Showing posts with label background check best practices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label background check best practices. Show all posts

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Learn Why You need to Do More than an Online Background Check

Online Background checks have their place!
Using them as a “jumping off” point to your employment background check can yield some valuable information. For example, you may discover places where your subject has lived and worked that were not mentioned on their application or resume.

But, for us, it stops there. 
Using the results of these “instant” checks exclusively to help you hire is not only unwise, it is bad business!
In fact, the majority of these online sites actually have a disclaimer that the results should not be used to determine employment.

So why would you take the risk? 
Instead, it is crucial that if you have opted for an online, “instant”, search on your applicant, then you need to follow-up with that all important Second Step ~ additional verification!

Additional verification is the key “to ensuring you get accurate and up-to-date information on the subject of your search. 

Checking any information found through a database search against real court records is crucial. It is truly the single best way to determine whether any criminal record found actually belongs to your subject.

It will also help you determine whether the record is complete. A good record should contain details of the charges, final disposition, and sentence. If no disposition is listed, then you will be able to determine if it is an active case where no disposition is yet recorded.

Databases may also not contain all the information you need. There are counties that either do not report their case information in a timely manner or not at all. That can result in major holes in your report”, excerpt from “Don’t be Fooled ~ Why You need to Know what is Missing from Your Online Search”!

Using inaccurate or incomplete information to make your employment decision is not only unfair to your applicant, it can hurt your company!

Relying solely on these online searches for your background check can have serious consequences for your business.

3 Top Dangers of Online Background Checks:
Inaccurate Information - Online checks can include information that doesn’t really belong to your applicant. Common names and a lack of identifiers included in the report (full name, date of birth, SSN) can cause problems when trying to conclusively match them to your applicant. Even the inclusion of legally expunged records is an issue. Many databases are not updated frequently enough to remove these types of records.

Missing Information - Many online checks are incomplete. They often contain no final disposition when it comes to criminal cases. And relying on arrests only when it comes to making a hiring decision is unwise. The case may have been dismissed or the person found not guilty. In addition, not all criminal cases are even included in these online databases. This may lead you to hire without all the facts.

Potential Lawsuits - Solely relying on online databases to make your hiring decisions can open you up to potential litigation. Any inaccurate or incomplete records used can be the basis of a future lawsuit from the rejected applicant or even the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)!

Go to the Source before Making Your Hiring Decisions! “Tweet This”!

The best advice is to make no hiring decision before you Go to the Source!
Taking this extra step will ensure you get the best information possible from your employment background check to help you hire safely and effectively!

And API can Help! Contact Us for more information on our Background Investigation services and how they can help You and Your Business!

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Why You Need to Contact Us Before You Hire!

Are You ready to Grow Your Business?
Making more informed hiring decisions with a comprehensive employment background check is the place to start!  

Whether you are thinking about hiring full-time, part-time, seasonal help, or even taking on a partner or sub-contractor, API is here to help you! Our services are designed to make your hiring process transparent, compliant, and cost-effective.

Why should You Hire API?
Our Knowledge and Experience
Since 1996, we have made it our mission to use the most direct, comprehensive resources and practice the best methods for getting the information our clients need. 

An employment background check is only as good as the verifying sources used. At API, we don’t rely on online databases to obtain your information. We directly contact the courts, employers, and educational institutions needed. Our reason? It is the best way to ensure you receive the most accurate and up-to-date results! 

We stay Informed on Hiring Laws and Regulations
Using API will take the worry out of your compliance and discrimination questions. We make it our duty to keep up with all the latest EEOC, FCRA, and federal, state, and local compliance regulations.

We Keep Your Confidentiality and Protect Your Employee Information
When companies conduct background checks internally, applicants and existing employees may question the confidentiality of their personal information. They may wonder who actually has access to their records. This can create mistrust.

By outsourcing your background checks, your employee records are kept more confidential. Access is limited to the screening company you hire and the results are given directly to you. Only those within your company that you choose will ever have access to that information. Check out our Privacy Policy to find our more!

