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Small business owners often work within tight budget restraints, restricting their background check options significantly. As theft escalates in the workplace costing UK businesses £2 billion a year (according to the GRTB (Global Retail Theft Barometer) it’s clear small businesses are at a disadvantage in comparison to their large corporation competitors.

Unlike corporations that have huge budgets and Human Resource departments, small businesses rarely have either.

Many employers in this sector need excellent people but struggle at the interview stage to know which questions to pose.  This particularly applies to sensitive questions about a candidate’s personal life, character and ethics.  The most many small business owners do is to check the references a potential job candidate supplies. Logically it’s unlikely that potential applicants are going to supply names of people who will paint less than a perfect picture of them. Prospective employers are able to see what is contained in the applicant’s CV but clearly not what is missing from it. Omissions and choosing the wrong type of background check options can easily lead to loss of data, assets and reputation.

A Background Check won’t tell you everything

There are two main errors business owners can’t afford to make in terms of the background check path they choose to take.

  1. Assuming a basic criminal record check from the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) means the candidate is honest. The information you receive only details unspent criminal convictions and not those that have gone before. There are exceptions for certain industries such as child, elderly and vulnerable person care but generally you will not see spent convictions.
  2. Presuming an applicant’s mental health can be evaluated during the interview. Job interviewing coaching is a massive industry nowadays. This is not least due to sheer volume of applicants applying for individual positions. In London for example, there can be at least 200 candidates presenting for one job. Whilst coaching can be a benefit for those who are nervous at interviews, it can have its downside. Those with dishonest intentions can be taught to give an Oscar winning performance in the most polished way. This confuses our intuitive skills and makes them less reliable than they might be in other situations. Discovering that someone has mental health issues that could endanger your business or staff after they have been engaged is never preferable.

Loss prevention strategies are infinitely more desirable than having to deal with damage limitation in the aftermath of criminal activity within your business. So what can you do that is affordable and highly effective?

Lie detector test results combined with background check options

Nobody in the UK can be forced to take a lie detector test.  However, if you make it clear on your website or in your company literature that the tests are part of your pre-employment screening process, you’ll only get applicants who are prepared to take them. Should a candidate refuse to submit to a polygraph examination you might want to consider this in your evaluation of their suitability.

Lie detector tests provide a much greater insight into who the candidate really is and more particularly how honest they are.  This is why so many major corporations use them as standard in pre-employment screening.  And fortunately small business owners can afford them too in helping to stop a problem before it starts.  Combined with CVs, qualifications work experience and basic background check options, lie detector test results complete the profile you need when deciding to employ someone or not.

If you’d like more details our friendly, commercial lie detector staff will be happy to take your call with confidentiality assured.

Essential Background Check Options for Small Businesses
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