To Rehire or Not to Rehire: The Importance of Background Checks

by Paul Devlin


Are you looking to hire someone new? Wait, scratch that. Are you considering rehiring an employee who has left your company before? If so, have you thought about conducting a background check? We know, we know, it’s not mandatory, but hear us out. In this post, we’ll dive into why it might be essential to do so and explore a few situations where it’s particularly crucial to conduct background checks on rehires.

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room. You’re probably wondering why it’s necessary to conduct a background check on someone you’ve already employed before. After all, you’ve already interviewed them and assessed their fit in the company culture, right? Well, as surprising as it may be, things can change over time. A person who was a perfect fit for your company three years ago may not be the same person today. They may have made some poor decisions since they left your company that could now put your organization at risk.

If you rehire an employee that left your company voluntarily, you still want to make sure that they haven’t accumulated any criminal offenses that may have occurred since their departure. Instances such as theft or falsifying information on a resume should be top of mind, as these actions usually indicate an ethical lapse that is not in your organization’s best interest.

Another reason to conduct a background check on a rehire is to ensure that they haven’t engaged in any dangerous behavior during the time they worked outside of your organization. In some industries, such as healthcare or education, a history of abuse or neglect could result in lawsuits and compromise the safety of the people you serve.

If an employee left your company after experiencing burnout, dissatisfaction, or a similar scenario, it’s essential to determine whether they have received any criminal convictions or unethical behaviors that could compromise your business operations. Even during the rehire process, you should consider any potential liability, and a criminal background check can help you mitigate the risk.

Finally, we can all agree that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Conducting a background check on all rehires is an excellent practice to establish. It ensures that your organization’s policies align with its values, and you are employing the best professionals who will contribute to your business’s success.

This HR blog does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

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