Hiring the Right People Check, Please?

What's a "problem employee?" The guy who corners you at your desk and tells endless stories about his weekend in Maine? The grocery sacker who always puts the canned goods on top of the bread? Or is it the association staff member with a criminal history nobody knows about, carrying on fraudulent ordering practices and posing a potential threat to the safety and security of the community?

People working in condo and co-op communities are trusted with equipment, money and the safety and possessions of residents, so it's vital that anyone hired to work for your association —as a groundskeeper, superintendent, or maintenance person—is honest, trustworthy, dependable, and properly trained.

A background check can let you know if an applicant has a criminal history, has financial difficulties or is unreliable. Not every bit of information that can be dug up on a person may be relevant to the position he or she is applying for, but a thorough, professional background check can provide you with information that allows you to make your hiring choices with more confidence.

Crime Stories

The main component of a background check is a person's criminal history—and checking a criminal history involves a few steps. State and county records are pretty standard, but beyond that, certain things might or might not be checked based on the position a person is applying for.

"A criminal history search is always run on an applicant," says John Carranco of Background Information Services Inc., a national screening firm based in Boulder, Colorado. "For certain positions—maintenance for example—the person's going to be driving vehicles; a motor vehicle criminal history will be a priority. If someone is working on the financial end, we'll run credit checks. Companies indicate what type of check they want to do based on the position."


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