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Get the Scoop on Prospective Employees Prior to Their First Day
by Dave Thomas Thu, 01/05/2012 - 10:50
Who sits in your cubicles or other areas around the office should be of utmost importance to you as a small business owner.
That being said, the background check provides a very useful tool in allowing you to make sure you know as much as possible about the people who will join your payroll.
Without the right checks and balances in place, you could find yourself hiring someone who has a questionable past, is not fully qualified for the position, and/or could bring harm to your company over time.
As a small business owner, it is important to note what you can and cannot learn about the individual you are thinking of bringing on board. Among the things to remember are:
- Looking for any criminal past – When delving into this area, keep in mind that such checks vary in different states. Employers are advised to discuss the matter with any inside or outside legal counsel so that no rights are violated during the checking process;
- Checking credit backgrounds – Depending on the line of work an individual may be doing, how they have handled money in the past can certainly gain the interest of a potential employer. For example, someone that has had trouble managing money in their personal lives could be a risk to hire to work in one’s finance department. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a prospective candidate must provide written authorization to an employer before the company can obtain one’s credit report;
- In search of bankruptcies – On the heels of checking one’s credit report, employers may also be interested to learn if a candidate has ever filed for bankruptcy. This can be relevant in the event one will again be handling money for a company. Past negative decisions with money handling could foretell problems in their employment;
- Numbers don’t always tell the story – Just because an individual has had trouble handling credit cards and/or has filed for bankruptcy does not mean you should automatically pass them over. Make sure you weigh all the factors before automatically declining an individual.
According to industry numbers, resume fraud is thought to be as high as 40 percent nationwide.
Among the examples of such fraud is lying about a previous position one held, providing unreliable references and supplying inaccurate information while one was in school.
As one hiring expert pointed out in Workforce, “A pre-employment test that costs less than $10 can sometimes save a company the thousands it costs to replace a bad match, or the legal fees to defend against liability lawsuits for negligence in hiring a troubled or troublesome employee.”
If you’re a small business owner who is not presently doing background checks, the start of a New Year is a perfect time to make it one of your top resolutions going forward.
As a small business owner, do you normally run background checks on your prospective candidates?
About the author
Dave Thomas covers consumer and small business topics for various websites, including Ripoffreport.com.