Sunday, June 20, 2021

What is “Provisional” Employment and how can You use it in your Small Business?

Have you ever hired an employee on a “conditional” basis? Do you even know what that means? 

Here we will try to shed some light on hiring a “provisional” or “conditional” employee and how it can make sense for your business!

Provisional employment, or “conditional employment”, is when a new employee is offered a job contingent upon the successful completion of certain pre-determined criteria.

That criteria may include things like finalizing a degree or training, taking an entrance exam, or, most commonly, and the one we will focus on here, passing an employment background check.

The whole concept of “provisional” or conditional employment can be confusing.

In the United States, most workers are employed “at will”. Although this can vary by state, in general this means that employees can be fired for any reason. The exception is if the termination violates federal or state anti-discrimination laws. 

The same principle applies to job offers. Because of this, employers are free to expect prospective employees, or those given a conditional offer of employment, to fulfill certain requests, such as to pass background checks, undergo drug screenings, or any other requirements in order to get the job.

In order to decide if offering conditional employment would work for your business, it is important that you understand what hiring an employee on this basis really means.

First and foremost, hiring someone on a provisional basis means you really want them for the job. The candidate has the qualifications and skills you need and has impressed during their interview(s).

So, you may ask, why not simply hire them permanently right now?

The reality it that it may be best to wait on making that final job offer and hire them conditionally instead. Conditional offers of employment can actually work for your business. They allow you to hire quickly when needed, such as when you have a sudden influx of work, someone unexpectedly leaves, or you need a seasonal hire, all without waiting for the finalized background check.

Conditional job offers can also be beneficial to your applicants. It shows that you value what the skills they have to offer, gives them a measure of security to know that you want to hire them, and can even give them an edge when negotiating with other potential employers.

However, not all job candidates my look on a conditional offer as favorably. They might not agree with the conditions you have set or be unable to meet them. But, most often, a provisional offer simply does not give them the same sense of security as an “unconditional” job offer would.

When it comes to making conditional job offers it is important to do it right! "Tweet This"

It is critical that you are honest and concise as to what that conditional offer means and the criteria that you are expecting to be met. The clearer you are the more positive this experience will be for both you and the potential employee.

The first step is to make sure you craft the clearest provisional offer letter you can. And you need to make sure that this offer follows all the best practices when it comes to the background check!

Before sending your conditional offer letter or, ideally before you ever even decide to hire, you should make sure that your hiring practices are not violating EEOC guidelines, especially those concerning background check releases and disclosure forms.

Begin by ensuring that you are not guilty of committing these 4 Common Background Check Release Violations:

  • You (the Employer) don't Disclose that a Background Check will be Obtained
  • You don't obtain a Signed Authorization from your Applicants
  • Your Authorization Form is Not a Stand-Alone Document
  • Your Authorization Form includes a Release from Liability

Find out more about the steps you need to take in order to screen your employees in “Tips to Help Your Business fly under the EEOC Radar”!

When you are ready to make an offer of conditional employment, and all your best practices are in place, then your offer letter should do the following:

  • make it clear the applicant is being hired as a provisional / conditional employee
  • list exactly what criteria is expected to be satisfactorily completed ~ such as the employment background check, passing a drug test, or anything else required of new employees
  • state a definite start date and the time when it is expected that the criteria required will be completed
  • state that permanent employment will follow completion of the conditions, or seasonal employment if that is the original goal

The key to it all is clear and honest communication, and it all starts with you ~ the Employer!

The whole idea of a background check can be daunting for many ~ even if they have absolutely nothing to hide. That is why you need to be completely upfront, open, and honest with your applicant. 

Make sure you are completely clear about the following:

  • What You will Check
  • What You are looking for in the background check 
  • What Factors can Cause Delays in the Background Check 
  • What Errors can be encountered during the entire process 
  • What Rights are afforded to Your Applicant

All candidates who are undergoing an employment background check have rights. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates that employers must inform candidates in writing and get their written consent before conducting a credit check. In the event that the offer is revoked based on information discovered during the check, the FCRA requires employers to notify candidates and provide them with information on how to dispute the report

Learn more in “Ready to Hire? What your Applicant needs to know”!

