Sunday, January 28, 2018

How can You Tell if your Applicant is Honest?

How can you check the integrity and honesty of your job candidate?
This question was posed recently on a popular Q&A site and the goal makes sense. Knowing whether your applicant is honest can go a long way towards helping you make a successful hiring decision.

But how can that goal be accomplished and is it possible to do it during the interview? 
Here is our answer to that question:
"Do a Background Check! While it is important to first wait until a conditional offer of employment has been made, the employment background check is the perfect cross-reference between what a candidate told you during the interview and stated on their resume and the truth. Honest candidates will be as exact as possible in their dates and title of employment, their degree and certifications, and any other information they list. You can also check with past supervisors concerning any job duties or projects mentioned by your candidate. Verifying this information can go a long way towards checking on the integrity and honesty of anyone who applies for employment with your company!".

You can check out more answers to this question here!

As often comes with hindsight, after posting we realize that our answer to that question should have included so much more!

Verifying an applicant’s honesty solely during the interview is unrealistic.

While it is certainly possible to gauge things like eye contact, consistency, and general demeanor, relying on the interview to determine your applicant’s honesty simply doesn’t make sense.

Want to “Check” if Your Applicant is Honest? Do a Background Check! “Tweet This”

That is where the employment background check comes in!
Employers want honest employees. They want to hire people they can trust, who will act with integrity, and who are true to their word.

And if an applicant is willing to lie on their resume or during the interview, it certainly doesn’t bode well for how they will conduct themselves when they are hired!

Lying on your resume is seen as a mark against your honesty. Employers want to hire someone they can trust. If their first impression of you is one of deception, then your chances of getting hired are slim.

In fact, according to the Careerbuilder survey, 51% of employers would automatically reject a candidate that lied”.

Simply put, “Employers don’t hire liars. By the time a background check is ordered, they have already invested time and money in advertising their open position, wading through resumes received, and interviewing any promising candidates.

Finding out that you (the candidate) lied at this point in the hiring process is maddening.  And despite the aggravation, most are willing to start over before hiring someone they can’t trust”.
excerpts from “Employers Share ~ Lie on Your Resume and You Lose!”. 

When applicants lie on their resume or application, there are very real consequences for the employer in the form of time and money!

It is estimated that resume fraud costs employers approximately $600 Billion annually”! Yes that is $600 BILLION!  

This figure covers the increased time needed to screen resumes…..40% of HR professionals say that because of the prevalence of lies, they are now spending more time than ever to verify applicant’s claims.

There is also the high cost associated with hiring, training, and replacing employees that are later found out to lack the skills or education necessary to do the job.

It is estimated that this can cost more than that employee’s yearly salary. And this can hit small businesses especially hard. Many struggle to cover the time and money wasted.

In addition to the money spent on screening, fabricated resumes can also present very real and serious legal issues to employers. If your company hires someone who is not fit for the job, whether that is because they are unqualified or unsafe, it opens you up to negligent hiring lawsuits.

It becomes even more serious if someone is harmed due to that hire - whether that is another employee or a customer".

Find out more about the problems businesses face when their hires lie in “The High Cost of Resume Lies”!

There is no doubt that hiring an honest employee is a goal for any company. And if there existed a crystal ball, magic potion, or some invention to ensure that, everything would be wonderful.
But since that won’t happen any time soon, using a good background check to hire is the next best thing! Employment screening is the best tool available to verify that your applicant is telling the truth from the beginning….something that can not be determined through the interview alone!

Authored by   

Hiring? Contact Us Today to find out how our Background Investigation services can Help You!

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Are You Still asking for Salary History? Why You should Stop Now!

Asking an applicant about their Salary History has become a hot topic in employment.

Many employers routinely ask their applicant’s what they made at their last job. Sometimes the question is asked during the interview, and other times it listed on the application.

While asking salary history has been common practice, that may soon become a thing of the past.

Cities and states across the country have begun passing laws and regulations to stop, or at least curb, the practice of asking for salary history.

In New York City, for example, a new law has been enacted that prohibits both public and private companies from questioning an applicant about their salary history. This law also precludes employers from taking an “end run” around the prohibition and contacting former employers or even searching for salary information in public records. In addition if, during a background check, salary information is found, it cannot be used to determine the the applicant’s salary.   

Under the New York City law, there are a few exceptions to using salary history to determine salary offered:
  • If the applicant themselves discloses their salary history.
  • If the salary is determined through collective bargaining agreements.
  • If an existing federal, state, county, or local law authorizes salary history disclosure or verification.
  • If the individual is a current employee being considered for a promotion or transfer.
New York City isn’t the only one taking a look at the salary history question. Many states have either already enacted or are considering passing laws that address asking about salary history. 

