Background Checks - Why Do Them? Which Ones Should I Do?

Good morning!

If there is one single “to do” item you should not skip in the recruitment process, it is administering background checks.  Why are they so important?  Let me provide some examples, and give you my top four (4) background checks you should administer on any potential employee of your organization:

  • Criminal Background Checks – If a prospective employee committed an offense in the State of Kansas (KBI check) or anywhere in the United States (federal background check), knowing what their history is becomes critical to decreasing liability for your organization.  Through these background checks, I have discovered past issues of aggravated assault (one time against a police officer), theft, drug charges and even murder!  Conduct a criminal background check!
  • Credit Check – HR Partners encourages this when three primary areas of responsibility will be in the employee’s job description. 
    1. Are they in charge of a budget (usually leadership)?  If they can’t manage their own finances, how are they going to be able to manage your organization or department’s budget? 
    2. Are they dealing with cash, or do they have access to accounting functions?  If they have more than a handful of high debts, is this a concern?  The answers may give you a heads up on whether to have checks and balances within your accounting functions. 
    3. Are you trying to sell your business and have a potential buyer?  Conduct a credit check.  HR Partners processed a credit report recently for a client in this situation, and what the client saw was “eye opening”.  The potential buyer was not fully transparent with his current financial situation, and he did not have the funds to purchase this business.  It was nice to know sooner, rather than later in the process.
  • Motor Vehicle Records – Is the new employee going to drive your company vehicles?  If so, conducting a motor vehicle record check is required by many insurance companies covering your liability for any auto related accidents, etc.  HR Partners recommends performing these annually with all employees who drive company vehicles because of potentially “new” charges against them that they did not self-disclose.  A recommendation is to have a policy that states if any employee has a moving violation, the employee must report it to their employer within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Professional Reference Checks – Please call their references, as well as their former supervisors.  If they are unwilling to allow you to do so, move on.  Also, if no one is talking to you about this potential new employee, this may be a sign to move on as well.

Drug Screens – This is up to the employer and is not one of my top 4.  Many of our clients are not administering pre-employment drug screens but are implementing “reasonable suspicion” authority once a prospect becomes an employee.

Below is a link to the costs for various background checks.  Very affordable.  If you want to process a background check through HR Partners, please ask the potential employee to complete a written authorization form.  (Link is below.)  We can customize the form to your organization ASAP.

Background Check Pricing

Authorization to Release Information

Questions?  Concerns?  Please contact us at 785-233-7860.

What our clients say...

Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation

Gina Stewart
Director, Information Management, Analysis and Reporting 
Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation

"HR Partners provides a screening process when searching for candidates for a position. The phone screens save me valuable time and give me the information needed to decide whether to invite someone to our office for an in-person interview.

They also serve as a knowledgeable resource for up to date standards with HR issues. Two of the most significant improvements would be making the hiring process a breeze and having a resource to provide valuable feedback on HR issues. HR Partners allows you to continue to work on your mission, whatever it might be, while spending less time on HR issues. You have the confidence when hiring someone that they will have the skills/knowledge to the job well."