July 18, 2018

Bare Minimum Background Checks for Hiring on a Small Budget

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When you are running a small business with limited resources, you may consider foregoing background checks to cut employment costs. However, personal and professional references often don’t provide enough information about a person. Even simple background checks can make candidate selection decisions faster and easier. This is especially important for a small business that might lack the resources to address problems that can arise from poor hiring decisions.

Criminal Background Checks

Running a basic criminal background check on applicants before officially hiring them can keep a small business from becoming a victim of fraud. While many issues that might come up through a criminal background check may not be relevant to the individual’s ability to perform their job, crimes related to fraud or theft should be considered during a hiring decision. While large corporations can handle some losses, one wrong employment decision can drive a small business to close. For this reason, money spent on criminal background checks is an essential insurance policy for the overall security of your business.

Credit Reports

A credit report is another background check that can offer employers valuable information about applicants. However, small employers can afford to be more discriminating with which positions require credit checks. Applicants for jobs that require a high level of financial accountability or that will have access to business finances should be screened using a credit report. Be aware that the states of California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Washington have state laws prohibiting employers from using employee credit reports in hiring decisions.

Legal Considerations

For all types of background reports, employers must be careful to follow specific legal requirements. You may not run a criminal or credit check on an individual without their written consent. Most employees will ask applicants to sign a background check consent form at a later stage in the hiring process. After viewing a background check, you must send the employee a pre-adverse action disclosure, a copy of the report, and an explanation of their rights to dispute reports if you think you may not hire them based on the report. When you make the final decision to not hire them based on information in the report, you must send applicants an adverse action notice to let them know.

Vetting

Transparency in hiring, on the part of the employer and the employee, is essential to building trust. This transparency can be achieved through proper vetting processes. Vetting assures that potential employees are who they claim to be and have done what they claim to have done so that you can choose the best talent for your business with confidence. In order to establish trust with potential employees, your business can join the Clear Business Directory by completing an annual vetting process which shows your community and potential hires that your operations are reputable and trustworthy.

Small business owners should always run a criminal background check on potential applicants; doing so can save a lot of money in the long run.

 

References

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How to Handle Disagreements Between Coworkers in the Workplace

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Disagreements between employees are inevitable. If you are a business owner or manager, you will sometimes be responsible for handling these disagreements. Forbes explains thatthe ability to recognize conflict, understand the nature of conflict, and to be able to bring swift and just resolution to conflict will serve you well as a leader – the inability to do so may well be your downfall.” So before you get involved with settling disputes, take a few moments to stop and think about the best strategies for fairly handling disagreements using the tips below as guidelines.

 

Understand What It’s Worth

Before your involve yourself in any kind of employee problem, stop to figure out what the problem is worth. Is this an issue that actually impacts the day-to-day operation of the business? If so, how far are you willing to go to solve the problem? Regardless of what’s going on, you need to be aware of what’s potentially at stake before you involve yourself at all. If the problem is entirely interpersonal and doesn’t impact anything else in the workplace, you might not need to be involved with the disagreement at all.

 

Know What’s Important

One of the most important things you can do is to distinguish between disagreements and illegal offenses. Just because there are disagreements or bad feelings between a boss and an employee or between coworkers does not mean illegal offenses have been committed. However, the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak specify that “harassment may involve: offensive comments, jokes or physical conduct that denigrates a protected class; requests for sexual favors to keep your job or get a promotion; unwanted leering, touching or physical contact.” Even if you don’t feel you should otherwise get involved, an illegal offense is something that your business must take seriously. After all, your lack of action could end up being read as supporting a hostile or illegal atmosphere, which could put your business at risk. It’s important that you put your personal feelings aside and figure out whether the disagreement has been caused by something that might be legally actionable.

 

Remain Impartial

It’s also important for you as the employer or manager to remain impartial in the disagreement. It doesn’t matter what history you have with either employee. What is the objective situation? In some cases, this might mean siding with an employee with whom you would not usually side. In others, it might mean not taking action even when you feel for one of the two parties. The most important thing you can do is to protect the long-term health of your business, and that means keeping your feelings out of the matter.

