When Failing to Run a Background Check Costs More

April 25, 2022 | Jenni Gray

It’s no secret that many companies are struggling to hire employees right now. As a result, some companies may choose to find ways to shorten the hiring process, so they don’t miss out on a good candidate. One way to cut corners is to skip one of the most important parts of the hiring process – running a thorough background check.

However, there are many risks a company takes by choosing to neglect a thorough background check, including:

    • Safety of your employees
    • Safety of your clients
    • Security of your company’s assets
    • Your company’s reputation

The True Cost of Skipping a Background Check

The pandemic has exacerbated the worker shortage and created a hiring crisis, and businesses are also constantly searching for ways to cut expenses. But the costs of not screening your applicants may be greater than you think.

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency

For instance, consider an audit conducted recently of a Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). The audit discovered that UIA didn’t ensure pre-employment background checks on more than 5,500 workers.

The report from the Office of the Auditor General found that, during the pandemic, UIA hired 71 workers who had been convicted of one or more money-related crimes such as embezzlement, illegal sale/use of financial transaction device, false pretenses with intent to defraud, identity theft, and armed robbery.

In October 2021, one worker pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 58 months in federal prison, for a nearly $3.8 million unemployment fraud scheme as a contracted employee of UIA.

UIA has since said it will be issuing new policies specifying conditions in which an applicant would not be able to perform services for the agency. In a statement, Director Julie Dale states, “…UIA has worked with the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to strengthen and develop new policies and procedures around system access, criminal background checks, data security, staff training, and contractor hiring.”


Another example is Uber, the popular ride-share service. Uber has been repeatedly accused of mishandling cases where one of its drivers had been previously convicted of violent crimes.

The company previously only ran annual background checks on its drivers “in jurisdictions where required.” Uber has since changed course, vowing to run criminal and motor vehicle checks on all drivers every year, as well as investing in newer technology that rapidly identifies new offenses to determine quickly if a driver is still eligible to drive for Uber.

Conduct Thorough Background Checks Regularly

Background checks are integral to the safety of your employees and customers. Failing to run background checks on applicants may lead to injury or financial loss, as well as the loss of your organization’s reputation.

As we discovered in Cisive’s Talent Screening Benchmark Report, more and more companies are also choosing to screen employees at least bi-annually (57%), rather than only at time of hire. This best practice ensures your organization is proactive in protecting your employees, clients, and the company itself.

Choosing the wrong candidate can cost your organization so much more than the expense of recruitment and onboarding. A thorough and regular background screening program is vital to the health of your organization.

Contact Cisive to develop a background screening program that ensures your organization is committed to the safety and security of your employees.


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