Just Who Is That Applicant?

Compiled By Michael A. Verespej Each day in America's workplaces, 723 workers are attacked, another 43,800 are harassed, and some 16,400 are threatened, says the Workplace Violence Research Institute, Palm Springs, Calif. So even in a tight job market, it's important to screen the backgrounds of potential employees, says Kelly Bodnar, president, Background Resources Inc., Warrenville, Ill., to ensure the safety of workers and weed out people who have lied about their backgrounds. Data from HireCheck Inc., St. Petersburg, Fla., a nationwide pre-employment record-checking company, suggest that nearly one of every five employees -- 18.7% -- lie about their criminal record, and some 16% don't report serious motor-vehicle violations related to drugs, alcohol, or a revoked license. What's more, says HireCheck, 25% misrepresent their prior employment history, and almost 30% misrepresent their educational background.

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