Granted — there is no way to make any workplace 100% safe; however, by implementing criminal background checks on all potential new hires, companies can hedge their bets in a very valuable way.
Having someone with a criminal record on staff can be quite hazardous to your organization’s reputation in a number of ways:
1. The person may have criminal tendencies that he/she could pursue under your employ.
2. If word gets around the office that you hired someone with a criminal past, you could lose the corporate culture you’ve striven to build. You could even lose solid employees who are concerned about their new co-worker.
3. If word gets out to your clients or vendors, you might find yourself in a bad place. People just naturally hesitate to deal with those who have spent time in prison or been in trouble with the law.
Certainly, some states — notably Illinois and Massachusetts — are now trying to make it illegal for private and public businesses to conduct criminal background checks on applicants. In our estimation, while that may seem “fair” to the employee, it isn’t in the best interest of the employer. After all, that employer should be able to make decisions based on all the facts.