As an employer, the tone you set from the beginning can have a lasting impact on the relationship you will have with your new employee. Being honest, responsive to questions, and keeping them apprised of their status, will go a long way towards making sure you leave your applicant with a good impression of you and your company.

And this is possible even when making a “provisional” hire!

Using conditional offers of employment can be good for your business. They can help you hire the talent you need without skipping any of the steps necessary to make sure they are a smart hire. 

Do you still have questions about Provisional Employment and Safe Hiring? We can help you navigate the world of employment background checks while keeping your bottom line firmly in mind.

Contact Us Today!


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Sunday, May 23, 2021

Need to Hire but "No one wants to Work"? The problem might not be what you think!

Need to Hire but it seems like “No one Wants to Work”? The problem might not be what you think!

Many businesses are in the same boat. They are trying to re-start their business after the pandemic closures and restrictions…and that often means hiring employees to help. But now they are facing a new problem they can’t find the workers they need because no one is applying!

The question then becomes Why?

Many believe that “no one needs to work because of all the government ‘handouts’ and increased employment benefits” and “since they removed the requirement that you have to look for work to receive those benefits, why work?”.  But the most common is that no one is applying for all the jobs out there because they are simply lazy. 

And while there will always be people who fit those descriptions…the truth is that the real answer may not be due to any of those things!

If you find that your business is facing the "I need to hire but no one is applying" dilemma, instead of throwing in the towel, you need to do this instead ~ take a good hard look at what you and your business are offering!

Be honest with yourself……

  • Before the pandemic hit did you have a high employee turnover?
  • Despite your company earning increasing business profits, did your employees’ wages remain stagnant?
  • Did you ignore or refuse to offer incentives such as good benefits and perks to attract and retain good workers? 

If the answers to any of these questions is yes, then the next question becomes….What can you do now?

This is the time to change your tactics, and that starts with doing the following….

Get the word out ~ Post your job opening on social media sites, jobs groups, and in newspapers. Even check out local trade schools, high schools, and community colleges. The more people that know you are hiring, the better.

Use the employees you do have to recruit new ones ~ Ask them to look at their family, friends, and social connections for potential new hires. Long-term employees know the ins and outs of your workplace. They know who will “fit”, what kind of skills you need, and the type of person who will be an asset. It simply makes good business sense to use them as a resource.

No one is applying for your job openings? Do this now! "Tweet this"

Offer sign on bonuses, better pay, perks, time off, and other incentivesAccording to a recent article from CBSLocal, “Over and over again companies just don’t recognize and value their employees and they underpay, not recognizing the cost of not having well trained and well knowledgeable employees. And high turnover is an expense too,” said Point Park Professor Elaine Luther. With the bounce back in business, Luther said people are looking for a job where they feel safe, valued and can make a livable wage”.

Take a look at your finances and resources and offer whatever you can. Get creative. And remember, it is not always about the money. 

"While it is true that some small companies may not be able to offer the salary associated with working for big business, they can offer many other things that will create a valuable working experience.   

Working for a Small Business can offer you (job seekers) something different. 

By nature, a small business atmosphere is more hands-on and close knit. Employees have a much more tangible stake in the success of the company and often have a chance for greater input. Even flexibility of work hours, telecommuting, and promotions are often part of the small business culture.

The success of a small company relies on flexibility. They depend upon being able to adapt quickly to changing external and internal forces. And their employees can learn a lot from this ever-changing environment. 

Small business employees have the opportunity to learn many roles. Strict adherence to job titles and work responsibilities is not often practical for companies with fewer employees. This allows for more job responsibilities and the chance to really make a difference ~ all of which is a great resume and career builder.

The collaborative and nurturing characteristics of small business are also a plus for employees. It is a chance to really get their voice heard and to get their ideas implemented much sooner and more often than will occur in a larger company. And as small businesses slowly start recovering from the effects of the pandemic and are once again hiring to bolster their workforce, it is more important than ever to keep them on your job search radar.

Learn more about attracting job seekers to your small business here!

