We grow to trust people the longer we know them. When we first meet someone, the conversation takes a familiar path — what’s your name, what do you do, where do you live, what do you like — as we perform our own express background check. Slowly, we make a judgment about whether or not this is someone we want to be around, or to consider a friend.
For a business, the question of who do you trust takes on whole new meaning, and often has to be made far more quickly. Trusting an employee means giving them access to the lifeblood of a company, including the goods it sells, the production equipment it uses, the cash that flows through it, the proprietary ideas and resources that make it unique and valuable, and the reputation on which it rises or falls.
A good employee contributes to productivity, safety in the workplace, positive attitude among the workforce, solid relations with customers and partners, and security of intellectual property, inventory, and cash. A bad employee can undermine every single one of those. A bad employee can even topple a company over the brink of disaster. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Management Association, 30% of all business failures are caused by employee theft.
Violence in the workplace represents a significant danger to any business. In a single month, the Workplace Violence Research Institute reported that an estimated 16,400 threats were made, 723 workers attacked and 43,800 harassed every work day. The average award in a workplace violence lawsuit is over $1 million, costing employers about $36 billion each year.
The answer to this is to take every precaution to ensure that all new hires are exactly who they represent themselves as. And your first line of defense is a comprehensive, professionally designed background check.