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Pre- Vs. Post-Offer Background Investigations

 In Background Checks, BLOG

Pre- Vs. Post-Offer Background Investigations

Pre-Offer Vs. Post-Offer Background Investigations

 

There is a great deal of focus on pre-offer background investigations, and they can indeed be a fantastic way to screen employees before making them a job offer. Post-offer background checks are also very popular and come with their own set of benefits. The legalities surrounding each type of background investigation are complex, and your company might find that one type is better suited to your needs. Read on to learn more about some of the differences between pre- and post-offer background checks.

 

Pre-Offer Background Checks

 

Background checks are a necessary expense in any hiring process. However, does your company wish to take on that cost for all applicants you are considering? If you conduct pre-offer background checks, the opportunity to carefully select the right candidate for the position increases immensely, while costs also rise simultaneously.  

 

As we know, the hiring process is not always quick and the background check is just one aspect of the process.  The advantage of the lengthy hiring process is that it allows an employer to treat each candidate fairly and consistently and avoids any potential discrimination issues that may occur should an offer be made post or contingent upon a background check.  As we know there are many factors that could impact an employer’s decision to bring a candidate on board and having several options before doing so creates an opportunity for the employer, yet added expense at the same time.   Rather than being the only factor to consider before a hire is made it becomes one of several factors to consider, reducing overall liability.   

 

Post-Offer Background Checks

 

If your company conducts background investigations post-offer, it can save you a bit of money but simultaneously increase risk and exposure to litigation. By the time the interview process has wound down and an offer has been made, the chances that the employee will actually come onboard is greatly increased. This can mean that your company’s decision to conduct a post-offer background check will be a better investment, in that the hire is more likely to pan out.  However, what if a last-minute decision is made to rescind the offer, due to changes in the process, or perhaps other factors that may have nothing to do with the background investigation?  How do you rescind the offer?  What if there is a candidate who is more qualified that is later determined to be a better fit?  You are not “boxed in” to make the hire and create potential discriminatory concerns and litigation.  Conversely, unlike Pre-Offer Background Checks, it is the only factor to consider before a hire is made and liability is significantly increased.

 

Additionally, with less time between the background check and the employee’s start date, the chances of any new criminal infractions unknown to the employer are reduced. The risk of negligent retention accusations is also lower. Post-offer background screenings illustrate to a court that your business made every effort to engage in continued due-diligence.

 

In fact, regular screenings of your employees, even ones that have been onboard and valuable assets to the business for a great deal of time, is a smart move. You never know what your employees might be doing outside of business hours that could have a negative impact on your business.  It is a good risk mitigation practice to keep tabs on potentially harmful behaviors. Doing so protects your business’s reputation, your customers, and other employees.

 

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), about a quarter of companies conduct post-offer background investigations. Of those, only about 20% conduct annual checks of their employees. Yes, arranging background investigations requires an investment of human resources and money. However, the cost to your company for failure to regularly monitor the behaviors of your employees could be far greater. A little time and money now could save you big down the line.

 

Want to learn more about background investigations and whether pre- or post-offer checks would be best for your company? Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group is ready to help! Contact us today for guidance and to set up background checks for your company.

Are you interested in reading more about background investigations? We invite you to explore our other blog posts and whitepapers here.

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