Most importantly, take a look at yourself and your management staff ~ do you set the tone and atmosphere that makes your employees want to work for you and achieve?

  • Is your “management style” one that treats people with respect? 
  • Do you reward hard work? 
  • Do you welcome ideas and input from your employees? 
  • Is your company a place where employees not only achieve company goals but their own goals as well?

Creating an atmosphere where your employees feel valued is key. And it will make your company much more attractive to job seekers as well!

Being critical in assessing how your business looks to potential employees will go a long way towards getting the quality new hires you need. Simply put ~ Make your business a place people want to work. 

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Need a Background Check? Find out when and how to choose the right company for you!

 When is the best time to choose your Background Check company? 

The short answer is this ~ long before you are ready to hire! And here is why….

Imagine this, you are ready to make a new hire for your Small Business. You tell your network, place ads ~ all the things you hope will land you the perfect applicant.

You contact a few hopefuls to come in for an interview and find three possible candidates. But before making your new hire, you decide it might be wise to run a background check first.   

You make a few calls, or check online, and find a company you think will get you the information you need.  

What could be better?

But instead of being a good way to hire for your business, this is actually a perfect example of what NOT to do!

Our advice? The best time to contact us, or any screening company, is long BEFORE you ever need to hire!

Many companies get this backwards. They realize they need to hire, then scramble to find someone to help them screen their applicants ~ or worse, forgo the background check all together.

Meeting with potential background check companies before hand, and choosing the one best for you, will make your hiring process much smoother and more successful!

A good background check company will help you put in place all the steps you need to follow well in advance. This may start with the job descriptions for each position within your company (this is something that we have helped clients with in the past), and should also include advising you on your  employment applications.  

They will also make sure your release forms are compliant, or supply you with one of their own, along with explaining employee rights when it comes to background checks, adverse action letters, etc.

Connecting with your background check company early also gives you ample time to ask any questions you may have about the employment screening process. There should never be any confusion about how and why you are using background checks in your hiring practices.

Going the extra mile to make sure you are completely comfortable with the entire process is the goal of every good screening service ~ and this is especially important to Small Business.

With limited budgets and the settings that often result in close contact among employees and customers, hiring safely is more important than ever. 

Read “4 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Use Background Checks” to find out more!

No matter whether you are ready to make your first hire, or your 20th, preparing early  for what you need to do and when makes sense. And the best way to accomplish this? Partner with the right background check company first!

After all, going into anything blindly is rarely the best course of action ~ and making your new hire is no exception!

Choose a Background Check company that will work WITH you, not just FOR you! "Tweet This"

Want to know how to choose the best background check company for you and your business? The key is to find one that will work with you every step of the way!

You should understand first and foremost that not all Background Check Companies are created equal. And many small business owners are confused or fearful of choosing the wrong one. But it is possible to find one that is a perfect fit for you and your small business. 

You should choose a company that:

  • focuses on your needs
  • uses direct sources for their information
  • is willing to take the time necessary to do their job right
  • understands compliance issues
  • does not promise prices that are “too good to be true”

Learn more about choosing the best background check company for you here!

Outsourcing your employment background checks is simply good business. It will give you access to their knowledge and experience, keep you updated on compliance issues, will help you keep your candidate and employee information confidential and protected, act as a barrier against discrimination claims, and, most importantly, save you time, money, and resources.

Learn more in “5 Smart Reasons to Outsource your Background Checks”!

No matter which screening company you choose, it is always best to do some research long before you really need their services. Having one in place before looking for your new hire will give you time to integrate the background check into your hiring process and be prepared to move quickly when a candidate looks promising. And that is good for both you and your potential new hire!

Still have questions? Contact Us Today! We can give you the information you need and help you hire safely and effectively for your Small Business.


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Sunday, March 28, 2021

What should You do if your college doesn’t respond to a Verification Request?

 
What would you do…..

You’ve been offered the job. After seemingly endless months of submitting your resume and rounds of interviews, you finally see an end in sight. Only one step remains, and that step is for you to pass the employment background check.

Everything seems to be going well until your screening hits a roadblock ~ your hard earned degree can’t be verified! Of course you know you graduated, so what can possibly be the problem? 