Does asking for Salary History perpetuate wage bias?
Supporters of these laws argue that asking for salary history perpetuates the wage gap. 

They believe that by enacting laws to stop this practice, employers cannot use past salary as a way to continue to  “lowball” the salaries of women and minorities.

Because of these trends, confusion about whether employers can or should ask for salary history abounds.

A recent question on got me thinking about where I stand on the practice.

The question is:
If you were given an offer but had to go through background checks and complete an employment history verification and it asks for salary history, is it okay to leave that field blank?”.

Our Answer:
It is your right to leave the salary history field blank, especially if it is not marked as a required field. However, there are some online application systems that will not allow you to “send” the application in without all required fields being completed.  

It is also important to note, that there are currently some cities and states that prohibit potential employers from asking about salary history. It is the belief that this practice perpetuates the underpayment of minority / women employees. In my opinion, employers already have a salary range in mind for the position (with final salary dependent upon an applicant’s experience and skills). Asking for salary history is unnecessary and irrelevant.

Asking Salary History should be a thing of the Past! “Tweet This”

We believe employers would be wise to take notice.
As an employer, you should already have a salary range in mind for the position. What an applicant was paid before simply shouldn’t matter. What matters now is what you are willing to pay to fill the job, and what an applicant is willing to accept.

While the salary offered can vary depending on what the applicants themselves bring to the table, what they made at a previous job should not!

Employers should keep this in mind……
The trend to curb or eliminate the question of salary history will likely continue as more states and cities begin enacting their own regulations governing the practice. Are You and Your Business Ready?

Authored by  

Ready to Hire in Your Business? Contact Us! Check out our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting services. We can Help!

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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Do You Believe in What You Sell?

Do You believe in what You Sell?
This question was asked on the networking site Alignable and when we saw it, we knew we had to weigh in with our thoughts: 
While API ‘sells’ services (employment background checks and business mentoring), (we) find it essential to completely believe in what (we) do and why. And since our clients essentially get US when they sign on, it definitely helps that we believe in ourselves and that what we do is valuable. We would find it very difficult to promote what we do if we didn't believe in its quality and value!”.

When API started, we quickly found that “selling” our services was one of our most difficult tasks ~ and that was a problem!

Getting the word out and landing clients is essential to making a go of any business. So we had no choice but to get ourselves out there, push that uncomfortable feeling aside, and sell what we do.

While it continued to be difficult, we found that the more we began to truly recognize the quality of what we offered the easier it got. We also discovered that when it became clear that our services could really help our clients succeed in their own businesses, our initial problems with “selling” what we do were no longer an issue.

Some of the other answers to “Why Do You Believe in what You Sell” also resonated with us:
  • “If you sell yourself, and believe in yourself, it is easy”.
  • I have “pride in what I do and believe in its quality”.
  • I receive “continued positive customer/client feedback”.
  • “I know it works”. 
  • “I know it helps people”.
  • “We love what we do, and that love translates to making a truly quality product” (or service).
  • “We have seen it improve people’s lives”.
  • We “get more customers by word of mouth” (which means happy clients).
All of these answers focused on what they and their company’s products or services did FOR their clients ~ and that is why they believe in them! 

The bottom line is, when we began thinking about our answer to the question “Why Do You Believe in What You Sell”, we realized that it would be impossible for us to sell something that we didn’t believe in!

For us, we believe in what we “sell” because we know it has helped our clients. 
Our background investigation services enable them to be more successful when hiring and finding the best candidates. We strive to keep up with new laws and regulations that govern employment screening. We know the quality we provide and how it can help solve our clients’ hiring problems. 

In addition, our Small Business Mentoring and Security Consulting services help them to start their own small business and keep that business safe.

We also found that once we changed our mindset to one where “selling” was not our ultimate goal, but partnering with our clients on their own road to success was, it made all the difference.

Why Moving Away from the “Sell” will Help You Believe in Your Business! “Tweet This”

There is no way we could “sell” what we do if we didn’t believe in it. We place our focus squarely on the real value of our services ~ what we have learned about our industry and the way we treat our clients. we fully believe in the quality of what we offer, and that shows. While “selling” is still not really in our nature, it is so much easier because we know what we do will help our clients.
So, in the end, “Why” do we believe in what we sell? Because it would be impossible for us to run a business where we didn’t!!!

