Sunday, April 25, 2021

Need a Background Check? Find out when and how to choose the right company for you!

 When is the best time to choose your Background Check company? 

The short answer is this ~ long before you are ready to hire! And here is why….

Imagine this, you are ready to make a new hire for your Small Business. You tell your network, place ads ~ all the things you hope will land you the perfect applicant.

You contact a few hopefuls to come in for an interview and find three possible candidates. But before making your new hire, you decide it might be wise to run a background check first.   

You make a few calls, or check online, and find a company you think will get you the information you need.  

What could be better?

But instead of being a good way to hire for your business, this is actually a perfect example of what NOT to do!

Our advice? The best time to contact us, or any screening company, is long BEFORE you ever need to hire!

Many companies get this backwards. They realize they need to hire, then scramble to find someone to help them screen their applicants ~ or worse, forgo the background check all together.

Meeting with potential background check companies before hand, and choosing the one best for you, will make your hiring process much smoother and more successful!

A good background check company will help you put in place all the steps you need to follow well in advance. This may start with the job descriptions for each position within your company (this is something that we have helped clients with in the past), and should also include advising you on your  employment applications.  

They will also make sure your release forms are compliant, or supply you with one of their own, along with explaining employee rights when it comes to background checks, adverse action letters, etc.

Connecting with your background check company early also gives you ample time to ask any questions you may have about the employment screening process. There should never be any confusion about how and why you are using background checks in your hiring practices.

Going the extra mile to make sure you are completely comfortable with the entire process is the goal of every good screening service ~ and this is especially important to Small Business.

With limited budgets and the settings that often result in close contact among employees and customers, hiring safely is more important than ever. 

Read “4 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need to Use Background Checks” to find out more!

No matter whether you are ready to make your first hire, or your 20th, preparing early  for what you need to do and when makes sense. And the best way to accomplish this? Partner with the right background check company first!

After all, going into anything blindly is rarely the best course of action ~ and making your new hire is no exception!

Choose a Background Check company that will work WITH you, not just FOR you! "Tweet This"

Want to know how to choose the best background check company for you and your business? The key is to find one that will work with you every step of the way!

You should understand first and foremost that not all Background Check Companies are created equal. And many small business owners are confused or fearful of choosing the wrong one. But it is possible to find one that is a perfect fit for you and your small business. 

You should choose a company that:

  • focuses on your needs
  • uses direct sources for their information
  • is willing to take the time necessary to do their job right
  • understands compliance issues
  • does not promise prices that are “too good to be true”

Learn more about choosing the best background check company for you here!

Outsourcing your employment background checks is simply good business. It will give you access to their knowledge and experience, keep you updated on compliance issues, will help you keep your candidate and employee information confidential and protected, act as a barrier against discrimination claims, and, most importantly, save you time, money, and resources.

Learn more in “5 Smart Reasons to Outsource your Background Checks”!

No matter which screening company you choose, it is always best to do some research long before you really need their services. Having one in place before looking for your new hire will give you time to integrate the background check into your hiring process and be prepared to move quickly when a candidate looks promising. And that is good for both you and your potential new hire!

Still have questions? Contact Us Today! We can give you the information you need and help you hire safely and effectively for your Small Business.

Authored by  

Learn more About Us and our Services on our website.

And discover what our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

What should You do if your college doesn’t respond to a Verification Request?

What would you do…..

You’ve been offered the job. After seemingly endless months of submitting your resume and rounds of interviews, you finally see an end in sight. Only one step remains, and that step is for you to pass the employment background check.

Everything seems to be going well until your screening hits a roadblock ~ your hard earned degree can’t be verified! Of course you know you graduated, so what can possibly be the problem? 

In an attempt to get your screening back on track, you reach out to your contact. And what do you find? You learn that the university has simply not answered their query.

So, what can you do?

This question was posed to us on Quora and this is our response:

"If a university, college, or other educational institution does not respond to a request for a verification, you do have some options. First, you can contact the institution yourself for an explanation. It may be that they require a signed authorization permitting them to release this information. Or, and this has happened, they refuse to release information due to an unpaid bill (even a library fine). No matter what the reason, finding out first hand can go a long way towards remedying it. If you get no satisfaction through the institution itself, which is unlikely, another step you can take is to provide your own verifying information. Official copies of your transcript, diploma, etc. might be acceptable to a potential employer. However, the best step of all is to know before you even apply for a job if there will be any “glitches” during the background check. That means contacting the university, high school, trade school, etc. where you claim a degree or certification to find out what information they have on file and what they will provide to a potential employer. Address and fix any issues that arise. You should do the same with your past employments and even your criminal history. The idea is to not be confronted with any “red flags” when you are looking for your next job. Good luck!"

