Sunday, July 15, 2018

Do You Love Solving Puzzles? Then You Need to Think about a Career in Background Checks!

Doing a Good Background Check is like 
Solving a Puzzle.

You are given a set of pieces, “facts”, and asked to fit them together to form a comprehensive picture of your subject. In the case of employment background checks, these pieces come in the form of an applicant’s resume or application.

Your client, the employer, wants to know whether the information listed in that resume is true and accurate. Only then will they feel justified in making their new hire.

Your job is to do the research necessary and provide them with the verified pieces of information they need. Those pieces are then used to form a bigger picture of the applicant.

This is the puzzle you are asked to solve ~ and I find this work fascinating!

By nature, I am a curious person. I love to learn about people ~ their skills, their interests, and what drives them.

Doing background checks is a natural extension of this curiosity.

By nature, we are curious creatures. We wonder and surmise about many things. 

I know I am never happier than when I have a puzzle to solve. That is why I find myself again and again drawn to mysteries, both fictional and real-life.  

And I believe that is what has lead me along my career path ~ running my own Background Check investigation company!

My love of a good mystery helped me develop my critical thinking. It has also taught me how to evaluate information, how to examine things below the surface, and how to take random pieces of information and form a picture that leads to a solution.

These traits have been invaluable assets in my business.  

Many times the investigations I run are all about analyzing clues and getting a clear picture of my subject, whether it is a person or a business. Either way, I need to gather and determine the accuracy of information. I also need to put those pieces together.

This is the profile I then supply my client. They trust me to weed through data and present them with a clear and concise solution”, excerpt from  “How Following my Love of Mysteries Lead Me to My Perfect Business”!

Finding a career that speaks to your interests, skills, and talents is key. When that happens, you will find the most fulfillment and success.

I find the entire process of background checks and due diligence investigations immensely satisfying. I love taking the multiple pieces I discover about an applicant, or even a company, and turning that into a comprehensive and verified profile for my clients.

So why not put your own Puzzle Solving Skills to Good Use?

If you have the same curiosity, a love for solving puzzles, and a drive to find a solution to problems, then you should consider a career in background checks!

You may find it the perfect way to turn something that you love into a real career!

Do you think you might be ready to take the next step start a job doing background checks, or simply want more information? Or maybe you may even be thinking about starting a screening company of your own?

We are ready to answer your questions and offer the business mentoring services that can help!

Our Mentoring Services include sessions designed to cover both general topics, those relevant to all small businesses, and background check specific topics for those that want to start their own screening company.

Our General Business Sessions cover: 

  • “Running a Small Business” - an overview
  • Setting Up Your Business - an overview
  • Choosing Your Products and/or Services
  • The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
  • Marketing Your Business
  • Social Media and Your Brand
  • Business Blogging

We also offer sessions specific to the background check industry. These cover topics such as:

  • How to Do a Background Check - general topics and step by step guides
  • Creating Compliant Release and Disclosure Forms
  • Understanding and Creating Your Reports
  • Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Laws
  • How to Do the Research
  • How to Safely Deal with PII (Personal Identifying Information)
  • Creating a Company Privacy Statement
  • How to Deal with Delays
  • and much more

Discover more about how API can help you start or revamp your business here and 
Contact Us Today!

So, if are you driven by curiosity and puzzle solving, then doing background checks might be just the place where you find your true calling.

What are You Waiting for? Get Started Now!

Authored by  

Learn more About Us and Our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and 

And find out What Our Happy Clients have to Say too!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Why You Need to Worry What Your Online Activity Says about You!

We are living in very interesting times. 
Our country seems to be divided over a multitude of issues, with no reconciliation in sight.

Everything from Immigration, Minority Rights, Health Care…and these just top the list… instigates arguments, even among friends.

And while healthy debate and peaceful protest have been, and I hope always will be, a vital part of who we are as a country and as people, somethings seem to be lost ~ namely our Humanity and Civility.

The fundamental differences between us are now cause for a growing amount of divisiveness and fear. Protests often lead to violence. Streets are blocked and people are accosting each other with words and actions, even to the point of destroying property and causing physical harm.

Although this behavior certainly has me worried, this divisiveness is even more apparent online. 