 

Cover Your Bases

Finally, make sure your bases are covered. If you have any company policies that dictate how disagreements are handled, make sure you follow those dictates to the letter. If you have a human resources department or legal department, make sure you run any potential issues by them first. While it might seem self-serving, it really is in everyone’s best interest to make sure that you make sure the company is covered before you begin to involve yourself in any employee disagreements. From there, you can start to make the hard decisions that will help to resolve the situation.

If there are disagreements between your employees, don’t go with the instinct to immediately interfere. Instead, stop, take stock of the situation, and figure out if action is either required of you or is best for the health of your company. If you do need to be involved, follow protocols and be as objective as possible. While you can’t make everyone happy, you can adjudicate disputes fairly. As a leader, you must be prepared to be an example and to guide your coworkers and employees to a peaceful resolution.

To learn more about creating agreements for results and collaborations, schedule time at www.meetme.so/ShannonGronich

 

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How to Keep Your Travel Expenses in Check During Your Business Trip

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The expenses of a business trip can add up very quickly. Many people use business trips as an opportunity to splurge on a few things and enjoy their travels while accomplishing work. This splurge places the stress on business owners to find sources to pay for the travels. With some creative thinking and a few solid plans, keeping business trip expenses down can be a simple task.

Rentals

With the advent of ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, it is not as necessary to have a business car rental. There are plenty of cases where a company should rent cars, but it is not as essential as it used to be. For example, if your employees fly to a city, they can travel throughout the town by using one of the ride-share services to go to their destinations.

If you do need to pay for a business car rental, arriving prepared with your car insurance can help lower the cost of a rental. Employees can also carpool with one another to reduce the number of vehicles that a business needs to rent. According to Avis, if you enroll in their Avis for Business program, you get access to exclusive service advantages and rewards from 30% off base rates to getting a free day for every 15 rental days. This is how many car rental agencies act.

Travel Rewards

Take advantage of the reward programs offered by any airlines and hotels that your business commonly uses. In exchange for your continued business, many airlines and hotels offer their customers discounts and free services. By remaining loyal to a select few companies, your business can reap rewards that will ultimately save you money.

You can receive miles from flying with specific airlines. Accruing points through particular car rental companies is also an option. It allows you to earn a return on the investment necessary to build your business and brand. Make the most of the opportunities for traveling that you have.

Virtual Meetings

During a business trip, your employees may not need to travel to as many destinations to get business done. Make a note of the clients that will not mind having a virtual meeting and have your employees conduct business with them virtually. This meeting will save a little on travel expenses, which adds up over time.

Conclusion

The key to keeping your business’s travel expenses in check is to eliminate small costs and progress towards more significant costs. However, your primary goal should be to decrease minor costs, as these can add up quickly without being detected. Make a list of all of your business’s travel expenses, then make a note of the largest ones. After you eliminate small and unnecessary costs, begin to develop a plan for decreasing your most substantial costs. Often you will find that, like low costs, your most significant costs can be eliminated too. Technology has created many new ways to conduct business without the need to travel.

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How to Become a Respected and Engaging Leader in Your Workplace

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Becoming a workplace leaders does not always mean that you are given a title and a pay raise, at least initially. You may have to prove yourself first. Fortunately, it is not that hard to do when you utilize the following strategies.

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Lead by example.

Dress, speak, and act the part of the leader you want to become. Treat others the way you want to be treated to earn their respect. Don’t play favorites; instead, view everyone as equal. Perform your work in a positive and productive way to let others see that you are serious about your job and expect others to be, as well. Avoid negative behaviors such as being overly critical, judgmental, or biased. Maintain ethical integrity and encourage employees to do the same.

 

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Apply leadership tactics.

