Conduct a background check

Written by Allan Britnell

You’ve read the job candidate’s resume closely and you’ve conducted multiple interviews, but that’s not always enough to detect the embellishes and outright frauds — and there are tons of them out there. Jim Bennett, a former Mountie and founder of J.V. Bennett and Associates, a Vancouver-based investigation and security services company, offers some tips on how to get the real story on potential staffers.

Identity check The first step is to make sure your job candidate is really who he or she claims to be. Bennett suggests asking to see at least two pieces of official photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Reference check Call the employment and personal references the applicant provides. It’s surprising how many companies don’t take this basic step, says Bennett. And don’t just call the most recent — go back a couple of years.

Sign off on it Ask applicants to sign a waiver allowing you to conduct credit and criminal-record checks. “It’s going to indicate to the person being hired that you’re serious,” says Bennett. “Sometimes that will take people out of the circle you don’t want to deal with.”

Credit application Armed with the waiver, conduct a credit check on the job candidate. “It shows payment patterns, debt loads, how often they’ve moved. You’re looking for signs of stability,” says Bennett. Equifax and TransUnion are two agencies that provide this service in Canada.

Criminal code For a $30 to $40 fee and again with the waiver, you can have your local police department conduct a criminal records search that will tell you if an applicant has a criminal record. If the person has recently moved, Bennett suggests you do the search through the police department where they used to live.

Gun for hire If all this seems like more work than you have time for, there are a number of companies like J.V. Bennett across the country that will conduct a comprehensive background check for you. Look under “Investigators” in the Yellow Pages.

Read other pointers on How To contribute to your business success!

© 2003 Allan Britnell

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com