We are Your Barrier against Discrimination Claims
API will act as your buffer against seeing the things you shouldn’t see or consider in making a hiring decision. This includes things like criminal or civil cases where your applicant was never convicted or protected information pertaining to their race, age, sex, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.

Remember, what you see cannot be unseen. By providing you with only the information to which you are legally permitted, we will help protect you from possible discrimination litigation and the possibility of bias in hiring.

We can save you Time, Money, and Resources
Using our services won’t break the bank! We are here to listen to your needs and will work with you to determine the right scope for your background check. We will never try to sell you on screening services you don’t need. Our goal will always be to fit the background check to the job!

Take a look at what API has to offer!
Each of our services is designed to meet your hiring needs. Our criminal and civil record checks are done directly through the courts. We also go to the source when it comes to verifying education and employment records. We believe that is the best way to ensure you get up to date and accurate results.

Find out more about what we can do for you on our Background Investigation & Applicant Services page!

At API, our passion is helping businesses…and our clients know it! Take a look at what they have to say!

We believe in what we do and we care about you and your business. Our biggest goal is to help you succeed ~ it is what drives us and it is behind everything we do and why we do it!
That is what helps set us apart.

Let API help you too! Contact Us Today for a consultation ~ we would love to get to know about you and your business!

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Tips to Help You Use Your Background Check Report to Hire!

Do You know how to use the information found in your employment background check report? 

As an employer, you know "Why" employment screening is so important to a quality hiring process and you should also "How" to choose the best background check company for you. 

But when it comes time to actually USE the information you receive in your background check reports are you, like many employers,  stymied?
Employers and Hiring managers often worry about running afoul of local, state, and federal employment laws. Even ever changing EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) regulations cause angst.

The bottom line is ~ it doesn't have to be that way!
While we addressed how finding the right screening company solves some of these issues in Part 2 of this series, that does not mean that is where it ends.

As an employer, you also need to take into account how these laws and regulations can impact your hiring policies and process.

This is where knowing exactly WHAT information contained in your background check report can legally be used when making your hiring decision is vital! 

Before even considering making a new hire, you should work in conjunction with your background check provider to make sure your hiring policies are compliant. Avoiding and eliminating anything that could be considered discriminatory is key.

Any references in your job descriptions, help wanted postings, or anywhere within your hiring policies to age, sex, race, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or anything else considered a "protected class" are taboo.  

Your Background Check Report is the Key to Hiring Safely and Effectively! "Tweet This"

Your dedication to hiring fairly and in compliance is even more important when it comes time to use your background check to make your final hiring decision.

Your background check report should be treated like your best friend. It is there to give you the honest truth and to help you make hiring decisions that are best for you and your company.
That is why it makes sense to use the information contained in that report wisely.

At the very least you will want to cross-check the information in your report with what was supplied by your applicant.
Do dates and title of employment mesh? Was the degree stated in their resume actually earned?

If you find that your applicant was honest about the information listed in their resume or application it can go a long way towards getting the employer / employee relationship off to the right start.

But it doesn't stop there.

The majority of employment screenings include criminal court record checks. And this is where you need to tread carefully. 

If you find that one of your applicants has a prior criminal record, then there are definite guidelines you need to follow! 
Only under specific circumstances, such as where an industry is prohibited by law from hiring an ex-offender, can you simply dismiss from consideration anyone with a criminal record.

Instead, if your applicant has a criminal past, you need to first ask yourself the following:
  1. How recent was/were the conviction(s)? 
  2. How is this record relevant to your open position?
Your answers to these questions will help determine your next steps.

You can find more details on these questions and about how you can safely use your employment background check results in "You Have Your Background Check Report, Now What?"!

But what do you do if you decide that what you learn may keep you from offering your candidate the job?

This is where you need to understand your applicant's rights. If adverse information found in your candidate's background check report may prevent them from being hired, you must:
  • Notify the applicant, in writing, of your determination and provide them a copy of the Background Check Report.
  • Give the applicant the opportunity to correct the information in the Background Check Report or for them to offer information to mitigate the report’s findings.
  • Determine whether any additional information you receive from the applicant will reverse your initial decision to exclude the applicant from hire or promotion.
  • Notify the applicant of your final determination.
Only after you have complied with these steps can you legally make your final hiring decision.

