The Importance of Background Verification
by Stephen Spain
Today's society has created an environment that requires
business owners to be armed with numerous tools. Many
employers currently spend little time verifying the accuracy
of employment applications and the cost of not doing normal
due diligence can be staggering.
An HVAC company recently paid $750,000 to a customer who
was raped by a service technician. His employment application
indicated no criminal convictions and the employer did
not perform a complete background check. An employee who
had previously been convicted of passing bad checks forged
signatures contracts. The court judged his employer negligent
and awarded $175,000.
After driving for a telephone company for only a week,
an employee was involved in a traffic accident. The jury
learned that the company never saw the employee's driver's
record which had five tickets within 18 months. They awarded
the injured party $550,000.
Companies often don't adequately screen their new applicants.
They should. Crooks and cons can cost your company a fortune.
Even if it were as simple as making an informed choice
between a great service technician and one with an untrue
work history, wouldn't a small investment be worth it.
In today's business environment of easy access to computer
systems and the proprietary information stored on them,
even a temporary employee can wreak havoc on a company
in a very short amount of time.
Corporate management has enormous pressure to hold employees
to the highest ethical standards. Background checking
cannot give employers everything they want but, there
are data bases and sources for many other kinds of information;
criminal data bases, sex-offender registries, workers
compensation histories and of course critical screening
for drivers licenses, employment history and educational
Bad hires can be devastating for a firm. Even a low level
employee might mange to embezzle a few thousand dollars
or drive away customers or at the l east consistently
not show up for work costing you your hard earned customers
While it might be impossible to safeguard a company against
every potential act of dishonesty, Hiring professionals
can minimize the chances for unscrupulous behavior by
understanding who it is they are really hiring. This means
developing easy to institute background checking procedures
that are utilized at all levels of the organization.
About the Author
Established in 1996, MEPatWORK is the leading full-service
recruitment solutions provider in the HVAC, sheet metal,
refrigeration, control, electrical, plumbing and piping
industries. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, this privately
held company also has offices in in Chicago and Pittsburgh
and specializes in finding top talent for all levels of
contracting, wholesale, manufacturing, consulting engineer
and facilities management firms within these trades.