Criminal Background Checks: Should Your Business Do Them?

Running a business is expensive, you don’t need any extra costs you can do without – so the question is, do you need to conduct background checks on your employees?

Whether you have a small or large business, running background checks ensures your employees are not a danger to you, your business, or customers.

Usually, applicants are required to get background checks when applying to a new job, when volunteering, or when being promoted at work.

As a business owner, it is your job to guarantee your employees and customers are protected by creating a safe work environment.

But also, hiring someone with a criminal record (that you don’t know about) won’t just harm those in the office or your customers – it can pose a threat to your business interest and your reputation.

Before deciding whether or not your business needs this, let’s find out what it is, and most importantly, what you can benefit from it. 

Read more about: Do Small Businesses Need to Run Background Checks?

What is Background Check?  

A background check is checking the applicant’s past actions/ record to ensure they don’t have any bad or suspicious acts on their records; it includes a review of:

  • A criminal background check (violence, theft, or any criminal acts)
  • A financial background check (credit history)
  • An educational background check (verifies degrees & qualifications)
  • Employment history (a review of previous jobs)

The FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) defines what appears on a background check,1 it can differ from one applicant to another, one company to another, or from one state to another.

This depends on the job position, state laws, and company requirements. A background check can be done through a screening/ search agency, ink fingerprinting, or live scan fingerprinting.

Does your business need to get criminal background checks done?

Yes, you should have background checks done before hiring any new employees.

You don’t necessarily need to run background checks on older employees because you already have an idea of their nature, work style, and ethics but before hiring a new employee, a background check can help ensure you’re making the right decision.

It’ll filter job applicants, only serious candidates. When your business conducts background checks before hiring, any applicants that have something to hide wouldn’t apply.

A shorter and more efficient hiring process ensures only serious applicants apply to the job opening.

Verify educational degrees & employment history. With a competitive market and multiple applicants fighting for one job position, many people tend to exaggerate or even add false info on their resumes/ applications. A background check verifies their previous work and degrees they’ve received.  

Avoid liability issues and future trouble. If you hire a teacher at a school unknowing they have an abusive record and they encounter a problem with a student, the parents will blame you, not just the teacher.

Your employees represent you and your business, in order to avoid lawsuits and liability issues; you need to be sure you know everything you need about your new employee.

However, a bad reputation isn’t all the trouble neglecting this step can do. If you hire an accountant with a bad credit history, can you trust them with your finances?

Exactly. Running a background check isn’t only protecting your reputation but your business as well.

Create a safe work environment. It is your responsibility to provide your employees and customers with a safe environment to do business.

Whether it’s by using secure software, providing an insurance plan for employees, or running background checks on new hires. Safety steps are important in the survival of your business.

Read more about: How to ِApply for Live Scan Background Checks in California

Quick Tip! Honesty is the best policy.

As an applicant looking for a job, it is always best, to be honest with employers with anything in your past or on your application/ resume.

If you hide something from your record at the beginning and it is discovered later on, it’ll reflect badly on you and your work ethic.

This can also negatively affect how your employer and employees think about you and narrow your chances for future employment.

You can check what is on your record, yourself, by getting a record review done. This way you’ll see exactly what your employer will see if they ask you to get a background check done.

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All You Need to Know About The Livescan Certification Process

With the growing popularity of Live Scan technology, there has been a proliferation of companies claiming to provide quality Live Scan services. Consumers should be aware, however, that not all Live Scan service providers are equal. Many “mailbox” facilities offer fingerprinting services, for example, and they may even offer Live Scan, but consumers should only use facilities with fingerprinting technicians who have been certified by the Department of Justice.

All fingerprinting in California, whether performed manually or electronically, must be performed by certified rollers or by certain individuals who are exempt from the mandatory certificaton requirement. These individuals include law enforcement personnel, state employees, and employees of tribal gaming agencies.

The process for becoming certified involves several steps.

First, an interested individual must obtain the Fingerprint Rolling Certification Program Reference Handbook and learn about what is required for background checks and what circumstances may result in disqualification from the certification process.

He or she must then complete an Application for Certification, which requires the submittal of a Social Security number.

Next, applicants must undergo fingerprinting themselves at a certified Live Scan facility, since the Department of Justice will not accept manual hard card fingerprint impressions for Fingerprint Roller Certification submissions.

A valid photo ID and other up-to-date identification materials must be presented at the time of the fingerprinting. Payment of Live Scan fees must be submitted, along with a processing fee for a criminal history check, which is collected by the DOJ and the FBI, and a Certification fee. Individuals may then submit their application packets to the DOJ for review and acceptance.

Previous to January 1, 2010, non-exempt individuals were required to have their applications notarized, but a change in the legal code eliminated this requirement as of that date.

Certification by the Department of Justice requires interested individuals to submit to both state and federal background checks. The DOJ can suspend or even revoke the certifications if the need arises.

Using Certifix Live Scan for background and identity checks ensures that consumers are using  a qualified and trusted DOJ-certified provider.

Read more about : Live Scan Certification Classes

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