Do Small Businesses Need Employee Background Checks?

Small businesses are thriving in today’s economy and arguably are the lifeblood of many industries. As competition in the workforce heats up, it’s important for small business owners to protect their establishments from risk and choose candidates who fit the unique culture of their typically intimate and diverse workplaces.

While the economy and job market are up and candidates are flooding their resumes out, it’s become an important focus for CEOs at companies of all sizes to locate quality employees that add value to the company and are more likely to stick around for the long haul.

Employee background checks are actually a very critical step for small businesses. These checks won’t just notify you if the potential candidate has anything questionable in their past, but can also help you to understand the full picture of whether or not they’ll fit in with the rest of the company and daily requirements.

In addition, background investigations, or steps to verify an applicant’s education, references and understand their soft skills should all be taken.

Protecting your investment in employees and focusing on ROI are essential to the hiring process. Employees that don’t end up working out might be easier to come and go from a larger corporation, but for small businesses, the paperwork and costs associated with off-and on-boarding people can add up to be significant costs.

Handling the background check needs requires time and focus most small business owners also don’t have to dedicate sufficiently to the process. Hiring an established and professional service provider to assist with background screening provides peace of mind so you can make hiring choices with confidence.

Choose DataCheck to run a thorough background check, criminal record report, social security number verification report, driving record check, and a nationwide sex offender registry search on any applicant before they become a member of your team.

Save time and money, avoid negligent hiring lawsuits and provide a safer work environment.

Get in touch today!

As Face-to-Face Interviews Decline, Pre-Employment Screening is Critical

Let’s face it: nobody likes job interviews. The old hiring standard of bringing a group of people in and asking them a series of sometimes-absurd and irrelevant questions has been under fire recently. Does the job interview really communicate a candidates’ qualifications? Does it serve any purpose except wasting everybody’s time? Are face-to-face job interviews going the way of the dodo?

Possibly, if you believe industry trends. The Wall Street Journal has reported that some employers trying to recruit in the tightest job market in decades are hiring some candidates sight unseen—after just one phone interview. This isn’t generally for high-powered jobs. But the trend could spread from retail and low-level office work into more professions. The reason, according to Peter Capelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania interviewed by the WSJ, is that most companies are “so bad at interviewing, and the interviews are so full of bias, that it’s not crazy to just ignore them altogether.”

What’s Wrong with Interviews?

Interviewing, it’s felt, only represents a person’s interviewing skills, and few people conduct interviews for their jobs, noted Suzanne Lucas writing for Inc. magazine.

“This job requires that I sit at a computer, analyze information, and write about it in a coherent and entertaining fashion (hopefully with the least typos possible),” wrote Lucas. “An accountant’s job is to make sure that all laws are followed and all numbers balance out. A computer coder’s job is to write clear, clean code. None of these jobs require great interview skills on a daily basis. Someone who is great at interviewing may not be all that great at doing the actual job, and vice versa.”

Interviewing candidates face-to-face is also expensive and time-consuming. Companies are instead relying on applications, resumes, recommendations, and telephone interviews. In some cases, they’re engaging would-be employees in short temporary assignments to test their work capability. They’re also putting research procedures in place to check out potential employees.

Should You Stop Interviewing?

Experts say that while eliminating interviewing altogether may not be in your company’s best interests, they do recommend shortening the process. What they don’t recommend, however, is foregoing the kind of pre-employment checks that can protect your business.

Why Are Pre-Employment Checks Important?

A pre-employment background check company like DataCheck can help you screen your potential employees for the information you need to know before you hire. DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck via our website or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today. 

Don’t Skimp Background Checks for Seasonal Workers

November means Thanksgiving, blustery weather, first frosts, and seasonal employment. Thousands of retailers are now in the process of hiring extra staff for temporary positions through the holiday season and into January’s mass merchandise returns. This year, seasonal hiring may be particularly tricky. Low unemployment coupled with good consumer confidence could lift this year’s holiday retail season. But it will also present a headache to companies trying to find good workers to fill seasonal slots in their stores and operations.

According to National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay, the association is predicting that retailers will hire 650,000 seasonal workers for the holidays in 2018, up more than 10 percent from last year’s seasonal hiring. NRF is forecasting that annual retail sales for 2018 will increase at least 4.5 percent over 2017. This number is the highest since 2014, when unemployment was around 6 percent, compared with a nearly five-decade low of 3.7 percent in October of this year.

“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” Shay said. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year.”

That’s the good news. The bad news is…where are retailers going to get all these seasonal employees in a time of record-low unemployment?

Wage Competition Will Be Fierce

With minimum wages edging up in cities around the country and unemployment below four percent, companies will also be paying its seasonal workers more. Amazon has said it plans to finish filling seasonal positions by early December. The company’s new minimum wage of $15 an hour will likely attract the best candidates for seasonal positions.

Who’s Checking the Candidates?

