Performing Small Business Employee Background Checks

September 23, 2015

As with any big business, small businesses need to make sure that their business and their reputation is protected. Hiring a right candidate for the job is very crucial for small businesses. Even a single wrong hire can be devastating. It can hinder productivity, reduce team morale and can also impact customer relations.

Small businesses cannot bear the consequences of hiring a wrong candidate – someone who is under-qualified or bad cultural fit or dishonest or someone who has criminal background. It’s better safe than to be sorry while hiring new people. So they need to make sure upfront that the candidate they are hiring is perfect.

Importance of background checks
One of the best methods to ensure that you hire a quality candidate is to perform background checks. It provides insight into a candidate’s behavior, character, and integrity. Pre-employment background checks enable business owners make informed decisions about the person they are hiring for their company. They can be more objective in evaluating a candidate’s eligibility. Also, pre-employment background check saves money in the long-run as it makes sure that only the eligible candidates are hired.

Many of the small businesses today are conducting background checks as part of their hiring process. According to a report by HireRight released in 2015, almost 75% of all small businesses are now conducting background checks on potential employees.

Considerations in background checks
There are many things a small business owner can check in a background screening to understand the profile of their potential employee. However, not all of them are required for every small business. Here are some common things you should consider in a background screening - credit reports, drug tests, past and present employment details, criminal records, and driving records, workers compensation reports, etc. If the job role requires, you may also check sex offender records.

Legal considerations
Though you can run a complete background check on a potential candidate, you should focus only on the checks that are required for the job at hand. You need to make sure that you are staying within the law.

The federal laws protect applicants from discrimination based on age, sex, color, race, national origin, genetic information and disability.

In addition to that, you need to comply with Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) while running background checks. As per FCRA law, you need to give reasons for declining the employment to a candidate, notify the candidate that the information is being obtained and protect the information collected.

Also, you need to review the local state and municipality laws that regulate the use of the information for employment purposes.

While conducting professional background checks for employment is necessary and quite valuable, you need to make sure that you are doing it thorough and as per law. It is always a better hire background checking service that can help you in this regard.

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