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HIRING NEW EMPLOYEES
Probably the biggest reason employers choose to perform background checks on potential employees is safety and security. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe workplace—one that is free of known hazards. It can be easily argued that hiring an individual with violent tendencies—tendencies that could have been discovered with due diligence—would represent a disregard for that obligation. As such, many employers opt to perform at least a criminal background check on potential employees before finalizing any offer of employment.
Similarly, if an individual causes harm to anyone—such as a customer or vendor—the employer may be liable if there was an opportunity to learn about this tendency, such as the existence of a public criminal record.
Security is another concern, especially for jobs in which an individual is responsible for cash or for making decisions that affect the company’s profitability or reputation. For any individual in these roles, employers often consider doing a background check that confirms the individual does not have a history of fraud, negligence, or theft, among many others, for example.