Monday, April 28, 2014

One Size Does Not Fit All ~ Why You Need to Fit 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 dependsIt depends on what position you are looking to fill and what your job description requires.

One Size Does Not Fit All When it Comes to Employment Background Checks!  "Tweet This"

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. Doing this requires pre-planning. Therefore, before you need to hire, it is best to get your job descriptions in place.  

Make sure you outline in advance details for each position in your company. You should determine the education/training and prior experience required. You will also need to describe the job’s responsibilities and duties. 

Most employment screenings require some type of criminal background check. Therefore, you need to decide if a criminal or civil record would prohibit your candidate from performing the job requirements safely.  

This is where you need to be especially specific. It is crucial you determine exactly what types of crimes would be of concern ~ assault, drugs, theft, etc. The key is to make sure the crimes that would prohibit hire are ones that would keep the applicant from performing the duties listed in your job description.

For example, if your job requires driving a company vehicle, a record of drunk driving would be of concern. Or, it would be reasonable that jobs where your employee has access to customer’s homes would require a more stringent criminal check.

You may also want to check for any civil court records if a position requires 
access to company funds. In that case, financial crimes like embezzlement may prohibit hiring.

Here is what you should consider before deciding on the scope of your background check:
  • 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 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.
          Being as specific as possible with this list will help you determine what you need to screen during your employment background check.  
          It is important to be consistent across similar positions in your company. This helps you avoid charges of discrimination in how you use background checks. 

          The EEOC also weighs in on this issue, especially in the area of criminal background checks. According to the EEOC’s Compliance Manual on Race and Color Discrimination , employers must “be able to justify (the decision not to hire due to information obtained in a background check) as job-related and consistent with business necessity”. 

          In order to be compliant with EEOC best practices, you need to consider these 3 factors:
          • The nature and gravity of the offense.
          • The time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence.
          • The nature of the job held or sought.
          High on the EEOC’s radar is  the “blanket exclusion” of anyone convicted of a crime from being hired. Remember, your decision needs to be “job related and consistent with business necessity”.

          When faced with a background check containing a criminal record, you need to evaluate whether that crime poses a risk based on the job description. That is where carefully crafting those descriptions in advance pays off (and working with a great background check company can help!).  

          As you can see, a “one size fits all” approach to background checks is unwise, and may put you on the EEOC’s watch list. 
          Instead, being proactive and carefully writing thorough job descriptions will help you save money by screening for only what is necessary ~ and keep you compliantThat is definitely a Winning Combination!

          Authored by  

          API is here to help! Contact Us and we will guide you in your quest to hire the best employee for your company. Find out more by visiting our About Us and Background Check Investigation Services pages.

          Monday, April 21, 2014

          Hiring an Intern? Don’t Skip the Background Check!

          Do You do Background Checks on Your Interns?

          Many college students and recent grads are focused on finding that "perfect job". However, it often takes longer than expected. So instead, it may be time to go against the norm and instead work on finding that perfect internship

          The key is to find one that will give them the “real work experience” they need and test the skills they have worked so hard to attain. They recognize that an internship can be a valuable learning experience and a way to get their foot in the door to their chosen field. Most have never worked in a professional environment and believe an internship will teach them the ins and outs.

          But internships aren't only good for the interns!
          Employers can also gain great benefits from hiring interns. 

          Interns offers companies the chance to develop talent and get fresh insights into their business. There is also the added benefit of finding possible future hires.

          However, Internships in general have been debated. Questions revolves around whether, under current labor laws, interns should be paid. Multiple lawsuits have been decided on the side of the interns and many believe this could result in a decrease of internship programs. But, the reality is that not offering internships is not in anyone's best interests ~ and paying them actually helps, not hurst your business!

          Discover 3 Reasons Why You Should be Paying Your Interns here!

          Companies would do well to continue using interns. 
          Not only is it a great way of gaining the valuable talents of new hires without a long term commitment, it is also an opportunity to “pay it forward” to the next generation of young professionals. 

          However, as with any new hire, bringing interns into your company is not without some risk.

          Employers usually minimize this risk by running background checks on their applicants. When it comes to interns, however, many don’t utilize this resource.

          Hiring an Intern? Be Safe & Don't Skip the Background Check!  "Tweet This"

          Since interns are, by nature, part-time hires, employers question whether investing time and money into screening them is necessary.  

          To determine that, it is best to take a look at what your intern will be doing during their time with your company and fit the background check to the job!!

          Before deciding whether you need to do a background check on your intern, ask yourself this:
          • Will your intern have access to proprietary or sensitive client information? 
          • Will they handle company funds or other valuable assets? 
          • Do they come in contact with children, the elderly, or other vulnerable individuals?
          If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then screening potential interns is wise. 

