Sunday, July 12, 2020

Do "Not Guilty" cases show up on a Background Check?

Do “Not Guilty” Cases show up on a Background Check?
There are always questions when it comes to Background Checks! People often wonder ~ What kinds of things they will check? or What is an employer really looking for?

But one of the most frequently asked questions is ~ What kind of information will be found out? This is especially true when talking about the criminal background check.

There is understandable angst and confusion when it comes to criminal history checks. Job applicants are often nervous ~ even ones who have no record! They may wonder what it means to their job search to have a record, if all criminal offenses carry the same weight, or even what will happen if mistakes are made?

Each of these questions is legitimate and understandable. And that is why knowing as much as you can about the entire background check process first makes good sense!

We were recently asked to weigh in on a question addressing about criminal background checks ~ "Do cases where a person was found Not Guilty or that were dismissed still show up in a background check"?
Here is our response:
The disposition of cases can, and should, show up on a background check. That includes verdicts of Guilty, Not Guilty, and even verdicts where the cases were simply dismissed (Nolle Prossed). The question then becomes, can an employer still hold a case where you were found Not Guilty against you? In other words, can they refuse to hire you simply because you were charged with a crime? In most cases, the answer is No! Employment laws and guidelines recommend that employers only consider cases where the applicant was proven guilty when making an employment decision. And even then, the crime committed should have direct bearing on whether the applicant can do the job safely and effectively”.

You can find the original question and additional answers on quora.com here!

The reality is that most employers do some kind of criminal background check. During that check they will research court records to find any case(s) where the subject has been listed. The findings will include: 
  • Cases were no disposition has been listed
  • Cases still pending disposition, often labeled as “Active” cases
  • Cases with a final disposition of guilty, not guilty, or nolle prossed (dismissed)
While these cases should be considered differently by employers, they will be discovered during any good background check.

The question then becomes, what can and will be done with this information when it comes to the hiring process?
There are clear parameters on how employers can consider a criminal record when deciding to hire an applicant. One of the most important of these guidelines is that employers are to use only convictions, not arrests, to make their employment decision.

Imagine being denied employment simply because of an accusation? That is what it is like for people who lose jobs solely based on a record of arrest. In reality, many arrest records do not indicate what happened after the initial arrest. Do you know if formal charges were ever filed or, if filed, were they eventually dismissed?".

An arrest alone simply does not prove criminal conduct. It is important to keep in mind that excluding someone based on an arrest record that is not job related or necessary based on your business can violate an applicant's Civil Rights.

The bottom line is this ~ No matter what kind of criminal history information may be uncovered during the background check, EEOC guidelines require most employers to only consider convictions when making their employment decision.

Find out more about why it is important to use Convictions, not Arrests, when making a hiring decision in “Why Checking an Applicant’s Criminal Past should be about Convictions, not Arrests!


While the EEOC guidelines concerning arrests are clear, there are still employers who may fail to follow them. So, what can an applicant do if this happens?

Remember ~ Job Applicants have Rights!
Applicants need to be fully aware of their rights. They should be informed that a background check will be done, what kind of information will be searched, and understand their rights when it comes to the results of the check.

There are also definitive steps that an employer must take if they are considering not hiring someone because of their criminal history. These include notifying the applicant, in writing, if adverse information was found in the background check and giving the applicant the chance to deny or mitigate those findings.

Applicants are also entitled to a copy of their background check report. If the report includes arrests that did not result in a conviction, applicants can question what information was actually used in denying employment.

That is why it is important that anyone looking for a job be prepared for the background check!

Understanding beforehand what a background check entails will help job applicants get their resume “background check ready” and understand what information they should have on hand before they even apply.

Remember, when it comes to an Employment Background Check ~ Knowledge is Power!
For more answers to common Background Check and Job Search questions, check out our Resources and Frequently asked Questions page or Contact Us! We can help not only answer your questions but can get your resume ready for your Job Search!


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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Should You do a Background Check on a Recalled Employee?

Are You ready to Recall your Employees?

Businesses around the country, large and small, are slowly reopening after the sudden closures due to COVID-19. They are making changes to follow safety guidelines. They are checking inventory and buying supplies. And they are also working out when and how to call their employees back to work.

