April 3, 2013 in Business

Employers doing more checks on background

Pre-screening helps cut costs after hiring
Lisa Brown McClatchy-Tribune
 

If a lawsuit or prior arrest is part of your past, your new employer increasingly wants to know.

As the economy improves and companies add to their ranks, many are taking the opportunity to revamp their hiring processes. And, with many people still out of work and vying for a limited number of jobs, employers can be pickier than ever.

At the St. Louis-based AAIM Employers Association, a provider of employer-related business services to 1,600 employers, the number of companies utilizing the background checks and drug tests that AAIM offers its members more than doubled last year while its membership rose only marginally.

In 2012, 810 companies sought AAIMCheck background checks or drug tests from the organization, up from 392 in 2011.

Philip Brandt, AAIM’s president and CEO, said the sharp rise in the number of checks isn’t due to increased hiring activity by its members.

Instead, employers are increasingly becoming aware of the high costs when they don’t pre-screen employers, he said.

An added danger, Brandt said, is the greater exposure companies are faced with when a high-ranking employee is caught flubbing information on his or her resume.

Examples of executives whose resumes contained errors that proved embarrassing for their employer include Yahoo! Inc.’s former CEO Scott Thompson, who was ousted from the company a year ago after news broke that he claimed a degree in computer science he hadn’t earned.

“There’s more and more awareness when hires go wrong,” Brandt said. “That can be devastating for their business.”

But with the increase, employers need to make sure they don’t run afoul of federal law.


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