From employees creating a hostile and emotionally unhealthy work environment to workplace shootings, there seems to be no shortage of reports of violence in the workplace these days. A Virginia man killing two of his former co-workers while they were broadcasting live on the air is just the latest of these disturbing incidents. Vester Flanagan gunned down Adam Ward and Alison Parker in a shocking display of workplace hostility being taken to its most tragic extreme.
Whether caused by a tough job market or just the stresses of modern life, violence in the workplace is a very real risk for employers today. However, there are steps companies can take to help reduce the risk to their employees as well as their own liability. It starts with knowing who is being hired, and there are ways to screen potential new hires for the risk of workplace violence so that they are not hired.
Here are four effective ways employers can reduce the odds of violence in the workplace:
1. Criminal Background Check
A criminal background check is perhaps the best way to screen for a history of documented violence or criminal activity. Any criminal incident should be a big red flag for business owners and HR departments.
2. Check References
It is standard for applicants to provide work and character references on their resumes or job applications. Employers should contact every reference and ask a question or two about the candidate’s temperament, how they handle stress, and if they are prone to any problematic behavior.
3. Using Interview Intuition
While some persons can hide a bad temper or a tendency toward violent behavior very well, with others, the signs of a volatile nature can show during the interview. If the interviewer senses edginess or glimpses of a disposition prone to anger, these are also red flags.
4. Professional Employment Background Screening
A professional employment background screening service can help take a lot of the guesswork out of vetting potential new hires and can potentially uncover a candidate who has had a history of violence in the workplace. This service should screen for a criminal history, the sex offender registry as well as government watch lists. Professional employment background screening helps employers to avoid hiring employees who poses a risk to the safety, security and positive energy of a workplace environment.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.