          In these cases, you should at the minimum run a criminal history check. Finding out if your potential intern has been convicted of violent crimes or theft is crucial. In addition, if a certain level of skill is necessary to complete their duties, then verifying that they possess that skill is also in your best interest. 

          However, if your internship largely consists of shadowing existing employees or acting mainly as a “mentee”, then running a background check becomes more discretionary.

          What employers need to keep in mind is that as with any hire, protecting your company, your employees, and your customers must come first. 
          Using a background check as a tool to that end is always in a company’s best interest, even if it is on a temporary employee.
          The bottom line is this ~ background checks are designed to give you peace of mind. Whether that new hire is permanent or an intern, you have invested too much time, money, and hard work in your company to put it at risk. 

          Authored by  

          To learn more about what background checks can do to help protect your company, 
          Contact Us!  We can help!

          Find out more About Us and our Hiring, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting Services too!
          Please "Pay it Forward" and Share this article. Leave a Comment too. We would love to hear from You! Thanks!

          Monday, April 14, 2014

          Tips to Help You stay Focused & Get Active!

          No doubt about it. It is important to Get Active!
          After the holidays, or an especially hectic or stressful time, we are all ready to put some focus on taking care of ourselves! The problem? We still need to work. We have clients to keep happy and bills to pay. We also have blogs to write and social media obligations.

          Is it possible to do both? The answer is a resounding “Yes”!
          The key is to not deny yourself. Implement a work schedule with built in “me time”. You will find that when it is scheduled into your day, you do it!

          As an added benefit, taking an “active” break will also recharge you. You will gain better focus, added energy, and even find that you are more creative.

          Taking an "Active Break" is Good for Your Health & Your Business!  "Tweet This"

          Regular active breaks get you away from your desk and out of your seat. Like most people, you will enjoy and are energized by breaks from work. 

          Taking an active break does not have to be a huge commitment.  It can be as simple as a 10 or 15 minute walk around the block or a quick stepping or other exercise session.

          What is important is planning these breaks into your day.  It is best to begin each day with something active. It gets your metabolism moving and revs up your energy to tackle the work ahead.

          The next break many can take is usually around lunch.  If you can,  get outside and take a brisk walk. If the weather isn’t cooperating, moving in any way inside will have to do. Then end the day in much the same way.

          Reasons to take an "Active Break":
          • It is Good for your Body and Health ~ Your body is not designed for sitting hours on end. Your back, neck, and shoulders will feel the strain, along with your eyes from staring at your screen. Getting up and moving will make all the difference.
          • You will Feel More Creative & Effective ~ You will find that when you return after a brisk walk, or any activity where you move, your mind is clearer. Often something that has been puzzling us, or a blog article that just won’t come together, is suddenly not so daunting.

          • You will Become more In-tune with your Surroundings ~ Without sounding too “zen”, we find real peace being outside and moving ~ and if that place happens to be the beach, all the better!   
          • You will Feel Much Better at the End of the Day ~ Stress levels and headaches are lessened and your energy will be high.  You may also find you sleep much better too!
          According to an article on, “Take Short Walks to Live Longer”;
          The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 30 minutes of physical activity each day. By squeezing in an additional 15 minutes, you'll likely live even longer and make your daily life a lot more pleasurable.”

          While working from home definitely helps fit these active breaks into your schedule more easily, you can do this even if you work in an outside office. 
          Tips on How You can Incorporate Active Breaks into Your Day
          • Go for a Short Walk Every Day ~ It can be outside or indoors, just get moving! Over time you can increase your distance, or simply take a few short walking breaks each day, even three 15 minute breaks work great.
          • Join a Fitness Program ~ Choose a time that works for you.  Try to choose an activity that you can also do on your own time.  This will help you keep it up even on weekends.
          • Support a Fund-Raising Walk or Run ~ Join with co-workers or, if you work from home, recruit other local at-home workers.  Train for the event as a group daily or at least several times a week.  This type of active break is great for team building. 
          No matter what you do, it is important that you Get Active!
          I have certainly not always been the “poster child” for healthy living, but I have discovered that I really need to do this for me. It is not simply about fitting into nicer clothes, it is about my overall physical and mental well being.

          While you may not always have all the time you would like, scheduling in an "active" break as much as possible is good for your health and well-being. And you are worth it!

          Authored by     

          You will find more tips to help You with Your Business on our website,   accessprofilesblog.comWe invite you to take a look! 

          Also be sure to Contact Us for help with your HiringBusiness Mentoring, and Security needs! Find out more About Us  too!