You can find more answers to this question here!

Hitting Roadblocks in your Employment Background Check? That’s why you need to screen yourself first! “Tweet This”!

Encountering road blocks during your background check is undoubtedly frustrating. But the reality is that they do happen.

Your best bet is to be prepared first. And that means doing a background check on yourself first, creating a “background check ready” resume, and, above all, being honest every step of the way!

Have You ever Considered Doing a Background Check on Yourself?

There are many reasons why you may want to know what is "out there" about you. You may be considering college or buying a home. You may even want to volunteer at your child's school. But the most common reason by far is when you are thinking about applying for a job or trying to get a promotion.

The question then becomes, How?

Many employers use Background Checks as part of their hiring process. Most of these employers are looking for past criminal histories and validation of your employment and education claims. Some also do searches on driving records and social media presence.

Do you know what they will find?

Your best defense is a sound offense. Before you apply for any job, you will probably update your resume, research the company where you are applying – all in the hope of putting your best foot forward. Why not add a Background Check to that list?

Your background check should include the following:

  • Criminal History check
  • Education verification
  • Employment history
  • Driving history
  • Internet Search

Learn more in “Why, When, and How You should run a Background Check on Yourself!”.

Once you know what a background check will find, your next step is to make sure your resume is in complete alignment with that information….and these tips will help!

5 Rules you should follow to make your resume background check ready:

  1. Make sure your resume is “clean”
  2. Never list a degree you haven’t earned
  3. Make sure all employments listed are accurate
  4. Know what your past employers will say about you
  5. Be ready to mitigate any employment gaps or inaccuracies

Learn more about how you can use these steps to create your perfect resume here!

But no matter how much prep work you do, the most important thing when it comes to applying for and landing a job is that, above all, you are honest.

When your resume lies are uncovered during the hiring process, you lose. And, if discovered later, you could face not only the embarrassment of getting fired, but also the possibility of public humiliation.

Employers are understandably wary. Making a new hire, or promoting an existing hire, is a big deal. It costs money and time. And every employee is a reflection back on the company’s image and brand. No company wants the employer/employee relationship to begin with a lie.

These are the Top 5 Resume Lies that can keep you from getting the job:

  1. skills and responsibilities
  2. degree / diploma
  3. dates of employment
  4. job title
  5. past employers

You may think these are simply “little embellishments” or “close to the truth”, but no matter how you look at them, they are still lies.  And employers take notice!

Lying on your resume is never wise and it is often viewed as a mark against your honesty and integrity. 

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.

Discover more about the importance of honesty in your job search in “Employers Share ~ Lie on your Resume and You Lose”.

Preparing yourself for the inevitable employment background check is an important part of your job search. It should be given the same intensity and focus that you applied towards getting the education, training, and experience that now makes you a great candidate for the job.

And all it really takes is a little preparation before you apply! Good luck!

Authored by  

Need help making sure your resume is “background check ready”? Contact Us Today! We can help you find the information you need to build a resume that will help you get the job you want!

Learn more About Us and our Background Check and Job Search services. Discover what our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Can COVID delay your Background Checks?

Is the COVID pandemic causing extra delays to your background checks?

No one likes to wait…..especially when it comes to getting the information you need to make decisions for you and your business!

But there are times when circumstances happen beyond your control. That is when you need to take action. And that means identifying the issue, recognizing the problem it is causing, and creating a plan to eliminate or at least mitigate the effect it is having on your business.

There is no doubt that the effects of the COVID pandemic have caused problems for businesses. It has impacted employees, customers, and a businesses bottom line. 

And one of these problems is potential delays to employment background checks.

Factors than can delay your background check due to the COVID pandemic include:

  • Court closures and limited court and records staff may delay receiving case records needed for criminal and civil reports
  • Limited Staff and Work from home employees can make it hard to reach anyone to verify the information you need  
  • Work from home employees may not have ready access to the files containing the information required 
  • Business you are trying to reach may be shut down or their hours limited

However, COVID, or any pandemic, is not the only reason background checks may be delayed. There are other factors, many that are out of your control, that can impact how quickly you get your screening results.

The Top 10 Obstacles than can Delay Your Background Check are:

  1. Resume/Application Mistakes, Errors, & Fabrications
  2. Timing of Your Request
  3. Manual Court Checks
  4. Individual Court Dynamics
  5. Employment and Reference Checks
  6. Incomplete Case Information
  7. Power Outages or System Maintenance
  8. International Requests
  9. Government Shutdowns
  10. Changing Legislation

Once you have identified the potential delays that may effect your background checks, then you can create a sound plan to help eliminate, or at least alleviate, their impact on your hiring process.

