If you were tasked with putting together an elite racing team, you’d scour the globe for the best drivers. You’d put them through rigorous tests, checking their driving skills in multiple environments. You’d examine their speed, their safety record and their ability to remain calm under pressure. But chances are you’re not looking to build a team of drivers anytime soon. In fact, you might not have any driving positions at all. So, when candidates apply to your company, you probably don’t even think about checking their driving record, let alone their lap times on a closed track.
While it’s true you can leave the stopwatch at home, you may want to rethink the decision to not check candidate driving records. That’s because driving records can actually turn up information that may go unnoticed with other background checks. Even if you’re hiring for non-driving positions, here’s why you may want to add driving records to your employment screening solutions.
What is a driving record search?
A driving record is about more than just parking tickets. A trusted background screening company like Verified Credentials obtains information directly through state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on license status, class and restrictions. But this kind of check can also show moving violations and other offenses that aren’t considered criminal records. This is where a driving record can be invaluable.
Why conduct a driving record check?
A candidate’s DMV information can potentially reveal two types of records: criminal offenses and non-criminal driving offenses. Some moving violations, even serious ones, may not show up on an individual's criminal record. This is why you need to go beyond the typical criminal background check to get a more complete picture of a potential candidate.
What kind of violations are we talking about? Well, according to a survey of drunken driving laws by the National Conference of State Legislatures, in some jurisdictions DUIs may be classified as traffic offenses and might only be reported on a person’s driving record, not their criminal record.
But things can get even more serious than that. For example, let’s say an HR professional is running a criminal search on a candidate. They could check the candidate’s county of residence and double down with a National Criminal Database Search to uncover potential records. But unknown to them, this candidate was involved in a deadly car accident and is charged with vehicular homicide from reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. They may not see that record for a few reasons. First, if the accident happened outside of the counties initially ordered, it might not appear in the search results. They might also miss the record if the charges have not been reported to the National Criminal Database yet.
This is an extreme scenario, of course, but there’s a very real possibility that criminal record checks could miss serious issues that would pop up on a driving record search.
Even “non-drivers” drive
Just because someone doesn’t drive for your company as part of their primary job function doesn’t mean they’re not creating risk for your company. Some employee groups may drive on company time voluntarily, even if it is not in their job description. This may include going to meetings, company events, taking clients out to lunch, etc. Driving can be dangerous and, unfortunately, even the occasional employee errand could have devastating consequences. Conducting a driving record check may help avoid any issues and could limit your company’s risk.
The bottom line
Driving records are an underutilized background screening service. They might reveal things criminal history searches might miss, helping uncover important information about your candidate. Even if a position doesn’t require regular driving, any time an employee drives on company time, you could be at risk for consequences resulting from accidents and moving violations. By adding driving records to your suite of employment screening solutions, you may protect your company from liability and help you hire the right candidates for your organization.