How Background Check Services Enhance Workplace Safety


A quality background check is one of the most essential tools in a company’s hiring arsenal. It can help reduce hiring bias, make better hiring decisions, and enhance workplace safety.

Depending on the type of role, a company may require additional searches like education verification or drug tests. A quality screening provider can offer customized record filtering to support diversity initiatives and mitigate unconscious bias in the screening process.

Background Checks

Hiring the wrong person can cause severe damage to a company, including legal fees, lost sales, and negative publicity. It can also cost the organization valuable time scouting, vetting, and training new staff to fill that position.

Comprehensive background checks verify an applicant’s identity and provide a window into their past. They can help identify red flags that indicate a potential risk for the job, such as theft or assault.

In addition, background checks help employers comply with laws like “Ban-The-Box,” which prevents companies from asking about a job candidate’s criminal history until after they’ve made an offer of employment. This is especially important for jobs requiring high trust, such as working with children or vulnerable adults, managing private information, or accessing private living quarters.

Drug Tests

Workplace drug tests help keep employees safe by ensuring they are working while in sobriety. It can reduce accidents, workers’ compensation claims, and other fees associated with having drug users on staff.

Recreational drug abuse can cause various short- and long-term issues, such as distorted senses; euphoria; altered thinking and judgment; increased heart rate; impaired physical health; and addiction. These issues can lead to workplace accidents, which can cost the company through legal fees, lost productivity, and damage to equipment or inventory.

Drug screening can be performed before hiring, after a conditional job offer, and in some cases, following an accident to which drug use could have contributed. However, employers should know that laws surrounding these policies differ from state to state. Employers must be careful only to test people whose behavior or observable symptoms trigger reasonable suspicion. Otherwise, they risk violating employee rights and can face repercussions such as loss of employment or required drug abuse education.

Criminal Record Checks

Criminal record checks help safeguard businesses by identifying individuals with a history of crime or misconduct. Those with a criminal history may not be suitable for positions that require contact with vulnerable populations such as children and elderly adults or handling cash or confidential financial information. In addition, a comprehensive search can help identify violent criminals and sex offenders who could place colleagues or customers at risk. Sometimes, business owners might be required to conduct a background check before hiring employees in specific industries like security or law enforcement.

To prevent unfair discrimination, it is essential to use a reputable criminal background screening service that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, a company should only report convictions that are relevant to the job and consider mitigating circumstances, including age at the time of the offense, efforts towards rehabilitation, and other factors. In addition, a service should verify employment details and ensure that the information aligns with the applicant’s stated experience.

Education Verification

As a business, you want to know that the people you hire have the credentials and qualifications needed for their positions. Unfortunately, many candidates embellish their education information on resumes. In fact, according to one survey, 80% of job applicants admit to lying on their applications.

A thorough background check helps reduce the risk of hiring unqualified employees and protects your company from liability. This process can also uncover other issues, such as a criminal record or an inability to meet the physical requirements of a position.

Background checks may include a variety of searches, including criminal records, driving history, reference investigations, and medical histories. Federal and state laws regulate these searches and must adhere to privacy rights. They can also include social media checks, although these must be conducted within compliance. This consists of the review of public posts, comments, and interactions.