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Background Checks: Security for the Security Industry

Employee background checks are a vital tool in many industries, especially those dealing with sensitive data or financial matters. When your business is ensuring the security of other businesses, though, the exposures get even greater and background checks become even more important.

Roughly 10 percent of job applicants across all industries have a criminal record that might affect their employability, and many fail to disclose this information. In the health care sector alone, the annual bill for injury claims involving staff members with criminal records runs to $100 million. The security industry has some obvious and unique exposures in that personnel are paid to protect the property of others, so due diligence in hiring is absolutely necessary.

Pre-screening potential employees can help to head off many of these exposures. Background checks discourage applicants from falsifying or failing to disclose certain elements of their past, and set an upfront expectation for honesty from employees going forward. Thorough background checks also demonstrate to clients proper due diligence in hiring applicants who won’t pose a liability to your business or theirs.

In establishing a background check program, consider first what levels of clearance are required – or what level of past transgressions are acceptable – for a given position. A criminal history is not necessarily a disqualifier for all employment, but might preclude applicants from working in certain positions or for certain clients. Make sure all hiring managers understand the criteria, and the reasons for conducting checks in the first place.

Some security organizations conduct background checks internally as a service to clients doing their own hiring. Others will seek an outside vendor. If the latter, interview prospective vendors carefully to make sure they thoroughly understand the necessary legal compliance throughout the pre-screening and hiring processes, and that they’re familiar not only with your industry but those of your clients.

A thorough background check will reveal both criminal and civil violations, and will examine driving records and credit reports as well. Some service providers will also provide educational and employment background for an applicant, and may even check references.

Questions about background checks in hiring? Contact Consolidated Insurance.

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