Mitigating Hiring Risks through Criminal Background Checks: A Must for Employers

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Landing the perfect candidate: How do criminal checks mitigate the risks of hiring?

Employees can make or break a business. While essential to an organization’s success through talent and hard work - individuals can also bring significant risk. 

One of the biggest compromises comes in the non-disclosure of less savory aspects of a candidate’s background. When you take a new hire on board, do you really know their full story?

A company’s failure to research someone’s history can create massive problems down the line. The absence of adequate criminal background checks could result in illegal activity, harm, even financial loss. 

So how can you safeguard this type of scenario? All businesses are encourage do as much background checks and screening as possible. This can be done via automated software or through the services of third party checkers. To be forewarned is to be forearmed: even professional references - a very traditional hiring procedure - is a highly effective pre-employment check.

Put simply, employee-related issues can be significantly reduced by mitigating risk at the point of hiring. This “nipping it in the bud” method allows businesses to make informed decisions about a candidate. The result of this is that background screening - which can now be automated, and carried out hands-free - is being conducted by more companies than ever before. 

How criminal checks can inform a business

Criminal background checks give a company knowledge about applicants' criminal histories - mitigating the risk in hiring. Employers may use this information to make better-informed judgments about hiring applicants and detect any possible risks connected to a certain candidate. For instance, a business may decide not to consider an applicant for a position that requires contact with the public if the person has a history of violent crimes.

Criminal background checks can also assist firms in adhering to legal employment standards, such as those that forbid recruiting practices that discriminate against candidates with criminal histories.

A criminal record shouldn’t automatically mean a candidate is unhireable. For example, should a decade’s old driving offense mean that an otherwise experienced customer services operator is not suitable for a role? While it’s completely legal for companies to decline an applicant who has been convicted of any crime, it’s at the hirer’s discretion with what they do with the information that surfaces from these types of checks. 

Whatever the severity of the misdemeanor, a criminal background check is highly recommended. It provides the hirer with vital information that could influence a candidate’s character - and effect the long term success of a business.

How Does Criminal Record Check Work?

A criminal history background check report can come from a variety of sources, including open databases, closed databases, and other third parties. Depending on the source and the kind of report, the information in these reports may differ. However, they should contain a criminal history record, which includes the person's name, date of birth, residence, social security number or other identifying number, convictions and/or charges, and any possible aliases or nicknames the person may have used.

An investigation of a person's criminal history can be done in person, via phone, or online. An applicant will be required to fill out an application before a firm does a background check to discover if they have any convictions on their record. Different employers will need different kinds of providers to carry out these inspections. While some sectors only require them for particular occupations, others mandate these checks for all candidates.

An individual's offenses are listed in their criminal history. They can be a pattern of offenses or just a single incident and the records are accessible to employers, schools and even landlords.

Criminal histories can be utilized for a variety of purposes, including hiring, apartment and home rentals, and enrolling children in daycare facilities. 

Criminal checks are one of the most crucial forms of background screening since it enables the company to see whether the prospective employee has any arrests or convictions on their record. Information regarding an applicant's schooling, prior job history, and credit history is available through other kinds of background checks. Employers utilize the practice of criminal record checking to verify prospective workers for criminal histories, prior convictions, and other information that could impact their qualification for a position. 

And, of course, it is completely lawful for employers to turn down a potential worker solely on his or her criminal history. However, employment law does not permit hirers to use this data to reject applicants on the basis of their race, gender, national origin, religion, or handicap.

What could happen if a criminal background check is not carried out?

The best way to safeguard your company from a wide range of possible issues is to perform a criminal check before you bring a new person on board. Here are some of the risks you put your organization in when you don't conduct criminal checks.

1. Mis-hire on the basis of a false information

When looking to hire new team members, businesses have distinct criteria. Every employee in the team has a job to do, and their success will be based on their abilities. Sadly, some job seekers hide some of their background and exaggerate their qualifications on their resumes in an effort to increase their chances of getting employed. You can't be assured that the background your candidate claims is true if you don't run a criminal background check. Hiring candidates with criminal history is particularly risky in certain areas where clean criminal records are needed for a professional to conduct their work securely. 

2. Reputational damage

Employees are a reflection of the business that employs them. As the public face of an organization, they represent its values to clients, partners, and consumers. If one team member has a checkered past, this could result in a big impact on how your brand is seen. 

