Showing posts with label Background checks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Background checks. Show all posts

Monday, June 6, 2022

Steps You should take Now to find your first “Real Job”!

This is the time of year when graduates are hitting the job market. Whether it is from high school, college, or even a great trade school, they all have one thing in common ~ they are ready for their first “Real Job”!

The question now is how and where do you begin?

The short answer is this ~ do your research, don’t forget to network, and be ready to “sell” yourself!

The key is to approach finding a job much like you did getting ready for exams. Preparation, studying, and a great mind set are what will get you through.

And it all starts with following these tips ~

Make sure your Resume is “Background Check Ready”. The majority of employers will do some type of background check before making their hiring decision. There is simply no point in applying for any job until all the information listed in your resume is accurate and contains no “red flags”. 

You need to:

  • Make sure your resume is “clean”
  • Never list a degree, diploma, or certification you haven’t earned
  • make sure all past employments are accurate
  • Know in advance what your past employers / references will say about you
  • Be ready to mitigate any employment “gaps” or inaccuracies
  • Do a background check on yourself first

Remember, the key to any good resume is to make sure it is first and foremost a way to market You to your new employer. And starting with any kind of discrepancies is not the way to go!

Learn more in “Tips to Help you get your resume background check ready”!

Create Your Professional Online Presence and Clean Up your existing Profiles Are you on LinkedIn? This social network is a must for creating a professional persona. Create a profile that is not simply a list of your credentials. Make it interesting! Put the focus on sharing “you”, what makes you unique, and what drives you (there are a lot of great tips out there to make your LI profile shine). 

Now check out your existing social profiles. Take the time to give them a good, hard look and remove anything questionable that could result in a bad impression of you.   

Asking yourself these questions BEFORE you post anything online is the wise way to go.

  • What do your Social Profiles say about You?
  • Do they show you in a good light?
  • Have you shared things you are not proud of?
  • Do they highlight the best things about you?
  • Would You be Proud to Share Them?

Remember, what you post online can impact your job search. Learn more in “Discover how your Social Media Posts can keep you from getting the Job You Want”.

Bottom line, employers are bound to look! So make sure your social profiles are up to par!

Focus Your Job search - but not too narrowly! Only applying for jobs that fit you exactly, or throwing your net too wide, is not the way to get the job you want.

Instead, create a job search strategy that keeps in mind your goals, skills, and interests. No one job may fit them all. But, as long as you are focused on finding something where you can explore your interests and where you can contribute, you will be adding something valuable to your professional work experience. 

Use Your Connections You may not think you have any, but think again. Did you have any summer jobs or internships? A former supervisor might be the perfect person to help you meet someone who can help you find a job.  

How about reaching out to your family or friends? Let them know you are looking to start your career and they may have some suggestions.

And don’t forget your university’s Alumni network. Many universities forge strong connections among their Alumni. Join and stay active.  

Use your College’s Resources Does your university have a career center? Check it out! You will find a variety of resources that will help you with your resume and job search. Many universities also host job fairs. This is a great way to check out many different companies at once.

Don’t be afraid to get out and network!  

Seek out local professional associations and attend networking events. Be ready to tell people what you do (or want to do) and what you have done to get yourself ready. But don’t forget to listen first! Going in with a pitch without showing a genuine interest in others will put people off.

Research Companies Before You Apply Do your homework. Check out their company website. Make sure you understand the company “brand”, how they started, and what they do. Find them on LinkedIn and other social networks. 

They will be screening you, and you need to screen them in much the same way. Any information you find will also help you prepare for your interview. Learning all you can about your target companies just makes sense.

Pay Attention to Application “Rules” Many jobs you apply for will require online applications. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully ~ remember, this will often be your first impression!

But no matter what method they use to collect their applications, in all cases you need to pay close attention to neatness, spelling, clarity, and legibility. Losing out on a possible interview due to sloppiness or an incomplete application will not get you the interview you need.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Thank You If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview, then you know that they are at least interested in what they have seen on your resume/application. The interview will simply be the next step in finding out if you are a good fit. This is where your company research will come in handy.

