Why Do Employers Perform Background Checks?

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Employers do background checks on their employees for a number of reasons. While some people think it is to make sure they aren’t hiring criminals, employers actually use background checks as part of the hiring process because they help to save money and time. Employers also use them as an opportunity to see if there are any red flags upfront before bringing someone on board. This way, if issues come up later in the employment process or after they have started working, it can be addressed quickly so that everyone involved doesn’t lose out.

To Save Money

One reason employers use background check sites is to save money. Background checks are usually pretty inexpensive, especially if they are done electronically. Some places charge as little as $20 for this type of screening process. That amount can quickly be made up in hiring expenses that don’t require more time or money, such as turnover and training fees. So if a background screening company finds something that isn’t going to be good for the company, it may just not pass along the information. That way, employers don’t have to run a background check until they find someone that they will hire.

To Prevent Turnover

Background checks can also help companies with turnover rates because it helps them weed out problems before they become much bigger issues. For example, some people lie on their resumes, so if they are hired and found out later, it can lead to higher turnover rates because the company has to replace good employees with new ones over and over again. Some things may not immediately jump out at an employer, so by having a background check completed ahead of time, these problems can be caught and dealt with before anyone is in danger or put in a bad situation.

To Help Make the Hiring Decision

Background checks help employers make hiring decisions by providing them with even more information about an applicant. Depending on what the background check includes, it may show where someone went to college, what their work history is like, and any past criminal charges and convictions. Having all of this information helps employers make a more informed decision about who they want to bring onboard and how it fits with their company culture and values.

Workplace Safety

One important thing that employers do when they do background checks on employees is to make sure that their workers are safe. This means not only looking at the type of crimes someone has been convicted for but also checking into any gaps in employment or times where someone may have left a job unexpectedly. These things can indicate whether an applicant would be likely to bring about harm to other employees or if they would potentially leave others open to being harmed by not being thorough enough in their work responsibilities.

Protecting Company Data

Another big reason why employers do background checks on employees is to help protect company data. If they don’t already know what kind of information their employees have access to in the workplace, it could be easy for someone with bad intentions to take advantage of them and get at private information when they shouldn’t. A criminal record isn’t always an accurate indicator of whether someone will attempt something like this, but it can be part of a larger picture employers use to assess any type of risk. This is especially important when dealing with senior-level positions or ones that allow people access to payment accounts and bank cards. Employers want to make sure that they aren’t putting themselves at risk for fraud or identity theft by bringing the wrong people on board, and background checks can help them make a better decision in this area.

Employers Must Follow Laws

Just like with any other type of hiring process, employers must follow certain guidelines when they do background checks on job applicants. For example, it is against the law for employers to include information about arrests that never led to convictions in their criminal background check reports. They can’t discriminate against people for things like race or age, so they need to only use the information that they have available and nothing more. It also isn’t legal for employers to ask questions about someone’s ethnicity or religion, so if an applicant feels as if this happened during the screening process without just cause, he could file a lawsuit against his company under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


The main reasons why employers do background checks on employees is to help them make hiring decisions and protect their company through screening out risky applicants. Some laws must be followed when it comes to these types of screenings, but overall these checks can provide good benefits for both parties involved.

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