Check ’em out! Background checks best bet

Posted: 09/22/2011 in General Information, Member Experts
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There was once a time when a person could walk into a store, grab the help wanted sign from the window, and with as little as a handshake, walk out with a job. But the world keeps growing, the job pool keeps getting bigger and the times—well, they are a changin’. As people, we want to have faith in others, but as employers, we have to be especially cautious, as our hiring decisions affect many people. Hiring just anyone off the street is no longer a safe bet.

High stakes
Today making a snap hiring decision could leave you out of the hiring game for good. Statistics show that 30 percent to 40 percent of job applicants exaggerate or lie on applications and resumes. And occupational Health and Safety Magazine states that “negligent hiring” lawsuits are on the rise. These suits implicate employers and hold them responsible for the actions of their employees. Industry statistics show that one poor hiring decision can cost a business as much as $100,000 or more.

Lay your money on the check
A much safer bet is the professionally done background check. They’re quick — typically taking between 48 and 72 hours to complete—and range in price from $100 to $200, depending on what information you want to find. The more comprehensive the search, the more it will cost. If you are a small-business owner, the costs may seem high, but in the long run, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you are still concerned about the fees, go to and read “How to Avoid Hiring a Criminal for Under $20.00.”

Playing it safe
While there may have been a time when background checks were something employers did after the decision to hire was made, experts recommend that Human Resource departments and business owners take a new approach to the way they view the hiring process. Safe hiring is something all businesses should adopt as a way to protect their employees, their business and their time.

Employment ads should state that background checks are performed. Policies and procedures should be in place regarding hiring processes and background checks, making sure that each applicant is handled in the same manner. Making it known that background checks are part of your hiring procedure will deter people with something to hide, and encourage those who wish to be considered, to lay all their cards on the table. In the long run, you will save yourself a great deal of time, money and effort by adopting a safe-hiring plan.

A winning hand
You simply can’t lose when taking a proactive approach to hiring. You will get the best candidate for the job and ensure the safety of your workers and your business. Background checks are completely legal, if followed according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which protects job seekers and employers. Employers have a right to know whom they are hiring. Conducting background checks is your best bet for warding off unwanted job applicants and costly lawsuits.

What to check
County criminal (felony only, felony and misdemeanor, misdemeanor only)
Motor vehicle record
Credit Report
Prior employment verification
Social Security number
Education verification
Reference checks
Licensing verification


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