Tuesday, May 27, 2014

You Want a Background Check, Now What? What Your Provider Needs to Know!

You have done your research and are sure you have found the perfect Background Check company for you.  

(If you missed our article about selecting the right BG check company for you you can find it here). However, it is not unusual for you to still have questions.

Any time we work with a new client, we want them to feel completely comfortable with the entire background check process. By this point we have already explained what our company will provide them, the cost of our services, and other pertinent information about our procedures. 

The most frequently asked question then becomes, “What do we need to do to next?”. 
Before we get into the actual background check, it is important for you to determine the following two things:
  • Your Budget
When deciding on your budget, it is important to keep in mind the cost of the background check services and the position you are trying to fill. 

By now we would have already advised our clients on the importance of a carefully crafted job description in the screening process, and this is where that hard work pays off (read more about this here).  

Knowing in advance what duties your new hire will be responsible for will help you determine the necessary scope of your employment screening. This then helps set your budget.

  • Your Goals
Next you need to take into consideration your goals. Is this hire to be long-term/full-time, or a more short-term or seasonal hire? Is it your goal to simply make sure your applicant does not have a criminal past or do you want to verify more? Identifying exactly what you want to know about your applicants is key.

Understanding both your budget and your goals is a necessary first step ~ and these both need to be shared clearly with your background check provider.

Now you are ready to start the actual background check. For each subject you send, you will need to make sure your background company knows what you want to verify. A brief email containing this list and the following information will get the ball rolling.
  • Signed Release ~ This is #1, and the jump start to any good background check.  You can use your own or one provided by your background check service. Either way, it is important that the release is compliant with current federal and state laws (a good background check service will help with this).  
  • Identifying Information ~ This includes complete name (and any prior names used), date of birth, and social security number. These are essential in making sure that any information found is absolutely that of the applicant.
  • Past Addresses ~ This helps determine in what states/counties to run the search. Going back 7-10 years is the norm.  
  • Resume / Application ~ This is necessary if checking things like education/certifications, past employments, and references. For each of these checks you require, the more information supplied by your applicant the better. A contact name and email address for each education, employment, or reference listed should also be supplied by the applicant. 
  • Driver License # and State of Issue ~ This is needed only if you require a driving report on your applicant.
Once your screener receives this, they will proceed with your request and, most importantly, you will then receive the information you need to make a great new hire.

By making sure your background check company has what they need, you are helping to give them the tools to provide you with accurate and quality information.

And this makes for a great partnership!  

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For more on what API and background checks can do for you and your business, visit our Website. We can Help!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Social Media & Resume Checks ~ why both are vital to Employers and Job Seekers!

It is important to be prepared for Social Media and Resume verifications when applying for a job.  
This means knowing in advance what can be seen online about you and making sure your resume is completely accurate.  

When looking for a job, putting your best foot forward from the beginning is essential. 
Many times you only have that first look to make an impression and it is even more important that your application not get tossed.

We also know many new graduates that are struggling to find their first “real” job and others who are looking to move forward in their careers. All are looking for anything that will give them even the slightest edge in getting their foot in the door.

And if you are a hiring manager or Small Business, using the tools necessary to Hire Right makes Good Business Sense!
This is where API can Help. 
We offer both Social Media and 
Resume Checks on our list of hiring services.

Discover what API can Do for You!
When running a Social Media check, we will check online for you or your applicant's social media presence. 

This will include visiting the major social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, etc. We will also be looking for any online mention of your name by running a “google” search.

The goal will be to find any relevant posts about you or your applicant and to include any professional information that can be used as a cross-check against a resume. Doing this is often a first step in verifying resume accuracy.

We will be looking for both positive and negative posts. Positive posts can include mentions of awards received or charity and volunteer work you or your applicant are involved in.

What may be considered negative could be posts where the subject excessively complains about a current or past employer. There are also certain behaviors depicted online that might be undesirable to a potential employer ~ explicit photos, illegal activity, etc.

What API will not do is request any passwords to access this information. This is already an illegal practice in many states, and more states are following suit.