Social Media is being used in a way that I believe was never intended. Instead of hopping online to chat with our connections and see what they are up to, visit our favorite business pages, and even read an amusing meme or two, our feeds are filled with arguments, name-calling, and intolerance.

Each side in these arguments is so sure they are right that neither is interested in listening to anyone with a different point of view. Instead they will cite “facts” to support their cause, simply taking at face value anything that helps them prove their point and dismissing anything that doesn’t.

So, what used to be a way to stay connected with family and friends has now often become something mean spirited and a cause of anxiety for many.

Even more troubling is that being online seems to give many the illusion of being “anonymous”. This makes many feel a sense of freedom to say anything and everything they want without restraint.

Personally, much of what I see online just makes me sad.

I find myself blocking sites, and even certain people, simply because of the things they post. But, even more importantly, I worry about what this is all saying about us as people. 

Is what we see online showing us as a country filled with people who are caring, empathetic, proud, and kind? Or does it make us look mean-spirited and intolerant.

Are you ready to ask yourself what your online activity is really saying about you?

I think if we take a hard look and are honest with ourselves, we may not like what we see.

That is why I practice my “4 Question Rule” when I am online.

Before I post or “like” anything, I ask myself:

  1. Am I proud, interested, or entertained by what I am about to “like” or share?
  2. Will I continue to feel that way days ,weeks, or even years after I post it?
  3. Would I want my children or grandchildren to read what I post?
  4. Do I have real facts to back up what I am saying, or at least the conviction that it is meant to truly help others?

Only if I am satisfied with the answers will I then hit “like” or post it! My goal is to try to keep in mind what effect my posts will have on others and not go out of my way to hurt or truly offend anyone.

I think what I post says a lot about me as a human being. It is a glimpse into my beliefs and values ~ and I want that picture to be a positive one.

And if you have a business or are looking for a job, what you post and the picture it paints can have more of an impact!

Facebook “likes” can present a picture of who you are and what you think. Some things, like causes you believe in, you may want to share. While other things, like your politics, you may not.

While this may not mean much if you simply use Facebook to connect with friends, for those of you cultivating an online business presence, this can be more problematic.

The professional brand you build needs to be protected. Creating trust between yourself and your customers takes time. But it can take very little to lose it”, excerpt from “Ready to Improve Your Brand? Why You Need Think Before Clicking “Like”!

If You have a Business, keep this in mind ~ What you post can alienate existing or potential clients and it may even attract interest you never intended.  

If You are looking for a Job or Promotion, understand that your social posts  and activity may reveal information to a potential employer you don’t want them to know, things like your personal beliefs, party behavior, and more.

Read more about the power of your social media posts and “likes” here!

It is important to understand early the potential impact of our social posts on our image and future employment. We need to be aware that what we share online paints a picture of us ~ and our goal should be for that picture to be a positive one. 

That is why we need to start early. We must teach our children how to use social media responsibly.

This is especially important because of the increasing use of “Social Media Checks” in determining employment and even promotions.

This type of check is becoming a more common part of many background checks. Companies and colleges will search online for both positive and negative posts that could have an impact on their admittance or employment decisions.

Parents and young people should be aware that their social media posts will have an impact on how they are perceived. They can result in them being seen in either a positive or a negative light”, and that this can have an impact on their future.

Find out more in “What We Need to Do to Help Our Children Get Ready for College, the Job Market, and Background Checks”.

But remember, if what you are posting is in support of something you truly believe in, 
Go for It! 
That is when you should be ready and willing to Stand Up!

But posting something without any real truth to back it up, or simply to agitate or hurt others, is not only irresponsible, it is ignorant. When I post anything, I will I OWN IT ~ both personally and professionally!

It is up to us, as adults, to set a positive example. We all need to be more aware about what we share online and the impact that what we share may have on our image and on others.

Instead of using our social posts as a way to lash out and “prove” to others just how wrong they are, take the high road.
Why not simply practice a little civility?

Authored by   

for more information on using Employment Background Checks in your business or how You can get Your Resume “Background Check Ready”!

Learn more About Us and 
what Our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What Information Does an Employer Really Need to Do a Background Check?

