No matter how small your company is, hiring someone is a big decision. You’ll want to make that big decision on someone who is the right fit for the job; someone who works well with the team, knows the trade, and is trustworthy. Hiring is a stressful process for any group, large or small. Hiring someone who is not right for the position can drag your company. There are a wide variety of resources available online for small companies. Background check resources range from the most simple things, such as LinkedIn, to full-fledged services that assess a candidate’s history for you. These resources may or may not be reliable. That is the problem. Inconsistency and a lack of human oversight can produce sketchy results.
To understand what resources you need, understand first why you’re doing a background check. Say you have an amazing candidate walk in your door. Their resume says:
- they’ve worked for a competitor for years (they must have the industry knowledge)
- they went to the same college as you (they must be educated)
- their references will speak nothing but praise (everyone must get along with them).
Hiring someone based off a resume like this sounds good. Correct? Unfortunately, hiring someone based on what they present is not always getting the full picture. A resume and an interview is when this person demonstrates their absolute best side and behavior; you see what they’re showing you. A background check can get you into the nitty gritty of who they are, what their behavior is like, and what they’ve done in the past far better than any interview or resume.
The term ‘background check’ indicates a wide scope of information seeking. You can run an informal background check on someone yourself. This brings us to one of our more common resources, social media. In an era where everyone shares everything, checking out a potential employee’s social media is a great first step in weeding out candidates. Popping onto someone’s LinkedIn can show you what skills others endorse them in and peeping onto their Twitter can provide insight into what they decide to share with the world on the daily. Maybe you’ll find out they volunteer at an animal shelter once a week, and maybe you’ll find out they bash their current boss! Social media is a quick and easy way to get a sneak peek into a candidate’s life.
When you’re ready to move deeper into the hiring process with someone, consider a more in-depth resource. Some online companies are accredited with the BBB and NAPBS and offer a variety of packages that delve into the different needs that small companies have when searching for candidates. Companies such as this go further than a Google search and usually investigate your potential employee’s criminal records, employment history verification, and even driving records. Online companies that allow you to enter in a small bit of information and gain access to a candidate’s history can be extraordinarily beneficial when vetting potential future employees, but they do lack a personal connection.
In reality, the best way that any business can conduct background checks is through an accredited full-service company. Background checks are crucial to building your companies’ employee framework, and choosing the right path can be a make or break decision. Using simple tools such as social media will work on smaller scales, and online tools can be helpful when they are reliable. A full-service company will be able to dive deep into each candidate’s history and ensure that you walk away with the best person for the job every time.