In addition, it is vital that you document this entire process! You need to keep detailed notes as to what decisions you made concerning the hiring of your applicant and when you made them. Good records will help protect your company in the event of litigation. You will find more information on safe hiring in "Tips to Help Your Business Fly Under the EEOC Radar".

Remember ~ Your background check report is there to help you. What you find there can help determine your applicant's honesty and decide whether they are qualified for the job. It is knowing in advance "What" you can legally do with the information in that report that makes all the difference!

Want to learn more about how Background Checks can help You and Your Business Succeed? Contact UsAPI will work with you to develop a sound and compliant hiring program especially for your company!

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Are You Afraid of Background Checks? They are Not as Scary as You Think!

"Background Checks are Great, but I don’t want one done on me!!!".
This is something we hear quite often.

You want companies to do background checks. You want employees who work in schools and in hospitals screened. You want people who work in our homes and in our communities checked. You believe screening employees makes a workplace safer.

But when it comes to having one done on you, the need for a background check suddenly doesn’t seem so clear!

Background Checks are Not as Scary as You Think!  “Tweet This”

Getting an employment background check done should not be a scary proposition!

This fear often arises out of a lack of understanding about what a background check really entails. Applicants are confused about what will be checked, worried about their privacy being compromised, and don’t know what an employer is really looking for!

When it comes to background checks, we believe that knowledge and open communication are the answer to quashing those fears.

First off, all applicants need to know that once you get to the background check stage, the employer WANTS to HIRE YOU!

By that time, they have put in time, money, and energy to advertise the position, wade through resumes, and interview, often multiple times, interesting prospects.

Only then will they make you a conditional offer of employment and proceed with the background check.

Employers do not just assume that you have a dangerous criminal record or that you have lied on your resume. In fact, it is just the opposite. A background check is simply the final step to ensure they are making the right decision”; excerpt from my article “Surprise ~ Doing a Background Check Means They Want to Hire You!”.

Another concern you may have about background checks is that they feel like an invasion of privacy. This could not be further from the truth!

There are laws and guidelines that govern the use of background checks to make a hiring decision. These must be followed by all employers.

It is first important to understand that no legitimate employment background check can be done without your full, informed consent. This requires a signed release. Second, you must be notified, in writing, of your rights when it comes to the results of the background check. And finally, if negative information is found, you have the right to mitigate or deny the findings.

Employers are also required to handle your personal and private information in a secure manner. This means having a sound record protection policy.

Learn more about Background Checks and Privacy issues in “Do You Believe Background Checks are an Invasion of Your Privacy?”.

Employers also bear part of the responsibility in alleviating their applicant’s fears about background checks.
It is up to you to put them at ease. The perfect start is for you to be completely up front about what you are checking for and why!

Be clear about the entire process. Explain the steps you will take, the scope of the check, and even the expected time frame until completion. 

For a reference to what companies screen for and the reason behind it, please check out “Background Checks ~ What Companies are Really Looking For!”.

It is also important that you don’t forget to explain the possibility of delays and why they occur. Slow response time, checking physical court records, and many other things can lengthen the process. Your applicants need to understand this. The best thing you, as an employer, can do is to keep them in the loop.

Eliminating the fear of employment background checks takes a team effort. Both applicants and employers need to do their part. Job seekers should educate themselves and Employers need to be open and communicative about the entire process. Only then will both parties find looking for a job and hiring less stressful!
We can help Job Seekers and Small Businesses through the Hiring Process. Find out more by visiting our 

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

Hiring? Why You Need to Verify their Degree First!

Imagine this….
A dean of a highly respected university for 28 years, who claimed to have both a bachelor’s and master’s, is suddenly found to have no degree at all.

Or how about a newly hired university head football coach that never received the master’s degree he claimed, and in fact never even earned a bachelor’s. 

Well, you don’t have to imagine this happening. Both are true! (Source1)

The first was a dean at MIT who, in 2007, resigned from the university when her deception was finally uncovered.

