Sunday, December 20, 2020

Goodby 2020 and Hello 2021!

The holiday season is upon us and a brand new year is just around the corner….and who isn’t ready to say goodbye to 2020?

There is no doubt about it ~ 2020 has been a trying year.

While normally the holidays and coming new year would find us filled with hope and optimism, this time this mind set may be difficult to achieve. 

What started out as the dawn of a brand new century quickly morphed into something much different. 

News of the effects of the coronavirus circled around the world and soon cases began to crop up in the U.S. We were suddenly faced with fighting the virus, business and school closures, and all our lives were quickly changed in ways never thought possible.

People were getting sick. Many were out of work. And for some that still had jobs, working from home became the new norm.

For those that were on the front lines, life became incredibly hectic and sometimes downright scary. Health care workers were, and continue to be, on high alert and overworked. Schools had to suddenly switch gears to try and educate their students. Essential workers such as truckers, delivery services, and store workers did all they could to keep the country fed, clothed, and stocked.

But for many small businesses and their employees, things became, and continue to be dire. Drastic cuts in foot traffic and in-person customers crippled their bottom line. While some were able to pivot enough to keep money coming in, others had more trouble.

For these businesses, and for all who have faced tragedy and struggles, we can only wish that hope is on the horizon. 

And that is what the end of one year and the beginning of a new brings ~ Hope!

Even if it is hard, feeling hope is what drives us as human beings to hang in there another day. It is what keeps us moving forward, despite obstacles that get in our way.

And we have faith that better days are on the horizon!

So, on that note we are signing off from our blog and spending the remaining days of 2020 focused on family, friends, and faith! For this holiday season, and all the days to come, we wish you all Peace, Joy, and Love! 

Happy Holidays….and we will be back in the New Year!

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Sunday, November 15, 2020

This Year most of all...We Give Thanks!


"Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter what befalls us in life, we can take the charred remnants and we can reconstruct a life unimaginably richer than that from which the shards and pieces fell." — Craig D. Lounsbrough

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a rough year. 

We continue to face a pandemic unlike anything we have ever seen in our lifetime. It has caused us to re-think how, and even if, we do things we used to take for granted ~ enjoy large family gatherings, go on impromptu trips and shopping excursions, and so much more.

We have also witnessed civil unrest, distrust in our institutions and leaders, and a nation often greatly divided. 

This has left many of us uneasy, saddened, and even afraid.

But no matter what we have endured, we need to remember the importance of looking past the negative and changing our mind-set. That means taking the time to recognize and cherish all we really do have and Give Thanks!

“When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.” — Tecumseh

Being thankful, grateful, and happy is often a choice, and it can be a difficult one. We often find ourselves dwelling on all we have lost and find ourselves unable to see what we still have. Keeping focus on what really matters ~ family, friends and neighbors, and even our businesses or professions ~ makes all the difference.

And when we take the time to focus on what we truly have, we know we are blessed.

We have loving and giving family and friends. Even if our connection is now often virtual, we know we are always there for each other to lend support and a laugh. We feel fortunate that our needs are met, much more often than not. 

We are also extremely thankful that our small business has been able to hold on and our clients are standing by us. That means so much to us and for that, and so much more, we will always be eternally grateful.

So, while things are certainly different, and often difficult, we can rejoice and be thankful.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." — Melody Beattie

We hope that each of you can feel thankfulness and gratitude this year and each and every one to come. Remember, no matter what…..There is always, always something to be thankful for!

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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Can You "Speed Up" Your Background Check?

Is it possible for you to make the employment background check process go quicker?

When it comes to looking for a job, many find the employment background check one of the most daunting aspects of the entire process! 

By this point you have already done the interviews and have been offered the job. All it comes down to now is the successful completion of the employment screening. And it may seem that clearing this step is completely out of your control.

But that way of thinking cannot be further from the truth!

When it comes to “speeding up” and passing the employment background check, it really all starts with you! And the very best thing you can possibly do to expedite the process is to start by telling the truth! 

