Why Background Screening Is an Investment – Not a Cost – in the Hiring Process


Many organizations make the mistake of viewing background screening as a box to check in the staffing process, but screening candidates and employees can impact a company’s bottom line – both negatively and positively. “The essence of background screening is to mitigate the risk associated with hiring the wrong person,” says Greg Dubecky, president of Corporate Screening.

Most organizations recognize the necessity of background screening. Yet, some companies still wonder, “Do we have to?”

This check-the-box attitude is understandable from the lens of due diligence. However, this perception fails to recognize the real, bottom-line value of a screening program.

When companies prioritize background screening, their programs become less of an expense and more of an investment. The risks are real and might become more pronounced in the post-coronavirus hiring landscape. A greater commitment by employers to their screening programs – combined with an embrace of the latest technology – translates into exponentially more value long after a check is completed, and a hire is or isn’t made.

Background Screening Tech Mitigates Risks

At its essence, background screening mitigates the risk of hiring the wrong person. That used to mean finding out if candidates had criminal records. Today, it extends to much more – from job and education history to social media posts to non-criminal legal proceedings –because a bad hire can become expensive in many ways.

Comprehensive background screening that combines technology and human expertise reduces risk and protects the bottom line by:

● Identifying and avoiding potentially risky hires: A poor employee decreases overall productivity, not only in what they fail to do but also in co-workers and managers trying to deal with the situation. Not hiring a flagged candidate conserves resources in the long term.

● Reducing attrition: Background checks filter out problematic candidates, thus leaving a pool of more qualified people who stay on the job longer. This reduces hiring costs, which can add up in a hurry.

● Avoiding negligent hiring lawsuits: Organizations are vulnerable when a bad hire causes injury or emotional distress to co-workers or customers. Quality screening prevents these hires and negates potential legal costs.

● Avoiding penalties and fines in highly regulated industries: Employees that run afoul of compliance regulations and laws expose companies to costly sanctions.

● Protecting the assets and reputation of the employer: Obviously, a hire who steals from the company cuts into profits. Yet, reputational damage might be even more expensive – one viral video of an employee acting badly can lead the consumer public to believe that the entire organization acts that way.

Learn More: The Role of Automation and Identity Verification in Urgent Hiring Amid COVID-19Opens a new window Background

Screening Tech Is an Investment in the Hiring Process

Background screening shouldn’t be just a check-the-box step in the hiring process to meet compliance standards and prevent financial loss. Beyond its basic functions, screening technology has become so advanced and highly configurable that it increases efficiencies when in the right hands, resulting in a significant benefit for the bottom line.

When it comes to fulfilling background screening requests, manually investigating every relevant database is too much for one person – and potentially impossible. Advanced screening technology achieves what humans generally can’t, and in less time.

Background screening process management that incorporates automated workflows dramatically decreases or even eliminates the need for certain job roles. As a result, the time and resources of HR and hiring departments are freed and can be allocated elsewhere.

Background Screening Tech Helps Attract Better Talent

Moreover, quality screening bolsters an employer’s reputation as a great workplace. All companies conduct background checks, but many businesses perceive the checks as a barrier to hiring – and candidates may feel their own dread toward the process.

When screening is thorough but seamless, companies feel confident in the results and proceed with completing the hiring process. In turn, candidates’ anxiety eases because they experience a check that is comfortable, confidential, and secure. They come away from the process knowing their stellar history will be confirmed to impress the employer. Ultimately, recruitment costs decrease – employers are hiring and retaining great talent for less money.

Challenges and barriers may arise during any hiring process. A top-notch partner becomes a problem-solver to help clients overcome unforeseen obstacles and unnecessary costs that could slice into ROI and profits.

Learn More: 8 Best Practices for Employment Background Checks as You Work Past the COVID-19 PandemicOpens a new window

More Technology, Less Hassle

Over the years, technology has evolved from something that made background screening more convenient to an indispensable complement to HR’s efforts. And the evolution continues, with innovations such as:

● ATS integration: Background screening technology incorporated into an applicant tracking system keeps key information in one accessible place and can request information from – and schedule checks for – candidates from the same system they’ve been interacting with throughout the hiring process.

● Timely checks: The hiring process is prolonged enough without trying to manually keep track of criminal, employment, drug, and other background checks, and the potential to miss a step along the way increases. Background screening technology sorts all these checks and automatically orders them based on the workflow that’s been defined.

● Paperless drug screening: Candidates can search for nearby drug screening locations and schedule the test on their own, with the results automatically submitted to HR staff.

● Reporting and ease of use: Again, juggling hundreds of checks from hundreds of candidates invites errors, slows down the process, and increases the chances that a substandard applicant slips through.

Screening platforms that are easy to use, generate quality data, and incorporate compliance requirements deliver efficiency and let HR focus on the candidate, not the busywork.

The stakes are evident: Employers must avoid the risk associated with bad hires. Dynamic background checks not only diminish that risk but also fuel profits. With modern, smart software, organizations can relax knowing technology is doing the work they can’t – and that the screening program mandate is actually a profitable investment.

How do you think background screening can help to reduce employee attrition and hiring costs? Let us know on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window .