The second was hired by Notre Dame to coach their legendary football team. The coach had also claimed to have been a standout player himself before it was discovered that he had never even played in a single game.

Both stories ended up in the news and brought a large amount of unwanted publicity to their employers.

And while someone you hire who lies about their education might not make national news like these examples did, it can still pose numerous problems for your company.

It can lead to you hiring someone unqualified for the job.  Or, when discovered, can tarnish your companies reputation with your clients and peers.

But it didn’t have to be that way for MIT and Notre Dame, and it definitely doesn’t have to be that way for You and Your Small Business.

A simple Education verification check was all it would have taken to uncover the truth.
The Top Resume Lie? Education! 
“Tweet This”
Education is one of the most frequently embellished ~ face it, lied about ~ items on a resume. The lie can range from the type of degree earned to whether a degree was even earned at all.

And if having a degree, especially a specific degree, is necessary to the job you are hiring for, then making sure your applicant indeed fills that requirement is good business.

For some jobs, having a degree may not be necessary. In that case companies are more concerned that their applicants have at least earned their high school diplomas or a GED.

Either way, it is important that you take the time to verify that the education listed by your applicant is true.

It should be the first step in making sure they have the training your position needs

Knowing exactly what your job requires first is key. That is where a good job description comes in.  
Taking the time to really think about the skills, education, and experience it takes to do the job well is important. Once you know this, you can be much more clear about the criteria your applicant must fill.

Once you have determined the education needed, then you have to take the next step and verify that any applicant you take beyond the interview level absolutely has that level of education.

This ensures you are considering only the candidates who fit the bill.

Another benefit to verifying your applicant’s education is that, if true, it can go a long way towards developing a favorable impression of them and determining whether or not they are honest.

It is also important that you understand what doing an education verification entails.
Most often, this check simply involves verifying whether a degree was earned, what type of degree it was, and when it was awardedLess often an employer may request an actual transcript. The transcript would include classes taken and grades earned.

Both types of verifications require that the applicant signs a release, which is recommended per EEOC and FCRA guidelines in any background check. This ensures that your applicant understands a background check is being done and agrees to the release of any information during the scope of the check.

Most times, before any information can be obtained, a copy of this signed release must be provided to the source agency.  This is because graduation and degree information is not public record.

It used to be that degree verifications were done through the institution’s registrar’s or guidance offices. Now most colleges and universities use an outside agency to verify degrees. There are even some high schools who use a verifying warehouse. Doing this saves them from hiring extra personnel to handle these verification requests.  

Some verification results are instantaneous upon receipt of the request, signed release, and payment of an access fee. The amount of this fee varies.

Other requests require additional time. This can be due to incomplete records from the school, making it necessary to contact them directly. It can also be from inaccurate information supplied by your applicant. Other factors can be a glitch in the system, errors in entering the information into the database, or if you are trying to verify older records. 

When ready, results will either show the degree as listed being earned, and will supply date and type of degree, or that the degree could not be verified.

If a degree is not verified, it can be for a few possible reasons ~ 
  • an error (from school or verifying institution), 
  • any unpaid school fees (library fees, unpaid balances, etc.) 
  • or, the worst case scenario, that your applicant lied on their resume.
If the degree is not verified, you need to make no hiring decision until you:
  • Notify your applicant of the negative results
  • Give Your Applicant a chance to explain or dispute the results
If your applicant believes the results are in error, always 
recommend they contact the school directly to get an explanation.

Only after you have completed the above actions, and get any additional information the applicant may have concerning their degree, should you make your employment decision.

Even then, you must notify your applicant in writing of what you decide. Remember, it is in your best interest to document the entire process.

There is no doubt about it, verifying your applicant’s education information makes sense.  It costs you very little time and money, but can save you from the problems and embarrassment of making a bad hire.
It is simply Good Business!

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API will Help You Hire Safely and Effectively for Your Small Business.

Contact API for a Free Consultation!

Do You have Questions about Hiring and Background Checks?  You can find answers on our FAQ PageFind out more About Us  and Our Services too!