Tell the Truth on Your Resume/Application

Being completely clear and forthright with anything you say or list on your resume/application, in fact throughout the entire hiring process, is crucial and can make all the difference in how quickly and successfully you pass through the background check. 

It is also important that you have the following information on hand:

Employments ~ You will need to have ready the exact name and address of each company where you have worked for the past 7 - 10 years. Make sure you include a good contact, or two, along with a working phone number and email address. 

Education ~ Make sure you provide the exact name and location of the institution where you have earned your most recent degree, diploma, etc. You should also list correct and current contact information so the investigator and easily reach the right people and get the right information. And, most importantly, be truthful and only list a degree, diploma, or certification that you have truly earned!  

Past Addresses ~ Provide addresses for anywhere you have lived within the past 7 - 10 years, or as required by the potential employer. Make sure you are ready to list the entire address and the dates you lived at each.

Driver’s License / SSN ~ Have your current driver’s license or state issued ID and and social security card on hand.

References ~ When it comes to references, it is important that you carefully consider who to list. Make sure that anyone you choose is willing to act as a reference and has positive, relevant information about you to share! Be sure to provide each references’ exact name, working contact information, number of years they have known you, and how they know you. It is also important to forewarn each reference that they may be contacted so that they are prepared. 

Learn more in “Tips to Help You get your Resume ‘Background Check Ready’!”.

In order for the background check process to go as smoothly and quickly as possible, it is also important that you answer any application questions clearly and exactly as asked.

And if the potential employer or recruiter reaches out to you for any additional information or clarification, answer promptly. Not doing so can result in a delay that could have easily been avoided.

Be ready to Mitigate any Negative Findings

If anything negative is found during the background check, it usually centers around criminal history or resume inaccuracies. However, no matter what the case, it is important to remember that applicants have rights during all aspects of the background check. And this includes the chance to explain, or mitigate, the circumstances of these "red flags” or to refute the background check findings. Applicants  are essentially being given the opportunity to state their case. 

Relevant mitigating information can include:

  • proof that the background information is incorrect
  • mitigating factors concerning the information
  • efforts at rehabilitation, education, or training since the offense
  • employment or character references
  • evidence of successful employment / volunteering history pre and post offense

Learn more about what applicants need to know about the Hiring Process and their Rights here!

But no matter what precautions you take, there are times that Background Check delays are completely out of your control.

That is why it is best to know beforehand what they can be and what, if anything, you can do to lessen the chances of them happening to you!

Delaying "issues can range from incomplete court records to not getting the responses needed in a timely manner. No matter what the case, it can be frustrating for everyone.  

Employers are concerned with getting the background check information quickly in order to make the hire they need while applicants want to get the job as quickly as possible. Your background check company understands this. After all, their focus is on providing you the best and most timely response. And since outside factors can delay the process, it is best that you are aware of what they are and what can be done, if anything, to get your check back on track”, excerpt from “The Top 10 Obstacles that can Delay Your Background Check”!

The Top 10 Background Check Obstacles are:

  • Resume and Application Errors
  • Timing of your background check
  • Court Checks 
  • Court Regulations/Rules 
  • Employment and Reference Checks 
  • Incomplete Case Information
  • Power Outages and System Maintenance
  • International Requests
  • Government Shutdowns
  • Changing Legislation

Learn more about these obstacles and ways to mitigate their impact here!

The employment background check process does not have to derail or significantly delay your hopes of landing the job. The key is to be prepared, be honest, and be realistic that delays can happen. For answers to additional common Background Check questions, be sure to visit our FAQ page here! 

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Saturday, October 3, 2020

5 Tips to Help You Hire and Manage Remotely

Things have changed ~ companies have had to learn to alter the way they do business, work from home has increased, and doing many things “virtually” is suddenly the norm.
How you hire and manage employees needs to change too!
The days of face to face rounds of interviews and in-office onboarding, collaboration, and meetings are, for the most part, on hold. In fact, the entire hiring process may now be done virtually and your new hire may work entirely remotely. In fact, you may never have the opportunity to actually meet them “in person” at all before or even after they are hired !