But before taking that step and getting your employees back and up to speed, there are a few things to consider ~ and one of them is a background check!

Of course you may wonder why? Why would you need to do a background check on employees you already screened at their time of hire?

There are valid reasons why running another background check might be in you and your company’s best interest.

The most important reasons to re-screen are that it may be required by law or that your contractural obligations to your clients require it. 

There are certain industries where a break in employment longer than a certain period of time, often 6 months, requires that individual to be re-screened. If your industry falls under that category, then you are obligated to follow through.

Another reason to re-screen is that your clients expect it. Re-screening guidelines may even be part of your contract with those clients or customers. 

In that case, these clients will most likely require you to provide proof that all recalled employees have undergone a new screening and they are cleared to return to work.

When a re-screening is mandated by law or by clients, the parameters of that check are often pre-determined and must be followed during your investigation. Make sure you know what those guidelines are and follow them carefully.



You may also simply choose to do another background check on the employees you call back to work. And as an employer, it is your right.

Common reasons to re-screen include ~ a desire to protect your company from liability, your recalled employee was off for 6 months or more, your employee’s job duties will increase when returning to work, or any other reason that makes sense for you and your business.

The most important thing is that if do you choose to run a new background check on your recalled employees, that you follow definite steps to make sure you are doing it right. 

The key is to treat a re-screening the same way you treat any first time background check and follow all relevant local, county, state, and federal guidelines. 

These guidelines include:
  • obtaining a signed, stand alone authorization permitting the background check
  • providing your recalled employee with a copy of their rights as they pertain to an employment background check
Remember, if the background check comes back with any “red flags” that may keep you from recalling your employee, you cannot simply fire them. You must provide them, in writing, the results of the screening and give them a chance to exercise their rights as provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

This is where “individualized assessments” come into play. 

“Individualizes Assessments are used when the background check on your applicant uncovers are ‘red flag’ or a criminal past they may keep you from hiring them. And when this happens, there are specific steps you must follow to be compliant with EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines.

Steps involve informing your applicant, in writing, that they may not be hired due to their background check findings; giving them a chance to explain or mitigate the findings; and assessing the additional information provided before making a final hiring decision”.

These are considered the rights of any applicant, even an employee you are re-screening”, to be informed as to the findings of their background check and to be given the opportunity to refute, explain, or mitigate these findings.


There is also the possibility that due to court closures, backlogs, or a reduction in court workforce, your background check may be delayed. Because of this, it would be in your best interest to make all recalls “provisional” pending the results of the screening. This way your employee will understand that their return date is based on a completed background check.  

As in all background checks, in a re-screening it is still important to “fit the background check to the job”.

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

Learn more about fitting the background check to the job in “One Size does not fit all ~ Why You need to fit the Background Check to the Job!”. 

In the case of re-screening, you will already have a clear handle of the skills and duties required to do the job, so determining what to check for will be much easier than the first time around.

You will most likely want to focus on any criminal activity your employee may have been involved in while off. If that absence was for less than a year, then you will get the most up to date and accurate information by running a local and county criminal check. 

Keep in mind the types of crimes that would be of concern for the job to which your employee is returning. These crimes should be ones that would keep the employee from safely performing their job related duties or pose a danger to you, your company, or your customers and other employees.

You may also want to check for any civil court cases your employee was party to during their time away. This is especially important if their position requires access to company funds.

In the future, having a plan in place long before you need to re-screen is your best course of action. Deciding on your parameters beforehand, including how long the employee can be gone before running a new check and whether you will you re-screen for all positions or just those in upper level positions, will make the re-call process run much more smoothly and get your business up and running more quickly. 

While it is important as an employer to understand the reasons why and when to re-screen existing employees, it is also vital to be aware of the potential pros and cons that come with it.

“As a business owner, you may believe that since you checking into your employees’ history once, there is no need to check again. Or you may think that re-screening them shows a lack of trust. While we understand the confusion, there are legitimate reasons why doing post-hire screenings make sense.

Relying solely on your initial employment background checks to mitigate risk can give you a false sense of security and…..doing background checks on current (and returning) employees is an effective way of discovering whether there is new information you need to know to keep your company safe”.

Discover more about why and when re-screening makes sense for your business here!

There are times when re-screening your employees is simply good business. What is important is that no matter what, you are doing what is best for you, your other employees, and your company.

Whether you are re-screening a recalled employee or hiring for the first time, we can help. Access Profiles will provide you with the most accurate, timely, and cost-effective information to help you make informative hiring decisions. Contact Us Today to find out more!

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Get your Background Check questions answered here! You can also reach us through our website for a personalized response!


Sunday, May 10, 2020

What is a Previous Employer really Allowed to say about You?

What is a Previous Employer really allowed to say about You?
When it comes to a background check, do you know what a former employer will say about you? Do you know what they are actually legally allowed to say?

The quick answer to this question is ~ It depends! Some states and localities have statutes addressing this issue, while others do not. And even among areas that have regulations the guidelines can vary.

However, there is some information that past employers commonly reveal. These are your start and finish dates and your job title. For a growing number of companies, this is the extent of the information they will provide. Some others may also include your reason for leaving and whether you are eligible for rehire.

But what about things like your job performance or other “personal” details?   

When it comes to what a previous employer will say about you, your best bet is to know in advance. Not only is it better for your chances of landing a new job, but having this information will also prevent any unwelcome surprises during the employment background check!


Many states have regulations that outline the information a previous employer can reveal about you. These may cover things like requiring a signed release or limiting the information provided. In some instances, employers that follow these guidelines are then protected from being sued for defamation.

For example, in Pennsylvania, as in many other states, employers can only legally disclose information about your job performance and are protected from liability unless they outright provide false information or are in violation of your civil rights under employment discrimination laws.

In South Carolina, employers have a list of allowable information ~ length of employment; pay level and pay history; reason(s) for termination/separation; job performance; job description and duties; attendance, attitude, and effort; awards, demotions and promotions; and disciplinary actions. The employer is also immune from liability unless they knowingly or thoughtlessly lie.

In Connecticut, the information an employer can provide is any “truthful statement of any facts” and in Iowa, it is only “work-related information” that is allowed. Then there are also states and localities that have no limitations at all or where information can only be provided to certain types of businesses ~ hospitals, home health agencies, banks, public utilities, transportation companies, and contractors.

And, despite state and local regulations like these, many employers are only revealing dates of employment and job title or nothing, all to protect themselves from potential liability!

So, what can you do to give yourself a heads up on what past employers will say about you?

Do a little research! Find out the laws in your state and locality governing employer background check guidelines, along with any state and locality where you may have worked!

You can discover your state laws through this link or on your state or local websites, State Laws on References and Statements by Former Employers”.

But despite “best practices” and legal regulations, can you really be 100% sure that you know what a former employer will say about you? That is why your best course of action is to take the time to do a Background Check on yourself first! 


What will your Employment Background Check Say about You?
Knowing in advance what a former employer will disclose simply makes sense! 

Are you looking for a job? Ready to change careers? This is when running a background check on yourself BEFORE you apply is smart ~ and it will help you stand out from the crowd!

When it comes to preparing for an employment background check ~ your best defense is a good offense. Depending on the kind of job you are pursuing, you should make sure you include these basics in your background check:
  • Criminal History Check
  • Education/Certification/License Check
  • Internet Search
  • Driving History
  • Employment History
While you most likely know what will be found for most of these, what past employers may say can sometimes be a wild card. That is why knowing in advance is your best bet.

It is important to contact all past employers listed on your resume to verify what they will release to anyone doing a background check. Is it limited to job titles and dates of employment? Will they verify reason for leaving or comment on work performance?

Learning this information will give you that chance to make any corrections needed on your resume before a background check discovers any discrepancies. Find out more about why and how to do a background check on yourself in “Why, When, and How You should Run a Background Check on Yourself!”.

Being forewarned about what your past employers will say about you will give you peace of mind to go after that new job or promotion. And all it takes is a little work on your part first!

Authored by  



Need Help? Contact Us! We can answer your questions or provide you with a quality background check to fit your needs and budget!

Learn more About Us, our Background Investigation services, and what our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

When Should You do a Background Check on a Business?

How and Why to do a Background Check on a Business
Is it possible to do a background check on a business? And, if so, why should you?
No matter if you are thinking of hiring an employee or hiring a company, vetting them first is key. It is the only way to find out what you need to know before taking such an important step, all while keeping your company, your family, and yourself as safe as possible.

This question was recently posted on Quora, "How can my company conduct a background verification to verify potential vendors?”, and this was our response….

“You both can and should vet any company you are considering as a subcontractor, vendor, or partner. Doing a background check on these companies will help you get a better picture about how they conduct business, their reputation, and any previous or current litigation where they are listed as a complainant or defendant. Your best course of action is to do the following: check with the Better Business Bureau, look online for reviews, and check with local, county, state, and federal courts. The court checks should be done anywhere the company does business and should include both civil and criminal courts. It is wise to research these courts both under the company name and the owner(s) name(s). Doing your homework before you work with any company simply makes good sense. A good background check company can help you do it right. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions”.

You can find more answers to this question here!
It cannot be stressed enough ~ it is vital that you do your research on any business you may hire or work with! 

Whether we ourselves own a business and are contemplating taking on a partner or we are looking for  someone to work in our home, doing our homework first makes good sense!

The key is to know what to look for when we do our due diligence. Recognizing the questions to ask, and why, and also knowing how to verify the answer we get to those questions, will help!

It is important to understand that going into business with or hiring any company comes with a set of risks. The company could have dealt with clients poorly in the past. They may not live up to their promises or do shoddy work. Before you know it, you have wasted your time and money by hiring or working with someone that falls way short of your expectations. 

So, before signing on the dotted line with any company, do your homework!

Taking the time to ask the right questions and contacting sources that can give you a better picture of your potential hire is invaluable. It can help protect you, your company, and even your home from doing business with someone unreliable or even potentially harmful.


Discover the Steps You should take Before You do Business with any Business!
Steps You should take to Vet any Company:
  • Check Business References
  • Be prepared with questions to ask these references
  • Contact the Better Business Bureau
  • Check Civil and Criminal Court Records
  • Check Online Reviews
Discover more about these steps and what you need to know before you do business with any business here!

But doing your due diligence shouldn’t end with just vetting these kinds of businesses.


The same scrutiny should also be given to any charity or cause you are thinking of supporting! 

“Despite the many good charities out there, there are also those that are complete frauds. These organizations try to trade on a person’s desire to help others only to line their own pockets. But how can you tell the difference between a legitimate charity and a scam?”

4 Signs a Charity might be Fraudulent:
  1. They won’t give you any details about their mission or where their money goes
  2. They use a name that is close to, but not the same, as a well-known charity
  3. They try to pressure you into donating immediately
  4. They ask for cash or wired money donations 
So, what can you do to protect yourself and make sure your donations are doing the most good? Once again, do your homework and ask the right questions!

Discover the steps you should take before you donate in “Do This Before You Give Money to any Charity!”.

The more information you have on any business that you are contemplating as a potential partner, using as a subcontractor, hiring to work in your home, or even a charity you may support, the better decision you will be able to make! It will also give you the peace of mind that you have done all you can to protect the things that are the most important to you ~ your family and your business.

Authored by 



Have questions about how to do a background check on a person or a company? Contact Us! API can help give you the information you need!


Learn more about About Us, Our Background Investigation Services, and Reviews from our own clients too!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Can You Pay Someone to Act as a Reference?

Can You Pay someone to act as Your Reference?
Is it ever okay to use “fake” references when looking for a job?
Job seekers are often worried about what a past employer will say about them. Maybe they left on bad terms? Or maybe they simply didn’t get along with their supervisors, co-workers, or were simply not up to doing the job?

Whatever the case may be, people in this position may consider using friends as employment references or, at the most extreme, even hiring someone to pose as their reference.

In fact, this exact scenario was posed on quora.com, and when we saw it we had to weigh in!

The question……."Is there any site where I can pay people to act as my references for my history because I wasn't on great terms with former employers?".

