To Hire Should You Do Background, Credit Check and Drug Test?

Most small business employers do not see the need to spend money on a background, credit check, or drug screening if they have already done the other three steps we have already been over. But this could be a costly mistake not to. Small claims lawsuits were on the rise in the last 10 years and they do not look like they will decrease any time soon. There are commercials every hour of the day on television and the radio telling people it is all right to sue, almost like a God-given right to do so and you have to protect yourself, your family, and your business.


I will mention the main reasons here but please read this very article I found by Less Rosen from the from a 2010 online edition of their magazine.

1. There is no single place private companies can go to confirm or verify criminal records of prospective hires. Background checks once only a seldom-seen practice are now even routinely done when renting an apartment or to be able to do volunteer work at schools. Bonding companies are a great place to start.

2. Screening is legal but only if done for every applicant at your business as we discussed earlier about hiring procedures, or at least for everyone doing a certain job. Make sure it is also listed in your handbook with the guidelines spelled out. It should also include the guidelines for any follow-up or random testing such as for drugs later as well. Such as a mandatory test for anyone driving a company vehicle and a retest for any driver who was involved in a traffic accident.

3. Screening is well worth the cost. It can save you anything from time lost from a constantly hung-over worker, cost of damage claims of customer property, insurance claims of stolen equipment, to the extreme of lawsuits from customers for criminal actions the employee did while at their location. It can even lower your insurance premiums. This is also why paying for your employees to be bonded, which will include a background check, can be a good thing and a great marketing tool.

4. Screening should not deter qualified prospects or slow down hiring. (Unless you hire by driving to a street corner and pick up day labor) Good workers understand the need for pre-employment screening and most appreciate knowing they will be working for an upstanding company if hired, as well as most likely working in a safe co-worker environment.

5. Screening is not hard to do. Many local, regional, and national companies do this work, like bonding companies, that pay to have access to the records you need and the employees to find the records that you do not have the time or money to find yourself. There is even a professional organization for this work, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. You can find them here: and use their member directory to find one near you.

6. If you feel the need for the extra step of drug screening above a background check, it too must be administered equally to be a legal hiring practice. You can find qualified medical companies to do this just by putting in your city, state, and the words drug screening in a search engine. Most companies work with established chains of labs like Quest and LabCorp to do the work or the healthcare company your business uses may also offer these services at discounted rates for their clients, just call them and ask. Some even have lower healthcare premium rates for companies that require pre-employment screening for all employees because they know this should lower the number of claims for your business.

I hope that this week’s series of entries on hiring procedures have been helpful to you and even if you may not or will not include all these steps into your routine hiring practices, that you have found some parts you feel are worth exploring or using in the future. Feel free to comment on any entry in our blog, mention steps you have found or currently use yourself that could help others, and always feel free to e-mail us directly with questions or comments.