Running a human resources department can be a challenge, as you have to balance many competing interests in your hiring process. You need to find the best possible people, and you must ensure that you're protecting yourself legally. At the same time, you can't afford to come across as pushy or otherwise burdensome to potentially talented recruits. Criminal background checks for employment walk that tightrope between due diligence and overdoing it. If you're on the fence about whether you should be using criminal background checks for employment, here are five things you might uncover in your checks.
1. A history of violence
No employer wants to take on the risk of a violent employee. When you bring one of these employees into the mix, you can upset the good vibes you've been trying to create in your corporate culture. Beyond that, you may incur legal liability if an employee with a violent past snaps at one of your customers or one of his co-workers.
2. Sexually inappropriate behavior
In the modern era, you must protect yourself against lewd behavior. Sexual harassment lawsuits can be expensive, and aside from that, you company should be the kind of place where your employees feel safe. A criminal background check can reveal whether a person has a history of sexually suggestive behavior. Even if that person has never been charged with a sex crime per se, you can find out a lot about them by trespassing, harassment, stalking, and other relationship-related crimes.
3. Financial impropriety
If you're hiring someone who will be near your money, you'll want to ensure their past doesn't have an ugly mark when it comes to cash. Financial impropriety can manifest itself through charges of forgery, fraud, misappropriation, and outright theft. A criminal background check can reveal whether that individual is interested in doing things the right way.
4. Substance abuse issues
As an employer, you must be looking for employees who will present little drama and provide the highest levels of productivity. This is a challenge for employees dealing with a substance abuse issue. While a criminal background check is not guaranteed to reveal whether or not your new employee has an issue with cocaine, most people who have struggled with drugs for an extended period of time have had some run-ins with the law.
5. Issues with authority
One of the things you'll likely look for in employees is the ability to follow instructions. If you find that a potential employee has problems with authority, this can make them very difficult to work with. Resisting arrest, failure to appear, and other charges can suggest that you're dealing with a potentially harmful rabble rouser.
When it comes to hiring, it pays to know who you are dealing with. A resume can lie, references can fail to tell the whole truth, and most people can present a good face in a short interview. A criminal background check will rarely lie, however. Wouldn't you want to know all the pertinent facts about the person you're going to hire?