Criminal Background Checks are Expensive. How Do I Control Costs?

A Kantola Learning Minute

A hiring manager says that running criminal background checks is expensive and asks for ideas on how to control costs. Find out what to do in this week's Kantola Learning Minute with Lester S. Rosen, J.D.

Hi, Les Rosen here with another frequently asked question that may occur to a number of employers. "I am finding criminal background checks to be pretty expensive. What can I do to control costs?"

Well, the first thing to remember is that you're only doing the background check on the finalist, not everyone who applies. You're doing a background check on a person who you're likely to make an offer to or you have made an offer to.

The second thing to consider is that the cost of a background check is generally less than one day's salary. Now, compare that to the cost of making one bad hiring decision. You hire the wrong person and you can get sued, you can lose customers, other employees may quit -- all sorts of bad things can happen. And, so, in retrospect, the cost of a background check will seem pretty darn cheap.

If you're concerned that you're paying too much, well, then, you want to make sure you've checked with two or three background providers and make sure that you are paying a fair market price for that particular service. But you do want to keep in mind that not all background checks offer the same thing, so what you're interested in the total overall value, not just the price tag. So, it's something you really want to take a look at very carefully, but keep in mind the old adage of business: "You either pay now or you pay later." You're probably better off paying now for a good background check then paying the price later of a bad hire.

Thanks. I hope that helps.

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