There are many mysteries and misinformation surrounding employment background checks.

It seems that no matter how many articles or news stories are written about them, background checks still make a large number of people unsure and uneasy. 

And that definitely includes both Job Applicants and Employers!

When it comes time for the Employment Background Check, applicants, and even employers, are often nervous. Both have questions about the process and wonder whether the information found will have an impact on the hiring decision.

3 Questions Applicants and Employers have about Background Checks:

Why are Employment Background Checks Necessary? 
As an employer, “it is important that you hire carefully, not in haste. Not all business owners recognize the importance of screening their employees from the start. Many believe it is not necessary. Or that it is too time consuming and expensive.

They also might not understand the consequences of making a bad hire.

When you hire, you need to remember that who you hire is a reflection of your business. They are often the first “face” of your company that your clients and customers see.

Your clients often deal with your employees on a much more intimate basis than they do with you.  

That is why making a hiring mistake can actually harm your carefully cultivated brand. It can even put your small business, your other employees, and your clients in jeopardy”.

And that is only the beginning. Find out more about why employment background checks are crucial to your business in “If You are not Doing Background Checks on Your New Hires, You are Making the Biggest Mistake Your Small Business can Make!”. 

What Guidelines need to be followed when doing Employment Background Checks?
Employers are subject to many regulations and guidelines when it comes to hiring ~ and that is especially true when it comes to the background check.  

The must recognize that Job Applicants have rights concerning when a background check can be done, the release forms that can be used to authorize the check, and rights concerning the information found during the check.

Not following these laws and guidelines can put a company in hot water. 
That is why integrating them into their hiring policies is so important. 

Learn more about the best procedure when it comes to the background check and an applicant’s rights here!

What Information are Background Checks really Looking For?
Anyone in the market for a new job (whether that be with a new company or for a promotion within) will most likely be subject to a Background Check.

And despite employment screening being a common practice, many are still confused about what a company is really searching for and why”, excerpt from “Employment Background Checks ~ What Companies are Really Looking For!”.

Most employers want to know an applicant’s past employment, education, and skills to determine if they have what it takes to do the job. They will also want to know whether the applicant has a past criminal record that could jeopardize the safety of the company’s customers, employees, or assets.  

What may be surprising to know is that by the time a company is ready to do the background check, they are really looking for verification that they have made the right decision in wanting to hire this applicant! 

And while, I have frequently covered these questions and other topics concerning employment background checks, this question, that was recently posted by an employer on Quora, got me thinking~

“What information do I need to know about the applicant to run a background check?”.

This opened my eyes to a dilemma that this employer, and probably others, have when it comes to background checks ~ understanding exactly what information is needed from the applicant in order to do a good background check.

Here is the answer I posted on Quora:
In order to run a good background check, it is best to know as much identifying information as possible about your subject. At the very minimum, you need to know the subject’s full name, any previous names used, date of birth, social security number, and where they live. Ideally, you should also have them supply the following: any place they have lived and/or worked for the past 7 to 10 years and their driver’s license number and the state of issue. If you plan on verifying education, they should also list the name, location, and contact information for the highest diploma or degree obtained. If you will be verifying past employment and/or references, then you will want them to provide the name of the company or reference, their phone number and a working email address, and their dates and title of employment. 

While this may seem like an excessive amount of information, requesting it from your applicant serves two purposes. First, it speeds up the entire process because it eliminates the time it would take to try and research this information yourself. And second, it is a great way to get a feel for the honesty and thoroughness of your candidate. Providing accurate information is a great first step in determining how honest they really are!”.

Check out the full post including my and others’ answers here and
discover more tips on what you should provide and expect from your background check company in “You want a Background Check, Now What? What Your Provider Needs to Know”.

But in the end, how much of this information you really need comes down to this ~
 the type of job you are filling and the scope of your desired background check!

The Scope of Your Employment Background Check Depends on the Job!

It is wise, and cost effective, to fit the Background Check to your open position. This means covering only what is necessary in your screening process. 

Here is what you need to consider:

Level of Position ~ It makes sense to elevate your screening as the position advances. While entry level positions may only require criminal checks, you may add education, references, and more as determined to be wise for higher company jobs.

