Employment Checks: Why They Matter for Small Businesses


As a small business owner, you may feel that the hiring process can be time-consuming and stressful. However, one of the most important steps in this process is conducting employment checks. Employment checks help you verify the information provided by candidates and ensure that they are suitable for the role. In this article, we will discuss why employment checks matter for small businesses and the different types of checks available.

Why Employment Checks Matter for Small Businesses

  1. Legal Compliance

Small businesses need to be compliant with state and federal employment laws. Conducting employment checks ensures that you are meeting your legal obligations, which can protect you from potential lawsuits or penalties. For example, some states require employers to conduct criminal background checks on certain roles, such as those working with vulnerable populations like children or the elderly. Failure to conduct these checks can result in legal consequences.

  1. Protecting Your Business

Employment checks help you protect your business from potential risks. Conducting checks helps you ensure that candidates have the necessary qualifications and experience for the role. This reduces the risk of employees causing accidents or making costly mistakes. Additionally, background checks can help identify potential employees who may engage in misconduct or theft, reducing the risk of fraud or loss of assets.

  1. Making Informed Hiring Decisions

Employment checks provide you with valuable information about a candidate’s background, work history, and credentials. This information helps you make informed hiring decisions, which can improve your hiring process and reduce employee turnover. For example, if a candidate has a history of job-hopping, you may want to consider this before offering them a role. Alternatively, if a candidate has an outstanding work history and references, you may feel more confident in hiring them.

Types of Employment Checks

  1. Criminal Background Checks

Criminal background checks are used to verify whether a candidate has a criminal history. This type of check is essential for roles that involve working with vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, or disabled people. It is also recommended for roles that involve access to sensitive information, financial records, or assets. Criminal background checks can be conducted through a third-party provider or through local law enforcement agencies.

  1. Reference Checks

Reference checks are used to verify a candidate’s employment history, job performance, and work experience. This type of check is usually conducted by contacting a candidate’s former employers or professional references. Reference checks can help you verify the accuracy of a candidate’s resume, gain insight into their work habits, and confirm their professional reputation.

  1. Education Verification

Education verification checks are used to confirm a candidate’s education credentials. This type of check is particularly important for roles that require specific educational qualifications, such as doctors, lawyers, or engineers. Education verification checks can be conducted through the candidate’s educational institution or a third-party provider.

  1. Credit Checks

Credit checks are used to verify a candidate’s financial history and creditworthiness. This type of check is usually conducted for roles that involve access to financial records or handling financial transactions. Credit checks can help you verify a candidate’s reliability and trustworthiness with financial matters.

  1. Social Media Screening

Social media screening involves reviewing a candidate’s online presence, including social media profiles, blogs, and forums. This type of check can help you identify potential red flags, such as discriminatory or offensive content, and gain insight into a candidate’s personality and communication skills. However, it is important to note that social media screening can be controversial, and employers should be careful not to violate candidate privacy or discriminate based on protected characteristics.


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