Be sure to be ready with tangible examples of problems you have solved, what you have learned, and why you want to work for them.  Making sure they understand what you will bring to their company is important.

But no matter how well the interview went, it can all be erased unless you remember the Power of a Thank You!

Not only should you thank them in person on the day of the interview, you need to follow up with a thank you email to anyone you met with throughout the day.

Be sure to express your thanks to them for taking the time to meet with you. It is also a good idea to personalize each thank you with any specifics you may have discussed during your interview. Making them more “personal” can go a long way in making a good impression.

Consider Continuing Your Education (Grad School), Taking an Internship, or Volunteering. If you are still not getting anywhere in finding a job, then you may have to consider some alternatives.

If you believe grad school is in your future, then take a look at some programs that will further your professional skills. In fact, it is sometimes easier to simply continue on and complete the education you need before getting a job. You are still comfortable with studying, exams, and all the other things that go along with going to school. 

And if you haven’t already had an internship, it is not too late to find one. This can be a great way to increase your “real world” skills and extend your connections.

Do You Volunteer? Now can be the perfect time to start. Not only will it make you more invested in your community, it is a valuable addition to any resume.

Be Patient Don’t get discouraged. It will take time to land your first job, or even to get an interview. This is not a reflection on you. Just stay focused on being positive.

Most new grads and job seekers will apply for dozens of jobs and many will never even receive a response. Remember, everyone goes through it and we all had to start somewhere.

Check out “Attention New Grads ~ What you need to do to land your first job!” to find information on how to best accomplish your goals!

It takes work to find a good job and how you approach that search can make all the difference. Doing everything you can before you even apply to prepare yourself is key!

Authored by  

Check out our site for more information on Background Checks and your Job Search!

Find out more About Us too!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Our Most Popular Articles of 2021


Every year we take stock of the articles we posted. We take note of what topics resonated with our readers and which fell flat. We also discover trends and areas of interest that help us write articles for the upcoming year. 

This year is no different!

Here are our Top 5 most popular blog posts of 2021……..

Not surprisingly, our two most read articles centered on the effects of COVID and hiring.

In, “Can COVID delay your Background Checks?” we focused on the very real problem in getting timely background check results due to closures, limited working hours, and a reduced workforce.

“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

Learn more about the effects of COVID and other factors on your employment background checks here!

Our next popular article looked into why many companies are having a problem finding new hires. 

In “Need to Hire but ‘No one wants to Work'? The problem might not be what you think!”, we shared what employers need to focus on to attract the employees they need!

“If you find that your business is facing the "I need to hire but no one is applying" dilemma, instead of throwing in the towel, you need to do this instead ~ take a good hard look at what you and your business are offering!

Be honest with yourself……

  • Before the pandemic hit did you have a high employee turnover?
  • Despite your company earning increasing business profits, did your employees’ wages remain stagnant?
  • Did you ignore or refuse to offer incentives such as good benefits and perks to attract and retain good workers? 

If the answers to any of these questions is "yes", then the next question becomes….What can you do now?

This is the time to change your tactics, and that starts with doing the following….

  • Get the Word Out
  • Use the Employees you have to Recruit new ones
  • Offer bonuses, better pay and incentives

Check out the entire article to find out more!

Another article that clearly resonated, especially with employers, was “Learn how You can use your Existing Employees to help you Hire!”.

Employers are always looking for ways to attract applicants. However, one resource they often overlook is their current employees!

“Using your existing workforce as a resource simply makes good business sense. They are intimately aware of what is needed to do the jobs within your company and they also understand the inner workings of the team.

So how exactly can they help you find and train the new hire you need?

Here are some tips to help ~

Reach out to your employees, especially your best and brightest. Talk to them. Find out more about what skills and talents are needed to help your company grow and succeed. Learn where your workforce is lacking and where it needs help. Really listen to what they have to say. Their input will be invaluable not only in recruiting but when it comes time to make a job offer.

