The need to hire the most qualified candidate, and the inherent risk in hiring the wrong candidate, has never been greater.

What’s at stake

Workplace violence, unethical business practices and misleading résumés are on the rise. The costs of fraud, embezzlement, theft and violence are a multibillion-dollar drain on our economy, bleeding organizations both large and small.

Furthermore, negative publicity associated with negligent hiring — especially as the result of a less than thorough background check, or worse, no background check — can devastate the very foundation of a trusted organization. Now more than ever, companies should be using regulated, professional background screeners.

Less expensive than you think

The most common reason among employers for not conducting background screens is cost. That background screen cost, however, represents a fraction of the cost involved in turnover, termination, re-recruiting, re-hiring and re-training. And that’s best-case scenario for a bad hire.

“Employee theft accounts for as much as 48 percent of a retail company’s shrinkage, which can amount to nearly 2 percent of annual revenues.”

Employers may also be looking at legal fees to defend an action brought by a victim, often a customer or fellow employee who was injured by the hire, and litigation often extends into the millions of dollars and causes insurance premiums to increase. Additionally, background screens may uncover a history of fraud or theft, and many organizations — especially retail companies — experience very high levels of employee theft. A study by the University of Florida reports that employee theft accounts for as much as 48 percent of a retail company’s shrinkage, which can amount to nearly 2 percent of annual revenues. While these costs and damages may be recovered through an organization’s insurance, premiums will rise and reputation will suffer.

Accountable screening

By conducting background screens, employers can trust that their employee and prospective employee information is in the hands of trained professionals. Background screeners are subject to strict regulations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as federal, state and local privacy and consumer protection laws, and they are trained to properly handle personally identifiable information. Finally, customers — the companies large and small that utilize their services — demand excellence, holding screeners accountable simply to remain competitive.

The bottom line is that the purpose of background screening is to provide the public with safe places to live and work. Companies that utilize background screens demonstrate their commitment to ensuring safety, while also ensuring the highest degree of accuracy and professionalism.