What can you do when faced with background check delays?

Get Creative ~ You can contact individuals for verifications if company numbers are not responding. These alternate references can be co-workers, non-HR contacts, etc. that can verify your applicant’s resume or application. You may even request information from your applicant such as W-2s, a certified diploma to help. The key is to think outside the box for ways you can get the information you need to screen your candidate when traditional avenues are closed or hard to reach.

Practice Patience ~ There are times no matter what you do you cannot eliminate delays. That is when you simply have to do what you can to mitigate its impact on your hiring process.

That starts with keeping your job applicant fully informed. Let them know that there have been delays in completing their screening and what you are doing to help solve them. You also need to be completely honest with how that may impact their potential hire date.

You may also want to consider offering your applicant probationary employment in the mean time. This an especially helpful option when the background check is not fully complete but what is done is favorable. Using this option can go a long way towards keeping a great candidate from going elsewhere.

A good background check company can help you overcome many of these delays and keep you on the right track. 

After looking at your candidate's resume or application, they are there to identify potential problems and suggest sound solutions. Your screening company will also keep you informed when a problem occurs along the way and what can be done to get past it.

Find out more in “What can you do to combat Background Check Delays”.

No matter what the reason, Background Check delays can happen. Whether it is due to a rare occurrence like the COVID pandemic or something more common like issues with the courts, waiting for the results you need is never welcome.  Recognizing in advance potential delays, and having a sound plan in place to deal with them if it does, makes all the difference. And we can help! Contact Access Profiles Today for the guidance you need.

Authored by   

Learn more about what API has to offer here

You can also learn more About Us and what our Happy Clients have to say too!

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Do Companies contact Current Employers when doing a Background Check?

 Is your current employer contacted during a background check?

Job applicants have often asked us this question. They are worried that their current employer will find out they are looking for a new job and their job will be in jeopardy.

That is why when asked to weigh in on a question covering this very topic on Quora, we wanted to set the record straight.

Does the agency conducting background checking contact your current or previous boss (employer)?

Here is our answer: "Contacting previous employers is a vital part of the majority of employment background checks. That is why you should expect that any new potential employer will at least contact anyone you worked for in the last 7 to 10 years. So be prepared. However, when it comes to contacting a current employer, things are different. Instead of just proceeding, it is common for the hiring company to ask for permission to contact your current employer first. This protects you in case you do not get the job or you decide to reject a job offer".

You can find more answers to this question here!

There is no doubt that job applicants have a valid concern when it comes to their current employer finding out they are looking elsewhere. 

The chance that their current job may be put in jeopardy, without another offer and acceptance in hand, is bound to cause angst. That is why it is so important to know the facts first.

Many background checks involve checking an applicant’s employment history.

And the best thing anyone applying for a job can do is to be prepared ~ and that means creating an honest and accurate resume and knowing before you even apply what previous employers will say about you!

“What information past employers may say can sometimes be a wild card, and no one wants any unwelcome surprises when they are applying for a job. That is why knowing in advance is your best bet.

It is important to contact any company where you have worked for at least the past 7 to 10 years 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 the 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!

Learn more about what you need to know concerning employment background checks here!

What will a Background Check find out about You? Why you need to know before you Apply! “Tweet This”

Your entire resume also needs to get this same level of attention.

It is important that everything you list be entirely truthful. No matter what the temptation to “embellish” or alter the information to somehow make yourself look better, don’t do it! Your lies will be discovered and you will not only lose the job your reputation can suffer.

“Verifying the information on your resume is common practice and part of most company’s hiring processes. Investigating your education, past employments, and skills top the list. 

It is time to take note ~

When your resume lies are uncovered during the hiring process, you lose.  

And, if discovered later, you could face not only the embarrassment of getting fired, but also the possibility of public humiliation"excerpt from “Employers Share ~ Lie on your Resume and You Lose!”.

Instead, you need to make sure your resume is “background check ready” before you even apply. That means you need to:

  • make sure your resume is “clean” 
  • never list a degree you didn’t earn 
  • make sure all past employment are accurate
  • know what your past employers will say about you
  • be ready to mitigate any employment gaps, negative reviews, or inaccuracies

Learn more about how to get your resume “background check ready” here!

It is also wise that if you have left a company on bad terms or you have gaps in your employment that you are proactive and honest. Explain the situation clearly and succinctly, highlighting anything you have learned from the experience and what you have done to move forward. The key is to not have a “wait and see” attitude but to take charge and be prepared.

