As a business owner, you have a full plate. One of your most important responsibilities is ensuring your staff is well-equipped and qualified to do their assigned jobs. Many employers opt to check into potential employees’ histories in a variety of ways, as part of the screening process. This can be accomplished from many different angles, and can sometimes even involve hiring an outside party to do the dirty work. Should your business hire a private eye to conduct background checks? Here are some things to consider:
Why Background Check?
Any time a job applicant fills out a job application, the tricky “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” section must be thoroughly and honestly completed. Because there is no way of knowing for sure just how truthful a candidate is without a background check, employers often resort to hiring professionals who can help them uncover any “dirt” that might be hidden from plain sight.
Scope of Business
The nature of your business operations should be a primary determinant in whether or not you need to take the step to hire a private investigator for your background checks. Positions of high responsibility, and that require high levels of trust, might justify such a need. For example, if your employees will be charged with handling large amounts of other peoples’ (or the company’s) money, caring for people who can’t necessarily speak for themselves, or representing your business ethic, then you might want to consider hiring a private eye to conduct background checks.
Things like investigations and background checks are highly regulated by the law, and specific regulations may vary from state to state. In some states, you may be able to handle a significant portion of any investigative effort yourself, while in other states, you may be legally obligated to hire a licensed professional to do any such investigation. It is a good idea to check with your local regulatory agency before deciding whether or not you should hire a private eye.
Words of Caution
Private eyes don’t always get it right. If you search the web, you will find a number of news stories in which a background check conducted by a professional investigator returned inaccurate, and in most cases, wrongly damaging results. Therefore, it’s important that if you do plan on hiring a private eye, you do your own extensive background check first, on the private eye. Read customer reviews on the web, call references, check into any Better Business Bureau complaints, and verify licensing through your local regulatory agency.
Background checks can be a risky business if you don’t first do your research and ensure that you are approaching the task logistically, and on the right side of the law. Keep all of these considerations in mind when determining whether or not you should hire a private eye, like NAI, to conduct background checks on your employees and potential employees.