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Are National Background Checks Enough? Think Again!

THE LYNX LETTER | The Nevada-Sized Hole in the Security of Most Companies
By: Guest Contributor, K.J. Smith, President, Employer Lynx

The only thing worse than doing no background screening for your workforce is thinking you’re doing background screening, when in truth you’re not.

This, sadly, is the case for a vast number of businesses in Nevada. How could this be? Because they are trusting national background searches in order to learn about prospective and current employees.

Many of these national background screenings are offered by reputable, if not overly thorough, companies.

The reports are clean and professional. They are turned around in a short period of time. And in many cases, they come back to the employer giving the prospective hire a clean bill of health.

There is only one problem. Most of these national background searches don’t include vital information from Nevada.

That domestic violence rap? No. Doesn’t show. That dipping into the till? That fraud case? The time spent in the county jail? Missed, missed and missed.

This is because, by law, the State of Nevada doesn’t report to national databases. They are only one of a handful of states in America that don’t and unsurprisingly, Nevada’s independent spirit means they are included among them.

What does this mean? It means that if you’re hiring a Nevadan to fill a job in Nevada, then your national background screening is virtually useless.

The worst part is you think it’s doing the job.

There you are, unknowingly whistling in between sips of your coffee as you walk the hallways of your office, waving at many employees who should have never, ever received a company badge.

I was talking to a human resources director at a large company recently and they were explaining how they hadn’t got a ‘hit’ on any of their background checks for quite some time.

A ‘hit’ is what happens if something is flagged as troublesome on a background check. It can be a number of issues depending on the report that can vary from criminal activity to civil litigation to serious credit issues.

I think this HR director was essentially boasting about how they were recruiting so well. But when she told me she was relying on national background checks to do these screens I had to break the news to her and watch as literally the color drained from her face.

We took over screening for them, and predictably, we started getting hit after hit.

The basic reality in background screening is that with the employment rates being at such lows, hits are going to come at a much higher percentage because many of those who don’t currently have a job, don’t have them for a reason.

You absolutely have to be screening new hires and our firm recommendation is that everyone in your organization should be screened at least once and then re-screened on an annual basis.

After all, people change as do their life situations. That wonderful, perfectly balanced individual you hired three years ago may have recently gotten a driving under the influence violation and had her license revoked. Now, she is putting your company at risk every time she picks up donuts for the office.

The truth is the extra effort you put into assuring a safe and secure workplace will pay great dividends. Study after study shows, employees that feel safe and secure at their place of work, are the most productive employees of all.

Make sure you’re playing it safe…and productive.

We’ll be happy to provide a complementary, thorough review of your background screening processes. Simply send us a note or give us a call to request one for your company.

We appreciate the opportunity to work with you.

K.J. Smith is President of Employer Lynx and can be contacted at info@employerlynx.com and (775) 883-3733. (Nevada PI License #793)

 

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