Ask them to refer other like-minded, smart and hard-working individuals to the business to supplement your recruiting efforts. Sometimes your current employees are your best resource for finding qualified candidates who can help improve your business”.

Read the entire article for more tips!

The following article was popular among Job Seekers! 

Do Companies contact Current Employers when doing a Background Check?” focused on the common fear that a current employer will find out they are looking for a new job!

“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”.

As a rule, companies do not contact current employers. They understand the very real problem that can create for their applicants. But past employers are another story!

That is why it is best to be prepared!

Check out our entire article here to find out what you need to know before you apply!

Both Employers and Job Seekers found our final top article on “Ageism” relevant, “Ageism in the Workplace ~ Discover why you need to Hire and Retain Older Workers”. 

“The fact is, rather than retire at age 65, more older Americans are remaining in or returning to the workforce. Some are continuing to work due to longer life expectancies, health expenses or financial insecurity. Others simply enjoy the social interaction and the fulfillment and sense of identity work provides. In order to succeed, it is vital that your workplace embrace them. Is your company ready?”.

It is important that your company show a strong dedication to hiring for qualifications and fitness for the job no matter the age, sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation of your applicants. 

You can accomplish this by:

  • Using age-inclusive language in your hiring and employment practices, including job postings.
  • Focusing on establishing benefits that take into consideration the wants and needs of your diverse workforce.
  • Creating a welcoming and innovative working environment that encourages collaboration.

Discover how eliminating Ageism in your workplace will encourage a variety of applicants and help your business by checking out the full article by clicking on the link above!

This rounds out our Top Blog Posts of 2021! For more articles focused on you and your Small Business, be sure to visit our site hereAnd if you have questions or topics you would like to see covered in the coming year, please Contact Us or comment on this article. We would love to hear from you!

Authored by 

We can help you hire right and grow your business. Visit our site to learn more about Our Services and About Us.

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Sunday, November 14, 2021

Why Background Checks are necessary before every Animal Adoption

Want to adopt a pet? Then get ready for the Background Check!

Screening potential adoptive pet parents and foster families is important. While most people that want a pet will be caring and loving to their furry friends, that is not always the case. There are those who will end up harming and neglecting them.

"Every 60 seconds, one animal suffers abuse". Source1

For that reason, many shelters and foster programs require all applicants to undergo background checks before placing any animal.

The goal here is to make sure that they will provide their pet with a safe and nurturing home. So before you decide to foster or adopt, it is best that you are first prepared.

Pet Adoption or Fostering background checks will most likely include the following:

  • criminal and civil court record checks ~ they will be looking for complaints or past instances of animal cruelty, abuse of animals and/or of people
  • employment verification ~ this is checked to determine if the applicant is financially able to take care of their new pet
  • questioning references, neighbors,  and friends
  • determining whether there are children in the home
  • asking about other pets and checking their vet records 
  • asking if any pets have ever died in their care (whether by their hand or not)
  • conducting a home visit or asking questions about the home to determine whether it is suitable for a pet

Less commonly, potential fosters or adoptive pet parents may also be screened on social media or even have their driving records checked.

While some may think these requirements go too far, are too intrusive, and may even be discriminatory, the alternative is potentially placing a pet in an unsuitable or even dangerous home. That is unacceptable.

Background Checks are critical in protecting the safety of adopted or fostered pets!  “Tweet This”

Sadly, many adopted pets are already being returned, abandoned, or even removed from their owners because they could no longer be taken care of or are being harmed.

"Annually, over 10 million animals in the US are abused to death". Source2

To curb this trend, it is vital that we do everything we can to first assure that no animal is ever placed in a dangerous situation where they end up neglected or abused. That is why these animals depend on those working hard to find them a new home to do their best to make sure they will be safe.

