Do background checks always prevent from crime from occurring in the workplace? Unfortunately, not always, as in the case of a recent article published in the Faribault County Register in Minnesota about theft in a nursing home. According to the piece, a background check seemed to have been done on the nursing assistant and nothing came up. A background check is designed to pick out the ideal candidate, but does that mean it can predict the behavior and work ethic of a candidate all the time? Not always.
As with any type of test, especially a standardized test like the SAT, a perfect or ideal score is often an indicator of ability, trustworthiness, work ethic, and honesty. With a thorough background check contacting more than references and including information about education, previous employment, past names and addresses, driving records, credit scores, and criminal history, an employer essentially runs a candidate through a sieve to examine every aspect, but a background check, combined with a resume and interview, isn’t a formula to find the best candidate but it certainly helps and is effective for weeding out candidates with a criminal history.
Especially with the current state of the economy, a sudden turn into criminal behavior becomes more usual than in times when the nation isn’t in a state of recession. As a result, it can make someone with a clean slate – and everyone, really – turn to crime, whether it’s stealing objects from the office to pawn and get cash to pay for bills to stealing money from coworkers, with layoffs and other financial issues looming overhead. Is it acceptable or inevitable behavior? No and, even with many layoffs in a recession, turning to crime – and getting caught – always has at least one consequence for future employment: a criminal record that will show up on almost any background check, unless the crime is a misdemeanor. Recession or no recession, is such a gamble with future employment worth it?