In an attempt to get your screening back on track, you reach out to your contact. And what do you find? You learn that the university has simply not answered their query.

So, what can you do?

This question was posed to us on Quora and this is our response:

"If a university, college, or other educational institution does not respond to a request for a verification, you do have some options. First, you can contact the institution yourself for an explanation. It may be that they require a signed authorization permitting them to release this information. Or, and this has happened, they refuse to release information due to an unpaid bill (even a library fine). No matter what the reason, finding out first hand can go a long way towards remedying it. If you get no satisfaction through the institution itself, which is unlikely, another step you can take is to provide your own verifying information. Official copies of your transcript, diploma, etc. might be acceptable to a potential employer. However, the best step of all is to know before you even apply for a job if there will be any “glitches” during the background check. That means contacting the university, high school, trade school, etc. where you claim a degree or certification to find out what information they have on file and what they will provide to a potential employer. Address and fix any issues that arise. You should do the same with your past employments and even your criminal history. The idea is to not be confronted with any “red flags” when you are looking for your next job. Good luck!"

You can find more answers to this question here!

Hitting Roadblocks in your Employment Background Check? That’s why you need to screen yourself first! “Tweet This”!

Encountering road blocks during your background check is undoubtedly frustrating. But the reality is that they do happen.

Your best bet is to be prepared first. And that means doing a background check on yourself first, creating a “background check ready” resume, and, above all, being honest every step of the way!

Have You ever Considered Doing a Background Check on Yourself?

There are many reasons why you may want to know what is "out there" about you. You may be considering college or buying a home. You may even want to volunteer at your child's school. But the most common reason by far is when you are thinking about applying for a job or trying to get a promotion.

The question then becomes, How?

Many employers use Background Checks as part of their hiring process. Most of these employers are looking for past criminal histories and validation of your employment and education claims. Some also do searches on driving records and social media presence.

Do you know what they will find?

Your best defense is a sound offense. Before you apply for any job, you will probably update your resume, research the company where you are applying – all in the hope of putting your best foot forward. Why not add a Background Check to that list?

Your background check should include the following:

  • Criminal History check
  • Education verification
  • Employment history
  • Driving history
  • Internet Search

Learn more in “Why, When, and How You should run a Background Check on Yourself!”.

Once you know what a background check will find, your next step is to make sure your resume is in complete alignment with that information….and these tips will help!

5 Rules you should follow to make your resume background check ready:

  1. Make sure your resume is “clean”
  2. Never list a degree you haven’t earned
  3. Make sure all employments listed are accurate
  4. Know what your past employers will say about you
  5. Be ready to mitigate any employment gaps or inaccuracies

Learn more about how you can use these steps to create your perfect resume here!

But no matter how much prep work you do, the most important thing when it comes to applying for and landing a job is that, above all, you are honest.

When your resume lies are uncovered during the hiring process, you lose. And, if discovered later, you could face not only the embarrassment of getting fired, but also the possibility of public humiliation.

Employers are understandably wary. Making a new hire, or promoting an existing hire, is a big deal. It costs money and time. And every employee is a reflection back on the company’s image and brand. No company wants the employer/employee relationship to begin with a lie.

These are the Top 5 Resume Lies that can keep you from getting the job:

  1. skills and responsibilities
  2. degree / diploma
  3. dates of employment
  4. job title
  5. past employers

You may think these are simply “little embellishments” or “close to the truth”, but no matter how you look at them, they are still lies.  And employers take notice!

Lying on your resume is never wise and it is often viewed as a mark against your honesty and integrity. 

Employers want to hire someone they can trust. If their first impression of you is one of deception, then your chances of getting hired are slim.

Discover more about the importance of honesty in your job search in “Employers Share ~ Lie on your Resume and You Lose”.

Preparing yourself for the inevitable employment background check is an important part of your job search. It should be given the same intensity and focus that you applied towards getting the education, training, and experience that now makes you a great candidate for the job.

And all it really takes is a little preparation before you apply! Good luck!


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Need help making sure your resume is “background check ready”? Contact Us Today! We can help you find the information you need to build a resume that will help you get the job you want!

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