background check.

Twice last week I had someone on our staff come by my office and tell me almost the same exact story.  They finished two employee background checks and found serious felony records so they called the client to advise them.

Both times there was dead silence on the other end of the phone.  This is the silence of “oh crud, we needed this person so bad we put them to work already.”

Candidate #1:   2 counts of Sexual Misconduct with a Minor.

Candidate #2:  Sexual Misconduct with a Minor.  He had been referred to the employer by a local police officer.

The truth is rushing an employee background check will get you in trouble.  Maybe not today or tomorrow but it will come back to haunt you.

What are the problems with putting somebody to work before the background check is complete?

  1. The above 2 examples illustrate that the employer had sex offenders working in their organization.
  2. You are now terminating an employee, not rescinding an offer to a candidate for employment.
  3. You cannot look at somebody and determine if they are a good hire.
  4. You expose your organization, employees or volunteers to harm.
  5. You expose your organization to a negligent hiring lawsuit.

I think we would all agree that we need to put on the brakes and add some balance to our lives.  The same is true of our hiring process.  This is not Russian Roulette.  It is not worth the risk.

Make your conditional offer and do NOT put the candidate to work until you have completed the employee background checks.  Your managers will adapt and eventually appreciate this policy.