When recruiting new talent there are various crucial steps that every business should go through: publishing job listings, sifting through applications, interviewing. In most circumstances employers will make a hiring decision on the CV and interview alone. To many background checks seem unnecessary; however, fail to conduct them and you could set yourself up for all sorts of trouble in the future.

Here are 7 reasons why you should never take background checks for granted.

1. Flags Criminal History

This is probably the most common reason why employers perform background checks. While criminal convictions aren’t always a sign of danger or a reflection of character, as an employer, you deserve to know if your employees have had troubles with the law. This will help you make a more educated hiring decision when you’re weighing up the pros and cons of each candidate.

2. Highlights Potential Problems

Sometimes pre-employment checks for recruiters will highlight something that could cause a problem further down the line. For example, restrictions on driving, or a credit history fraught with missed payments. If driving and handling company finances are part of (or could be part of) the job role, this could be an issue.

3. Avoids Liability

Imagine hiring a driver, only to discover that they’ve gotten into a car accident during work hours and arrested for drink driving. Now imagine if that person has been charged in the past for driving under the influence. If you failed to perform a background check to ensure the candidate was a suitable employee, you could be held accountable for damages – and rightly so.

4. Keeps Employees Safe

Workplace safety is paramount; you can’t afford to take any chances. There are some people that you simply cannot risk hiring, such as sex offenders and violent criminals. Again, like the “drunk driver” scenario above, you could be held accountable if there is an incident in the workplace. Never underestimate the importance of keeping employees and customers safe.

5. Verifies Qualifications

Employment history and past conduct isn’t the only thing you should look out for. Lots of people embellish their CVs and aren’t completely honest with their grades and references. When a specific grade is required by law in order for your employees to perform their job role, you can’t take a CV at face value.

6. Highlights Strengths

The phrase “background check” tends to have a negative connotation. However, they can actually be extremely beneficial, helping you to highlight strengths that you weren’t aware of. For example, imagine if you need to take some photographs of products, but can’t afford the excess expenditure to hire somebody, and then discover that one of your employees has a passion/talent for photography. This can not only help you save money, but could significantly boost morale for that individual.

7. It’s Fair

If you’ve felt the need to perform background checks on one employee, it’s only fair that you perform checks on all of your employees. If you don’t, this could be considered discrimination. And in the worst case scenario, you could find yourself subject to a lawsuit.