Insights: Article

Protecting Your Integrity: The Case for Background Checks

By Kari Yonke

April 27, 2017

Most organizations conduct some form of background check on any job candidates prior to making an offer of employment. It’s become a standard best practice for HR and personnel departments because it not only ensures the company makes the best hiring decision, it also protects the organization and its reputation.

It’s not about whether or not you trust the person on the other side of the interview table. It’s simply about protecting yourself, your organization and the future profitability of your company. It’s also about finding the right fit, especially for companies with a vibrant or somewhat niche corporate culture.

Safety and Security
The two obvious reasons any business should conduct background checks on new hires is simply to gain a better understanding of the individual’s previous history to ensure the safety and security of their current workforce and customer base. To comply with OSHA regulations, businesses must ensure a safe working environment for their employees, and hiring an individual that has a tendency for violence, for example, most certainly puts workers at risk. Conducting the most basic criminal background check and documenting any known risk protects businesses, their staff and even any customer that may come into contact with the new hire.

For positions that have direct access to financials or sensitive information, background checks can also help weed out candidates that may not have earned such trust. They’ll also help protect a company’s reputation should the position in question have any potential impact on the business’s public persona.

Getting the Right Fit
On a less formal basis, background checks can also help uncover falsified information found on resumes or applications. A simple reference check, after all, is a form of background investigation that can illuminate the true character of a job candidate. Getting to know your applicants through first-hand accounts is one of the best ways to gauge whether or not the person will be a good fit within your organization, preventing costly hiring mistakes that do not end well.

This “soft” background check is becoming more important as today’s employment landscape continues to focus more heavily on culture. A few decades ago, salary and benefits were typically the main decision makers. Today, job seekers are looking for a vibrant corporate culture, and businesses who have successfully turned their culture into a hiring selling point also want to find the right fit to avoid rocking the boat. Conducting pre-employment background checks can help businesses find the right fit.

Hire an Accountant to Conduct Your Background Check
Eide Bailly is first and foremost a public accounting firm, so it may seem odd at first to hear that the firm also specializes in background checks. But consider what an accountant does—investigate, balance and compile facts and figures to protect a client’s assets and stability. Conducting background checks fits quite well with that skillset. At the root of it all is truth, and an accountant is trained to find the truth.

Eide Bailly conducts background checks for external clients, helping with everything from the most stringent criminal background checks to the more basic calling on reference checks to verify employment and education history. Whatever level of position you’re hiring for, the team at Eide Bailly can help you uncover the truth, determine the right candidate and find the best fit for your organization … protecting your assets along the way. 

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