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Background checks are important in today’s working environment

REference checks or Background checks might seem like a no brainer, but some companies tend to overlook them or assume an in depth search on potential employees isn’t necessary. On the contrary, it’s not something that should be ignored and should always be seen as a necessary step in the hiring and onboarding process. The ways in which background checks are done may change, but the overall need for them will not. Just take the Samsonite CEO’s case for example. He falsely stated he had a PhD and because there was no background check conducted at the time of his hire he got away with the claim for four years.

A background check should include:

  • Work history?
  • Educational history?
  • Criminal background?
  • Drug test?


A qualified candidate

The easiest reasoning when it comes to doing a background check is to ensure the candidate is qualified for the job. After posting an available position you’re most likely getting an influx of interested candidates. While it’s nice to have too much rather than not enough, it can also be overwhelming and hard to find the right person within that pile. By doing a background check and ensuring a person is qualified for the role, it will automatically eliminate several applicants. Amongst other things, the purpose of a background check is to ensure a candidate hasn’t lied about previous positions, experience, and education. In a competitive market, people may embellish or even lie about things to try and get ahead. Many people believe the interview is what’s most important. Although it is highly important and useful, the background check will be equally, if not more. Things such as referrals and references can provide valuable insight about a candidate that you otherwise would have never known. These references may be good, or they may be bad, but they will help create an image for this candidate outside of what they tell you themselves.

The company

Background checks aren’t just about making sure an employee is qualified, they’re also a necessity to keep the company and other employees safe. According to the National Safety Council every year 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. By completing background checks and criminal record searches the hope is to lower this number, or at the least not have your own business impacted by it. It’s critical to remember not to discriminate based on a background check or criminal search while still looking out for potential red flags.

Not conducting a background check can hurt the company down the line. For example, not vetting someone properly and later finding out something bad, or worst case scenario something bad happening. The company will take most if not all of the blame in a situation like this. If someone is hired, most will probably assume that means the person is fully qualified in both work and personal areas. When referring back to the Samsonite case, although the CEO lied, the company is catching blame for not doing their due diligence and confirming the supposed PhD. Although it might save time by skipping this step during hiring, if something goes awry the time spent trying to fix it will take much longer.


Aside from being a qualified candidate and protecting your company and employees, an important reason not to ignore background checks is to create an honest environment from the start. Having a positive team dynamic is crucial, and hiring someone who has been dishonest or lied on their resume can have a negative impact on that dynamic. Embellishing the truth on a resume may seem small in the moment, but can have big implications down the line.

Remember, whether you want to do a deep dive background check or a simpler method, something is always better than nothing. Background checks may be considered too traditional or “old school”, but they’ve been around for ages and continue to prove why they’re valuable. They help the recruiter, the company, and even the potential future employee. Knowing someone did a deep dive into your experience and history and still finds you a fit for the role can be good for morale and help to create a positive and encouraging start to a new career. 

This article is written by Sara Carter who is an experienced tech expert. She writes with her colleagues on Enlightened Digital, to share her passion with others around the web. After 15 years in the industry, her goal is to bring information on all technology to the masses. Her philosophy is to create articles that are understandable by anyone, whether they are a consumer or a technology expert. Check out her site at

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