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In today’s competitive business landscape, hiring the right employees is crucial for success. However, the true cost of hiring goes beyond just payroll and benefits. Failing to properly screen applicants for criminal history, signs of violence, or motor vehicle issues can result in significant financial losses and safety risks for your business. Let’s delve into the true cost of background checks and why they are essential for safeguarding your organization.

Retail Theft: According to the National Retail Federation, theft, including shoplifting and employee theft, cost U.S. retailers over $61.7 billion in 2019 alone. A comprehensive background check can help identify candidates with a history of theft-related offenses, reducing the risk of internal and external theft within your organization.

Workplace Violence: Workplace violence is another critical aspect that cannot be ignored. In 2020, the United States witnessed 392 workplace homicides, alongside 37,060 nonfatal injuries caused by intentional harm from another person. These numbers serve as a stark reminder of the potential dangers lurking within the workplace, dangers that could potentially be mitigated through diligent background screenings.

Employee Vehicle Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents involving employees can lead to costly lawsuits, insurance claims, and reputational damage for businesses. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. Background checks that include driving records help identify candidates with a history of reckless driving or DUI convictions, reducing the likelihood of accidents while on the job.

Drug Use: Substance abuse among employees can result in decreased productivity, absenteeism, workplace accidents, and increased healthcare costs for employers. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that drug abuse costs American businesses over $81 billion annually. Pre-employment drug screening as part of a comprehensive background check can help identify candidates with substance abuse issues, allowing employers to make informed hiring decisions and maintain a safe work environment.

By investing in thorough background checks, businesses can mitigate the risks associated with hiring and protect their bottom line. While the upfront cost of background checks may seem significant, it pales in comparison to the potential financial and safety repercussions of hiring unqualified or high-risk individuals. Moreover, background checks demonstrate a commitment to due diligence and the safety of employees and customers, enhancing trust and credibility in the eyes of stakeholders.

To protect your business and ensure a safe working environment, here are some tips for conducting effective background checks:

  • Implement a Comprehensive Screening Policy: Define clear guidelines for what your background checks will cover. This can include criminal history, credit checks, verification of education and employment history, and drug testing.
  • Use Reputable Screening Services: Partner with a credible background screening provider to ensure the accuracy and legality of the checks you perform.
  • Stay Informed about Legal Compliance: Ensure that your screening process complies with federal, state, and local laws to avoid potential legal pitfalls.
  • Conduct Periodic Checks: For certain positions, consider conducting periodic background checks to address any issues that may arise after employment.
  • Promote a Transparent Process: Communicate with potential hires about the screening process, what it entails, and how the information will be used. This transparency can build trust and deter applicants who may have something to hide.

In conclusion, the true cost of background checks extends beyond monetary expenses to encompass the safety, reputation, and overall well-being of your business. By prioritizing thorough screening procedures, businesses can mitigate the risks of theft, violence, accidents, and substance abuse, ultimately safeguarding their assets and fostering a secure work environment.

Hiring practices are constantly evolving, but in the 30+ years SELECTiON.COM® has been in business, background check usage by companies has been and continues to be on the rise. Background checks are still the most effective way of taking reasonable precautions to create a safe work environment for your employees and minimize costly turnovers. In addition, new reporting methods continue to make background checks more effective and reliable year after year.

Contact us today to see how SELECTiON.COM® can improve your background check process.

This page gives a general overview of legal matters. However, it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with all the relevant federal, state, and local laws governing this area. SELECTiON.COM® does not provide legal advice, and we always suggest consulting your legal counsel for all applicant approval matters.

This page is provided for information purposes only, and the contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This page is not warranted to be error-free nor subject to any other warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


National Retail Federation:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD):

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