Why Small Businesses Should Do Background Checks Before Hiring Someone - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Why Small Businesses Should Do Background Checks Before Hiring Someone

Small businesses may have a limited budget. It can be tempting to think you can skip the step of doing a background check on potential employees. Skipping a background check is a mistake that can be catastrophic for the future of a business.

Background checks provide a wealth of information about potential employees. Doing a background check can serve as protection if an employee hurts or endangers someone while working for you. If you hire someone with a history of violence and they assault another employee, your liability is assured.  If you hire a bookkeeper who says they have the experience, but they are lying, the financial repercussions could be disastrous. A background check can prevent these scenarios from happening.

It is easy for people to lie and even create fake supporting documentation about themselves. A background check gives you a more well-rounded picture of an applicant. It can also help you make difficult decisions when you have equally qualified applicants.

With today’s technology, a background check is not an arduous or expensive process. The easiest way to do a background check is to visit one of the best background check websites. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can run a check whenever you need to. Here are some of the most reputable sites:

  • BeenVerified—BeenVerified is excellent for small to mid-sized businesses. They have a simple and easy to use user interface. They also have a mobile app. The background checks are fast and inexpensive. Though not as comprehensive as most sites, it should tell you everything you need to know for a basic background overview.

  • GoodHire—GoodHire leads the industry in fast turn-around times for results. They are also among the best for accuracy in previous employment history. They offer several packages to choose from, with add-ons available. You can choose the most basic package and add additional information as needed.

  • AccurateNow—If your company needs the ability to verify professional licenses, then this is a good option. The background check itself is limited but should provide the most important information.

  • Trusted Employees—This is a company that has been in business for decades. They offer three different pricing plans to best suit the needs of a business. The most basic plan will provide employment verification, a criminal background check, credit history, and education history. You can add additional information for an additional price.

Important information about background checks:

Finding the right company to handle your background checks should be a painless process. Making background checks a standard part of your hiring process will ensure you are doing due diligence to hire the best person for the job.

Make sure you are using background checks in a manner that is compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This act specifies what information can be used and in what manner of making decisions.  Knowledge about this act is essential to avoid accusations of unfair hiring practices. The FCRA requires that you disclose that a background check may be part of the hiring practice and that you obtain consent from a potential employee before running a background check. The FCRA is a complex act, so make sure whatever vendor you use for background checks has a reputation for compliance with FCRA regulations.

If you have questions about FCRA compliance, each background check company has a customer service line that should be able to answer any questions that you have. Make sure to check the background check company with the Better Business Bureau. Look for a company with an A+ rating. This extra step will help ensure that their FCRA compliance is kept up-to-date.

Small businesses may mean that employees work closely in all aspects of the business.  Employees who work in one role may often be called to fill in for someone who works in another role. Trade secrets, financial information, and customer privacy may be more visible than in larger companies.

Small businesses often rely on trust in their employees to make their business run smoothly. A background check may make it easier to trust and integrate a new employee. Knowing that the person you hire isn’t hiding anything means your employees and customers, as well as your finances, are safer.





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