Have you ever wondered, “How can I protect my small business from lawsuit?"
There’s a real advantage to running background checks. In addition to building trust with your clients and putting their minds at ease, vetting your cleaning staff helps protect your small business. If your employees already undergo screening before entering clients’ homes, we’ve got exciting news about online background checks. Certn’s online checks help speed up your screening process so they can get to work faster.
If you’re not already running some kind of check, in this blog post we also cover reasons why background checks make good business sense. In a rush to hire, you might skip this step, but Certn’s checks won’t slow you down.
5 Basics of FCRA Compliant Background Checks
If you run a cleaning business, here’s what you need to know about background checks to protect your small business from lawsuit:
Abide by Ban the Box Policies - Many US states have laws that dictate when you can ask about someone’s criminal record in a job application and when you can run a background check. Advocacy groups in Canada and the UK have petitioned for similar policies. US “Ban the Box” legislation basically means that employers shouldn’t ask about criminal history in the application process – they must remove the checkbox from their application form that asks whether individuals have a criminal record.
Follow Adverse Action Procedures - If you intend to turn down a candidate based on the results of their check, you’re legally required to follow the adverse action procedures governed by the Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA). It’s a two-step process with pre-adverse action (before the decision is made) and adverse action (once the decision is made). These procedures include candidate notification, a waiting period for the candidate to respond, and notification of the final decision. Certn’s Compliance Library contains sample letters and our regional compliance experts can help you navigate the adverse action procedures compliantly. (We can even help you automate the process for even more time savings!)
Choose the Right Check Type - Background screening encompasses many types of background checks. If you’ll be delivering a service in the home, a 7-Year USA Unlimited County Criminal Record Check is probably a good place to start. For US residents, this check will reach out to the state criminal agencies in every state where the candidate has lived during the last seven years as well as the national crime database (including the national sex offender registry). In addition to this, you might want to run a Motor Vehicle Record Check if they’ll be driving a company car.
Get Permission - Before pulling a background check, you must request and receive written permission from the candidate. At a candidate's request, you must provide all the information obtained.
Do Your Due Diligence - Ensure that your screening vendor follows applicable federal, state, and local laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the US. To do this, ask them about their compliance processes and measures.
Background Check Due Diligence
Certn is FCRA compliant so you can have the confidence that the Certn background check process you put in place meets the FCRA standards for the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information. We also comply with all federal, state, and local laws, and can advise you where certain checks are restricted to protect your small business from lawsuit. For example, some states restrict the use of credit reports in hiring decisions and pre-employment drug testing.
Choosing the Best Background Check Company
In addition to making sure your background screening vendor is FCRA compliant, to protect your small business from lawsuit it’s important to ask questions like:
How do you ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information collected?
Do you offer different levels of checks based on specific industries or positions?
What measures do you take to ensure data security and confidentiality?
Here’s the full list of 25 questions to ask for choosing the best background screening vendor.
About Background Checks
A cleaning services company with a strong reputation for safety, reliability, and trustworthiness is more likely to attract and retain clients. You already know this.
By implementing FCRA compliant background checks as part of your hiring process, your company can demonstrate its commitment to providing quality services and prioritize the safety and well-being of your clients. Win-win.
If you’re not already running checks, our background screening experts have weighed in with answers to frequently asked questions about checks:
Q: What’s a background check?
A background check is a process of investigating and verifying an individual's criminal, professional, and personal history. It typically involves reviewing various sources of information such as: criminal databases, employment history, educational background, professional references, and public records databases.
Q: Why do employers perform background checks?
Background checks are commonly performed by employers to evaluate an individual's suitability for employment. Examples of checks for employment may include criminal record checks, employment history verifications, education verification, reference checks, and social media screening.
Q: Do I need a background check?
Whether or not you need a background check depends on the specific circumstances and requirements of the situation you’re in. In some environments, they’re required for regulatory reasons. This likely isn’t the case with your cleaning business, but many employers like you perform checks as part of the hiring process to ensure the accuracy of information provided by candidates, assess their qualifications, and ensure a safe and trustworthy work environment.
Q: Are background checks the law?
You’re subject to a possible lawsuit if you commit negligent hiring. Negligent hiring means that the employer failed to properly screen the employee, resulting in the hiring of someone with a dangerous or untrustworthy character. You can defend against negligent hiring claims by doing pre-employment checks. Although it may seem like an added cost, you’ll be thankful you spent the money now, rather than making a costly decision that could've been avoided.
Q: Do I need a background check to be bonded and insured?
Likely yes. Typically, to be bonded and insured, you and your employees need to undergo a background check.
Bonding and insurance are important safeguards for businesses and individuals that provide services to protect against potential financial losses caused by theft, damage, or other liabilities. To obtain a bond and insurance coverage, the bonding or insurance company will usually require a background check as part of the application process. It's advisable to contact a reputable bonding or insurance company to inquire about their specific requirements and procedures for obtaining bonding and insurance coverage – they’ll be able to guide you through the application process and provide you with the necessary information regarding background checks.
Q: What does a background check show?
How well do you know the cleaners you hire? Here are a few items that background checks can uncover:
A false Social Security Number;
A false driver’s license number;
A false address; and/or
Listing a false degree and/or providing a false diploma from a "diploma mill.”
Here’s more information on what background checks reveal.
Q: How long do background checks take?
How long a check takes depends on the complexity of the check, the resources available to conduct the check, and the responsiveness of the sources of information. Generally, background checks can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete. However, it's possible to speed up the process using technology and automation. Clients who request checks using Certn's free SMS feature have applicants respond 28 hours faster.
Q: What background check provider do most companies use?
Over 10,000 clients trust Certn, including thousands of cleaning services companies. Certn is revolutionizing background screening with the easiest-to-use online platform, 24/7 customer support, and fast and compliant results from global databases.
Online Background Check Service
Don't wait any longer to experience the benefits of faster, easier online checks.
Background checks play an important role in ensuring the integrity, safety, and reputation of cleaning services companies. They help establish trust, protect clients, minimize risks, and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism and quality service.
If you’re ready to take advantage of Certn for your business, book a demo to talk to one of our background screening experts. Our team will work with you to understand your specific needs and recommend customized solutions to meet your company’s unique requirements. By using a trusted third-party vendor, you don’t have to worry about the intricate legal compliance requirements – that’s our job!