Read books about leadership and study positive role models. Then do as they suggest to build rapport and gain respect at work. Plan projects efficiently to ensure success, selecting the most suitable individuals for each role. Monitor without micromanaging. Provide adequate training and skill-building opportunities to help employees reach their potential and excel at their jobs. Use company resources prudently to build success.

 

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Encourage input.

An interactive workplace is more effective than one that operates from the top down. Use various means to solicit employee suggestions and feedback. For example, a suggestion box may attract new ideas or recommendations. Company newsletter recognition fosters awareness and appreciation of employee efforts. Meetings or focus groups enable employees to have a say about their department’s performance or problems. An interactive in-house discussion board may elicit informal comments or insights. Employees who feel valued are more like to respect and follow company leadership.

 

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Provide structure.

Employees want to know how the company is doing and where it is headed. Routine updates or periodic reports will keep them apprised of the organization’s status and allow them to feel like they are part of the loop. Employees who feel disenfranchised are less productive and more likely to grumble about company policies or even leave their jobs if they are dissatisfied and feel unappreciated. Maintain a hierarchy of authority and an environment of openness to instill employees with security and a positive attitude toward your ability to lead.

 

It has been said that leaders are born, not made. But someone who is willing to stand up and show the way to others within a company can quickly earn respect as a leader. 

Apply to attend the upcoming Business Acceleration Summit and mastermind with our industry leaders and mentors, including Forbes recognized Transformational Leadership Strategist. 

 

Featured Image credit: ASEA

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Who I Voted For

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The infamous questions prior to an election – Are you planning to vote? Who are you voting for?

The infamous questions after an election – Did you vote? Who did you vote for?

Some are very open about their voting choice whereas others strive to maintain their privacy about theirs. Some elect not to vote at all. There are various reasons as to why people are so open or so reserved with announcing who or what they are voting for. Perhaps some don’t want to engage in a debate with family, friends and co-workers over a matter of difference in opinion. Perhaps some strive for that thorough discussion with others. Perhaps some want to promote their beliefs while others wish not to be swayed in their thoughts.

Was I most recently asked who or what I voted for? Of course! Am I willing to share my votes with you? You bet!!

I vote for businesses to excel. I vote for collaborating. I vote for communities to come together. I vote for single mothers not to feel overwhelmed with trying to run a business and raising her children at the same time. I vote for the welfare of our children. I vote for more family time. But, what I TRULY vote for is for the combination of all.

I stand behind small business owners who network within their community; who have the understanding that coming together as one carries so much further than trying to do things individually. Individually, businesses are a single rain drop in the scheme of things but together they are the storm. Be the storm!

When business owners collaborate with like-minded individuals, the viral effect is for all to excel. I vote for all businesses to adopt this practice. The single mother business owner who networks and collaborates will raise more awareness to her own personal company (and others) which in turn will create personal time for her to enjoy her children. The busy grandfather who spends all of his time trying to generate new leads for financial stability can alleviate his schedule by investing half of his time in group collaboration, thus allowing him more free time to watch his grandson play baseball or his granddaughter perform in her ballet recital.

We are all a product of our environment each bringing with us what makes us unique and when we work together to achieve a common goal within our community we tend to reach and exceed at a much faster rate and reap the rewards in ten folds. Reciprocating services with one another, reaching out to our business neighbor, helping others prosper — all of this aides in bringing our own personal businesses to a higher ground.

I vote for more group effort focusing on what we have in common and how we can serve our community. I vote for all of the sole proprietors to find themselves in the land of majestic professionalism by changing the thought that “sole” means you must do things alone. I vote for branching out and extending that helping hand to others in the business world through group collaboration. I vote for business owners to introduce other business owners to people they know or do business with.

So, today, I tell you where my votes lie. They lie within the overall growth of the world….The growth that YOU can contribute to and be a part of. The opportunity is here and it’s knocking. Answer the door!

Share what’s in your heart!

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P.S. Come collaborate with us at the upcoming Business Acceleration Summit – Mentors & Mastermind Mixer in Melbourne, Florida.

 

 

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