Avoid the Bad Apples
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We all know one bad apple spoils the bunch. If that’s true then the brand or reputation of an organization is dependent upon its individual members. Think about it and the power your church’s employees have. Time and money has gone into finding, positioning and developing employees who can obey God’s promptings and serve the church faithfully and lawfully.
How do you protect that time, money and your church? Background screening prospective employees and volunteers is one effective risk management tool that can reduce turnover, deter theft and embezzlement, as well as prevent liability and litigation troubles. Although background checks do present some costs, the risk of hiring someone without having performed this screening could mean heavier financial consequences and indirect costs, including the cost of recruiting, hiring and training an unqualified employee only to then search for a replacement.
At a minimum, ensure that an applicant’s history doesn’t include a criminal conviction or deferred prosecution for a specific crime. Searches for criminal records might include federal, state and county records. Beyond the basic criminal background check, take a risk-focused approach to determining additional levels of screening, which might include:
- Identity verification
- Social security number verification
- Sex offender registry
- Employment verification
- Education verification
- Professional license verification
- Motor vehicle reports
- Drug Testing
The access level and sensitivity of the position will be key factors in determining whether or not additional screening is appropriate. It’s advisable to maintain background checks on existing employees by continuing to perform them on a regular basis.
Not convinced? Here are five additional reasons to perform background checks:
- It protects your church. Identifying potential concerns that may harm the church eliminates many future problems. Fraudulent claims can be eliminated.
- It reduces unacceptable workplace behavior. A good brand and reputation requires a safe work environment. Violence in the workplace is very costly and dangerous.
- It assures increased productivity. Employers protect their organizations and/or churches by hiring candidates that align with their vision and purpose. When this is in check both the candidate and employer win.
- It exposes criminal and inappropriate behaviors. With abuse on the rise in our country avoiding all potential applicants with questionable backgrounds will protect the reputation of the church.
- It helps financially. The cost to identify, train and assimilate new employees into a culture is very expensive. New employees are an investment and asset. A hiring mistake financially hurts.
Now that you understand the benefits of background checks, you’ll be better suited to pick the best of the bunch. For more information on background checks or how to create a Protection Ministry at your church, contact the ‘A’ Team.
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