The New Year is a fantastic time to decide where you’re going and what you’re doing for the next year. By coming up with a strategy, you’ll be more effective, since you can set goals and work toward them. Of course, business resolutions can be even more complicated, since there are so many stakeholders, but here are a few of our favorites that we encourage you to try:

1. Create a checklist and follow it for every employee.

One thing that many small businesses don’t have is an employment plan. They may have a few pieces of the puzzle in place, like making sure all the legal forms get signed. But developing a checklist for the hiring process and putting that plan into action is a fantastic way to ensure that you remain equitable for each job candidate that comes through your door. If you don’t yet have a plan in place, consider creating one this year.

2. Stay FCRA compliant.

You might think you’re compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but are you really? High-profile cases, like the one against Disney, have brought discrepancies into the limelight. It’s not worth risking your company’s good name to skirt the law. Using a reputable background screening service can help you avoid some of the pitfalls in the hiring process, as can revising your hiring process. Make 2014 the year you really make an effort to stay compliant with FCRA and other employment laws.

3. Check your internship program.

Another hot button issue in 2013 was internship programs, both unpaid and low-paid. Major lawsuits against Fox Searchlight Pictures and Conde-Nast resulted in backpay for interns, yes – but also in a spotlight on any internship program. Although non-profits don’t always need to pay their interns, other organizations typically do. There are a few legitimate reasons for not paying interns, but in general, you should review your internship program to make sure it’s legal in 2014.

4. Revamp your background check program.

Make 2014 the year you really focus on background checks and how you perform them. If you’ve been screening candidates by hand, or just using a couple of self-check databases, you could be missing all kinds of information. A professional screening service can help find more information, more quickly. Plus, you won’t run into the challenges of using social media to screen a candidate.

5. Add post-employment checks.

Just because an employee of yours has been working for you for ten years doesn’t mean they haven’t been up to anything in the meantime. Conducting periodic post-employment background checks (or even drug tests, provided they’re done legally) could help you maintain a safe and secure workplace. Consider adding post-employment background checks in 2014.

What are your business resolutions for 2014? Want to share what you’re planning to do next year? Let us know in the comments!