Background Checks: Security Considerations When Hiring Private Staff

Welcoming people into your home or place of business can be a beautiful, yet risky thing. Under ideal circumstances, new staff members can bring order and elegance to your environment. Under bad circumstances, you can be a victim of deceit, theft, or worse.

When you’re interviewing and hiring private staff, you should cover all your bases. Running background checks and providing strict guidelines and handbooks upfront is essential. By bolstering your hiring process, you can ensure that candidates are the right choice.

Here’s what background checks and other security measures can do for you.

The Benefits of Background Checks

Background checks are used in all industries. They are especially important when hiring people who will gain access to more intimate or vulnerable things.

If you are hiring staff to operate in your estate, you should be concerned about how much access these new employees will have. They could get close to you, your family, and your personal information and belongings.

If you are hiring for your business, your information and assets are at stake.

There are many benefits to background checks. You can learn more about the candidate and checking their history with driving, crime, and finances. Running a background check means getting to know the candidate fully so that you can make an informed decision.

Vetting Experience

One of the great ways you can get to know a candidate better is by vetting experience through a background check. You can also ask for referrals so you can get other first-hand opinions. If a candidate has listed extensive years spent working as staff for other places, you can make sure they’ve listed accurate information.

In the rare case that a candidate has lied on their resume, this is your chance to find out. If they have lied, it’s a red flag and you should discuss the discrepancy with them or move on.

Background experiences don’t just vet work experience, but also check for aliases, age, and other personal information that could either save you from trouble or raise a red flag.

Financial Background

When you’re hiring private staff for your personal use or business use, it can be helpful to check their financial background. This isn’t to say that you should discriminate based on social class or financial situations, certain issues can be a red flag.

Generally, a financial background check is a credit history check. You’ll be able to see if they’ve had bankruptcies, liens, or are in collections. Financial background checks also sometimes bring up information about civil suits or judgments.

If a certain candidate is in a lot of financial trouble and you are hiring for a business that holds a lot of high-value assets, for example, you might want to proceed with caution. It’s not great to assume the worst in people, but desperate financial situations can drive people to commit crimes they wouldn’t otherwise commit.

A financial background check that comes up with red flags paired with a lengthy criminal history is definitely a concern.

Criminal History

When you run a background check, probably the most important information that will appear is criminal history. People who have committed crimes and served out their punishments deserve chances, too, but in certain situations, this is not a good idea. For example, if you were hiring for a babysitter, you most certainly would not hire someone on the sex offender list.

Running a criminal history check can help determine if a candidate has a history of theft, property damage, and even violent crime. People who have a history of these crimes are probably not the best candidates for having close access to your family, yourself, and your assets.

Setting Expectations

When you are hiring a private staff, you’ll also want to set expectations. Staff needs to be informed of guidelines for behavior, expectations for job tasks, and the guidelines for warnings, punishments, and firings. Being upfront about these rules and processes will ensure that staff understands their job and the risks of misbehaving or underperforming.

You should write up an employee handbook that is accessible and clearly outlines every guideline and explanation. This handbook should include:

  • The values your staff should align with
  • The mission statement your staff should compare their performance against
  • Your staff’s salaries and benefits you’ve agreed to
  • A code of conduct for work hours
  • A code of conduct for online presence, like social media
  • Explicit safety guidelines
  • Policies for work hours and time off
  • NDA or conflict-of-interest guidelines, if necessary
  • Termination policies

Your employee handbook should be as explicit as possible while still being easy to read and understand. You want to make sure that your staff can retain all the information and refer to it easily, but you also don’t want to leave any loopholes or details unaddressed.

Revise Expectations As Needed

When certain events occur, don’t hesitate to discuss your expectations with your staff. If a staff member has done something that wasn’t necessarily in the handbook, but you don’t approve of it, there’s no reason you can’t address it. You shouldn’t necessarily punish that staff member, but immediately call a meeting to talk about the issue and set rules going forward.

In the case of circumstances we can’t control, it’s also okay to set temporary or permanent expectations going forward. In the instance of the pandemic, many working environments were drastically affected. While many corporate jobs became remote, many jobs remained in-person out of necessity.

A private staff will most likely need to continue working in person regardless of the situation. During the pandemic, new policies had to be set temporarily, such as masks and social distancing. In that case, adding a new section to your handbook is justified and necessary.

You can also choose to add cautionary policies to your hiring process, such as only accepting vaccinated candidates. If you are just now hiring private staff, make sure to be clear about your safety expectations when you advertise the job openings.

To get a thorough understanding of what should be included in your background check, download our free ebook on the subject.

Hire the Perfect Private Staff

Knowing your needs and expectations is an important part of building a team for your private staff. Clearly communicating expectations, such as in handbooks, is a great way to make sure both you and your staff are getting what they expect out of the job.

Private Staff Group knows that background checks are an essential part of the interviewing process. That’s why we regularly run background checks as a standard protocol when we vet staff member candidates.

For the most sophisticated and trustworthy hiring process, contact us today!