Access to Company Assets ~ Does the position require handling money or product? If so, criminal and civil record checks would be a must ~ looking for a crime like theft would be of interest.

Access to Sensitive Customer and/or Company Data ~ Making sure your applicant has never been convicted of a crime related to mis-using company data is key. 

Contact with Clients, Customers, and Employees ~ Will they be the “face” of your company? Actually go into client’s homes or  businesses?  Work closely with other employees? Knowing whether your applicant has a history of physical or emotional violence and abuse is necessary to a safe hire.

Find out more in "One Size Does not Fit All ~ Why You Need to Fit the Background Check to the Job"!

Knowing in advance exactly what information you need from your applicant to do the employment background check makes sense and is good business. It will help expedite the entire process, which is good for you and your applicant, and give you the information you need to make a quality hire.

The result will be that both you and your applicant will be moving forward in the hiring process with your eyes wide open. And this is makes the most sense of all!

Authored by  

Ready to Hire or have questions about Employment Background Checks? Contact Us! We can Help!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Discover How Background Checks will Help You Protect Your Family and Your Home

Background Checks can Help Keep Your Family and Your Home Safe!
This is the time of year when many of us are looking forward to the warmer days and nights of summer. 

We are ready to have fun, relax, and spend time with family and friends. 

For many of us, Summer also means the beginning of a prolonged break from school. And while kids everywhere rejoice, parents are often faced with the logistics of how to keep our kids busy and cared for while we are at work

We might sign them up for activities like day or overnight camps, sports, and clinics. Some of us may even need daily or intermittent in-house or summer long day care for our children while we work. 

Many also look forward to taking a get away or two. And if we have pets, that can mean hiring pet sitters or looking into boarding kennels.  

We may even be thinking about getting the outside of our homes ready for the nice weather. Building or refurbishing decks. Ramping up our landscaping. Installing pools. Or even getting a new roof or updating our siding.

Whatever the case may be, our focus is on doing whatever is best for our families and our home ~ and a surprising way to help you achieve that goal is Background Checks!

While most people are familiar with background checks when it comes to getting hired, it may seem strange to use them in your personal life. But the reality is that Background Checks are a useful tool when it comes to protecting yourself, your children, and your home.

Background Checks are the best way to ensure that you are surrounding your children with adults who are safe and that your pets and your home are in the hands of qualified professionals.

To Protect Your Children
When you sign your kids up for camp, sports teams, or any other activities, it is important that quality background checks are done on every adult that comes in contact with your child. That is even more vital if you need to hire nannies or send your kids to day care.

But it is important that you understand that not all background checks are created equal. While many organizations will say they screen their employees or volunteers, it is crucial that you do your homework. 

Question these organizations. Know the sources they use for their background checks. Make sure they are checking the actual courts or the court’s own online databases. Verify that they are checking anyplace where the subject has lived and worked for at least the last 7 to 10 years and under any names they are currently or have ever used. 

And if you are not satisfied with their answers, move on and find another organization that does. Your child’s safety is what is important.

 To Protect Your Pets

Our pets are part of our family. We want them to be safe and happy is important to us. That is why we need to do everything we can to find good pet sitters and boarding kennels for when we need them.

Asking the same kinds of questions of these pet sitters and kennels that  we ask anyone who cares for our children makes sense. 

If using an agency, once again focus on the sources and time parameters they use to screen their workers. If hiring outside an agency, do the check yourself, or hire a background check company to do it for you.

You should also check online and reach out to friends and neighbors for recommendations and reviews.   

To Protect Your Home

When hiring individuals or a company for improvements to our home, it is important to vet both the company and it’s owner. Check civil court records for lawsuits and bankruptcies. Check online reviews both through the Better Business Bureau and social media sites.

The key is to get enough information to put your mind at ease that you are hiring a company with a good reputation that can do quality work.

But before you start, contacting a good background check company to help makes sense. They will answer your questions, suggest the best scope of your check, and contact the best sources to ensure you are getting the quality information you need to make an informed decision.

Read “5 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Background Check Company for You” to learn more about how to find the right background check company for your needs. 

