How to Choose the Right Background Check for Your Employees

When you first set up a small business, you shoulder a lot of the heavy work to get your business off the ground. You’ll complete as many projects as possible on your own in order to minimize costs and to maintain as much control over your business’ operations as possible. But soon you’ll want to start looking at what background check is necessary to start expanding.

If you come up against a task that requires specialist knowledge, or a specific skill set that you do not have, you have the option to outsource to a freelance third party such as a web designer, product photographer, or whatever role you need to fill. However, as time goes on, you’ll quickly find that you need to take on permanent full-time, or part-time staff to help maintain the pace of your business growth.

Hiring new employees includes its own set of risks. To reduce economic losses from employees who last only a few months, use a rigorous screening process the first time around. To help guarantee that you choose truly suitable employees, it’s basic protocol to run a background check on serious candidates during the final stages of the recruitment process. 

Here’s some helpful information on choosing the right services to avoid overpaying for information that you do not need.

What Kind of Background Checks Are There?

There are a number of background checks that relay different information to take into consideration. Varying information includes:

  • SSN number checks
  • Criminal records
  • Sex offender registry
  • Sanctions checks

These are perhaps the most important checks to run and should be deemed absolutely essential if the position you’re hiring for involves contact with vulnerable members of society, such as children or the elderly.

There are supplemental checks to choose from as well, which include:

  • Employment
  • Professional licenses
  • Education
  • Military record verifications
  • Motor vehicle records
  • Employment reports
  • Reference checks
  • Drug screening

Choosing the Right Background Check

With so many different background checks available out there, you want to make sure that you choose the right one for your company needs. More information generally costs more money, so you want to choose checks that provide you with the information you absolutely need.

This means that prior to requesting background checks, you’ll want an idea of the kind of information you need on that potential future employee to make sure that they’re the right fit for the role. Once you’ve decided what you need, you can start browsing the different background checks offered to find one that provides the information you require.

When you find a check that meets the requirements, ensure that the company conducting the check is aligned with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (or “FCRA”). This spells out the regulations that Consumer Reporting Agencies must operate under when performing pre-employment background checks, and they’re much different than the readily available non-employment background checks that you see all over Google. 

How Much Do Background Checks Cost?

The cost of a background check is determined by the type of information needed. Most small businesses with a budget would need to find a check that falls within the budget. 

For the sake of your business’ finances, it’s a good idea to only have a background check carried out on individuals who you are genuinely considering for the position, rather than all candidates for a position, so it’s more common for it to be the final part in the recruitment process before they begin working. Many states even require this; your background check provider can help you with specific state regulations on when to perform a check.  

The cost of background checks varies depending on the type of information requested, as well as the individual company that you use. Companies with better credentials are often able to charge more for their services. When choosing a check, make sure to browse the market thoroughly. 

There’s a fair amount of competition in the industry, so you can easily price out the different companies for the best deal, and can sometimes save money by looking into package deals if you’re planning on having more than one check carried out. But remember, cheaper doesn’t mean better, so be sure to check on things like how long the screening company has been in business, whether they have any EEOC or other settlements or lawsuits against them, and how well they manage compliance. 

Employment screening is a critical part of the recruitment process if you’re planning on taking on staff. They’re just as important for small business as large businesses and can really help to make sure you take on the right individual for the job without facing any surprises later down the line!