And if you are a small business......
While it is possible for you to do a social media check on your own, by using our services you are assured of not uncovering any information that may be protected or sensitive (such as religious beliefs, sexual orientation, etc.). This can help protect you from charges of discrimination if your applicant is not hired.  

You can read more about Social Media background checks here.

Resume and Social Media Checks can Help Employers and Applicants Get the Job Filled! "Tweet This"!

Resume Checks are also included in Our Services because we believe that the #1 rule when it comes to resumes is that they should always be completely accurate!

You can find tips to help achieve this here.   

Resume Checks can be of great use to individuals applying for jobs and companies wanting to verify an applicant’s information. We also believe they can be especially helpful to recruiters and temp agencies looking to place their clients.

For these agencies, knowing in advance that your client has no “red flags” can help you place them more quickly and enhance your own reputation. Companies that use you will know that the people you are recommending for placement are highly qualified and safe candidates.

What API looks for in a Resume Check is that any degree or certification listed has actually been earned. We will also make sure employment dates and titles correspond to what is discovered during the verification process. 

Knowing that an applicant’s resume is completely factual can be a first step in determining their honesty. 
Employers will be suspect of resumes that have been embellished and especially those that have been downright fabricated. Checking a resume beforehand, and making any necessary changes based on those findings, is the best course of action.

These services can put You on the right path to finding the job You really want. And, if you are a Small Business, they can help you find the best candidate for the job.  
and Find Out How API can Help You!

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Find out more about how our 
Resume Verifications, Social Media Checks, and other services can help you. Please visit our website or Contact Us.    

Monday, May 12, 2014

Being a Mom Will Teach You all You Ever Need to Know About Running a Business

Every Mother’s Day, 
I find myself reminiscing.  

My children are now grown, but I can remember the joyful, fun, and sometimes chaotic, years when they were little. Housework was often at the bottom of the list and there were days I felt successful just getting them dressed and fed. 

However, as with anything worthwhile, I find that I would not have traded the experience for the world.  

What I have also found is that being a Mom has taught me a lot. Not just about what worked for me and my family, but many other things that have helped me run my business.

Lessons Motherhood Teaches You about Running a Small Business!  "Tweet This"

7 Lessons that Being a Mom Taught Me about Business
Lesson 1 ~ There is Never a “Perfect” Time  
If my husband and I had waited for the “perfect” time to have children, we may still be waiting! You will rarely find the "perfect time" for anything. Instead, there are simply times in your life where your best course of action is ACTION.  

This has served me well in my business. I continually remind myself that you can prepare all you want, but at some point you just have to jump in!
Lesson 2 ~ The Best Laid Plans ......  
While it is great to have goals and outline the steps you need to take to reach them, having children taught me the value of being adaptable. Learning to roll with things instead of fighting against them made my life so much easier.

It has been much the same with my company. Understanding that things often do not go as planned has saved me a lot of stress ~ and it certainly allows me to enjoy the adventure.
Lesson 3 ~ Patience Really IS a Virtue  
As I am sure many of you can attest to, kids move at their own speed. Trying to get them to hurry up was futile. I realized that most things would not be done on my schedule, and that was okay.

This has been an invaluable lesson when dealing with my clients too. I can respect what works for them and alter my work accordingly. Trying to push them into making decisions before they are ready serves neither of us.

Lesson 4 ~ Listening is Key  
With my children, I really had to stop and listen, with both my ears open and my mouth closed. Taking the time to pay attention to what was important to them helped them feel valued and helped me understand what they were really trying to say.

My clients like the same attention. I make sure to focus on what they are really saying, not on what I want to hear. This helps me find out where they are coming from and how I can address their needs.

Lesson 5 ~ I Don’t Have to “Keep Up” with Others  
Comparing myself and my family to others was a no win situation. So your friend’s child can play the piano at 3. So their house is “house beautiful”. So what?  

The same can be said of your business. Evaluating your company against what another company is doing can be counter-productive. What is important is deciding what is important to You.

