Why Do Small Business Owners Need to Run DBS Checks on New Employees?

Many small business owners are concerned about hiring new employees, but have they considered running a DBS background check to find out whether the prospective employee has any problematic history?

While any business can be damaged by the actions of its employees, small businesses often stand to lose a lot more than larger organisations.

Small businesses should have an open mind when hiring employees. However, that doesn’t mean they have to be a soft touch on hiring practices. One way to protect yourself from legal liabilities and financial problems is by running background checks on your new hires. 

From fraud to data leaks, there is any number of actions that those with internal access to your business can take to detrimentally affect your brand and business. Background checks can help to mitigate these risks, so in this article, we take a closer look at why all small business owners should run DBS checks on new employees.

DBS check explained

First of all, a quick introduction to DBS checks. The DBS (disclosure and barring service) is a non-departmental governmental body responsible for carrying out criminal background checks. There are three types of online DBS checks available:

  1. Basic check: The standard check consists of a search for any unspent cautions, convictions and reprimands. It’s the most common check and could be required for a diverse variety of positions, from hospitality to sales roles. Individuals can also have a search carried out on themselves if they wish.
  2. Standard check: The standard check looks for both spent and unspent convictions, cautions and reprimands. It’s a common requirement for those working in areas with a high professional standard, such as accountancy and legal roles. Unlike the basic check, the standard check can’t be carried out by anyone and must be requested by an authorised body.
  3. Enhanced check: The enhanced check is the most in-depth of the three DBS checks. In addition to the information searched for in the standard check, it also includes any information the local police department considers relevant to the position being applied for.

Like the standard check, it can only be requested by certain authorised bodies. The enhanced check is generally required for positions that consist of working with highly vulnerable individuals, such as childcare and healthcare. The enhanced check can also be carried out with a barred list check.

One of the main reasons small business owners should get DBS checks is to ensure legal compliance. If the business is in the healthcare or childcare niche, whether as a result of data storage or direct contact with vulnerable individuals, either a standard or enhanced check will likely be a legal necessity.

Failure to comply with regulatory hurdles could result in severe legal repercussions, which could be potentially ruinous to many small businesses, both financially and in terms of reputation. If you have any doubts as to whether your business is legally required to carry out DBS checks, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of an industry expert.

Protect your brand

For any business, the most valuable element that can be damaged is the brand. While theft of physical goods can be covered by insurance or factored into the next year’s profits, a reputation that takes years to develop can be destroyed in an instant by a data leak or the fraudulent use of client data.

DBS checks help to ensure that you only hire highly trustworthy individuals, decreasing the risk of an event that could be potentially damaging to your brand. Small business owners should take every step they can to safeguard the legacy of their business, to ensure that it can keep its reputable name as it’s passed down from generation to generation.

Protect your assets

While it’s important to protect your brand, for many small businesses it could also be catastrophic if valuable assets were either stolen or damaged. Whether those assets are physical or consist of sensitive or valuable data, DBS checks can help ensure that you don’t employ anyone with criminal intentions, helping to avoid any potentially damaging events.

Failure to take reasonable precautions to protect assets could negatively affect insurance claims in the case theft were to occur. In some cases, a DBS check will be considered a constituent element of due diligence during the hiring process, and failure to carry one out could be given as a reason for withholding an insurance payout.

Attract the best staff

Small businesses are often made of tightly knit teams. As a result, it’s imperative that each person is able to fulfill their duties to the highest possible standard. DBS checks help to attract only the best talent, by ensuring that candidates are more honest in their applications. While bigger businesses can afford to have a few bad apples, having to fire and rehire can have a far more significant effect on small businesses, making it more important that the hiring process goes right the first time around.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan