If you’re a small business owner looking to hire employees this year, or next - now is a good time to think of the ways you will research these new employment candidates. Last thing you want on your hands, is a loose cannon or someone who has a bad record with other companies.

One of the ways to do this is to perform background checks on your employees before you hire them. You can perform these from various sources and at different price points, however the key is to garner all the information you seek. Maybe you want to know; previous length of employment records, credit history, driving history and of course you can also check criminal records on a prospective employee. Whatever details you seek, as long as you get permission and hire the right background check company, you should get the information as requested.

Below we highlight a few ways to do diligent research on employees for your small business.

1. Hire A Local Agency - this is perhaps the most well known and used option for checking on new employees, but it is by no means the number one or only way. Start by asking other small business owners in your neighborhood who they use for employee background checks, you can also alternatively or in conjunction with - try your social networks on Facebook or Twitter for good recommendations. However as you would do with any local service, compare prices and ask for references. When you do find an agency to work with, see what services they offer and at what rates, then order accordingly.

2. Go Online - the second most popular avenue to perform employee diligence is to go online. You can search for “employee background checks” to get the ball rolling on the various web based service providers. Then narrow down the list by reviews, price or recommendation. The advantage of using an online service versus local provider is that you might be able to order one off checks for a one time fee and then order a la carte when you need more, as opposed to signing up for a monthly high rate maintenance program. Also providers differ in what level of information they provide, maybe all you need is a past employment background with credit history while others might require much more in depth records. Whichever you need, going online could provide the best resources for your dollar.

3. Try An App or Software Service - did you know that apps can now curate much of the information you seek in employment diligence? Apps for your cell phone or tablet. If you have an iPad, you can bet your bottom dollar there’s an app (or five) that do this and do it well. Fire up your iPad and search the app store for “employee background check app” and see what comes up. We bet a plethora of them rise to the surface. These apps will usually not be free, and the apps that do show up as free - will most likely require a service subscription to access any actual records or databases. However this cost, should be quite minimal and certainly much less than going with a local agency provider.

What other ways are there to perform due diligence on existing or new employees? Tell us below in the comment area.

Author's Bio: 

Missy Diaz, is a full time web content provider including the small business employment niche. She covers various topics of interest to web based and offline companies such as how to best save money, how to be more efficient, how to attain standard practices using new media methods.

You can follow her on Twitter at @SuperBlogga