Here is our answer……
"Even if there is such a site, don’t do it! Hiring someone to pretend to be your reference is fraud. And most likely, at some point you will be found out. Instead, be completely up front with potential employers. Explain the situation, all while emphasizing the positive skills and attributes you can bring to the job. You should also look for people who can actually speak positively about you. It may be someone you interned with, a professor, etc. Even co-workers that you worked on projects with can help you. What we are most concerned about however, is the fact that you are even considering this course of action. All that does is start your employer / employee relationship on a dishonest note. So please abandon this course and move forward with the other remedies we listed. Good luck!".

You will find additional answers to this question here!

It cannot be emphasized enough, when it comes to your resume and references, honesty is key. 
While presenting yourself in the best possible light is naturally your goal, achieving that goal should never involve lying. Not only is it wrong, but you run the risk of being found out. That is especially true during the employment background check!

“Be assured, employers are checking. Verifying the information on your resume is common practice and part of most company’s hiring processes. Investigating your education, past employments, and skills top the list. It is time to take note ~ 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. excerpt from “Employer’s Share ~ Lie on your Resume and You Lose!”.

Be Honest on your Resume and References
So what should you do if your resume and references are less than stellar?
Take the time before you apply for any job to make sure both are completely truthful and highlight your real accomplishments and goals. Tailoring your skills to fit the job you want is also important.

When it comes to your resume, you should….. 

  • Never lie! Be as accurate as possible about everything listed
  • Never cite a degree or certification you haven’t earned 
  • Make sure all past employment contact information is current and complete
  • Know in advance what past employers will say about you 
  • Be ready to mitigate any employment “gaps” 
  • Do a background check on yourself first

Learn more about how these steps will ensure that your resume is accurate and will not raise any “red flags” or uncover unwelcome surprises in “Tips to Help You Get your Resume ‘Background Check’ Ready!”.

Next you need to take the extra step and make sure your references will help you in your job search and not hurt it! 
“Do you know what your references will say about you? Don’t fall prey to one of the biggest mistakes a job seeker can make ~ listing your former employers, supervisors, or professors as references without asking them first!.

This common courtesy can greatly increase your chances of getting the kind of recommendation you need to land the job!

Your references will have had the opportunity to gather their thoughts beforehand and will not be caught off guard ~ giving you the best chance of your references working for you instead of against you.

When references are contacted unaware, they often stumble. Dates and titles elude them. Specific projects you may have worked on or tasks you lead are unmentioned. This can lead to an unimpressive reference report”.

Discover the 7 tips that will help you get the most out of your references in “Your References ~ Be Smart, Ask First”!

The bottom line is, when it comes to your job search, it never pays to lie. Doing the work beforehand to make sure both your references and resume will honestly show you in the best light is your best course of action.

Not only will it help you impress any employer, it will also show you to be honest and forthright from the start. And that is what employers are looking for from their new hires!


Access Profiles can help you get your resume “background check ready”! Contact Us Today!


Authored by  


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Sunday, February 9, 2020

Hiring in 2020? 5 Things You Need to Do First!

Hiring is a big step for any business. 
Whether it is your first hire or you have hired before, making sure you do it right is important for you, your employee, and your company. 


Knowing these 5 things first will ensure your Hiring Practices are up to the task!

Know what Kind of Background Check fits the Job
Knowing exactly what you need to include in your employment background checks, and why, makes good business sense. Not only will it save you time, it will save you money. It will also ensure that you are fitting the background check to the job! 

“When it comes to Background Checks, clients often ask “what exactly do I need to screen for?”. The answer? It depends! It depends on what position you are looking to fill and what your job description requires. 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.” excerpt from “Why You need to fit the Background Check to the Job”!

That is why it is vital that before you need to hire you take the time to get your job descriptions in place first.

You will need to determine the education or training it will take to do the job and if prior experience is required. You will also have to outline the job’s responsibilities and duties.

Learn more about how to write the best Job Description for your Small Business and Why it is so important in Part 1 and Part 2 of  “Job Descriptions ~ How to Write One & Why it is Important to Do it Right”!

Knowing this information beforehand will help you be compliant with background check best practices and help you find the right person for the job!

Know what Rules Apply to Your Background Checks
Rules governing background checks have undergone major changes in the past few years, and this evolution is most likely to continue. Keeping up with these new guidelines can seem like a daunting task. But ignoring them can end up costing you and your company.

Your best practice is to be proactive and know exactly how to use employment background checks safely in your small business. 

