You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business owner who doesn’t want to staff their enterprise with the best possible applicants. However, despite these lofty aspirations, a staggering number of small businesses place employee screening on the backburner. Far too often, businesses fail to conduct background checks, opting instead to take applicants at their word and overlook a litany of red flags. Any enterprise looking to refine its hiring practices would do well to consider the benefits of proper screening.  

You’d be hard-pressed to find a small business owner who doesn’t want to staff their enterprise with the best possible applicants. However, despite these lofty aspirations, a staggering number of small businesses place employee screening on the backburner. Far too often, businesses fail to conduct background checks, opting instead to take applicants at their word and overlook a litany of red flags. This can be particularly problematic, given that 40% of job applications contain some level of false information. Any enterprise looking to refine its hiring practices would do well to consider the benefits of proper screening.

Protecting Your Employees 

Taking applicant screening seriously can prove invaluable in keeping your employees safe. For example, if a jobseeker has a history of physical assault, it’s important that prospective employers be made aware of this. Similarly, if an applicant has a track record of harassment and/or sexual misconduct, employers should seek out the facts. While a criminal background shouldn’t preclude people from finding gainful employment, having a history of certain types of crime can make one a poor fit for certain jobs. So, if you genuinely believe that welcoming an applicant onto the team will place the safety of your workforce at risk, it’s probably a good idea to start considering other candidates. 

Not only can proper screening practices protect your workforce, they can also protect you. If one of your employees is physically assaulted or harassed on the job, your enterprise may find itself in hot water legally. Screening – and pre-screening – can help weed out potentially problematic hires before such incidents come to pass. If thorough screening is a relatively new practice for your business, reaching out to NAPBS accredited background firms is likely to prove worthwhile. 

Ensuring That Crucial Roles are Properly Performed 

Of course, not every less-than-ideal applicant is hiding a criminal history. Many candidates simply overstate or misrepresent their qualifications for certain roles. More often than not, these individuals don’t consider the long-term consequences of their actions, believing that if they get the job, they’ll just learn on their feet. Unsurprisingly, placing an unqualified applicant in an important role is practically guaranteed to compromise the quality of your business’s output. While it’s possible to learn the intricacies of certain jobs as you go, these positions are generally entry-level and don’t require much in the way of experience. Conversely, placing an inexperienced applicant in a highly specialized job stands to create chaos within your enterprise. Just remember – acing an interview doesn’t necessarily mean a candidate is qualified or prepared to perform their desired role. As Business Week reports, 16% of executive resumes feature material omissions and/or false academic claims, and the last thing your enterprise needs is a prominent decision-maker with fudged credentials.     

Upholding Your Professional Reputation 

If your enterprise doesn’t engage in proper applicant screening, you’re liable to attract scores of unqualified and under-qualified applicants, and many of these individuals are likely to cruise through the hiring process. As previously stated, staffing key positions with applicants who have no business being in them stands to compromise the overall quality of the work your business produces, and it won’t be long before clients begin taking notice. Needless to say, if your enterprise develops a reputation for producing poor-quality work and hiring applicants who possess a limited understanding of their desired roles, you may see a sharp downtick in new business. To make matters worse, in 36.2% of occupational fraud cases, business are unable to recover the fiduciary losses.   

Avoiding Awkward and Uncomfortable Situations 

Many unqualified applicants don’t make conscious efforts to mislead prospective employers. Some businesses misinterpret applicants’ qualifications, education levels and work histories, leading them to make unwise hiring choices. In addition to being bad for your business, failure to properly screen candidates can place you and your employees in a plethora of awkward and uncomfortable situations. For instance, unqualified applicants who are placed in roles for which they’re unprepared are likely to feel perpetually stressed and out of their depth. Furthermore, walking these individuals through their job duties and picking up their slack will create additional work for the rest of your staff and potentially result in feelings of resentment. In other words, no one in your enterprise benefits from this type of arrangement.    

No small business should regard applicant screening as an afterthought. While making hiring decisions based purely on instinct may take less time and require less effort, it’s hardly conducive to finding the best people. As such, if your enterprise’s hiring practices leave a lot to be desired, there’s no time like the present to realize the benefits of screening.   
 

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