Conducting Background Checks on Self-Employed and Young Applicants

September 6, 2016

Not all job applicants will have a work history as an employee. Some, for instance, may have been self-employed. Others, like many young applicants, may simply not have worked for a company before.

Unlike most applicants who have worked for an employer, self-employed applicants don’t have what we would consider a traditional work history. So how do you check on that history for a person who claims self-employment? The easiest way is to ask him or her for the names of two to four people he or she provided services to. Services can range from bartending and lawn maintenance to computer consulting and home healthcare. By asking a series of specific questions for these professional references, you will gain insight into the applicant’s skills, reliability, and temperament.

For young applicants who don’t have a work history, asking a different set of questions to teachers, clergy, coaches, etc. is helpful and insightful.

It is always preferable to have some written proof of a background check, regardless of how extensive it may be.

Contributed by Steven J. Austin of LABORCHEX. Their managers and investigators can help you create the best questions customized to your needs.

Through the Michigan Chamber partnership with LABORCHEX, members get discounted pricing to employment background screening services. To learn more, please email Kym Lewis or call him at 1-800-880-0366.