Now is the time to make sure that your hiring practices are not violating EEOC guidelines, especially those concerning background check releases and disclosure forms.

4 Most Common Background Check Release Violations:
  1. You (the Employer) don't Disclose that a Background Check will be Obtained
  2. You don't obtain a Signed Authorization from your Applicants
  3. Your Authorization Form is Not a Stand-Alone Document
  4. Your Authorization Form includes a Release from Liability

Find out more about what you can do to protect your business from violating employment background check guidelines in “Tips to Help Your Business Fly Under the EEOC Radar”.

5 Things You Need to Know Before You Hire!

Don’t Hire before doing a Background Check
“When it comes time to hire, many small businesses make the biggest mistake they can make ~ They Skip the Background Check!

Instead of approaching hiring with caution, they think that simply because they are a small business, screening their applicants before hiring them isn’t necessary. Maybe they are hiring people they know…..Maybe they think they can’t spare any additional money checking into their applicants’ pasts. Or they might think that they should take anyone just to lessen their work load. Still there are others who believe they have a good ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to people. They think they will ‘just know’ if someone will be a good fit. And, after all, their resume just looks so impressive. They couldn’t be more wrong!”, excerpt from “If You are not Doing Background Checks on Your New Hires, You are Making the Biggest Mistake Your Small Business can Make”!

Hiring for your Small Business should be done carefully. There are very real consequences to making a bad hire. You need to remember that your employees are a reflection of your business, and that is even more so in a Small Business. If you end up hiring someone who steals from you or is a danger to your customers or your other employees, then it is much harder for you, as a Small Business, to recover and your reputation will suffer.

Your best defense is to do a good Background Check each and every time you hire. This will set an important precedent and show that you take your business seriously. The key is being consistent. Don’t pick and choose who to screen. Screening all your chosen applicants will help you hire the right candidate and protect your company against discriminatory hiring claims.

Understand the Steps You need to take when your Background Check uncovers a “Red Flag”
There is bound to come a time when your employment background check uncovers a “red flag”.

It might be a degree or an employment that cannot be verified. It may even be a criminal history. But no matter what the case, simply dismissing the applicant may not be in your best interest.

This is when it is time to use Individualized Assessments.
“Individualized Assessments are used when the background check on your applicant uncovers a “red flag” or a criminal past that may keep you from hiring them. And when this happens, there are specific steps you must follow to be compliant with EEOC guidelines”.

These steps involve:
  • Informing your applicant, in writing, of the background check findings
  • Giving them a chance to explain or mitigate the findings
  • Assessing any additional information before making a final hiring decision
It is important that you consider any information your applicant provides to explain, mitigate, or refute those findings before deciding whether to hire them or remove them from consideration.

Discover more about the steps you need to take during an Individualized Assessment in “Individual Assessments ~ What They are and Why You need to use them in Your Small Business!”.

You can also learn more about best practices when it comes to your Employment Background Checks here!

Partner with a Good Background Check Company ~ It is simply Good Business    
A professional background check company will help you navigate these ever changing screening waters. They will keep you current with new guidelines and help you understand what information you can use and why to make your new hire.

“Outsourcing your background check needs to a professional is your best bet. Their experience and knowledge will actually save you time and money, letting you focus on other important aspects of your business”. 

5 Smart Reasons to use a professional Background Check Company ~
  1. Their Knowledge and Experience 
  2. They will stay Updated on Compliance Issues 
  3. They are practiced in Protecting your Applicant’s Personal Information 
  4. They act as a Barrier against Discrimination Lawsuits 
  5. They will Save  You Time and Money

Learn more about the benefits of partnering with a good Background Check company in “5 Smart Reasons to Outsource Your Background Checks”!

Your hiring practices will undoubtedly continue to evolve and grow as your needs change . Having sound policies in place now, and the flexibility to to update them in the future, is simply good business. Keeping these 5 Tips in mind will help. Is your Small Business ready? 

Authored by 



Contact Us Today! API will help You Hire the best Candidate for your Small Business!


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Our Top 5 Small Business Articles of 2019!


2019 is in in the books!
At Access Profiles we, like all of you, have had to deal with changes throughout this past year. Changes that impact how we run our small business and changes on how we seek to improve it.

