Whether you’ve recently launched your own business, or you have many years of experience under your belt, it’s only natural that you will want to have the best employees working for you. When hiring people for your business, the process can be long and tiring, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and ensure that no employees have any skeletons in the closet!
Even if you’ve found the perfect candidate for the role, it’s always worth going the extra mile and performing a background check on potential hires. If you aren’t sure where to start, here is a guide on why background checks are important, and what to look out for to ensure you’ve got the right person for the job.
What Is a Background Check?
Before you begin hiring people for your business, it’s important that you brush up on your knowledge on what a background check is.
A background check is a procedure that a business or person uses in order to authenticate that a candidate is who they claim to be. It provides an opportunity for a company to check a candidate’s criminal record, employment history, education, as well as any other happenings that may have occurred in the past in order to check their legitimacy. As a business owner, it’s crucial that these checks are made, as the last thing you want to do is hire someone who may pose a threat to your workplace or become a liability.
Follow a Consistent Background Check Policy
When conducting a background check on potential employees, one of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is that the process needs to be applied consistently to every candidate, regardless of their age, gender, religion, race, or any other characteristic. If you perform your background check process inconsistently, you are at a higher risk of being sued for discrimination. It doesn’t matter what walk of life the candidate is from; you need to be fair and equal to each individual who applies for a position in your business.
Follow State, Federal, and Local Laws
It’s important that your business complies with all state, federal, and local laws that are related to background checks. What you may not realize is that some areas have passed laws that prohibit questions being asked about criminal histories, whereas others have limited the use of credit reports when it comes to making hiring decisions. Staying up to date and adhering to the law will mean you’re doing everything above board. There are some employers who try and cut corners to speed up the hiring process, however, this could result in disastrous consequences for your business.
Before you go about running a background check, it’s important that applicants are informed first. You must provide candidates with information on the records and how that information may be used when it comes to making decisions related to hiring, retention, promotion, and firing. Also, you must seek written consent before running a background check on a candidate.
Safe Work Environment
As a business owner, your number one priority should be to ensure that you and your employees are safe and protected within the workplace. One of the main reasons why you should conduct a background check on employees is because you have a responsibility towards your staff, customers, and clients which needs to be fulfilled by having security measures in place.
When hiring applicants, you can never be too sure on whether they are dangerous or have a criminal background, meaning you should never take the risk of hiring such an individual. The last thing you want to do is hire somebody who has a sketchy background, especially as problems can occur later down the line. To give you peace of mind and to ensure all employees are safe, it’s important that you run a background check.
Keeps Your Business Drug-Free
We’re all aware of the dangers that drugs can bring in the workplace, and when you factor in the fact that close to 20% of employees have been found using drugs in some capacity or another, it’s important that you put a safeguard in place from the get-go. As a business owner, you need to insist on a drug-free workplace.
Highlights Criminal History
Another reason why you should perform a background check is to make sure that no potential candidates have convictions or a criminal record. While most candidates submit a genuine application, there will always be a bad apple along the way who may try and get into your organization – running a background check will signal any red flags, helping you to be aware of any dangers.
If you find any inconsistencies in the background check, you have the option to ask for a more detailed version, so you can be confident you’re employing the right person for the role. In some cases, the charges the candidate has faced may be circumstantial, minor, or not have any relevance to the position they are applying for. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who is unreliable, dangerous, and untrustworthy, so it’s best to nip any problems in the bud before they cause serious damage to your business and its reputation.
It Might Show Other Infraction
While criminal history is one of the main reasons why a background check is performed, there are other infractions that may prove damaging to your business in the long run. For example, the employee you hire in your business may have a sketchy credit history, which could have an impact on their work efficiency and productivity. Understandably, you will want to hire employees who are hardworking and committed to their roles, however, if a candidate is in a mountain of debt and missing payments, this can have a huge impact on their mental wellbeing which may mean they’re not suitable for the role.
Provides a True Picture of the Applicant
When conducting job interviews, you may be impressed with how the applicant comes across. However, you will need to dig a little deeper to ensure they are who they say they are. In some cases, a candidate can dodge important information easily, and say everything you want to hear. This can mean they may leave out relevant information that you need to know about. Getting a true picture of the candidate will be beneficial when it comes to making a decision on whether they’re right for your business.
Another reason why you should perform a background check as a business owner is to verify the information that is presented on the candidate’s resume. While their resume may be filled to the brim with relevant work experience and credentials, you can never be too sure on whether they’re telling the truth, so it’s crucial that you verify all documents and certificates that the candidate has submitted.
Professional certificates, as well as educational information, matters a great deal when it comes to hiring an employee in your business. If you have any doubts in your mind, it’s best to run a background check so you can be sure they’re legitimate. What’s more, a background check will confirm the honesty of the candidate so you can be confident that they’re right for your business.
Lessens the Risk Factor
Every business owner is turning towards initial background checks to separate genuine candidates from the dishonest ones. The last thing you want to do is hire the wrong person as this can leave your business vulnerable, not to mention open to lawsuits. While you may be the type of person who sees the good in everyone, there are many individuals out there who will prey on your judge of character, which could result in huge problems for your business further down the line.
What to do Next
Now that you have a better idea of the importance of background checks, you may be wondering where to go and what platform to use to run one effectively. You can do your background checks here using the help of Public Records Reviews, who can provide you with police records, contact information, mugshots and much more. The website enables you to access public records so you can get detailed information about potential candidates. Make sure that you’re compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and obtain consent before you run your checks.
While you may think you’re an excellent judge of character, there are many candidates out there who may pull the wool over your eyes, so using a site like Public Records Reviews can put your mind at ease and ensure you’re making the right decision that will benefit your business long-term.
No matter how long you’ve been running your business, it’s important that you run background checks for each employee you bring into your company. While the process can be long and tiresome at times, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you uncover any criminal convictions, drug use, or information that gives you a reason to believe they’re untrustworthy, you will be given peace of mind in the respect that you haven’t brought someone into your business who could cause serious damage to your reputation.
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