5 Reasons you Must Check References Before Hiring

Organisations hire employees because they need people to drive their business strategy and achieve their goals. Oftentimes, potential hires are subjected to a series of pre-employment tests, interviews, and assessments to determine their fit for a specific job role. Health checks are also carried out to ascertain physical fitness.

In many cases, however, a background check and verification is overlooked. Some companies consider the process of verifying the information supplied by candidates cumbersome and expensive. Others are simply naive in their belief that anyone who walks into their firm in search of a job will provide authentic information about their past.

The Uber Case Study

Failing to subject employees to necessary scrutiny can prove to be a costly mistake as was the case with global car-hailing service, Uber.

In 2017, the transportation giants who have over 110 million users were fined $8.7 million when police in Colorado discovered that 57 of their drivers had committed criminal or motor vehicle offences in the past thereby making them unqualified for the role— a development that led to further scrutiny of the company’s employees— in many other states in the US. The lawsuits and reputation damage that followed could have been avoided had they done due diligence before employing these drivers.

While Uber survived the situation (even though they also had to deal with cases of sexual harassment and gender discrimination among their rank and file), some businesses are not so lucky.

A seemingly innocuous mistake of hiring the wrong personnel can quickly morph into a grave error that culminates in a company winding up. When an employee impersonates another person or presents fake documents, it is a sign that they are hiding something sinister; a prospect every employer should take stringent steps to avoid.

Why you should Conduct Background Checks

You do not have to suffer the same fate Uber did. How you may ask?

By conducting a background check on all your employees.

Background checks present an opportunity to know exactly who you are hiring. As a corporate body, your responsibility goes beyond ensuring job seekers possess the requisite skills and competencies to perform well on the job. It also includes investigating their background to be certain they do not pose any danger to the company or their colleagues. A diligent inquiry into employees’ history is inexpensive when juxtaposed with the far-reaching implications of hiring a felon or fraudster.

Here’s why you should never skip the process of checking references when hiring:

Safety Measure

As an employer, a key responsibility you owe your people is safety in the workplace. An employee who is mentally challenged has anger management issues or has committed a crime in the past can present a danger to other members of staff. If they have a medical condition that needs to be reviewed by the organisation’s medical team, you need to know. If they have a shady past that can be potentially injurious to the reputation of the company, it should be addressed before they are employed. Safety is a concept that should never be compromised under any circumstances.

Quality Validation

Limited job opportunities in these parts mean there’s an increasing number of people who will do almost anything to get employed. This includes presenting fake documents in the form of fictitious school certificates and employment history documents thereby exposing companies to the risk of hiring the wrong person.

According to the President of Safeguard, Neil Adelman, “About 50% of resumes contain incorrect information, companies can easily make poor and costly hiring mistakes if employees are not verified.”

A simple but crucial decision to write a letter of verification to a candidate’s cited school or previous employer can reveal whether or not they are being truthful about whom they say that are and the qualifications they claim to possess. When employees’ references check out, you can rest assured that you have the right people within the organisation.

Brand Image Protection

One of the fastest ways to ruin the reputation of a business is hiring the wrong workforce. Employees of an organisation determine how the rest of the business community and the general public perceive it. Because bad news travels round quickly, an incident of fraud against a customer can quickly escalate into a widespread belief that your entire company engages in fraudulent activities.

But it doesn’t end with a dishonest or unscrupulous staff, an incompetent employee is a virus. One that will infect other employees and impact negatively on the quality of output. This is one of the reasons why we do what we do at Workforce Group. Our Background Check Services confirm the authenticity of information relating to your potential employee’s past experiences, accomplishments, and integrity.

High Turnover Prevention

Your organisation becomes less productive and is increasingly at risk of not achieving set goals when employees leave frequently. However, there’s a likelihood that this will happen when the wrong people are hired. A thorough and comprehensive background check and verification will put paid to any fears that the people who walk through the doors as employees of your company are not who they claim to be, can make valuable contributions to your business and are likely to enjoy working in their job roles thereby reducing the possibility of high turnover.

Succession Pipeline

High performing organisations have a pipeline of potential successors to replace aging or retiring employees. This can prove to be a challenge if your company cannot boast of competent and dependable younger employees who can step into the shoes of the older ones. It’s one more reason to take fact-checking candidates’ history seriously.

At Workforce Group, we utilise our 4-D model to guarantee timely execution and quality service delivery while carrying out comprehensive verification for your organisation.

Our  4-D model


Deliberate on proposed channels for delivering required results


Design fully scoped work plan leveraging identified channels


Carry out background verification of targets as requested


Prepare and submit a detailed report on background verification project

Our Services
  • Address Verification
  • Academic Qualification Verification
  • Professional Certificate Verification
  • Previous Employer Reference Check
  • Criminal Record Check
  • NYSC Certificate Verification
  • Guarantor Check
  • Personality Check
  • International Background Check
  • Personal Reference Check
  • Credit Check

Looking to conduct a background check or verify your employees? Schedule a free consultation with us today.

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