All of this most likely seems strange, difficult, and daunting.

But that doesn’t mean hiring and managing remotely can’t be done and done right. Just because the way you did things in the past may not work in today’s world, there are still some constants that will keep you successful and on track.

And the most important constant is to never go in without a plan. 

Having a sound Hiring Process is now, and will always be, a key component in finding the best new employee for your business.

A good Hiring plan should consider these common areas: 
When it comes to Recruiting, it is all about reaching and attracting the right applicants ~ and this all starts with writing the perfect Job Description.

Social Media
Using your social media accounts to recruit and hire is a great way to reach a large amount of potential new hires in a minimal amount of time.

Employee Referrals
If you don’t have an Employee Referral program, start one now! Your best employees already know what it takes to be productive and successful within your company culture. So why not let them help you find their next co-worker?

Employment Background Check 
The Employment Background check should include verification of anything listed in the applicant’s resume along with a check of their online presence.

Discover more about how to develop a good hiring process and how to update it when needed in “Is it Time to Change Your Hiring Practices?”.

But no matter how hard you have worked to develop a hiring process that met your needs in the past, the pandemic has now thrown you a curve ball. Hiring and even working remotely is now part of the new norm. 
Are your existing hiring practices up to the task?

While it may be tempting to just start over and completely change the way you hire, this is not in your best interests. Instead, it makes sense to build upon your existing hiring plan and make some tweaks to meet today’s needs!

How to Successfully Hire and Manage Remote Workers “Tweet This”

And taking a look at these areas is a great way to start!

Candidate Communication ~ Communicating with your top candidates is more important than ever. Be ready to provide as much information as possible to your potential choices. Ask them how they prefer to be reached - email, text, phone, etc. Keep them apprised of where they are in the hiring process and what they can expect next. The key here is complete transparency and open communication. This will improve your entire candidate experience, ensure they are receiving the information they need, and give them a favorable impression of you and your company!

The Interview ~ How you interview can have a big impact your candidate’s experience. Start by setting up automated interview scheduling. This allows the candidate to select the time that best works for them out of the options that work for you. Whenever possible, choose video interviewing over interviewing by phone. Video allows you and the applicant the visuals needed to “read” each other. There is a lot that can be learned through eye contact, facial expressions, and even their confidence and demeanor. It is also a great way to start building that connection you need moving forward.

The Employment Background Check ~ Whether your employee works remotely or on location, it is vital to do an employment background check. Screening potential new hires is a great way to verify their honesty, know whether they have the skills and education to do the job, and that hiring them will not damage your company’s reputation ~ and none of this changes simply because your new hire may work remotely! 

Employment Background Checks are even more important for a Small Business!

“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. As a small business owner it is important to hire carefully, not in haste”. 

The consequences of making a bad hire on your business can have a lasting impact. It can harm you brand and even put your business, your other employees, and even your customers in jeopardy.

Learn more about the ramifications of making a bad hire here!

In order for the screening process to run smoothly, it is important to be completely transparent. Make sure the applicant knows exactly what you will be checking, what information they should be ready to provide, and that nothing will go forward until they are informed of their rights and sign a release allowing the background check. How you handle this stage of your hiring process can leave a lasting impression on your applicant. Make sure it is a good one!

The Need to Build a Relationship ~ In a virtual environment, everyone needs to work harder to connect. New hires need to establish a relationship to the company and your other employees. They also need to become familiar with their new job and get a real feel for your company culture. All of this was much easier before working from home became the new norm. That is why you need to develop a Remote Onboarding plan to fill the gap. 

Your Remote Onboarding plan must cover everything from HR tasks like filling out required forms, assigning company computers and phones, and even giving out initial work assignments ~ all of which can seem overwhelming to any new hire.

