Employers are beginning to realize that without a background check they might be setting themselves up for a negligent hiring suit that they will almost never have a chance in winning. I’ve seen many small businesses go out of business due to a suit from an employee issue. Most small business owners think they are way too small to perform background checks and they’re wrong. As a small or smaller business, you have more to lose by not performing a pre-employment check. Anyone, including myself can be fooled by a potential employee when you’re sitting face-to-face with them in the interview. Think about it; is the data they entered on the application even correct or accurate?
Most background checks cost anywhere from $60 to $100 and up to over $1000, it all depends on how critical the position is within the company. Most are well under $100 for the normal background research which can give you all the information you need to make the decision to hire or not. You as a business owner has to calculate the fact that hiring an individual can cost anywhere from $2000 to $6000 depending on how long you pay the individual during the training and qualification period. You may have to train them for 6 months before they’re fully productive on their own. Can you afford to lose them after that 6 month period due to something from their past? You would have known whether to hire or not if you would have pulled the pre-employment screening in the beginning.
Employers consider pre-employment and background security checks for many reasons. Some of the main reasons are:
• Is what the applicant put on their resume and application accurate and correct?
• Is their Social Security Number correct and does it match their name?
• Do they have a past history of work place violence?
• Are the applicants qualifications correct?
• Have they been previously fired from the same position you are hiring for?
• Do they have an arrest record that they forgot to add to the application?
• Do they have a drug use or abuse problem?
• Are the credentials and qualifications they entered on the application correct and accurate?
A background check sets the level straight for the hiring process. And on potential employees, it keeps your HR department or you not as busy interviewing prospects that don’t even qualify for the job.
You will need to educate yourself as a business owner to know what should be pulled depending on the position you’re hiring for. The basic pre-employment and background security check which should be pulled each time is listed below:
• Verification of their name.
• Verification of their Social Security Number and does it match the name.
• Criminal – wants and warrants check.
• Verification of education as it pertains to their employment position.
• Verification of their past employment and correct dates of that employment.
• And you might want to have their references checked, which can be easily verified that they are who they say they are when they’re called to reference you applicant.
Other pre-employment and background checks that might need to be addressed depending on the criticalness of the position:
• Credit history, how they handle money.
• Workers Compensation, are they accident prone and still collecting from a previous job injury.
• Drug testing, how many drug tests have they failed.
• DMV drivers records, how many accidents have they been in, and was it their fault.
• Sex Offender, depending on their potential position in the company.
• Terrorist Search, it all depends on the position and what materials and areas the individual will have access too.
• Military records, to make sure they were actually in and did what they said they did while they were in and were they honorably discharged.
• International background security checks, they may be from another country and they are allowed to work here in the US. How would you ever know? And what really is their background?
In conclusion; spend an extra $60 after you have selected an individual to hire, and sleep good tonight. Just make sure the company you use abides by FCRA or Fair Credit Reporting Act rules and other local laws governing this type of research. If you have a high turn-over or if you use many temporary employees you might consider pulling these reports yourself. Just check with your local attorney to make sure you do it properly. It’s not hard, and it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Now more than ever, you must run your business and protect it as best you can. Don’t get caught-up thinking your business is way too small to pull pre-employment screenings and background security checks, you may not get a second chance.