Business

Background Check Guide for Small Business

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Almost by definition, small businesses are growing. Here’s the thing about that growth: new talent is critical to the process. Growing both creates a need for new hires to help carry the load and requires new hires to move the business forward with new ideas and new perspectives. That said, hiring is inherently risky. One obvious way to minimize that risk is to run pre-employment background checks, but many small businesses choose to skip these checks because they are too costly or too complicated. With the right small business background screening partner, this simply does not have to be the case. The following is a brief guide to background screening for small businesses. 

What is the value of pre-employment screening?

It’s impossible to overstate the value of good employees. Likewise, it’s hard to ignore the high costs of a bad hire, which can include things like the following:

  • Property loss and theft
  • Workplace violence
  • Poor productivity
  • Low employee morale
  • Negligent hiring suits
  • Non-compliance penalties in regulated industries

Pre-employment background checks insulate employers from many of these costs. 

When are background checks run?

Background checks are one component of a thoughtfully designed hiring process. For small business owners, the first hire is the perfect time to create solid hiring practices that can be applied consistently across future hires. Typically, background checks are run after the job offer has been made; the offer is extended contingent upon receipt of a clean background check. 

What should be checked?

All background checks are not created equal, and it’s important to define ahead of time by position what types of checks are necessary. Not every screening is required for every position. Your background screening partner can help with this, but consider the following:

  • Regulations. Some positions are federally mandated to have certain screenings run. For example, transportation workers must have clean driving records, and people who work with vulnerable populations must have clean criminal records. 
  • Safety. Some positions required greater attention to safety. For these jobs, deep dives into driving or criminal behavior are key.
  • Experience, education, and credentials. Background screenings verify that the candidate meets the requisite experience, education, and credential criteria for the job.
  • Reputation. For any business, reputation is a critical asset. When hiring individuals to represent your company to the public, it’s smart to make certain there’s nothing in their past that might besmirch your organization’s reputation. 

Carefully considering by position what background screens are necessary and why will help you get the most for your background check dollar and prevent you from discriminatory hiring practices. 

Can employers do their own checks online?

It’s tempting to think that, with the vast amount of information available online, a DIY background check is sufficient. An application, interview, and a quick google search of social media dive will do the trick. This is simply not true. Employers run the risk of missing important information or losing good talent due to a red herring when they attempt background checks independently. Professional background screeners have access to the most reliable data and the skills to interpret the info and attest to its accuracy and completeness. 

More Questions?

Contact a background screener today to discuss how they can help set your small business up for success. 

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