Hiring a new employee can be a tricky endeavor: You want to select the most qualified individual with the appropriate skills and credentials, and be sure the person you select is honest and trustworthy. A good way to do so is to conduct a background check to verify the information supplied on a candidate’s application.

Protect your business

Conducting background checks validates the information that a job applicant provides and helps create a positive and safe work environment for employees and customers. Employers can be held liable for negligent hiring based on what they do know or should have known about the employees they hire. In some states, negligent hiring liability can even hold employers responsible for employees’ actions when away from the workplace.[1]

By conducting comprehensive background screenings, you can protect your business in several ways:

  • Publicizing that pre-employment background checks are required can reduce the number of unqualified or questionable applicants from applying for jobs at your business.[2]
  • Screening for criminal records can reduce the potential for employee theft and fraud.
  • A review of an applicant’s background can reveal criminal records that may indicate the potential for workplace violence, sexual harassment and other unacceptable behavior.

Other considerations

Background screenings are subject to a range of federal, state and local laws and regulations. Improperly conducted background checks may violate these laws and leave the company liable for lawsuits and penalties.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that applicants receive advance notice that a background check will be conducted and applicants must agree to provide written consent for the process. The employer also must provide the applicant with a copy of the report before and after taking action based on findings, or potentially face FCRA penalties for noncompliance.[3]

Conducting background checks can extend the hiring process. On the other hand, costs for background screenings have dropped, and successful hiring decisions that are aided by background checks can potentially lead to a better work environment and lower turnover.

[1] “Why Do Background Checks: the Pros and Cons,” background article on A Matter of Fact website, available at: http://www.amof.info/why-background.htm

[2] “Why Do Background Checks: the Pros and Cons,” background article on A Matter of Fact website, available at: http://www.amof.info/why-background.htm

[3] “Background checks: what you need to know,” by William J. Lynott, Restaurant Hospitality, Nov. 22, 2016. Available at: http://www.restaurant-hospitality.com/legal/background-checks-what-you-need-know

This news is provided as a service to you by Marlin Business Services Corp., a nationwide leader in commercial lending solutions for the U.S. small business sector. Marlin’s equipment financing and loan programs are available directly and through third-party vendor programs, including manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers, to deliver financing and working capital that help build your success.