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!


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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!

Authored by  


Check out our site for more information on Hiring and Background Checks and our Small Business Mentoring and Security Consulting services.

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