Lesson 6 ~ Celebrate the "Little" Wins 
Raising my children helped me realize that even small things can bring joy. I remember the sense of accomplishment I would feel after a great day. Reading with my children before they would go to bed or sharing a joke with them all made me feel happy and satisfied.  

Your business “wins” can be the same. Maybe you got a new follower to your blog, or a great comment from a reader? Or maybe a potential new client contacted you for more information? No matter what it is, all deserve to be recognized for what they are...Wins!   

Lesson 7 ~ I am a Master Manager 
I had to learn early to appreciate my children’s different personalities and abilities. By allowing them freedom to make decisions and contribute, they grew confident in themselves. And, needless to say, my negotiating skills are through the roof!   

This has also proved invaluable in dealing with my clients. Clients like being treated as “unique” and treating them as individuals has made a difference. I enjoy discovering what they are all about and tailoring my services to match.

Being a Mom has been the most rewarding and best learning experience of my life.  

The satisfaction of seeing my children grow, and the unparalleled love I feel for them, has undoubtedly changed me. And I am a better person for it.

But what has really surprised me is that being a Mom has also given me the tools to run my business in a way that suits me and, hopefully, my clients.  
I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Authored by   

for more articles and tips focused on You and Your Small Business!

And find out more 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tips to Help You Get Your Resume “Background Check Ready”!

Looking for a Job? Will Your Resume Help You or Hurt You? 
When you are in the midst of a job search, one thing you can count on is that some type of background check will be part of the equation. Most employers will check to see if you have the education, skills, and past experience needed for the job ~ and your resume will most likely be their first impression of you and your skills!

Job Seekers Take Note ~  It is vital that Your Resume be “Background Check Ready”!  "Tweet This"
That is why making sure your resume is completely truthful is the best start, and that begins with verifying that all the information you list is clear and accurate. 
Following these 5 Rules is key!

5 Rules to get Your Resume"Background Check Ready"  
Rule Number One ~ Make Sure Your Resume is "Clean"!
This means checking for any typos or spelling errors and being as detailed as possible. A “clean” resume with correct addresses, contact information, dates, etc. will make it much easier to verify and will put you in the good graces of the people hired to check it, and word of this is sure to get back to the decision-makers!

Rule Number Two ~ Make sure You Never List a Degree You Have Not Earned. This is very easy to verify and employers are sure to check. If there is any question, contact your school first and find out what information is listed in their records. 

Rule Number Three ~ Make Sure all Past Employments are Accurate. List exact dates of your employment if at all possible. It is also best to make sure your title of employment is correct. Many companies use different job titles, so make every attempt to match yours with what your past employer will verify.

Rule Number Four ~ Make Sure You Know What Your Past Employers Will Say About You. Either contact them yourself or hire a professional to verify what information they will release ~ and make sure your resume reflects this.

If you find that what your employer is going to say is not accurate in any way, it is best to be up front and explain this to any possible future employer.  

The fact is that there are no federal laws restricting what a past employer can disclose. If you were fired, be prepared that any background check will discover that. It is also possible to find out why you were terminated.

However, fear of litigation makes many companies careful about what they reveal about your past employment. Whatever information they disclose must be truthful. For this reason many adopt policies that verify dates, title, and salary only, and many times it requires a signed release from the former employer before any information is given.

Rule Number Five ~ Make Sure You can Mitigate Any Employment “Gaps” or Inaccuracies. If there are periods of time where you were unemployed or taking time off to gain additional experience, be ready to explain this to any possible employer.

Rule Number Six ~ Make Sure to Do a “Background Check on Yourself. Since a check for past criminal records is most likely part of any employment background check, it is crucial to know what they will find. Many companies will also take a look online to see what is listed on the major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  Knowing what will be revealed is key.

Read more about making sure your background check won’t result in any surprises in “Why You Should Run a Background Check on Yourself”. 
Why You should do a Background Check on Yourself!
What is important is that you put your best foot forward to get the job you want. Ensuring your Resume is “Background Check Ready” is your best first step.

Authored by  

API can Help! We have added Resume Checks to our services. Contact Us to find out more!  
Discover more about us and what we can do for you on our "About" & "Services" pages!