Should all workplaces carry out pre-employment background checks?

Over the past decade, Australian businesses have increased their use of background checks as part of their pre-employment screening. Some are still wondering whether criminal history checks are really necessary so let’s have a look at some facts.

Background checks increase workplace safety

Up until recently, Human Resources managers all over Australia relied mostly on the candidate’s CV and the impression they made at the job interview to decide whether to hire that person or not. Good instincts is a talent recruiting agents hon over many years or practice and, indeed, first impressions are quite valuable. But, just because someone seems like a nice guy, is that reason enough to trust that person and offer them a place on your team?

Let’s not forget appearances can be deceptive and it’s always a good idea to check a person out, if only to prove that first impression was right.

Doing a quick background check on potential employees is a great way of weeding out potential trouble-makers. A person with a history of violence or sexual harassment offences on their criminal record will not make a good teammate. Hiring someone on the assumption that people change can prove very dangerous and costly.

Police checks can help decrease workplace theft

Workplace theft is a big problem all over the world, not only in Australia. Three out of four employees admit to stealing from their companies. Obviously, most of them might steal petty cash from the till or office supplies, but these small things add up and cost quite a lot.

On top of that, a company risks finding itself bankrupt if they employ a person with a history of fraud and embezzlement. You cannot expect them to tell you that at the job interview. Nor does it mean that you should treat every job applicant as a career criminal, but you need to check up on them, especially if at stake is a position allowing access to company funds.

No company wants to be faced with a lawsuit, which is why it’s best to make background checks mandatory. The ANCC Website at which is a provider of national police checks in Australia advises firms to put it down in the company’s hiring policy and make it clear that all candidates will be subjected to a national police check, so things are transparent.

Furthermore, businesses should make sure these criminal history checks run smoothly to minimize any discomfort to the candidates. The best solution these days is using an online character check agency. There are multiple benefits to it – the candidate doesn’t have to do anything, since the company already has a business relationship with a background check agency. All it takes is a couple of minutes to submit the required information on the website and the results come back in a couple of days via email. It’s no bother at all and it gives recruiting agents the certainty that the new hire won’t create any problems in the future.

There might be cases when a candidate refuses to undergo a criminal history check, which obviously means they have something to hide in their past. The HR head will understand the candidate was not suitable and no harm done.

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