Background Checks in the Skilled Trades

A recent survey found that 96 percent of employers conduct some form of background checks before making a hire. If your business relies on skilled tradespeople — plumbers, electricians, carpenters, HVAC techs, and others — you should be part of that 96%, and you should consider employee background check services from an experienced investigator like Barefoot Professional Investigations. 

 

What’s Included in a Typical Background Check?

Once a potential hire has gotten past the application phase and interview, you may require a drug test and physical. But don’t stop there. After all, you’re hiring people for skilled work, where quality — and credentials — matter. So it’s also a good idea to screen for, and verify the following:

  • Criminal history
  • Certifications
  • Employment history
  • A history of negligence
  • Past incidents of workplace misconduct
  • A history of fraudulent or suspicious workman’s comp claims

 

Why Conduct a Pre-Employment Background Check in the Skilled Trades?

There are three good reasons to conduct a thorough background check before hiring.

 

It keeps applicants honest

It’s no secret that high skills demand top dollar. It’s also no secret that, in a tight job market, some are tempted to inflate their history or their qualifications to land a desirable position. Confirming employment history, licensure, and work status ensures higher-quality employees. So hire, and verify, as though your business depends on it.

 

It’s for your customers’ protection

What if a job isn’t completed to code, or a repair isn’t done properly? And what if, through ignorance or negligence, an employee causes property damage, loss, injury, or death on the job? The mere thought is enough to keep you up at night, but it doesn’t have to if you can be sure of your employees’ qualifications. 

 

It protects you, too

We understand. Your business is being squeezed by rules and regulations on one side, and by unscrupulous competitors who take shortcuts and hire from the nearest hardware store parking lot on the other. But if you’re audited, raided by immigration, or found to be negligent in your hiring in the aftermath of a job site accident, that’s your reputation and your business on the line. When you’ve worked for years — decades, in some cases — to build a business and with it a strong reputation, the last thing you want or need is for it to be damaged or demolished overnight.

 

Getting Hired in the Trades with a Criminal Record

What if you’ve come to this page because you’ve got a criminal record and you’re wondering about your employment prospects? Even though many counties and cities in North Carolina have introduced Ban the Box laws, criminal history can still come up as part of a pre-employment background check, which tends to exclude those with criminal records. What’s more, NC state law forbids disclosing those findings to applicants.

Even when an employer is willing to extend a job, they may not be able. While some adverse findings in background checks — like a spotty credit history — won’t preclude individuals and businesses from being bonded (they can still get a high-risk surety bond), a record of arrest, conviction, or incarceration will.

 

Employment Background Checks in Charlotte, NC

You may have seen, or even used, online services for background checks. That isn’t always a good idea, since the information contained in their databases isn’t reliable. 

Why does it matter? Well, you may get lucky and hire someone whose history is as spotless as that cheap background check suggested, but you might not; you don’t want to reject a highly-qualified applicant because of a false positive, but you also don’t want to hire someone who turns out to have forged papers, a criminal record, or other problematic items lurking in their history. That’s why many businesses in the Charlotte area trust Barefoot Professional Investigations for thorough and accurate employment background checks.