Small businesses need customers—it’s their top priority. Or, at least, it was…until 2020.
As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on, small businesses have a new top priority: hiring quality employees. A new small business study released in October 2021 reveals that 64 percent of small business owners say “hiring the right employees” is now more important than finding customers, with nearly 90 percent saying it’s “somewhat” or “very difficult” to hire new employees today.1
Knowing this, simplifying the background screening process can provide a distinct advantage when it comes to hiring employees for your small business. Here are a few ideas to consider:
The need for speed is real
Certain industries like retail and staffing have notoriously high turnover rates and predictable hiring spikes during the holidays and other periods. Small businesses within these industries are competing against each other—and, also with large, enterprise businesses—to hire top talent. With that said, they have one goal: fill jobs fast. One of the first steps in getting there is finding quick staffing or retail background check services.
Knowing this, if you are a smaller retail shop or staffing firm, look for quick, easy-to-use small business background check tools that help you:
- Get instant results, instead of waiting days or weeks. The competition for top talent can be fierce, so there’s no time to wait when hiring employees for your small business. Instant results enable “same day” or even “near instant” job offers. It doesn’t get much faster than that.
- Allow applicants to complete their own background checks. Motivated applicants will move fast. It can also speed hiring by eliminating delays on the employer side, while fueling hiring transparency.
- Only pay for searches that are needed, with no extra or hidden fees. Apart from the cost savings, a la carte background checks are inherently simple and fast. No time is wasted on unnecessary checks.
Finding the “right” employees is critical
Small business owners have a direct, vested interest in hiring quality employees that they can trust. Their business is their “baby” and they simply can’t—and in many cases, won’t—put their business in the hands of just anyone.
If your small business is within the business services or transportation industries, you know that employees are often the face of your business. They’re driving company vehicles and engaging with customers, both of which can directly influence your company’s reputation. All it takes is one really bad Google review to tank a business. For this reason and others, hiring employees for your small business should be preceded by comprehensive background checks, including:
- Identity fraud mitigation. It may seem crazy, but some people intentionally use fraudulent information when applying for a job. Employers can leverage the latest technology in facial recognition and fraud mitigation tools to assist in reducing this potential threat.
- Reliable, thorough criminal checks at local and national levels. If an applicant intentionally omits a prior address (due to having a criminal history there), a nationwide criminal records database check can potentially identify criminal histories from across the country, regardless of the information provided by the applicant.
Consolidate steps whenever possible
Background screening platforms and technology integrations aren’t just for the big guys anymore. Background check technology has come a long way in a short time, making advanced technology accessible to employers of all sizes. In fact, it’s sometimes easier for smaller firms to integrate systems, since they often use off-the-shelf (read: not customized) hiring and onboarding systems, and their process is typically less complicated than corporate entities and involves fewer stakeholders.
Utilizing this technology provides valuable help and insights when hiring employees for your small business, which can give you an edge over your competitors. Some areas where you should consider upping your small business’s technology game might include:
- Applicant tracking system (ATS) integration. It sounds daunting, but it’s not. For small to mid-sized employers that use an ATS, hardwiring background checks into the system is a massive timesaver that can help reduce data entry and errors, speed hiring, and improve compliance by aiding with all required documentation to be presented and collected.
- Employment drug testing. This one’s a no-brainer. Multiple studies have shown that substance abuse increased during the pandemic, which means employers should be leveraging drug testing—or risk the potential negative consequences. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable in this area, since a single substance-abuse related workplace incident can cause irreparable damage to the company’s reputation, insurance costs, and financial reserves. Consolidating drug testing and background checks under a single platform or application solution can help small businesses do two important things: 1) maximize buying power; and 2) simplify background screening and hiring. Easier, less expensive background checks? Yes, please.
At First Advantage, we’re here for small businesses. Contact us today to discover the many ways we can help you quickly screen and hire the right employees amid today’s unique market conditions. Or, get started with background screening today.