The bottom line is that when it comes to signing your kids up for activities or camp, hiring sitters for your kids or pets, and using Maid Services, Home Contractors or Handymen, you can’t be too careful. The safety of your family and your home is simply too important.

So Remember…..Background Checks are not just for employers. There are definite, "real life" ways you can use them to help protect your family and your home ~ and that makes the most sense of all!

Authored by     

Contact Us! We can Help!

Find out more about our Background Investigation and Job Search services and what Our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

What New Grads Need to Do to Land and Succeed in their First Job

You have Graduated!

After four years, or longer, you have finally earned the degree you have worked so hard for. You are ready to go out in the world and make that degree work FOR you!

And that means Getting a Job!

But before you get started, there are things you need to know before you apply for any job. And some of them should be considered long before you are packing up your college apartment and donning your graduation robes.

Tips to Help You Get the Job & Get Noticed Once You are In!

Prepare Long Before Graduation Day
This begins with cleaning up your social media and getting your resume “background check ready”! It is important to understand that the majority of employers will do some type of background check before making their hiring decision. That check includes verifying the information listed on your resume and checking you out on social media. That is why it is so important to do what you can beforehand to prepare yourself and pass the test! 

Find out what you need to know in “Tips to Get Your Resume Background Check Ready”.

Define Your Dream Job
Ask yourself this ~ What do you really see yourself doing now, but most importantly, in the next 5 or more years? Then outline the path you need to follow to get there. It also helps if you know what you can expect to earn and if that meshes with the life you want to live.

Have the Basic Qualifications & Skills to Do the Job You Want
Be sure you have the skills and training employers are looking for in that position and that field. If you lack in any area, take an extra course to fill that gap. While taking a class, or more, is probably the last thing you want to do after graduating, being prepared when ready to apply can help you get hired!

Look for a Job
Then it’s time to focus on finding the right first job for you! The key here is to approach your job search the same way you did when preparing for exams ~ put in the prep work, study what you need to know, and go into it all with a great mind set! Discover the tips that will help you in “Attention New Grads! What You need Do to Land Your First Job”!

Talk with People Who already Have the Job You Want
Ask them questions. Know what you are realistically in for when you get hired for that position. Forge a connection with them. They may even be able to act as your mentor or introduce you to someone who can! Having a professional mentor is a great way to get invaluable perspective and feedback on what you are doing now and what you can do to help you progress in the future.  

Network in Your Chosen Field
Attend local industry events. When there, listen more than you talk. Connect with those that offer you an interesting perspective and that you feel comfortable with. Don’t forget to follow up! Send a quick email, a social media message, or even a more formal thank you note if warranted. You 
never know when someone you meet can open doors to you or even become a friend!

Be Willing to Start at the Bottom
Often times it is necessary to take a job just to get in the door of a company you want to work for or a position that will help you work your way up the ladder. What is important is that no matter the level of the position, be sure to build relationships with your co-workers and with management.

Then once you get in…Recognize & Take Opportunities that Come Your Way
Work hard. Take on extra tasks offered to you and ask for others. Be willing to learn new things and hone your skills. Show you are willing to face challenges and do the work! This will get you noticed and help you gain new and elevated skills. 

And finally…….
Remember, It should never be All About the Money
“Money won’t buy happiness” ~ but it certainly does make life easier! However, making your job choice ALL about the money most likely is not the way to go. Finding a job that is meaningful and “speaks” to you and your core values is much more fulfilling and rewarding in the long run.

Getting what is most likely your first “real job” after graduation is an understandable and desirable goal. But by first taking the time to really think about what you truly want and then using these tips to help you get there, you will be well on your way to finding the success you have worked so hard to achieve. Good luck!

Authored by   

For help in getting your Resume and Social Media “Background Check Ready”, Contact Us
Also check out our Background Investigation and Job Search Services page too! 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

What We Need to Do to Help Our Children Get Ready for College, the Job Market, and Background Checks

Are Your Children prepared for a College or Employment Background Check?

We were recently asked by Phrantceena Halres of the Coach Tate Foundation to discuss this topic on their podcast “Empowered Family Talk ~ Background Checks, Private Investigations, & Child Safety, What You Must Know!”.

