Featured Image - How to Conduct Pre-Employment Background Checks for Small Businesses & SMEs.

How to Conduct Pre-Employment Background Checks for Small Businesses & SMEs.

Date Published: April 04, 2022 | Last Updated: January 06, 2024 | By Jessica Veal

As a result of the physical distance provided by the pandemic, employers at businesses of all shapes and sizes are looking to background checks to verify staff members and support their hiring decisions. Similar to businesses, background check services also come in a range of sizes, allowing employers to screen their candidates in ways that suit their business and budget.

As background check experts, we support large, medium and small businesses at all stages of the hiring process. Whether you’re looking for legal compliance, criminal record checks, employment references or qualifications verification, we now conduct background checks to help many small business owners and medium-sized firms, with the help of Vero/Go.

Use our guide to take you through all the essential steps.

If you’re looking at conducting background checks for your company and its new employees, here’s some insight on the pre employment screening process for small businesses and SMEs.

Consider the benefits of employee background checks for your business.

Similarly to larger businesses, small and medium-sized businesses need to validate potential hires, and learn that they are who they say they are, and that their qualification and experiences are true. Background check services such as Vero/Go bring pay-as-you-go screening solutions to companies, without lengthy contracts or minimum screening requirements.

Circumstances can vary dramatically, but if your company employs individuals who care for vulnerable people or those who handle sensitive information, or work remotely, background checks can safeguard your business practices in several ways.

As well as needing to trust employees and safeguard customers and staff, screening employees can save your company the cost of a bad hire. By performing background checks on staff, you’ll have peace of mind whilst being able to focus on what matters.

Look at the types of background checks available.

As a small business owner, you should consider who needs screening, and what for? You may have financial employees, those who need to remain compliant with the latest regulation whilst handling confidential information. For example – compliance staff may need to meet regulatory requirements with their due diligence and have hiring managers perform multiple types of background checks on staff. This includes background checks for those in high-risk roles.

Those in low and medium risk roles, for example, entry-level and legal compliance staff, may also require quick employment background screening services along their professional journey.

As an example, a typical ‘quick check’ from Vero/Go will include the following pre employment checks:

  • UK Financial Integrity Check
  • ID Verification
  • Basic Criminal Record Check (UK only)
  • Fitness and Propriety


Contrastingly, a ‘high risk role check’ will require a more thorough background check service, consisting of:

  • UK Financial Integrity Check
  • UK Directorships Check
  • ID Verification
  • Compliance and Sanctions
  • Adverse media search (English language)
  • 5 years employment referencing
  • Gap Resolution (5 years)
  • Highest Education Verification
  • Basic Criminal Record Check (UK only)
  • Fitness and Propriety

Explore the checks that are right for your business.

When thinking about how to conduct pre employment background checks for small businesses and SMEs, its integral to consider what the business needs when conducting employee background checks.

If you’re hiring employees for your small business, prior to making a job offer, simple pre employment checks may suffice. These are designed for individuals with limited risk to the business and need to be onboarded swiftly. Or where top-up/rescreen checks are required. Many employers use these as a basis for their hiring decision, ensuring that a candidate is verified.

Some industry bodies require annual checks. Social media screening is also something that can be done annually, as online profiles change so frequently. Other checks, such as a pre-employment background check, or education verification, may only be needed upon hiring.

If you’re screening existing employees, there are different package options for best practice when conducting background checks. These will depend on whether you need services like legal background checks, a criminal background check, or solutions like employment or education screening services.

What do I need to start the employee screening process?

After reviewing the types of background checks available, and considering which of those are right for your business, you can move forward with signing up with a background check provider.

It’s best for managers to let job applicants and current employees know that a background check will be part of the hiring process.

See how long do background checks take.

Each professional background check provider will implement different turnaround times, for different types of small business background checks. However, we aim to complete all screenings within 5 – 15 working days from receipt of the Candidates completed online form depending on the screening level, however screening turnaround times can vary from one Candidate to the next.

Find out how much background checks cost.

Our affordable small business solutions start at £74 for a quick check, designed for new hires with limited risk to the business who need to be onboarded swiftly. Or where top-up/rescreen checks are required.

Where do I start?

Click here to find out more about our small business and SME employment screening solutions.

If you need to process more than 50 candidates per year, please get in touch to talk through your requirements in more detail: intouch@veroscreening.com