For many job roles, asking the applicants about certain criminal records is the routine. Employers need to be sure that the person they’re bringing on board will be a positive addition to their organization, hence the necessity of police checks. In Australia, over 86% of employers carry out national police checks on potential hires. But why can’t employers just leave it to the applicants and trust them to disclose their past crimes?
People with criminal records are acutely aware that they might be adversely judged and not given a fair go because of their criminal history. Sometimes, this may be justified or required by the law. Like for instance, people working with vulnerable groups like children or the elderly cannot afford to have any criminal history. However, most times, employers are wary of hiring someone with a criminal past because of the liability they may pose in the future. To avoid this hurdle, potential hires might tell an outright lie about their criminal past or fail to disclose crucial criminal information.
To verify the claims made by applicants, employers should ideally carry out an employee screening check that should be carried out by a service that can undertake a background check for that particular area. So if the applicant is based in Victoria, Australia, the employee background checks should be carried out by a national service that operates in Victoria (VIC) too. Here are the reasons why a background check is the right thing to do:
- To protect the company culture & safety
Every employer wants to maintain a high-performance culture, where employee engagement and morale are the driving force for the company’s growth. However, the greatest threat to this ‘ideal’ work environment is having the wrong employees. Criminals or repeat offenders may diminish the company’s culture.
- Ensuring a safe workplace
Part of an employer’s responsibility is ensuring a safe work environment so employees can carry out their role effectively, enabling the company to thrive. Think about what would happen is a sex offender is an employee. Undoubtedly, this will lead to constant sexual harassment. How about a person with a history of violence? Having violent outbursts in the workplace is something employers need to guard against.
- Minimizing Theft
Statistics obtained by the Australian Federal Police indicate that 70% of workplace theft is from current and former staff. This costs businesses over $1.5 billion yearly. While a police check doesn’t guarantee that the hire will not engage in any fraudulent activity, hiring a person with a consistent record of theft is an open invitation to financial loss. That’s why employers need to look after police checks themselves.
- Save recruitment and training costs
If an employer makes a bad hire, sooner or later they have to let loose of the person. In the meantime, the person continues to wreak havoc in the workplace. When they eventually leave, the sunk cost will have a huge impact on the employer. According to CareerBuilder, 74% of companies lose an average of $14,900 per poor hire.
Criminal history checks are an important part of the pre-employment screening process. That’s why it cannot be left to be applicants. Employers need to monitor the process from start to finish so that they can get the ‘truth’ about an applicant’s criminal past, which will help in making the right hiring decision.