Workplace Violence: Protecting Your Staff

In February 2019 a survey conducted by The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), announced that 48% of HR professionals had experienced workplace violence which is up 36% since 2012. Workplace violence is the act or threat of violence, ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults directed toward staff at work or while on duty.

According to the FBI “it is critical to understand that workplace violence does not happen at random”, rather individuals usually display some behaviors of concern. Prospective employers need to consider that a comprehensive background check can be crucial in identifying past “behaviors of concern” or a pattern of criminal activity. Along with a criminal screening, professional references can be another tool for providing insight into a person’s character and behavior. Those using a background screening program are generally not getting a comprehensive search and could be missing key items in determining if an applicant is eligible for hire or not.

Imagine working in Human Resources and terminating an employee who just wasn’t a good fit for your team. Their exit interview took very little time and, by all accounts, was considered standard at best. Fast forward a couple of weeks when the dismissed employee returns unexpectedly and disrupts your office. Within seconds, you have a very serious situation unfolding and the safeties of those present are in jeopardy.

Authorities are phoned, the suspect is taken into custody and the situation is resolved. Upon review of the police department’s report, it revealed this individual had a detailed history of physical violence. It is at this very moment, you realize the importance of pre-employment screening and recognize this situation might have been prevented had proper procedures been in place.

Background investigations don’t have to be costly or time-consuming. Even when everything looks great on an application and you believe you have a good judge of character, think again. Statistics suggest an alarming amount of job candidates lie on their resumes and may hide a criminal past. Pre-Employment screenings provide you a level of assurance that the candidate hasn’t embellished details on their resume to look better. Employee Background Checks will tell you more about work and criminal history, drug use, and reputation. This is information you would not be able to fully confirm without the aid of a background check.