When running background checks in your small business it’s important to avoid common screening mistakes. These include trying to do DIY background checks, failing to follow FCRA regulations, skipping screening on some candidates, forgetting to verify an applicant’s identity, and taking too long to do your background checks. Be sure to use high-quality, comprehensive employee background checks to make a more informed hiring decision.
Remember that this material is intended to provide you with helpful information and is not to be relied upon to make decisions, nor is this material intended to be or construed as legal advice. You are encouraged to consult your legal counsel for advice on your specific business operations and responsibilities under applicable law. Trademarks used in this material are the property of their respective owners and no affiliation or endorsement is implied.
To help prevent surprises, blasting new satellites into space requires extensive pre-launch testing. When it comes to hiring new people, small business owners shouldn’t be much different.
A textbook resume, glowing references, and an infectious personality may make you eager to hire right away. However, neglecting critical applicant vetting steps could blast your small business straight into ruin.
Without a proper employment screening process, you might not realize that your “ideal” candidate may have:
- A relevant criminal background that could endanger everything you’ve worked towards
- An unhealthy credit report that could lead to mismanaged funds
- A stolen or assumed identity—are they really who they say they are
- Faked diploma or certification that was never received
- Resume lies and other misleading application information
When it comes to building a strong team for your small business, going with a “good gut feeling” isn’t enough. After all, a misjudged hire frequently costs employers an average of $17,000, according to a CareerBuilder survey. It’s essential to protect your staff and bottom line with a clearly defined hiring process. This includes screening with a reputable, employment background report service, like ShareAble for Hires.
Like Mission Control, it’s imperative that you carefully analyze all available reports before giving your final hiring decision the go-ahead. However, busy small business owners rarely have time to study the ins and outs, legal tripwires, and intricacies of compliant, high-quality screening. This leads to unintentional omissions in employment background checks that can devastate your organization.
This article covers the common gaps in small business background checks—and how to avoid them. With these tips on better background screening, you’ll be heading off to bright, new horizons in no time.
Why Pre-Employment Screening is Essential for Small Businesses
According to a TransUnion survey, 97% of small business owners say they do some sort of screening, and 45% use a paid pre-employment screening service. And it’s no wonder. According to Glassdoor, when small businesses use a good employee screening process, it can help improve the quality of their hires by 70%.
Having a streamlined pre-employment screening process can provide a variety of benefits to your small business, including:
- Extra-fast hiring
- Better employee retention
- Reduced risk of getting sued
- Productivity boosts
Small businesses are often aware of the potential dangers of hiring the wrong person. But by nature, small businesses often do not have the resources, screening procedures, or organization of large corporations. This can put them at a disadvantage. Either they could overlook screening as being vital or not get access to tools that can help them properly vet their candidates, which could lead to disastrous results.
Thankfully, small business owners no longer have to jump through hoops to get FCRA-compliant employment background screening. ShareAble for Hires is designed for small businesses with smart features that help prevent common background check errors automatically. That way, you can focus on your new hire’s resume and skills—instead of worrying about accidentally violating background check laws.
Common Background Check Errors Small Businesses Make
Gap #1: Performing DIY Screening to Save Money
In small companies, it’s common to roll up your sleeves and take care of all kinds of tasks yourself. After all, it’s usually cheaper than hiring an outside pro. However, pre-employment screening is not the place to try to cut costs with DIY.
Trying to do your own background check with public records and social media is a virtual minefield of hiring lawsuits just waiting to explode.
Here are some significant drawbacks to DIY screening tactics:
- Public records checks: The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a law that regulates who is allowed to request specific records, what can be accessed and when, and what you’re allowed to do with he information you discover. An uninformed public records search could result in serious legal consequences that could bankrupt your small business. Additionally, each jurisdiction has their own procedures, waiting periods, and costs to get public records. If you’re even able to get records yourself, it may end up costing you more than a third-party background check. On top of that, searching for online public records can be Online records are often incomplete, inaccurate, and neglect to provide the information a small business owner needs to make a confident hiring decision.
- Social media: Some employers report using social media to screen candidates before hiring. While this tactic may appear to be quick and harmless, this may not be a wise choice for your small business. Social media screening may reveal information about a candidate, including age, race, nationality, disabilities, gender, or religion. It’s important to note that all of these characteristics are generally protected under the FCRA; if any of these characteristics influence your hiring decision, then you may find yourself in legal trouble or even slapped with a discrimination lawsuit.
Tips for getting crucial information: Why risk the expense and headache of hiring lawsuits from DIY background checks Get streamlined, FCRA-compliant online employment background checks through ShareAble for Hires. Spending a small amount of money can help prevent spending thousands in payouts and legal fees down the line. Created specifically for small businesses with occasional hiring needs, ShareAble for Hires employment credit checks, financial history, criminal history, and identity verification are available on-demand. You pay only for what you need, only when you need it.
Gap #2: Failing to Follow FCRA Regulations
Employment screening is subject to a giant pile of laws, some federal, some state-wide, and some even on the county or city-level. At the top of the pile is FCRA, which protects the type of consumer data commonly found in an employer background check.
For example, if you fail to get the applicant’s explicit consent in the right way or fail to provide the correct adverse action notice if you decide not to hire the applicant, you could face drastic consequences.
