What is Negligent Hiring, and Why Does it Matter?

Hiring someone new to work in your business can be a big step, especially when it means that your business is expanding and you need to bring in more people to work for you. You also may need to hire someone so you can replace a person who is quitting, retiring, or going on leave for an extended period of time. With that in mind, you have to determine how you want to advertise and what kind of skill set you are looking for, so you can get the right person. Once you’ve found that person, you then need to focus on the actual hiring process.

Part of that hiring process means a pre employment background check. Some employers skip these checks, or they don’t perform checks that are very thorough. When that happens, there’s the opportunity for people with troubled employment pasts to slip through the cracks and get hired, even if they should have been disqualified for that particular job. This can result in those newly hired employees causing a problem for the employer or other employees, which could have been avoided with due diligence in the hiring and background check process. This lack of due diligence is termed negligent hiring, and it can even result in an employer being sued

What is Negligent Hiring, Really?

Negligent hiring comes from employers not being careful about the people they choose to employ. If they completely skip doing any kind of pre employment background check, or they don’t do a check that is thorough enough, they may end up selecting an employee who is a poor fit for the employment environment. In many cases, it’s not even about whether the employee can do the job. It’s more about that employee’s interactions with other employees once they are on the job. If the employee had a problem with harassing people at a former employer’s company, for example, a potential new employer would want to know about that.

That employer may decide not to hire the potential employee because of past claims of harassment. The employer may also decide to hire the employee anyway, but to advise other employees in order to be open and honest with them. Employers must be careful not to say anything about a potential employee that could be slanderous or illegal. That could open them up for a lawsuit. However, they also have a duty to protect their current employees, so they must weigh their options and make a choice that will work for their company.

Why is Negligent Hiring a Problem?

Negligent hiring is a problem in a couple of ways. First, negligent hiring means that an employer has not done their job in protecting their employees from a potential new employee who could pose a threat to them. Second, it means that the employer has a much higher chance for a lawsuit, because any current employee who is harassed by the new employee could sue, based on the idea that due diligence wasn’t done in hiring the new employee. A pre employment background check and other verification processes can help reduce those risks.

There is no guarantee that an employee will have something in their background that will be a red flag. That employee could still become a problem for the company. However, the employer who is careful with due diligence will not be open to being sued, because there wasn’t anything in the hired employee’s background that would have indicated that a problem would occur. Negligent hiring is not about hiring a bad employee. It’s about hiring an employee without checking out their background, to ensure that they don’t have problems in their past that would mean they shouldn’t be hired or could pose a risk to other employees.

Can Background Screening Help?

With the right pre employment background check, problems can generally be discovered. Even if the background screening doesn’t show everything, it will show that the employer did their due diligence when it comes to whether a potential employee was a safety or security risk for their company or their employees. That is a very important way to help keep employees safe, and also a way to defend against any potential lawsuit. As such, there are several good reasons to perform a pre employment background check, and the peace of mind it provides can be an important part of doing business.

What Else Can a Business Do?

In addition to the pre employment background check, employers can also perform due diligence by verifying a potential employee’s references, verifying work history, conducting more than one interview with an applicant, and verifying educational history. Doing all of those things in addition to a pre employment background check can help ensure that an employer has done all they can to make a safe and accurate hiring decision. That helps protect the employer from legal action, but it also helps protect all the employees from a new employee who may be dangerous or problematic in some way.

To avoid the risks of negligent hiring and help protect yourself and your employees from legal or other types of problems, your company needs to ensure that a background screening is done correctly and thoroughly each time you plan to hire someone new. Choosing VerifyProtect.com to perform that background check can give you the information you need on any applicant, along with the peace of mind that comes with hiring good employees. Simply fill out our online contact form or call (610)-355-2331 to get started!

Kristina Taylor
In 1989, Kristina began her career as a customer service representative at the newly formed American Tenant Screen, Inc. Ten years later, she pioneered tenant background screening on the Internet. As a long-standing member of the National Multifamily Resident Information Council (formerly the National Association of Screening Agencies) Kristina gains insight into the trends of the tenant screening industry to better understand the current and future needs of their clients.

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