Source1:  People Publicly Shamed for Lying on Their Resumes

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Individual Assessments ~ What They Are & Why You Need to Use Them in Your Small Business!

#BackgroundChecks #Hiring #SmallBiz
No two people are exactly alike. They are made up of unique backgrounds and circumstances, and even specific life experiences. And this could not be more true than when it comes to a criminal past.
Even when two people have been charged with the same crime, not all things are equal. Things like ~ were they arrested, but not convicted?, how long ago did the crime occur?, were there any relevant mitigating circumstances?  

Understanding these differences and accepting them is important ~ especially when it comes to hiring.
This is where Individualized Assessments come into play.

In our view, these assessments are an inevitable extension of “Ban the Box”. They are an integral part of the movement to eliminate the immediate disqualification of ex-offenders from being hired.  

Why Your Small Business Needs to Use Individual Assessments Now! Tweet This

Individualized Assessments are used when the background check on your applicant uncovers a "red flag" or a criminal past that may keep you from hiring them. And when this happens, there are specific steps you must follow to be compliant with EEOC guidelines.

These steps involve informing your applicant, in writing, that they may not be hired due to their background check findings; giving them a chance to explain or mitigate your findings; and assessing the additional information provided before making a final hiring decision. 
The challenge for anyone involved in the hiring process ~ from human resource departments, to hiring managers, to company owners ~ is to use what you find out during these assessments correctly and fairly.

In most cases, your hiring decision will rest on 2 factors ~ whether the mitigating information supplied by your applicant is relevant and whether their history has a direct bearing on their ability to do the job safely and effectively. 

When your applicant is given the chance to explain the circumstances of these "red flags" or their criminal history, or to refute the background check findings, they are essentially being given the opportunity to state their case

Relevant information supplied by your applicant could include:
  • Any proof that the background check information is incorrect.
  • Any mitigating facts surrounding the findings.
  • Any efforts at rehabilitation, education, or training since the offense.
  • Any employment or character references.
  • Any evidence of successful employment history pre and post conviction.
If your applicant does not respond to your attempt to gain additional information on their history, then you are within your rights to make your hiring decision without it.

It is also important that you consider whether the information uncovered is relevant to the job and if using it to deny employment is a decision of “business necessity”.
When it comes to a Criminal History, Factors You Need to Consider Include:
  • The nature and gravity of the offense.
  • The time that has passed since the offense.
  • Their age at the time of the offense.
  • The nature of the job.
In addition, you should only consider offenses for which your applicant was convicted, not just arrested.

The EEOC guidelines state the importance of considering convictions, not arrests, in your hiring decisions. In their estimation, arrests do not necessarily indicate guilt. Convictions, on the other hand, can be treated as evidence of guilt. 

Find out more about the importance of using Convictions, not Arrests, in your Hiring decisions, Here!

However, even when only considering convictions, the EEOC still requires Individualized Assessments. 

This is why it is so important that you have sound policies in place to cover the use of Individualized Assessments in your hiring practices. Doing this well in advance of placing your “Help Wanted” sign is key.

And any time you can put hiring policies in place to keep your company from the notice of the EEOC, it is a good thing!

You can find additional tips to help you stay under the EEOC’s radar Here!

What You Should Do:
  • Be Sure to Draft and Finalize Steps You will Take During Individualized Assessments
  • Be Sure all the Steps Comply with EEOC and all State/Local Guidelines
  • Be Sure any Decisions to Disqualify an Applicant from Employment is Reasonable and Specific to the Job
  • Be Sure to Notify the Applicant, in Writing, of all Decisions Made Regarding the Background Check & Your Hiring Decisions
  • Be Sure to Keep Detailed Records of all Steps Taken
Following these will ensure that You are complying with all aspects of the Individualized Assessment and document the steps taken during your decision-making process.

Individual Assessments ~ Fair to Your Small Business & Your Applicants!  “Tweet This

At API, we believe that using Individualized Assessments as part of your hiring process is a good thing.  

They keep a strong balance between the rights of Your Company to hire safe and qualified employees, and the chance for ex-offenders and applicants with other "red flags" to gain employment.