Employers have no interest in jeopardizing the current employment of any job applicant. They understand that until you are offered and formally accept a new position, your current job is important to you.

“Spilling the beans” to your current boss about your job search is just not on their agenda.

Instead, these companies will act responsibly. In doing a background check, their ultimate goal is make sure any potential employee is honest and has the qualifications to do the job ~ and contacting your current employer is simply not necessary to achieve this goal. Do you have more questions about Employment Background Checks? Contact Us Today. We can Help!

Authored by  

Learn more About Us and our Background Investigation and Job Search services.

You can also check out what Our Happy Clients have to say!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Our Top 4 Articles of 2020!

What topics resonated with you, our readers, in 2020?
Each year we take a look back at our top blog articles of the year. These are the ones that garnered the most “reads”, shares, and responses. It is a great way for us to see what worked, what didn’t, and what topics are of the most interest.

No doubt 2020 was an interesting year. It was full of upheavals; personally, professionally, and nationally. 

Many businesses were faced with closures, downsizing, and uncertainty. This resulted in large scale unemployment and layoffs as many fought just to stay afloat.

For those suddenly out of work, finding a job became a necessity ~ and while no job search is ever easy, the pandemic made it especially difficult. Not all companies were hiring out of fear of over extending themselves, and those that were had to interview and onboard under very different circumstances.

But when it comes to looking for a job, there are some things that do not change, and that is why the following two articles made our list.

No matter what, it is still important for job seekers to create a well thought out and honest resume. And it is still vital that they are ready for the inevitable employment background check.

When it comes to the background check, the very best thing any job applicant can do is to be prepared.

In the first of our top articles of 2020, we tackled how not to be blindsided by what a previous employer will reveal about you and your job performance.

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!”.

Being prepared goes a long way towards passing the background check and getting the job. But being honest during the entire hiring process is also crucial.

Our second top article deals with this question, “Is it ever okay to use “Fake References” to help you land the job?

In “Can You Pay someone to act as a Reference?”, we shared the real problems you can encounter when you try to lie your way into getting hired. 

It cannot be emphasized enough, when it comes to your resume and references, honesty is key. 

While presenting yourself in the best possible light is naturally your goal, achieving that goal should never involve lying. Not only is it wrong, but you run the risk of being found out. That is especially true during the employment background check!

“Be assured, employers are checking. Verifying the information on your resume is common practice and part of most company’s hiring processes. Investigating your education, past employments, and skills top the list. It is time to take note ~ When your resume lies are uncovered during the hiring process, you lose. And if discovered later, you could face not only the embarrassment of getting fired, but also the possibility of public humiliation”, excerpt from “Employer’s Share ~ Lie on your Resume and You Lose!”. 

Discover how important it is to take the extra step and make sure your references will help you in your job search and not hurt it here too!

Our final two top articles focus on tips to help a company hire right and protect their business.

Even those businesses that worked hard to weather the storm found themselves doing business differently than they ever had before.

For many, what it meant for their employees to “go to work” changed. Working from home was suddenly the new norm. Remote work no doubt impacted the way employees and managers functioned. 

But, despite being unsure of what the future holds, businesses still found the need to hire. And the key, as always, is to do what they can to hire right the first time!

In “Hiring in 2020 ~ 5 Things You need to do First”, we shared important tips to help! 

"Hiring is a big step for any business. Whether it is your first hire or you have hired before, making sure you do it right is important for you, your employee, and your company. 

Knowing these 5 things first will ensure your Hiring Practices are up to the task!
  1. What kind of background check fits the job
  2. What rules apply to your background checks
  3. Why you should never hire before doing a background check
  4. What to do if your background check uncovers a “red flag”
  5. Why hiring a background check company is good business
You can also learn more about how you can hire the best and safest new employee for your business here!

Our last top article was perhaps the most relevant in 2020, and will be equally as important as companies consider bringing their employees back to work.

In “Should You do a Background Check on Recalled Employees?”, we share why re-screening employees who have been away from the job is in your best interest.

“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.

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”.

Find out more about How and Why to Re-screen Recalled employees in this article.

No matter what the year brings, some things do not change. There will always be businesses that need to hire new talent and talented people looking for a new job.
The key is for each employer and potential employee to know how to best achieve that goal. And that is the purpose of our blog ~ to provide relevant information and tips to help.
Please let us know any topics you would like to see covered or questions you need answered concerning your business or job search. We are here to help!

Authored by  

Discover more about how API can help you! Check out our Background Check and Job Search services along with our Business Mentoring.

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