Every single day people are online looking for painters, plumbers, electricians and other contractors to help them with their home repair or renovation needs. While there are many reputable companies out there advertising in local newspapers or billboards, many prefer to hire smaller companies or those who are self-employed. The main reason is because these single employee or small companies tend to be cheaper.
Maybe you just got tired of working for someone else and ventured on your own or just wanted to make your own hours,if you’re just getting started the most important thing on your customer’s mind (probably tied with the cost) is – can you be trusted to enter their homes? These days background checks are imperative when presenting your credentials to a prospective customer. Word of mouth in getting new clients is an important part of getting them to call you in the first place, but you won’t make it past the front door if they don’t feel safe to let you in.
Self-background checks are a great way to get your customer to sign with you. Most contractors believe that presenting a portfolio of their work along with stellar references will guarantee them the job, but that isn’t always enough. With scam after scam and reports of criminal activity reports among various contractors, customers want to know two important things:
- Do they have reason to fear letting you into their homes?
- Do they have reason to fear that you won’t follow through on the job?
While homeowners or business owners are never 100% guaranteed that the person they hire will not do them harm in some way, such as accepting payment but now showing up, or in worst case scenario, administering physical harm, background checks are a way to give them the peace of mind that they are likely safe.
Or maybe you’re the one looking to hire a contractor and you’re all for giving a self-employed person the chance to prove themselves, but you also want to ensure your safety while doing so. You’ve probably heard the stories in the news of house calls gone bad and are looking for a way to avoid hiring the wrong person. The best way to do that is to request your contractor to provide a copy of a background check.
In 2016, a Riverview, Florida woman was attacked and held by knifepoint by Adam Millian, an electrician she hired through an established business. Luckily her neighbors came to her rescue after hearing her screams. After Millian’s arrest, it was found that he had a manslaughter charge in New York and had committed a variety of other crimes, including forgery. Though the woman had hired a local reputable company, this self-contractor hadn’t been properly checked through the company. This is where the consumer’s role in safety comes in place. Consumers have the right to request a background check before allowing any contractor into their homes. In fact, the Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff’s office recommends it. ““It’s up to the consumer to protect themselves,” said a representative of the Sheriff after Millian’s arrest.
In 2011 a Pitt County, North Carolina woman was raped by Arturo Raamos-Velasco, a handyman hired by her landlord. To make it worse, her 15-month-old son was in the home during the rape. The handyman was found to be an illegal immigrant. The landlord said that he never ran a background check because the man had done work for him on previous occasions without incident.
In Atlanta, Georgia, John Bacon, owner of PGHP Plumbing, was found to be a registered sex offender after a reporter went undercover to reveal his history. The man had been entering homes of families with children while being a registered sex offender and none of the families had knowledge of his criminal record.
These are just three examples of the many, many out there that show how dangerous it can be to let an unknown person into a home and they are an important reminder to consumers to request a background check and to contractors to provide this information to their customers. It is also important for any small business that sends contractors into people’s home under their company name to ensure they are hiring legitimate workers who don’t have any type of violent criminal history.
Self-background checks like the ones provided by Sentinel Background Checks are a great way for contractors to garner more business and for homeowners to feel safe enough to hire them. Sentinel Background Checks offers three levels of background checks for individuals:
- The Silver level runs a Social Security trace, a Multi-jurisdictional criminal search, checks the National Sex Offender Registry and runs an on-site county criminal check for one county.
- The Gold level runs a Social Security trace, a Multi-jurisdictional criminal search, checks the National Sex Offender Registry and runs a seven-year on-site county criminal check and checks the Domestic Terrorist Watch List.
- The Platinum level runs a Social Security trace, a Multi-jurisdictional criminal search, checks the National Sex Offender Registry and runs a seven-year on-site county criminal check, checks the Domestic Terrorist Watch List and verifies both employment and education references.
If you’re a contractor or company, you can’t afford not to invest in a background check. As a self-employed contractor, you will shine above other contractors when you add a background check to your work portfolio and instantly make yourself the right choice to hire. If you’re the owner of a company, you can’t afford not to check the background of the people you hire. A wrong decision can lead to the end of your company. And finally, if you’re a consumer, you can’t afford to hire someone that may come in and do you or your family harm. Ask for the background check and if they don’t have one, tell them to call Sentinel Background Checks where they can have a professional check done for them in a timely manner.
SB Checks offers three levels of self-checks that an individual can order online. The SB Checks team is also available to speak with you to determine which level makes the most sense for you to choose. Call (888)725-2535 or visit clearcandidate.com to order your self-background check today.