The majority of consumers base their opinions of a business not just on the product or past reputation, but also on the performance of its employees. A criminal background check helps ensure that the people hired maintain the intrinsic ethical code of the organization. 

Whether it's through an unpleasant interaction, or the impact of a major workplace incident, one bad hire can have a very bad effect on clients, partners, and even investors of a business.

3. Fraudulent activity

The most basic rule of hiring is to not introduce an additional external risk into the organization. And it’s simple - the absence of a criminal check increases the risk of hiring a team member with a criminal record. If a potential hire has convictions of fraud, the chances of their committing financial irregularities is heightened.

While some past misdemeanors shouldn’t necessarily disqualify a candidate, there is no question that employing a candidate with a criminal past increases the risk, even if there is no certainty that they harbor bad intentions towards the company. 

You may learn whether a candidate has ever been accused of business-harming behavior by looking at their prior experiences. Employing a criminal also puts your clients and staff at danger. 

4. Risk of higher staff turnover

Failure to do a criminal check has an impact on the entire business, whether you hire someone who is underqualified or someone with a criminal history. The atmosphere your new team member creates will have an impact on teammates. 

If the workplace becomes volatile, or feels dangerous, the business may see staff morale deteriorate and dependable employees leave.

A lack of adequate screening may also damage the hire pool. Eligible candidates may seek to work elsewhere if they recognise a hiring process that isn’t in line with other organizations, while riskier hires come to you because there aren't any entrance hurdles.

5. Legal risks

To some extent, business owners are accountable for the workers they hire. Hirers may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit if they employ someone who negligently or willfully injures a worker or client. 

If the court determines that your business did not do the proper criminal background checks before employing, your accountability may grow. 

Even if it turns out that you handled a claim of negligent hiring appropriately, the damage to your company's reputation may be severe.  

The good news: criminal history checks can be automated

When it comes to scaling up and hiring new talent, businesses can easily steer clear of these massive complications. Criminal history checks - along with the many other background screening types available - can be carried out automatically. 

Employers may look up a potential employee's criminal history using an online criminal background check system. Third-party companies specializing in background checks will also have access to this information. 

To discover more about a candidate's prior criminal history, including specifics such as arrests, convictions, and other information, a business should use background check providers which utilize automated online criminal background check systems. It’s these small procedures that can make a world of difference further along an employee’s tenure.

Why a third-party background checking agency is a cost-effective, easy solution

Organizations carry out criminal record checks on prospective employees to mitigate risk in hiring. They can also be carried out by a third-party company that specializes in employment background checks - this is often a more practical and affordable option for companies. 

Although it is possible to do in-house background checks on both existing and potential candidates, doing so takes time and effort to decide what is necessary before conducting timely and accurate screenings on employees on a regular basis. 

The most successful and cost-effective approach to make sure you are employing the right individuals for your organization is to work with a specialized background screening firm. 

A further benefit of using a background investigation company is that the results are produced more quickly than if you were to do the investigation yourself. Specialist agencies can often provide live reports enabling businesses to keep an active check on the screening process for all candidates.

At Veremark, we assist businesses of all sizes by handling all their background check needs. Our solutions provide the finest applicant experience while also confirming the criminal records and moral character of current or potential candidates. Timely, accurate and easy to use background check requirements mean that Veremark is a leading software choice for HR professionals and hirers globally.

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What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

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State of Hiring and Background Checks Discrepancies

Veremark’s 2022 Annual Report is based on the background check data collected from over 100,000 checks from companies and professionals across 6 countries and 5 key industries last year.

This report focuses on the state of hiring and background check discrepancies and is an essential guide to all recruiters and HR professionals conducting hires, background checks and onboarding in 2022.

In this report, we discuss:  

  • What areas and factors can Background Checks discover?  
  • Where did the findings come from by country and sector?
  • Discrepancies by top 5 sectors
    • Fintech and Financial Services      
    • HR, Staffing and Recruiting      
    • Technology and Software      
    • Professional Services      
    • Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
  • Discrepancies by top 6 countries
    • Estonia      
    • Singapore      
    • United Kingdom      
    • Australia & New Zealand      
    • India      
    • Philippines
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