Understanding and being compliant with FCRA rules and regulations is key to running a successful business. You must seriously consider ensuring that your background screening processes don’t violate a job candidate’s rights. While studying-up on FCRA regulations may sound like an easy task, it can be complex.
Tips for following FCRA regulations: Reduce your risk by using a professional, FCRA-compliant screening service like ShareAble for Hires. Vet any potential background check provider to confirm how they comply with federal and local hiring laws, including the FCRA. Additionally, consider checking with legal counsel to verify that your screening process follows all applicable laws.
Gap #3: Neglecting to Screen Every New Hire
Which employees should you screen The answer is easy:all of them. Employers who fail to screen temporary employees, part-time workers, or even interns may be putting their organization at risk. Vetting every new hire helps protect your business, customers, and staff.
In addition to full-time employees, run background checks on the following types of workers:
- Interns: While an internship may only last a couple months, a bad intern hire can have lasting consequences. In many cases, interns are trained to become full-time employees down the road. If you do decide to add an intern to your permanent roster, previous employment screening can expedite the process.
- Remote workers or freelancers: A person doesn’t need to be in the office to wreak havoc. The remote workforce is growing, especially in the wake of the pandemic. If you hire remote workers, screen thoroughly to protect your organization.
Note: The above list is not exhaustive and certain hires may fall under special hiring regulations. Be sure to connect with legal counsel on this matter before making any decisions.
More Tips for screening new hires:
- Create a comprehensive screening policy used for every person you hire, from full-time employees to interns.
- Expedite your screening with near-instant reports through providers like ShareAble for Hires
- Screen any individual with access to your company information, clients, customers, or employees with the same level of scrutiny, no matter the position.
Gap #4: Forgetting to Verify Someone’s Identity
Identity theft is a growing problem that can negatively affect your business and cause major administrative headaches.
An identity check can help confirm that your applicant is who they say they are. This helps reduce the risk of identity fraud in your company.
As a business owner, you must be certain that the candidate you’re interviewing is the person that they claim to be. If a job applicant is lying about his or her identity, then they may be misleading you and your hiring team in other ways, too.
It’s also important to verify an applicant’s identity to get accurate background check results. Mixing up the identity of a job applicant with another individual affects the efficacy of your screening, as you’ll obtain false, inaccurate, or incomplete information.
Tips: Include online identity checks in your screening process. ShareAble for Hires pulls results from numerous databases to help determine if your applicant’s self-reported information is a match. These on-demand reports are delivered in minutes to both you and your applicant for total transparency.
Gap #5: Taking Too Long to Screen Candidates
Employers who are slow to screen prospective employees may miss out on top talent.If your background checks take too long, your job finalist may accept another offer before you can respond.
Traditional background check providers can take days or even weeks for results. Some services impose restrictions on businesses that want to conduct employment screening, causing significant delays before you can run reports. You might have to fill out an application to become a customer or speak to a salesperson to get started. Your application can take hours or days to be approved. Worse yet, your application might be rejected, excluding you from screening at all.
High-quality candidates that are in demand will only wait so long. Another company could extend a job offer while you’re waiting around.
Don’t miss out on top talent with a slow and cumbersome background check, as this screening mistake can mean letting the perfect hire slip through the cracks.
Tips for speeding up your hiring processes: Learn how long typical background checks take to complete and what to expect with your provider. While traditional background check providers can take weeks to complete, ShareAble for Hires provides near-instant results to help you can hire faster. As a small business owner, you should never have to worry about missing out on a great hire because you’re too busy jumping through employment screening hoops.
ShareAble for Hires screening is done entirely online. There are no sign-up barriers and reports are delivered to you within minutes. Here’s what you get with ShareAble for Hires:
- No outdated application process—sign up and start screening immediately
- No tedious paperwork—ultra-simple for you and your job applicant
- No need to call to sign up—a fast online process you can do from anywhere
- No waiting to screen—create an account and get started right away
- No delay to get your reports—get background reports in minutes
When you are ready to screen, ShareAble expedites the process by delivering nearly instant background information, credit history, and identification reports.
Avoid Common Background Check Mistakes with ShareAble for Hires
Bringing on a new hire can be a bit like prepping to launch a satellite . With all the possible mistakes in the screening process, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the need for high-quality, comprehensive employee background checks when hiring for any position—especially if you need to hire on-the-spot.
Created specifically for small businesses with only occasional screening needs, ShareAble for Hires offers thorough, online employee background checks in minutes. All reports are delivered by TransUnion, a credit reporting agency with over four decades of experience. This means the reports are both trustworthy andcomply with federal regulations.
Don’t fall prey to screening gaps by trying to cut corners or DIY. Use ShareAble For Hires and you’ll be able to quickly verify your candidate’s background history. An applicant’s background check for employment helps you discover if they have a dangerous, relevant history that could harm your current staff and business. Meanwhile, identity verification reports help confirm the applicant is actually who they claim to be on paper.
If your applicant will handle money or oversee sensitive financial information, a credit historyreport lets you see their track record with money. Getting a fuller picture of a job applicant’s past can help you make more informed hiring decisions.
Don’t let employee screening gaps ground your success. Help launch your small business into the next level with ShareAble for Hires.
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