How Can Running an Employment Background Check Protect Your Startup? 19 Apr 2019


You’ve been working hard to get your startup running. From sleepless nights spent catching up on work to missing out on your favorite TV shows to get more done, you’ve built your business from the ground up. You’re not alone when it comes to your work ethic. One survey found that 19 percent of entrepreneurs work 60 hours or more a week.

All this effort has paid off, and now your startup is doing so well it needs some new staff. Be careful! Your next hire could be the end of your business. How so? How could something essential for your startup bring about the downfall of all your hard work?

Hiring someone without vetting them puts you in a precarious position. You’ve given a complete stranger access to your most valuable assets, such as your company’s finances and reputation. Putting essential resources into someone else’s hands can spell disaster for your business.

Employing the wrong person could cause your business to collapse. How can you protect your startup during the hiring process? Let’s look into how running a background check on potential employees can protect your startup and still help you make new hires.

Screening Checks Guard Your Business Against Untrustworthy Employees  

First of all, you need to know that not all job candidates are worthy of your trust. Some job candidates misrepresent their qualifications. By making you think their work experience or educational history is more impressive than it truly is, they can get a job they’re not qualified to do. This leaves you with two major problems. The obvious issue is that the employee is unable to do the work needed. The second is that you now have an employee who isn’t afraid of lying to you.

Incompetent employees do more than mess up their work. They also disrupt other employees’ work. When a new hire does poor work, other people have to step in to fix it. Dealing with other people’s mistakes on top of their own can cause reliable employees to quit before you even know you have a problem.  

Consider what happened at one startup. The business was valued at over $300 million because of its stellar engineering team. Despite the startup’s incredible team, the company ruined its success by making a wrong hire. This new engineer was remarkably bad at his job. He was bad enough that the existing employees had to redo any “work” he did.

A combination of inferior work and bad personality caused the engineering team to fall apart. When management tried to replace those who left, the newer employees quit, as well. If the startup had vetted the bad hire properly, it would have preserved its fantastic team and found a competent job applicant to join them.

In fact, background checks do more than ensure a candidate is skilled enough for the job. They also show if a job applicant has the license or degree needed for the position. Some jobs require the applicant to have a professional license or a postsecondary degree. If you hire someone who doesn’t match the requirements, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble.    

Screening your applicant’s history can also uncover lies that could spell trouble for your startup. Verification checks confirm that candidates have the work history and education the job requires. They can assure you that the job applicant has the skills your startup needs to grow.  Weeding out incompetent or untrustworthy candidates isn’t all screening checks can do. Background checks go even further than that.

Background Checks Protect Your Startup from Risky Hires

Police officers arresting an employee

Risky hires can put your business in a dangerous situation. Job candidates with a criminal history could become a liability instead of an asset. Not only do your employees and clients need to be kept safe, but hiring an applicant with a violent past could lead to a lawsuit. Expensive legal fees are something many startups can’t afford.  

For example, Woven Metal Products was sued for negligent hiring after one employee shot and killed another staff member. The employee had a history of violence in the workplace. Before this, he had pulled guns on co-workers in other jobs. A background check could have shielded the slain employee from tragedy. The court ordered the business to pay $1 million to the victim’s family because of its failure to protect the employee.

Background checks reveal if a job applicant has a criminal history. By showing you the candidate’s criminal past, they enable you to make better hiring decisions. They can prevent negligent hiring claims from bankrupting your startup. Background checks can shield your business from more problems than negligent hiring. They can also protect you from violating your industry’s job requirements.

Background Checks Shield Your Business from Legal Problems

Certain job positions need more vetting than others. Things that wouldn’t raise a red flag for one job may matter more for another. For that reason, certain industries and job positions legally require specific background checks.

Industries that legally require specific checks include transportation, healthcare, finance, daycare, and education. These fields put workers into contact with sensitive information or vulnerable people. Giving this much power to a new employee can be disastrous if you don’t choose wisely.

One hospital learned this lesson the hard way when it hired someone with a history of harassing and threatening women. The new employee ended up abusing an underage patient he was treating. Consequently, the hospital had to face the terrifying reality that an employee had harmed a patient. Plus, it was sued for negligent hiring. If you’re hiring for one of these jobs, using industry-specific background checks can save your startup from drowning in legal fees.

By running a specialized background check, you ensure a job applicant is the right fit for the job. It can also protect you legally, especially if the industry is highly regulated. If you’re still wondering if background checks are right for your business, give them a try and check the results yourself.

Check It Out Yourself

You’ve put a lot of effort into building your startup. Don’t let a rotten hire ruin all your hard work. Protect your startup by using background checks to confirm applicants are as exceptional in real life as they look on paper.

As a startup, you may not have a formal hiring process, but you don’t need one. Having a professional background check run by a certified company can give you peace of mind that your new employees are who they say they are. A background check can ensure your new hire has the right credentials and qualifications and has nothing scary in their history. By screening your job applicants, you keep your startup safe and secure.