When it gets difficult to hire good workers – especially when those workers are only temporary – it’s tempting to skip some of the bells and whistles of the hiring process. Many companies will look the other way on less-than-ideal candidates, but this could put their business and their other employees at risk. Background checks are important, even for seasonal candidates.

Call the Professionals

A pre-employment background check company can help you safely expand your pool of job applicants while continuing to protect your business and your existing employees.

DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information as well as background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.

Don’t Lie About Having a Degree (Do This Instead)

More employers are requiring candidates to possess college degrees than ever before. If you don’t have a degree, it can be tempting to say that you do; at least then, you might be considered for an interview, right?

Wrong. Sure, you may receive an interview, and you may even get away with the lie for a little while; that is until this would-be employer runs a background check on you. What happens then? In short, you won’t get the job. In fact, a recent survey proves that of all resume lies, hiring managers detest ones about academic credentials and degrees the most.

How You Can Compete Without a College Degree

While having a college degree may help you get an interview, it’s not the end-all-be-all. Moreover, having nothing but a college degree on your resume will not make you a promising candidate either. So what’s more valuable than a college degree? Work experience. Of course, when people are presented with this solution, they often wonder: “How can I get work experience if I can’t even get an interview?” By completing projects.

Gain An Edge By Completing Projects

Showing someone that you can actually do something is often far more valuable than completing classes that teach you the theory of doing something. If you need to learn the theory of something, then learn it online for free. Remember: YouTube is more than just a hub for viral videos; it’s also a great resource for free classes and information. Don’t know how to actually balance a checkbook? YouTube it. Don’t know how to create a powerpoint presentation? YouTube it.

Look For Freelance Work

Once you’ve learned some theory, and have practiced your dream craft, then it’s time to get involved in some projects. The best way to build a portfolio is to freelance. Sites like Upwork and Freelancer offer a robust selection of projects that you can apply for and complete from the comfort of your own home. Most of these projects do not require a degree either. They only require that you can actually do what you say you can do. Again: If you don’t know how to do something, turn to Google and YouTube.

Self-Improvement Is The Key To Success

College degree or not, hiring managers consistently favor self-starters. If you can present a relevant portfolio of work to prospective employers, you’re more likely to be hired based on “relevant work experience.” When applying to your ideal jobs, remember to scan postings for that line. Many people with nothing but a college degree on their resumes fail to get interviews too. If you’ve completed a few projects, then leverage that experience in your cover letters and follow-up emails. Happy job hunting!   

If you’re a hiring manager looking for help with quality background checks, get in touch today! We give you the facts needed to make a sound hiring decision.

 

Employers Tread Legal Minefield of State Laws in Drug Testing Candidates

With the legalization of medical and even recreational use of marijuana, many employers have been left wondering what their options are when it comes to employee drug testing. Is it even still allowable to test job candidates and employees for a substance they’re permitted to use in their own homes? Employers in the State of Vermont, which legalized recreational marijuana use in July of this year, were unsure prior to the law taking effect.  According to the attorney general’s office, however, little has changed.

“In short, very little is changing,” said Assistant Attorney General Emily Adams of the office’s civil rights unit. “In terms of drug testing, employers can still drug test for marijuana consistent with existing law.”

The new rules were put in place by Act 86, Vermont’s law that allows a person 21 or older to possess small amounts of marijuana (up to an ounce) for consumption in the privacy of their home (not in public places, which is still prohibited). In addition, the law allows a person 21 or older to cultivate two mature marijuana plants and four immature ones. The bill, now established law, was approved by the Vermont Legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Governor Phil Scott.

A Narrow Window for Drug Testing in Some States

So while drug testing for marijuana is still permitted in Vermont, it can only be done under certain circumstances. Drug testing of job applicants can only happen once a conditional offer of employment has been made to that individual. The circumstances under which drug testing may be performed on existing employees is even narrower. For starters, the employer must have good cause to suspect that the employee is using drugs. Secondly, the employer must be able to provide access to a “bona fide” rehabilitation program for alcohol and drug abuse to the employee. Finally, if the employee tests positive, the employer cannot terminate employment if the employee agrees to participate in the employer-offered rehabilitation program.

In Indiana, one large employer has gone even further than the Vermont law: the Belden electric wire factory in Richmond is offering both employment AND substance abuse treatment to applicants who are addicts, according to NPR. Those who complete the training and the rehabilitation are offered jobs. By and large, however, the country is still a hostile place to drug users looking for employment.

Do You Know the Rules?

Since marijuana legalization varies state by state, employers may find themselves climbing over a veritable minefield of rules and regulations, particularly if they interview candidates in different states. In these cases, pre-employment testing experts ensure that pre-employment drug testing is carried out within the confines of state rules and regulations.

Contact DataCheck to inquire about professional pre-employment services such as drug testing and criminal background checks that protect your workers and your business.