Monday, April 21, 2014

Hiring an Intern? Don’t Skip the Background Check!


Do You do Background Checks on Your Interns?

It is once again that time of year when many college students are focused on finding that perfect internshipThey are searching for one that will give them the “real work experience” they need and test the skills they have worked so hard to attain.

They know that an internship can be a valuable learning experience and a way to get their foot in the door to their chosen field. Most have never worked in a professional environment and believe an internship will teach them the ins and outs.

But internships aren't only good for the interns!
Employers can also gain 
great benefits from hiring interns

Interns offers companies the chance to develop talent and get fresh insights into their business. There is also the chance of finding possible future hires.

However, Internships in general are being debated. The question revolves around whether, under current labor laws, interns should be paid. Recent lawsuits have been decided on the side of the interns and many believe this could result in a decrease of internship programs.  

Discover 3 Reasons Why You Should be Paying Your Interns here!


Despite this controversy, companies would do well to continue using interns. 
Not only is it a great way of gaining the valuable talents of new hires without a long term commitment, it is also an opportunity to “pay it forward” to the next generation of young professionals. 

However, as with any new hire, 
bringing interns into your company 
is not without some risk.

Employers usually minimize this risk by running background checks on their applicants. When it comes to interns, however, many don’t utilize this resource.


Since interns are, by nature, part-time hires, employers question whether investing time and money into screening them is necessary.  

To determine that, it is best to take a look at what your intern will be doing during their time with your company and fit the background check to the job!!


Before deciding whether you need to do a background check on your intern, ask yourself this:
  • Will your intern have access to proprietary or sensitive client information? 
  • Will they handle company funds or other valuable assets? 
  • Do they come in contact with children, the elderly, or other vulnerable individuals?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then screening potential interns is wise. 

In these cases, you should at the minimum run a criminal history check. Finding out if your potential intern has been convicted of violent crimes or theft is crucial. In addition, if a certain level of skill is necessary to complete their duties, then verifying that skill is also in your best interest. 

However, if your internship largely consists of shadowing existing employees or acting mainly as a “mentee”, then running a background check becomes more discretionary.

What employers need to keep in mind is that as with any hire, protecting your company, your employees, and your customers must come first

Using a background check as a tool to that end is always in a company’s best interest, even if it is on temporary employee.

The bottom line is this ~ 
background checks are designed to give you peace of mind. Whether that new hire is permanent or an intern, you have invested too much time, money, and hard work in your company to put it at risk. 

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