Background Checks Help to Weed Out Potential Bad Hires

As a small business owner, how do you go about hiring new employees?

If it is done through a thorough search, then you stand a better chance of lessening the possibility of a bad hire. If, however, you are doing it on a wing and a prayer, the odds increase that you will make a bad hire somewhere along the way.

With a national unemployment rate hovering around 9 percent, there are countless individuals out there looking for work, many of whom will do just about anything to get a job, including fudging their qualifications and/or background in some cases.

employee background check
Do background check to avoid hiring bad employees

For the employer who may or may not be directly involved in the hiring process, it is important that their human resources staff or other appropriate hiring personnel do background checks on interested candidates. Not only does this lessen the chances of hiring the wrong individual, but it also tells your current employees that you are serious about running a first-class operation.

Keep in mind, you should advise prospective candidates of any checks you do on them ahead of time. If they appear to show some resistance to such a move, inquire as to why there is some reluctance on their part to do such a check, which typically take three days to a week to complete.

If your company has not been but is thinking of conducting background checks on potential employees from here on out, keep these factors in mind:

  • Do background checks within constraints of the law – Even though background checks on potential employers are legal, they need to be done properly. Start by asking the candidate’s permission and go from there;
  • Cover only the relevant areas – You should be looking for issues related to past employment, not someone’s dating history. Stick to the essential facts you will need to assist you in deciding whether or not to hire the individual. Per example, if you’re looking to hire someone to be a driver/courier for your business, you will want to know if they have a history of tickets while behind the wheel, any DUI matters, high auto insurance rates etc. For those potential employees who will be handling money in their daily responsibilities, look for any issues regarding bad usage of funds and/or checking account matters;
  • Search for the truth – The background check also serves the purpose of making sure the potential employee is truthful in what they tell you on their application/cover letter and/or an interview. If the individual says they held this or that relative job to the one they’re applying for, the check will substantiate such claims;
  • Make background checks known in your company profile – While some would say not to tip your hand, it make sense to let anyone and everyone interested in your company that you conduct background checks. This will hopefully deter those looking to hide something from applying with your company in the first place. Secondly, it should give your current employees some comfort in knowing that you take seriously the matter of bringing on board new workers who will work with them;
  • Review your procedures – If you have been doing background checks for a while now, it is always good to sit down with your hiring staff and review what is, is not, and what might work on future background checks. Make sure that you keep the system for doing such investigations updated so that you don’t fall into a predictable pattern, one that potential employees can easily figure out ahead of time.

According to a report from the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, false or misleading information provided by job applicants, is estimated by a number of experts to be at 30 to 40 percent of all details given on both job applications and resumes.

The best way for your company to avoid potentially hiring the wrong individual is getting into their background in the first place.

About the Author: Dave Thomas, who covers – among other items – background checks and small business loans, writes extensively for, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.