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Why do a personal background check?

Why do a personal background check?

Personal background checks are becoming more common as banks vet borrowers, employers screen interview candidates, mothers
check out potential nannies and landlords look into the past of their tenants before letting.

It’s thought that up to 40% of resumes include false or exaggerated information and if you want to know the truth about a job candidate a background search may be a sensible move. Unfinished college courses, fudged employment dates, exaggerated job titles and fantasy employers are all common. Criminal records, DUI (driving under the influence) convictions and bad credit histories can also surface during a personal background check.


Finding out the truth about an individual and hiring a candidate who actually is what they promise to be is one reason for undertaking a personal background check but employers are also increasingly worried about the possibility of legal action. Cases of negligent hiring and negligent retention are on the increase and employers can be held responsible for the actions of their employees if they have failed to carry out pre-employment screening.

Legal reasons for accessing criminal information

For example a company that hires an employee with a criminal record who is later involved in a violent incident at work can be held responsible for damages, legal fees and medical bills. Or shareholders may hold a company responsible when an employee with a history of embezzlement continues to misappropriate funds in the new job.

In addition to the legal aspects, a personal background check should help you decide if a candidate is going to fit in with your company ethos. If you’re planning to spend time and money on employee training you want to make sure the chosen candidate is going to stick with you and fit in well as part of your team. Speaking to former employers, neighbors and acquaintances can tell you more about a candidate’s character and mode of living than any resume or interview ever will.

Security is another major issue. Any business that holds valuable stock or sensitive information is open to risk with every new hire, from janitors with a history of theft to white collar workers looking for trade secrets. Since September 11, requests for personal background checks have soared as companies become increasingly concerned about security issues. Landing a job with a company offers easy access to buildings, files contained within them and insider information on security procedures and access points.

Carrying out a personal background check on each new hire is a wise precaution and offers you the best protection from incompetent employees, security threats and legal action.

Establish a procedure now and it will make each recruitment process easier.