4 Ways to Make Sure Before You Hire

You advertised for help. You interviewed the candidates. Now you’re ready to hire. But is it the right choice? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t clear until your newbie has been on board for a while.

But one way to strengthen your decision is to make pre-employment background checks a part of your hiring process.

The U. S. Small Business Administration offers the following list of pre-employment checks and how they can (or cannot) be used to confirm information:

  1. Credit Reports – Used to verify information on the application, such as: education, employment history, driver’s license status. Be careful to obtain the proper consent and follow the rules if you decide not to hire based on the information. Visit the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection for more information.
  2. Criminal Records – Used to review criminal history record. Laws vary by state so consult with a lawyer. The Federal Bureau of Investigation also has resources available for businesses.
  3. Medical Records – Federal law prohibits discrimination based on a physical or mental impairment or requests for an employee’s medical records. However, you can ask about an applicant’s ability to perform specific job duties. Your legal counsel can advise you on specific laws in your state.
  4. Bankruptcy History – This might be important when filling a position that requires handling cash, payroll, finance or accounting. Bankruptcy is a matter of public record or may be part of a credit report. However, Federal law prohibits you from discriminating against applicants who have filed for bankruptcy.

Remember, hiring decisions should be made based on the applicant’s ability to perform the duties of the job you want them to perform. Properly using pre-employment background checks can help you verify information and make the best choice.

Need more information? Go to SBA.gov.

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