The goal was to share with families what they need to know to help prepare their children for passing a background check in today’s world.

The first, and most important, thing to realize is that Background Checks are a Reality!

They are used to make employment decisions. They help determine whether you are eligible to rent an apartment, condo, or home. And background checks are even being used by colleges and universities as a criteria for acceptance!

That is why it makes sense to know as much as possible about how you can help prepare your children for background checks now.

This preparation needs to begin early ~ long before our children are even thinking about picking a school or getting a job or apartment. And the key to this preparation is knowing exactly what will be checked, why it is checked, and what can be found during your background check.

One Important thing You Should Know ~ Background checks are used to determine trustworthiness and reliability. 

Employers see them as a concrete way to verify the information you list on your application or resume. The thought is that if you lie, there is a good reason to question your honesty overall!

Because a background check is most likely in your child’s future, it also helps to know what those searches usually entail and “your takeaway” concerning each!

The Most Common Elements of a Background Check are:

Criminal Records ~ This can encompass local, county, state, and federal court records. It usually includes the courts anywhere the subject has lived and/or worked in the past 7 to 10 years.

Your Takeaway ~
Be clear, having a criminal record makes getting into a good school or landing a good job harder than it has to be. You and your child must realize that having a criminal record comes with consequences. And remember ~ drug charges and DUIs are criminal offenses.

Education Verification - This includes academic degrees / records, professional licenses or certifications, honors and awards. This information can be used by educational institutions to grant acceptance. It is also used by employers to verify the degree or graduation stated on an application or resume.

Your Takeaway
Verifying that you have the degree or certification you claim is vital. Employers want to make sure you have the skills necessary to do the job. They also use it as a tool to verify that you are honest on your resume. 
Tip - When you graduate, make sure all your fees are paid or many institutions will not verify your degree when a potential employer calls!

Employment Verification - This is used to verify your dates and title of each employment listed on your resume.

Your Takeaway ~
Before your child applies for a job, make sure they know their start and end dates for any past employments listed, along with their exact job title. Make sure your resume matches this information exactly, especially since your potential employer is checking for honesty and attention to detail. It is also important to know exactly what previous employers / past supervisors will release to your potential new employer.

Reference Verification - This can include both provided and developed references.

Your Takeaway
Make sure you know exactly what they will say. Contact them in advance to let them know you listed them as a reference and to make sure they are willing to help. Be sure to get the correct spelling of their name, their job title, and a good contact number and email. The easier you make it to verify these references, the more quickly your background check will get completed.

Tips to Help Prepare Your Child for a Background Check
Driving Records - Jobs in transportation and those that use company cars will check a driving record.

Your Takeaway
Employers are looking for a valid driver’s license and a pattern or excessive violations or revocations of driving privileges. Having any of these may be seen as a disregard for the law and paints you in a bad light.

Credit Checks - Rental agents use this to determine if you can afford the apartment and that you have a history of paying your bills on time.

Your Takeaway
Help your child establish good credit early. Make sure they have a checking and savings account, a credit card, and that any bills are paid on time.

Civil Court Checks - Checks are done in county and federal courts to look for lawsuits and for any landlord/tenant disputes resulting in evictions.

Your Takeaway
Parents, be sure to emphasize the responsibilities your child has when they are a renter. Make sure they understand the importance of paying the rent on time, keeping the apartment neat and clean, and treating the property with care. It is also important that they be a good neighbor and keep the noise down!
Drug and Alcohol testing - There are employers who drug test to hire and even those who randomly test existing employees.

Your Takeaway
Your child’s best bet is to be drug free. Employers have the right to expect a drug free and safe workplace, so it is important to be able to cleanly pass any drug test they require.

Social Media checks - This type of check is becoming a more common part of many background checks. Companies and colleges will search online for both positive and negative posts that could have an impact on their admittance or employment decisions.

Your Takeaway
You and your child should be aware that their social media posts will have an impact on how they are perceived. They can result in them being seen in either a positive or a negative light. Examples of posts that will be viewed as positive are ones that feature charity work, love of travel, participation in sports, clubs, and activities. Negative posts include posts that show excessive partying, illegal behavior, hate posts, violent posts, and negative posts on past employers.