Using Individual Assessments brings common sense and second chances into the hiring equation ~ without resulting in any excessive burdens on Your Company or Your Applicant!

Remember ~ No two life stories are exactly alike. People are more than what is written on paper and they can grow and change. Bringing that view into your Hiring process makes sense. And this is where Individualized Assessments come in!

Are You Ready to Use Individual Assessments in Your Small Business?

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Looking for more Tips & Information to help Your Small Business Navigate Hiring and Background Checks? Visit our Website to discover more About Us !
Let’s Connect! Visit our Contact page with links to our email and Social Sites!  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dangers to Your Small Business Pt. 1 - Employees Who Steal

Hiring the right employees for your Small Business is an important factor in your success.  But what happens when instead of being an asset, that employee actually turn out to be a liability, or even dangerous?

In this 3 Part Series, we will take a look at Employees who can put Your Small Business in Danger. First up ~ Employees Who Steal!

Employee theft is not uncommon. Billions of dollars are lost each year by employee theft, fraud, and embezzlement. And many times the employee that you least expect is responsible.

While workplace theft is harmful to any business, the effect that it has on a Small Business can be devastating.

Take a look at these Employee Theft Statistics released by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners* on September 7, 2015:
  • Percent of Annual Revenue Lost to Theft or Fraud     7%
  • Percent of Employees Who have Stolen at Least Once from their Employer     75%
  • Percent of Employees Who Have Stolen at Least Twice from their Employer     37.5%
  • Percent of Business Bankruptcies Caused by Employee Theft         33%
The statistic on businesses that go bankrupt due to employee theft was the most startling.  The reality is that many Small businesses operate on a small budget. They simply cannot withstand the loss of revenue or inventory. Even one act of theft can have an impact on a small business's bottom line.  

And as a result, your dream of running your own business is put in jeopardy. 

Employee Theft can Ruin Your Small Business!  “Tweet This

Being aware of both how to spot employee theft, and what you can do about it if discovered, can help.

But first, it is important to know some common reasons why employee theft occurs in the first place.

Why employees steal:
Most frequently, employee theft is a result of personal financial problems. A gambling debt or escalating expenses like increasing mortgage payments or medical bills, can all be a factor.

Your employee might turn to stealing from your company as an easy solution to their problems. They will convince themselves that it is a “victimless” crime, that it won’t harm your business, and even that they run little risk of getting caught.

However, no matter what rationale they may use to justify their behavior, stealing from your company can have a lasting effect on the foundation of your small business.

If you are really paying attention, the warning signs are there.
Here are some tips to help you 
spot employee theft 
in your own small business. 

Most employee theft will occur in your accounting, bookkeeping, and finance departments. You will need to be aware of any significant changes in the behavior of any employees who work in those departments. Anything that gives you pause or raises your internal red flag is where you will need to focus your vigilance.    

Look for these signs:  
  • Employees Who are Suddenly Stressed or Complain about Finances ~
Complaining about having trouble paying bills or even difficulty providing for necessities (food, clothing, rent/mortgage).
  • Employees Who are Living Beyond their Means ~ 
Suddenly bragging about big ticket purchases (luxury cars, vacations), a significant jump in the quality of their work wardrobe, unusual spending, etc.
  • Employees Who Insist on Working Solo or Who Never Take Vacations ~ 
Even when swamped, they insist that they can handle the work load alone and need no one else's input or help. This should raise a strong red flag, especially if they handle your books. The bottom line, they fear being discovered if anyone else has access.  
  • Employees Who Suddenly Change their Work Habits ~ 
All of a sudden, they are coming in early and staying late. You find that they are now the first ones in the office and the last to leave. This should only be a concern if it is something out of character.  
  • Employees Who Submit Questionable Travel Expenses ~ 
This is not a cause for alarm if it is a one time thing. But employees who persistently turn in travel expenses that are missing receipts or that exceed amounts allowable for travel or client dinners need to be checked. 
  • Unusual or Persistent Accounting Discrepancies ~ 
Are you suddenly experiencing problems meeting payroll? Are there inconsistencies between an employees’ work hours and hours paid?
  • An Ongoing or Sudden Problem with Petty Cash ~ 
Is the amount of cash on hand being spent more quickly than usual? Does the amount fail to reconcile against the withdrawals listed in a ledger or collected receipts?
  • Inventory is Missing ~
The inventory of products you sell does not match against your books or receipts for what is being sold. Even if small items like office supplies (paper, pens, folders, printing supplies) that you should have in storage are missing or being used more quickly than usual.  

