Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Perform an Employee Background Check

Why is it important to perform an employee background check?

On the surface, it may seem like you are hiring the perfect candidate.

They interviewed well, they have a wealth of relevant experience, and they have the qualifications to match.

However, without performing appropriate background checks, you simply will not know who you are hiring. And your perfect hire could be your biggest mistake…

We look at 5 reasons why employers should perform a background check on applicants and employees.

To protect your reputation

It is of utmost importance that your company maintains a strong, trustworthy reputation. This is especially more difficult in the digital age, where thoughts and opinions can spread like wildfire on the internet.

Oftentimes, it has been found that a company’s reputation was damaged by one of their own employees, rather than (for example) a bad review on Google.

This can come in the form of malicious comments posted on social media, stealing data for nefarious purposes, to name a couple.

Therefore, we recommend performing a criminal record check and a social media screening before giving your candidate a job offer.

Criminal record checks are not necessary by law for every industry. However, considering the small costs and little effort involved, every company should perform a criminal record check.

Social media screening is favoured by many companies as it can reveal behavioural information regarding a candidate that an interview may not. However, there are legal ramifications if you get this wrong. We discuss social media screening in more detail as part of our 10 Background Checks post.

To promote and enhance safety at work

As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety and welfare of your employees and customers. There have been many cases of violence in the workplace, which could have been prevented if employers conducted a DBS check.

Applying for DBS checks is straightforward for most employers, particularly those who hire a handful of people at a time. However, if your organisation onboards many new starters at once, it would be worth looking into software that allows you to perform background checks at scale.

To save costs

Conducting a check on an applicant’s background will save your organisation time and money in the long-term.

Without a background check, you could see an increase in accidents, theft, and poor work performance. And the higher the staff turnover is, the higher recruitment and training costs will be.

To ensure compliance

Background checks, like many business functions, requires a thorough and robust process.

Unfortunately, many businesses fail to lay out a process and have gone onto face one of the biggest problems any company can manage. Non-compliance.

Background check compliance failures can occur in many forms. We have found the most common are:

  • Failure to complete a right to work check (a check required by UK law)
  • Lack of industry-specific checks (e.g. a DVLA check for a lorry driver)
  • No clear process for vetting or onboarding
  • No storage nor filing procedure (or the procedure is outdated)
  • Failure to obtain consent from candidates to process their personal data
  • None of the 10 Essential Background Checks have been considered
  • The process (inadvertently or not) promotes discrimination

Non-compliance can lead to many ramifications, including reputational damage, fines, penalties and even sanctions.

You can act today simply by looking at the above-mentioned list and asking yourself if your process prevents these failures.

To prevent fraud

When the perfect job comes up, candidates are likely to put all their effort into securing an interview.

Unfortunately, this can lead to providing fraudulent information to strengthen their application. This can occur in the form of fake educational credentials or an inaccurate employment history.

Therefore, it is vital that you implement a process that checks any credentials and work history thoroughly. This should also include identity documents, including a passport, driving licence and birth certificate.


Performing background checks on your applicants and employees will save your company time and money. It will also help you prevent reputational damage, costly non-compliance, bad hires, and fraud.

As an employer, the question you need to ask yourself is: how much will a bad hire cost me?

And: what do I need to do to implement an effective and compliant background check process?

In some cases, software solutions can help. For more information, visit to learn more.

And follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for more news, updates, tips and tricks regarding vetting and background checks.

Further Reading

5 Common Problems with the Background Check Process

Background Checks – 10 Common Misconceptions

Employee background checks – what to look out for

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