Authored by   

Find out what API can Do for You! Check out our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting Services.

We also invite you to learn more About Us and what Our Happy Clients have to Say about our services!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Can You get a Decent Job if You have a Criminal Record?

Can You Get a Decent Job if You have a Criminal Record?
This question has been asked often and is a valid concern of anyone who has a past criminal history. So, when it came up again recently on, we thought we would weigh in in hopes of helping others who are asking the same question.

Here is our Answer:
"It can seem very daunting landing a job when you have a past criminal history. However, there are things you can do to make yourself more employable. 

First, Get a job, any job. It may be fast food. It may be janitorial. It doesn’t matter. The key is to work hard, be on time, be productive, and be eager to learn. Your employers will notice. Then, when you are ready to move on, you will have demonstrated a good work ethic and reliability. This will lead to a good reference. You may have to do this multiple times before a company who is offering a “decent job” will take a chance on you. 

Another route is to find local companies who do hire those with criminal records. Believe me, they are out there. Then you need to do the same thing. Work hard and be a model employee. Each time, you will be building your resume and your reputation. This is key. 

Even then, there will be employers who are hesitant about hiring you. That is when you need to be ready to plead your case. Emphasize how you have moved beyond your criminal past. Focus on what you have done to better yourself. Have a list of references ready who are willing to stand up for you, especially past employers who know of your good work and behavior. This is the best route to changing your life and becoming employed. I wish you luck!".

You can find more answers to this question here.

There is no doubt that having a criminal history does not make finding a job easy. 
Employers can be understandably leery about hiring you. They may be concerned about you re-offending or even you posing a problem for their business, their customers, or their other employees.

You have to recognize this and understand that business owners and managers have a right to be reticent about hiring someone with a criminal past.

Their very livelihood and reputation is on the line.

However, having a criminal record does not mean you are unemployable or destined to only the lowest paying jobs. 

Ex-Offenders take Note ~ These Steps will Help You Get Hired! “Tweet This”!

As we stated previously, there are definitely steps you can take to increase your chances of being hired and, eventually, landing the “decent” or better jobs you need.

“It is important to note that not all employers will automatically eliminate you from consideration if you have a criminal record. EEOC guidelines actually recommend that employers only take into account offenses that directly pertain to the job.

Be ready to plead your own case. Own your criminal past, share any circumstances that lead to your conviction, and show what you have done since them to turn your life around”.

Find our more advice in “Job Seekers’ Top 5 Frequently Asked Background Check Questions”.

But that does not mean finding a decent job will be easy.
“In this challenging job market, many ex-offenders feel like they don't stand a chance against job seekers with clean records.

It is important to keep in mind that most employers will screen for criminal history.  Existing “Ban the Box” laws and other guidelines may dictate when and how employers can use that information, but being screened is still a reality for anyone seeking employment. 

That is why it is important that you deal with your criminal record head on”!

And this can mean self-disclosing your criminal past!

Understandably, this concerns many ex-offenders.

Our advice ~ 
“Take responsibility and be ready to explain any circumstances that lead to you committing your crime(s). When you are  truthful, it is much more likely that the employer will put your past in context.  

But don’t let your conviction be the focus – stress what you’ve learned from the experience.   

Take this time to explain what you have done to reform. Share clear examples of any training programs you have completed or any certificates you have earned (even those earned while you may have been incarcerated). 

You should also include any letters of recommendation from employers, mentors, or even support group leaders. Be sure to emphasize any examples of your reliability and trustworthiness.  

What your potential employer is really looking for is anything you have done to show you have moved on and have done the work to improve yourself.

While sharing this personal information may be difficult, it can go a long way towards getting you a second chance and showing you have moved on”.

Excerpts above from “Job Seekers: Do You have a Criminal Record? Find out the Best Time for You to Tell Your New Employer!”.

You also need to take care how you perform when given the chance! 
It is important to work hard at any job you are given. Make sure you are always on time, or even better, early. Treat your co-workers and managers with respect. Be polite to customers. In other words, do what you can to stand out! This will go a long way towards putting you on the right path the get the kind of job you need.

Having a criminal past does not have to ruin the rest of your life. The key is to be willing to put in the work to overcome the stigma associated with ex-offenders. And remember, there are employers out there who are willing to give you a chance.

While finding a decent job will most likely not come quickly, each step you take forward helps bring you closer to your goal.  

Authored by     

Looking for a Job? Contact Us! We can help you get your resume “background check ready”.

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