But one thing has remained constant ~ our focus on helping you, our clients and readers, navigate the changes that directly effect your employment and hiring practices.

So, in order to to close out the old and welcome in the new, we are once again sharing our Top 5 Small Business Articles as determined by you, our readers. These articles are the ones that got the most “likes”, shares, and comments.

Thank You!

Number one on our list was “The Top 5 Hiring & Background Check Trends and Guidelines You need to Follow Now”.

The purpose of this article was simple…..to make sure you know what you need to know about the laws and guidelines that can impact your hiring process.

“Keeping informed of any new and emerging laws and guidelines is important in ensuring that your hiring and employment screening practices are working for and not against you”.

Understanding these trends and guidelines will:

  • help you make any necessary adjustments to your hiring procedures
  • help you comply with current and upcoming screening laws
  • help you attract the quality new hires you need

We also shared the steps you need to take now to comply with these laws and guidelines. 

You should:

  • Follow FCRA guidelines covering Employment Background Check release forms
  • Protect your clients personal information (PII)
  • Stop asking for salary history
  • Take steps to make your company attractive to job seekers
  • Consider hiring ex-offenders

Find out why taking these steps is so important to your company and hiring process here.

“Who” to Hire is just as important as knowing “How” to Hire for your Small Business. 

The next article to hit our “Top 5” focused on just that.

In “The “Soft” Skills You need to look for in Your New Hires!”, we shared how sometimes hiring for the “intangibles” makes sense. “Soft” Skills falls under this category.


“People that possess good “Soft” skills are able to work with and lead others. They are creative problem solvers and are often inherently likable ~ all of which make for valuable employees. 

When you are looking for a new hire, many of your applicants will have the technical “hard” skills needed to do the job. But those that also possess those coveted soft skills are the ones you really need to consider!

Even candidates that may not have every qualification you desire can be great new hires, if they possess those soft skill traits that are hard to teach”. 

The “soft skills” you should look for are:

  • A good work ethic
  • Leadership skills
  • Team player
  • Effective communicator
  • Resourceful problem solver
  • Good time manager
  • Willingness to learn
  • LIKABILITY

Hiring with these skills in mind is even more important for small businesses. Find out why here!

Our final “Top 5” article on hiring really struck a chord, “Should You Hire Family and Friends for Your Small Business?”.
This article resonated with many because it is common for businesses, especially small businesses, to hire family or people they know.

Hiring family and friends for your business would seem to make sense. You think you know the person and that they would have you and your companies best interests at heart.

But it is still smart to consider a few things first! Are they qualified to do the job? If not, are they able to learn quickly enough to do the job? And, even though you think you "know" them, don’t forget the background check!

Discover the pros and cons of hiring family or friends in your business here!


This next top article, “Isn’t a Background Check just a Way to Breach Your Privacy?”, really highlighted one of the greatest fears that job seekers have about the employment background check ~ the protection of their personal information.

Job applicants are wary about the kinds of information they are required to give employers and potential employers. They worry about who will see it and who could steal it. Easing these fears should be the goal of any good employer.

That is why companies must put sound policies in place to protect their applicant’s, and even their existing employee’s, personal information and be completely open and above board when it comes to background checks. 

Learn the steps you need to take to accomplish these goals here.

Rounding out our “Top 5” is “Questions You need to ask before Doing Business with any Business!”.
“Whether we ourselves own a business and are contemplating taking on a partner or we are look for someone to work in our home, doing our homework first makes good sense”!


Key is knowing what to look for when we do our due diligence. We need to know the questions we need answered and why those answers are important to making a good decision as to whether or not we should work with a company.

You should:

  • know what others say about them (check references)
  • check with the BBB
  • check for any civil or criminal court records
  • look at online reviews

Knowing as much as possible about any company you are thinking of working with helps minimize risk, protects your company or your family, and keeps you from wasting time and money.

Learn more about how to check out any company here!

This concludes our “Top 5 Articles of 2019”!. We look forward to sharing more information about Hiring and Background Checks to help you and your small business in 2020.

If you have any specific topics you would like covered, please let us know!

Thanks again for supporting our blog and small business. We couldn’t do it without you!

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