While some of these things 
might not seem like a huge deal, 
over time they can have a significant impact 
on your bottom line, 
especially for a Small Business. 
Even theft by a single employee can harm you.
#SmallBiz #BackgroundChecks
Tips can Help You Prevent Employee Theft in Your Business:
  • Screen Job Applicants Thoroughly   
This should be your first step in helping to prevent employee theft. Before hiring, a Background Check should be performed on any applicants you are considering for hire. It should, at the very least, include a criminal history check. As the position warrants, you may need to look at civil court records, driver license violations, as well as verification of education, past employment (including reasons for leaving), and references.

Find out more about fitting the Background Check to the Job Here!
  • Develop a Strong “Zero Tolerance” Policy on Employee Theft 
This should be your second step when it comes to helping prevent employee theft. Write a policy that lists anything you consider to be theft and the consequences of the theft being discovered. You also need to be clear that you intend to file charges with your local police department if you find any employee is stealing from your company.

Be sure to put your policy in writing and distribute it to all new and existing employees. Have them sign a statement that they have read and understand your policy.

Also set up a system where employees can anonymously report suspected incidents of employee theft ~ and be ready to follow up on them.

The key is to send the message that employee theft will not be tolerated.
  • Never Allow Only Person to Control any Aspect of Your Company Finances  
This is where checks and balances are critical. No one employee should ever be responsible for sending out the bills, collecting payments, and making bank deposits.

Be sure all incoming checks are endorsed “for deposit only”. You might even want to set up a system where larger checks must be handled by more than one employee. As the owner, you should personally inspect all bank statements and look for any red flags ~ checks out of order, unusual payees, etc.  

Conduct periodic “surprise” audits on all your books in addition to having a yearly professional audit. Check for any unusual activity or payments being made to a person or company you don’t recognize. 
  • Form Strong Relationships with Your Employees 
Make sure you are “out and about” within your company. Always treat your employees with integrity and honesty. Get to know them ~ their names, families, etc. This will help make you more aware of any unusual behavior or if they are acting “out of the ordinary”. Having a strong relationship may also help prevent employee theft from happening in the first place. It is much harder to steal from someone that you know and have come to respect.    

Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself the victim of employee theft.  
#SmBiz #EmployeeTheft 
If you suspect an employee is stealing from you, You Should: 
  •  Document Clearly Each Known or Suspected Instance of Theft 
Include dates and times discovered and what was taken. Let your employees know that you are investigating (it may actually prevent further theft).
  • Check All Your Records for Any Inconsistencies 
Make note of any entries and totals that don’t match. Include ingoing and outgoing inventory against sales.
  • Interview Your Employees 
Let them know exactly what you suspect. Meet with them privately. Your honest employees will be much more apt to share anything they know if it is done one on one.
  • Be Ready to Follow Up on Your Findings 
Your employees need to know that you take employee theft seriously. Follow your company policy, even if it includes termination or prosecution.

The keys to preventing and identifying employee theft 
are knowledge and awareness.  

The knowledge begins with knowing as much about your employees as possible both before and after you hire them. This begins with strong screening tools and continues with frequent interaction between employers and employees.  

In most cases, employers who take the time to build a trusting and open relationship with their employees will never have to deal with employee theft.

However, turning a blind eye to potential red flags is never in your best interest. Paying attention to the warning signs and questioning anything that seems “off” could save your small business from ruin.   

Don't let Employee Theft put Your Small Business in Danger! Using these preventative and follow-up measures will help you protect you and your company!

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* Source: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Easy Small Business HR, Institute for Corporate Productivity, Jack L. Hayes International, Inc.