While commercial security systems are something every business should invest in, they only help keep out bad people who aren’t authorized to access your building. What about people you invite into your building, such as employees and vendors?
Now more than ever, any business in the market for a new employee conducts a background check on each candidate before they make their hiring decision. It just makes sense to ensure that the people who will be in your building day in and day out are honest people. Depending on what your company does, you will likely have different requirements for what their background checks encompass as well as what (if any) issues are acceptable for making the hiring decision.
But what about the third party vendors that enter your building? Many organizations have cleaning companies, maintenance workers, and others in their building at all hours of the day— during business hours, after business hours, and even on the weekends.
Isn’t it in the best interest of your company to ensure those people have successfully undergone background checks as well?
Background Checks: Your Requirement, But Not Your Expense
When you are talking to a vendor about potentially engaging their services, that is the ideal time to mention background checks. You don’t want to sign a contract and then discover that the company isn’t willing to conduct background checks, if they aren’t doing them already.
If a vendor tells you they conduct background checks on their employees, you should absolutely ask to see verification of those checks. Just as your requirements for background checks might be different from another business, it might be different from the vendors you are hiring.
Some fear that it could be seen as a liability to ask vendors for background checks; after all, you could be considered an employer should a lawsuit arise. However, asking the vendor to do the background checks negates this liability on your behalf even as it offers the protection your company needs for those people entering into your building. You can rest easy knowing that you’ll be letting safe people into your building without fearing that you could be subjected to a lawsuit.
Beyond the issues that could be raised by background checks, there are other red flags you should look for when hiring vendors that will be working in your building.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that other businesses have had positive experiences with each company you consider. If you discover that there have been complaints filed about the service or employees in the past, you might want to keep searching.
- Check online reviews on Google, Facebook and other sites to see what kind of reviews they’re getting. Although online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, you’ll be able to determine if there is a trend of negative reviews that calls into question the integrity of the business.
- Is the company licensed and insured?
- Certain types of business trades require licenses to operate their business (ie: plumbers and electricians). Others do not such as cleaning companies. However, they should still be registered with the state as an LLC, S-Corp or other type of legal entity, so do your due diligence to make sure they’re operating legally.
- Also ask for insurance certificates. Insurance companies are happy to send statements,, so make sure they’re fully covered for general liability, workers compensation and any other insurances you require.
- Has there been a change of name?
- If a company has changed their name in the past it might be to try to cover up problems that have happened in the past. This happens frequently in roofing operations and construction or remodeling contractors.
- Are there any pending lawsuits?
- Pending lawsuits aren’t necessarily a reason not to hire a company; after all, it might not be of any fault of their own. However, you should look into the issue. If there are multiple lawsuits pending, you might take that as your cue to look elsewhere.
Who Your Vendors Choose to Hire is Important to You
As a responsible business owner, you do your due diligence on the employees you hire. Make sure you do the same for who your vendors choose to hire. At the very beginning of your relationship with a vendor, before you even hire them, tell them you will be doing background checks.
Explain to them the requirements your business has for people coming in to do work in your building. You should not shy away from having this conversation with your vendors. Your business’s security is of the utmost importance and your vendors should respect that.
Note: This article was contributed by All Building Cleaning Corp., a Miami-based commercial cleaning company.