Managers need to take the lead and make the process as positive as possible. Set realistic goals for the completion of tasks and be sure to be available to answer any questions along the way. 

The Need to Communicate and Collaborate ~ New hires need to feel part of the team. Introductions to co-workers and learning the ins and outs of their new position within the company is vital to their success and satisfaction, and this was much easier when everyone worked on-site! 

Once again, it is up to the managers and trusted current employees to make this happen. Plan one-on-one or even small group virtual meetings to convey expectations, answer questions, and create a way for your new hire to simply get to know other members of the team. These interactions are key to helping your new hire build strong and more satisfactory work relationships.

Establishing a virtual mentoring or “buddy” program is also a great way to help your new hire get up to speed and feel part of your organization. 

The Need to “Socialize" ~ Being “social” was easy to do when everyone worked in the same place, but now it requires more creativity to accomplish. 

Establishing regular virtual lunches, group coffee breaks, and even small group “breakaways” are all ways to encourage your new hire to feel welcome and help them build the relationships with other employees they need. It will also help your existing employees feel the connections they used to enjoy in the workplace. All will help you build and develop strong team work and employee satisfaction.

The bottom line is this.....our world has changed. Face to face communication is no longer the norm and many companies have more remote workers than ever before. Learning how to adapt your Hiring and Management Practices to accommodate these changes is key. It will help you not only keep your company moving forward but will also help you hire and retain the quality employees you need to succeed!
Is Your Company Ready?

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Thursday, September 3, 2020

Why Celebrating this Labor Day is more Important than Ever!

Labor Day has a special meaning this year.

Our nation is in the midst of a crisis. Unemployment is rampant. Many are unsure whether they will be called back to jobs that have suffered during the pandemic. While others are faced with the fact that the company they once worked for is no longer in business. All of this leads to uncertainty and worry. 

Yet, there are companies and individuals who have not only weathered the storm but have actually thrived. Some of it is due to sheer luck. But then there are those who found a way to adapt. They put their entrepreneurial thinking caps on and got creative. They discovered a “new” way to do business and keep themselves not only viable but successful.

But no matter what circumstance each of us find ourselves in, the importance of a strong labor force is not to be overlooked. It is something to be cherished and celebrated!

“Without Labor, nothing Prospers”! Sophocles

Our nation’s workforce is important to our success as individuals and as a country.

Jobs help people feel productive and proud. Earning a living allows us to take care of ourselves and our families. It provides for our current needs and allows us to make future plans. 

And, collectively, our efforts contribute to the making of a stronger and happier nation.

That is why, despite the struggles we currently face, we can’t forget that recognizing Labor Day and every American worker is important. 

So this Labor Day, we celebrate…..Those who work hard each and every day. Those who continue to pursue the work that will provide for themselves and their families. Those who will never give up in trying to find a job that makes them proud. And those who, day in and day out, know what it means to do a good day’s work. You all are the heroes of your own story and an important part of what makes this nation work. Thank you!

Happy Labor Day! 

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Is it Time to Change Your Hiring Practices?

“The only Constant in Life is Change”  Heraclitus
Things Change….these changes may come because of personal growth, age, and even the choices you make. Other types of changes are things that happen on a larger level that effect the world around you. But no matter how or why changes happen, they happen. That is life.

However, if you own a business, then change has the potential of making an even wider impact as they have an impact not only on you and your company, but also on your employees. 

As a business owner, you often have to deal with changes over which you have little control, like the state of the overall economy and even the effects of a worldwide pandemic. But there are also changes that are internal to your company. Some of these you choose and others may be thrust upon you. But in order to grow and be successful, change is often necessary and it should even be welcome. 

And one of the areas where being willing to grow and adapt can make all the difference is in how you hire!
Taking a periodic look at your hiring practices is a great way to make the updates you need and become even better at choosing the best new hires.

But even though changing it up is good, it is not wise to go in without a plan. You will need to first take a clear look at your entire hiring process to know exactly where changes are the most needed. 

