pre-employment screening

What Small Business Owners Need to Know about Pre-Employment Screening

By Laura Greene

Pre-employment screenings can be an invaluable tool for businesses during the hiring process. There are various types of pre-employment screenings, ranging from criminal background checks to credit checks — all of which can help you learn more about an applicant than you can find out via an application or interview. Verifying information about an applicant can make the difference between hiring poorly versus an honest and dedicated hard worker.

However, there is often the misconception that only large companies benefit from these screenings. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Small businesses can benefit just as much from pre-employment screenings. In fact, in can be argued that pre-employment screenings are even more important for small businesses. Small businesses have fewer employees than large companies, so one bad hiring decision can leave a larger negative impact. Small business employees should be able to work together incredibly well and, above all else, trust each other to ensure that the business runs smoothly.

Here are some important things that small business owners should know about pre-employment screening.

Screenings can increase safety in the workplace.

Both small business owners and their employees deserve to feel safe in the workplace. In the past five years, 27% of businesses have experienced at least one incident of workplace violence. Some of the most common types of violence are bullying, verbal threats and intimidation — all of which can negatively impact the mental and physical wellbeing of employees.

When you hire an applicant without verifying whether they have violent tendencies or have been perpetrators of workplace violence in the past, you are putting yourself and your employees at risk. Performing pre-employment screenings on applicants can allow you to spot dangerous applicants before they are hired and ensure the safety of other employees.

Pre-employment screening can help you avoid negligent hiring.

“Negligent hiring” is an accusation that can be lodged against a company when an employee injures someone during work and the injured party claims that the employer should have known that their employee posed a risk. When small business owners don’t perform background screenings, they can be held liable due to “negligent hiring.” For example, if you hire an employee as a delivery driver and they have a poor driving record, you could be held liable if they get into a car accident. If you had performed a thorough pre-employment screening to verify their driving record, you could have avoided liability.

The screening process can help reduce workplace theft.

Did you know that in 2016, U.S. businesses lost $1.13 million due to workplace theft? Sixty-eight percent of these businesses were small businesses. With small businesses losing so much to employee crime, the only solution is to run thorough pre-employment screenings on applicants before they’re hired. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t do this, which can result in staggering losses.

When you don’t run a pre-employment screening on an applicant, you are deciding to trust blindly, which is not a wise thing to do, considering that up to 85% of applicants lie on their resumes. By performing pre-employment screenings as a small business, you can protect your company from theft by verifying whether an applicant has had issues in the past involving workplace theft.

Pre-employment screenings have endless benefits for both small business and large companies. However, the impact felt from a bad hiring decision can be even more severe for a small business where there are fewer employees. When small businesses take the precaution of screening applicants before they are hired, they can avoid hiring a dangerous applicant who could be violent, steal or pose as a liability to the business.

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Laura Greene
Laura Greene is one of the content managers for TrustedEmployees – creative people who provide businesses, non-profits, and volunteer organizations with a tailored and compliant approach to background screening through personalization, innovation, and dedication.

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