In the Trenches: The Complexity of Background Checks

I thought the hard part of hiring a new employee would be finding the right person. After all, now that I have a couple of full-timers on staff, I have a better sense of the kind of help I need. After an earnest search, I found a great match for the company and was ready to go. But I’ve hit a snag.

The new employee will handle sensitive client data, so I want to do a background check before I bring him on board. I haven’t ever done one before, and it turns out that background checks are a lot more complex than I thought . . .

First of all, I have to decide what kind of check to do. There are credit checks, criminal checks, drug tests, and more. Apparently, there are rules about the types of checks you may do for each new hire, depending upon the role he or she will play in the company. After barely scratching the surface on the topic, I decided that it was probably in my best interest to have a third party — a company that specializes in knowing how to handle this kind of thing — do the check for me.

The first place I turned was my payroll processor. It partners with a background check provider, so I thought outsourcing the job would be simple. I was wrong. The company wanted to charge me a service fee that would get tacked on to each payroll, giving me the right to request up to 30 or 60 annual background checks. That is completely useless for a small business like mine, which will need maybe one or two a year. I’m not paying that kind of premium!

So, I consulted the internet to try to find a one-off solution. The providers I found that seemed reputable don’t make getting information about them easy. I’d have to inquire and have a sales rep call me, blah blah blah. It’s frustrating not to be able to get some simple answers and find an affordable solution.

Do you have any ideas for me? What’s the best way for a small business to vet new hires?

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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4 comments
Camille Hardy
Camille Hardy

My company Global Business Screening can help you. We model our business around making the screening process easy and customized to address our client's specific needs. I would be more than happy to speak with you further to offer your business a solution. Please contact me at camille.hardy@gbsintel.com.

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  1. [...] In the Trenches: The Complexity of Background Checks – Intuit Small Business Blog I’m working on hiring a new employee and getting an easy background check is proving to be more elusive than it should be. (If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.) Seats none [...]

  2. [...] In the Trenches: The Complexity of Background Checks – Intuit Small BusinessAnother thing to worry about?: Rental car recalls. you should read this also … » Blog I’m working on hiring a new employee and getting an easy background check is proving to be more elusive than it should be. (If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.) [...]

  3. [...] by Brett Snyder on August 7, 2013 A little over a month ago, I wrote about my struggle to find the right way to do a background check on a new employee. Now that I’ve successfully completed one, I thought I’d share what I learned [...]

  4. [...] little over a month ago, I wrote about my struggle to find the right way to do a background check on a new employee. Now that I’ve successfully completed one, I thought I’d share what I learned [...]