These are the most common areas that you should consider:

Reaching the right applicants is an important part of how you hire. And to you accomplish that you should start by writing the perfect job description for each position in your company! 

The right Job Description will really highlight the skills and qualities you need for an employee to be successful. It should also include important key words, which are invaluable if you are using recruitment software. 

Writing an effective and detailed job description is important. It not only helps you hire the best person for the job, it also protects your company legally. The right job description ensures that both your applicants and existing employees understand what is expected of them. It will also help you, as a manager, to determine whether your employees are meeting the job’s expectations”.

A good job description will also help you Hire Right!

It will help you determine, in advance, exactly what training and skills are necessary to do the job and attract the candidates that possess those traits!

Find out more about how to write a good job description and why that is so important to your business here!

Using Your Social Media Sites
Using your company social media accounts to recruit and hire makes sense. Not only is it a great way to reach a large number of potential new hires, but it also takes a minimal amount of time to do it.

Place “help wanted” posts on all your social accounts. Include the pertinent information such as job title, skills/education needed and desired, when the position starts, and anything else that is important to you and to the job.

While job boards are still important, often times your post may get lost among the many entries. By using your social media accounts, your need to hire will be seen by all your followers. Encourage them to share your post on their pages or with anyone they may think would be interested.

Employee Referrals
Does your company have an Employee Referral Program? If not, that is a change you should definitely consider making!

Employee Referral programs are good for your business and especially for finding great new hires. Your employees are intimately aware of the inner working of your company and your company’s needs. They also know the company culture and who will fit in and who will not. 

When it comes to getting the best referrals, start by asking your best and most skilled employees. Most likely they will have among their friends and acquaintances others who possess the same qualities that make these employees so valuable.

Getting referrals from your existing employees has multiple benefits. It is a great way to both reward your employees for their viable referrals and keep them happy with your new hires. And it will also help you find the right person for the job.

Checking Your Applicant’s Online Presence
Checking an applicant’s social media accounts is a great way to get beyond their resume and discover their all-important “soft skills”, interests, hobbies, personality.

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 the coveted ‘soft’ skills are the ones you really need to consider!”.

Soft skills you need to look for in your next job applicant:
  • Good work ethic
  • Leadership
  • Team Player (it's not just a cliche)
  • Effective Communicator
  • Resourceful problem solver
  • Time Management
  • Willingness to Learn
  • Likable
Discover more about why Soft Skills are so important and how to find them in your job applicants here!

However, it is vital that you know how to use the information you find on social sites right! Consulting first with a qualified background check company is key. They will ensure you are not running afoul of any local, county, state, or federal employment laws.  

The Employment Background Check
Doing background checks on every new hire is vital to the success of your business. 

Knowing as much as you can about the person you hire into your company simply makes good business sense. Understanding the skills they bring to the table, whether they are honest, and if they have a criminal record that could jeopardize your company, are all good reasons to screen before you hire.

Employment Background Checks will:
  • Verify whether your applicant is truthful
  • Help you keep a safer workplace
  • protect your company and its assets
  • help you stay compliant with federal and state employment laws
  • protect your company from potential lawsuits 
Read more about the importance of screening your employees in “5 Reasons You should use Employment Background Checks”!

Periodically checking your background check procedures is good business. It is a great way to see what is working and what may need some improvement.

You may consider finding a great background screening company to help. They will work with you to stay compliant with ever-changing background check guidelines and help you hire safely and effectively. 

Contact Us Today with your Background Check questions or visit our FAQ page to find out more!

Remember, updating your Hiring Practices is good for your business. It will help you reach the right candidates and find the best hire for you and your company. Get started today!

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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 this ~ What kind of information will be found out during my background check? This is especially true when talking about a 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 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 prosse (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 arrestIn 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.

Why You need to Re-Screen your Employees before a Recall “Tweet This”

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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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! 

Do You Know what will be Discovered in your Employment Background Check? “Tweet This”

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!

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