Run Employee Background Checks?

Small business owners are legally obligated to confirm and authenticate the identity of employees or face potential penalties. From illegal aliens to security issues, employee screening and background checks are a necessary part of doing business. In fact, the most common employers conduct background checks is to verify the applicant’s qualifications followed by the need to verify his or her eligibility to work in the U.S.A.

Higher levels of scrutiny may be required for employees dealing with sensitive or confidential data or to work in certain areas that require security precautions. Most look good on paper; after all, they wrote their own resumes. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t believe everything you read. Research indicates over 50 percent of people have lied on a resume.

Don’t confuse reference checks with background checks. In a reference check you are given someone’s opinion of prior job performance. Background checks give you detailed facts about the persons employment history. The cost of conducting a background check can vary from state to state and how in-depth the search needs to be. In general, it averages $20 to verify a Social Security Number. Sex-offender registry checks can run as high as $60 each.

The more information you want, the more you will pay and the longer it will take to process the information. If you regularly run comprehensive background checks, it might be a wise investment to hire a firm that specializes in this area. Often, if you process a high-volume of candidates, you will be granted significant discounts. Contact Us to learn how to save time and money when performing employee background checks and verification.


Questions NOT to Ask During an Interview

Small business owners should know which questions are illegal to ask during an interview. Unfortunately that is easier said than done. Appropriate questions are based upon anti-discriminatory laws that vary from state to state. A variety of federal, state and local laws prohibit employment discrimination, included basing a hiring decision on a protected trait. Generally speaking, the following are illegal in all states so avoid asking any questions that will reveal the following information about a potential employee or applicant:
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Race
  • National Origin
  • Gender
  • Citizenship (Although you may inquire about employment eligibility)
  • Disability
  • Union membership
  • Marital status (depending on the state)
  • Workers compensation history (depending on the state)
  • Prior arrests or convictions (depending on the state)
  • Sexual orientation (depending on the state)