The Wall Street Journal on Background Screening
February 8, 2010
The Wall Street Journal Online had a nice piece this morning on how to hire qualified candidates. In it, they talk specifically about the power of employment background investigations and how background checks can help when hiring.
Perform a background check. Preemployment checks can screen out applicants who may be unfit (or dangerous) for your workplace because of a criminal record. Some states may require that employers in certain industries— say, child care or health care— conduct background checks. A background check also can confirm the accuracy of information that the candidate provided on the application. While a background check isn’t necessary for all employees, it’s smart to conduct one on a job candidate who will have access to sensitive data or your company’s finances. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which sets standards for employment screening, requires that you get consent from a potential employee before conducting a background check. Check the FTC’s website to make sure you are in compliance. Also, you don’t want to run afoul of state or federal laws concerning the kinds of information an employer uses to make employment decisions. If you do perform a background check, ask a business owner or your attorney for a referral to a reputable firm.
How to Avoid Hiring a Bad Egg
By COLLEEN DEBAISE
Adapted from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL COMPLETE SMALL BUSINESS GUIDEBOOK (Three Rivers Press).
As you begin recruiting and interviewing employees, you’ll obviously be drawn to certain candidates because of their experience, educational background and personality. While it’s easy to make a decision based on what you see in front of you, it’s wise to consider what may be hidden from view, too.
Small businesses, unfortunately, are particularly vulnerable to embezzlement and other kinds of employee theft because they lack the checks and balances of big corporations. One report by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that the median loss for small firms with fewer than one hundred employees was $190,000. The most common schemes? Employees fraudulently writing company checks, skimming revenues and processing phony invoices.
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