Students ~ Be careful what you post. Does it show you in the best light? is it something you want your parents or grandparent to see? If not, don’t post!

Parents ~ Monitor your child’s online activities. Set a good example yourself by using your social media sites in a responsible way.

Tips - You have rights when it comes to social media checks. For example, you should never be asked to give up a password or “friend” an admitting agent or employer to give them increased access to your sites. They are entitled to public information only. And once something is posted, it is virtually impossible to delete. Even “friend only” privacy settings only go so far.

Background Checks are a reality in the world we live in, so your best bet is to understand this and make sure you and your child are prepared!

By understanding what a background check entails, and what you and your child can do to get ready for it, you are ahead of the game.

And if you really want to ease the anxiety that usually accompanies the idea of a background check, then do a background check on your child first!

Check the things that a potential employer or college may check. Know exactly what information will be found and whether that information is accurate. Knowing this will give you a chance to correct misinformation and be ready to mitigate any negative information that may be found!

The more you know and the better prepared you are, the less nervous you, and your child, will be about the background check. And a good background check company can help you do it right!

Contact Us to answer your questions or for more information!

Parents, it is important to do what you can to help make sure your children don’t get passed over for the job, apartment, or college they want. And being ready, well in advance, for the inevitable background check is the key! Good Luck!

Authored by     

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day ~ What Small Business can Do to Make a Difference

Earth Day - What Small Business can do to Make a Difference

April 22nd is Earth Day!
What began 22 years ago as a protest against the negative environmental impacts of our nation’s industrial development has now morphed into a global movement to save our planet.

According to the official Earth Day site*, over “1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads”.

Businesses and governments also pledge to make efforts to help. 

And if you own a Small Business, you can also take steps to Make a Difference!

As Small Business Owners, we are increasingly focusing on our communities and our environment. We recognize the impact that even small changes can make, especially when we all band together. 

And “going green” may even help improve our image and our business by appealing to environmentally conscientious consumers! 

But sometimes we just don’t know where to start!

A great first step is to understand what changes we can make in our daily business operations to help.

Small Businesses can:

Control Energy Use
We can start by tracking our energy and water use. This information will help find areas of waste and develop a plan to help you improve. And there are apps to help with that. Contact your local utility companies to find out more. We can also make it company policy to turn off or “hibernate” electronics and shut off lights when not in use.

Use Environmentally Friendly Products
Switching to laptops and other small electronic devices over desk tops is a start. We can also use rechargeable batteries, recycle paper, and try to reuse packaging material like boxes and folders whenever possible. Donating or recycling our old electronics is good practice.

Allow Remote Working 
If it is at all possible, giving your employees the flexibility to work from home, at least periodically, is a great way to cut down on the environmental impact of driving, or even using public transportation, to work. As an added benefit, It is also a welcome perk that can help you attract quality hires to your small business. Find out more in “4 Reasons Why Job Seekers will want to Work for Your Small Business!”.

Shop Local
Supporting other local, small businesses can also help our environment. Buying your supplies from local merchants helps cut down on fuel used in delivery. The same goes for buying your supplies locally. Even outsourcing or contracting work to local companies can help.

What You and Your Small Business can do to Help Our Planet!

But to really have an impact, it is important that you and your small business make your efforts to “Go Green” a part of the way you do business everyday!

And while it is certainly important that our Small Businesses do what they can to make a difference when it comes to helping our environment, it is also important that we, as consumers, do our part.

And one significant way we can help is to also Shop Local!

Shopping local is good for our communities and our environment!

When we Shop Local, we have the opportunity to make a huge impact on our environment and in our community. It is also a great way to promote Small Business.

Shopping Local uses less fuel. 
The markets and shops we visit are right in our own neighborhood. The fuel used by trucks that carry the goods from the local farmer or manufacturer is also lessened. When we buy local, we conserve that energy.

Local goods use less packaging. 
Whether it is the produce from a local farmer’s market or some other good from a neighborhood store, the packaging is often minimal when compared to nationally sold goods.

Shopping Local helps our Community.  
By frequenting local merchants, we become active and important members of our neighborhoods. We become acquainted with the owners of those businesses and they get to know us. This creates a real sense of “community” and connection.

