Screening the backgrounds of potential employees is becoming more and more common among small and large businesses, alike. Even though it can be a hassle, possibly feel like an invasion of privacy, and even be intimidating enough to avoid applying for a position altogether, there are reasons other than what you might expect driving businesses to screen potential hires. In fact, many businesses run background checks as an essential part of their hiring process for good reason. Although you are within your right to feel hesitant to work for a company that requires a background check, consider whether some of these additional factors might be in play before completing ruling them out:
1. Federal and state requirements.
There are many business that are required by law to run a background check on any potential employee before making a hire. Any business that works closely with the federal government, and any position directly under the umbrella of federal or state governments, will require candidates to pass a background check. Government workers have access to sensitive information about citizens, and they also have access to information about government plans and actions. If this type of information gets into the wrong hands, it could pose a threat to individual citizens or the general public.
2. Security for children and other vulnerable parties.
Under the federal National Child Protection Act, businesses and public organizations are allowed, and often required, to run background checks on people who will be working closely with vulnerable members of society. This includes children, the elderly, and those with mental disabilities. The high rate of abuse in schools and other organizations for children, seniors and the mentally disabled make it, not only important, but essential, to know the history of every employee working there.
3. Protection from lawsuits.
When something goes wrong with an employee, the business that hired him or her can often be held legally responsible for any damages. If an employee does something to hurt a colleague or customer, a business runs the risk of being sued by the hurt party as part of a negligent hiring lawsuit.
These types of situations can also do major damage to a business’s reputation, and business owners are within their right to do everything they can to know who they are hiring.