Workplace Violence Screened by Background Checks

Workplace Violence Screened by Background Checks 

Pre employment screening can’t possibly exclude an individual who might display bullying tendencies that could possibly lead to workplace violence, can it?

There seem to be more and more stories being publicized about workplace violence recently.  A workplace shooting at a Manchester, CT brewery that took the lives of nine people is an example.

There is also more media attention being paid to workplace bullying, which has a very broad definition, encompassing activities from slander and name calling to aggression and physical assaults.

Two thing are certain about workplace violence incidents: they can cost an employer big bucks in the case of lawsuits, and while they can’t be totally controlled, there are things an employer can do to lessen the risk.

From the pre employment screening and background checks standpoint, there are two areas that deserve heightened scrutiny:  criminal background checks and reference background checks.

Does the criminal background check show any signs of a violent or abusive person?  Are there charges for simple battery, affray, disorderly conduct, or domestic violence?  If so, pay extra attention to the applicant during the interview process and get a feel for their attitude.  Ask specific questions about information contained on their application and resume, and determine if they are truthful or covering something up.

Make your reference background checks as detailed as you can, asking former employers if there were instances of bullying or violence related to the applicant.  Although some former employers don’t willingly give this type of information, there are others just waiting for you to ask.

It is a lot simpler to not hire a person with a history of bullying and violence than it is to handle it once they become your employee and incidents have occurred.

To discuss your pre employment screening and procedures relating to your background checks, click here or call 770-426-0547