Shopping local keeps our money “in town”. 
Money we spend at a local storefront or farmer’s market is a true reinvestment in our community. In this way we can have a real economic impact in helping support and grow local business”.

Learn more about how Shopping “Small” pairs perfectly with Earth Day in “Save Our Environment ~ Shop Local!”.

Protecting and Improving our environment needs to be a group effort. 

We must recognize that we are all in this together. Our government, our businesses, and our people need to all do our part to save our planet and our resources.

We can Do it Together!

Authored by   

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*Source 1:

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Are Your Release Forms all they Should Be? What You Need to Know!

What You Need to Know about Your Background Check Release Forms!
Hiring employees is a top goal for many companies.

It is a way to grow and open up new business potential. It is also a way to give back to the community.

But hiring comes with responsibilities.

To really be a benefit to your company, it must be done right.

That means establishing a sound hiring process and screening all potential new hires. Both are an important step in keeping your company safe and viable.

The entire hiring process, however, cannot and should not begin before you create a compliant background check authorization and applicant rights disclosure form.  

It is required that these forms are given to your applicant after a conditional offer of employment and before you begin screening. They ensure that your applicants understand that a background check will be done, that they consent to the background check, and that they know their rights in the event that a “red flag” is found during the investigation. This information must be given to each applicant, in writing, before the background check begins either in person or electronically.

That is why creating a compliant background check authorization form is so important”, except from “Stop, Don’t Even Think of Hiring Before You Do This!” 

Besides informing the applicant, compliant background check release and disclosure forms also protect your company. 

There are companies who have faced significant lawsuits for violations regarding these forms under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

That is why you must educate yourself about what can be and should be included in these forms, and what cannot! Remember, a good background check company can help you with this!

Get Your Background Check Forms Compliant Now!

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the FCRA offer sound guidance to help companies achieve compliance and avoid costly litigation.

You should first understand that the FCRA considers background check reports as “consumer reports”. These reports are used as a way to determine a person’s eligibility for employment and include information on your applicant’s “character, general reputation, and personal characteristics”.

In order to be compliant with FCRA guidelines concerning these background checks, employers must:

  • Disclose to your applicant that a background check will be done.
  • Obtain a signed authorization allowing the background check.
  • Notify your applicant if adverse information is found that might affect your hiring decision.
  • Provide your applicant with a copy of the report.
  • Give your applicant sufficient time to review the report and challenge or mitigate the findings.
  • Notify your applicant if you decide to rescind your offer of employment.

These guidelines are designed to make the entire employment background check process fair and transparent.

Using compliant disclosure and background check authorization forms is the first, and best, start to this process.

Under FCRA guidelines, you can combine your disclosure and the background check release in one form. However, your wording must be completely clear and easy to understand. Excessive or complicated legal terms should be eliminated.

In addition, waivers releasing your company from liability for conducting and/or using the background check to determine employment must also be excluded.

Bottom Line ~ your authorization / disclosure form needs to be a completely “Stand Alone” document! 

Some examples of language that the FTC recommends you avoid on your disclosure / release forms are:

  • Any statement requiring that your prospective employee certify that all information their application is accurate.
  • Wording that asks your prospective employee to acknowledge that all hiring decisions are based on non-discriminatory criteria.
  • Broad authorizations that permit the release of information that the FCRA recommends be excluded from a background screening report (for example, convictions over 10 years old).
  • Any additional mentions of authorization, disclosures, or waivers (instead these should be listed in a completely separate document).

But despite these clear-cut guidelines, there are still some companies who have not taken action.

Instead, they continue to use their existing outdated, non-compliant forms. 

Some may not have really taken notice of the new compliance regulations. They may have a small business and take on the employment screening duties themselves ~ without the guidance of a good background check firm.

Others may simply not see the urgency. They may think their forms are just fine and have been working well for them for years.

No matter what the reason, this course of action is not good business. 

It makes your company vulnerable and exposes it, and you, to potential litigation ~ something that should concern every company!

That is why the time is NOW to get your employment background check release and disclosure forms compliant and in order.

We can help you update your forms and your hiring practices so you can safely hire the quality employees you need!

Authored by     

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