Without a background check, that task is difficult. Foster and adoption agencies have no way of knowing who is taking the animal home unless they first do their due diligence.

That is why it is best to err on the side of caution and, despite privacy issues, to screen all potential adoptive or foster pet parents. Our common goal should always be the safety of our furry friends, and background checks are a great way to achieve that goal!

Authored by   

Contact API Today. We can answer your questions about background checks!

Learn more About Us and Our Services too!

Source1: 45 Disturbing Animal Abuse Statistics We should Know in 2021

Source2: 33 Heartbreaking Animal Abuse Statistics to be aware of in 2021

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Discover why Background Checks on Volunteers are just as important as Screening New Hires!

Background checks on volunteers are just as important to your company as screening new hires!

Screening your Volunteers, just like you do potential employees, is simply good business. It helps promote increased workplace safety, productivity, and customer service ~ all essential to your business!

Volunteers are often critical to the success of many organizationsWith tight budgets to hire full or even part-time employees, along with a vast amount of job openings in our present market not yet being filled, volunteers take up the slack. They spend countless hours coaching youth sports, delivering meals to the needy, mentoring and tutoring children, and so many more things to help the community and businesses around them.

Volunteers do these things as a way to give back and help others. They believe in making a difference and in being a good citizen. Their goal is to help those around them, and that often includes our children, elderly, and disabled.  

However, there have also been horror stories about the danger some of these volunteers have posed. Reports of convicted abusers who are found volunteering as coaches or in child care are an obvious cause for concern.

Today, more than ever, organizations who use volunteers need to address this issue. Protecting the very people they are trying to help must be a priority. This is where screening volunteers comes in.

While conducting volunteer background checks is vital, these organizations do not want to alienate these volunteers in the process. Concerns that background checks will violate their privacy and that these organizations will not protect their personal information can arise.

This can be a delicate balancing act. Organizations are faced with the need to weed out unsafe volunteers without losing any of the loyal and dedicated volunteers they need. 

In the meantime, many states have passed, or are in the process of passing, legislation that mandates background checks on any one who comes in “direct contact” with our children or other members of our vulnerable populations.

But questions continue….

  • What exactly is “direct contact”? 
  • Does it cover anyone who is even in the same room as children, the elderly, or disabled? 
  • Or does it only pertain to those who have unsupervised contact?  
  • Who pays the fees associated with these background checks? 
  • Is it cost prohibitive for organizations, especially non-profits, to cover the cost? 
  • Or is it an undue burden on volunteers who are asked to pay for it themselves? 
  • What exactly should be checked? Since no standard exists, what is best practice?
  • What offenses should disqualify someone from volunteering?
  • What can be done to minimize a volunteer’s objections to a background check?    

This can all be very confusing for anyone who uses volunteers.  

In reality, most organizations run some type of background check on their volunteers. These background checks are run for the same reasons as they would be on any employee ~ to keep out anyone who is unsafe.  

But while there may be some who are wary of pre-employment background checks, volunteers are often even more put off by the idea.

Long-time volunteers may object to a new screening policy after years of giving their time and energy to an organization. While those considering volunteering for the first time might be turned off from even applying.

Many are understandably worried about their personal information being leaked. Volunteers may also believe that a new screening policy creates an atmosphere of distrust. 

But the bottom line is this ~ Volunteers who work with Children, the Elderly, or any vulnerable population need Background Checks.

Our top priority should be the Safety of our Children, the Elderly, and our Vulnerable! “Tweet This”

Organizations can take definite steps to achieve this goal. It is possible to provide a safe and productive environment for the population you serve while mitigating the concerns of your volunteers.

To do this, Organizations Need to:

Create a Written Volunteer Screening Policy ~ This policy should outline the screening procedures used and be included in your organization’s written policies. Make sure that everyone is fully informed of your policy and publish it both in your written materials and online for all to clearly see.

Provide Job Descriptions for Every Position within Your Organization ~ This should include exactly what is required of each volunteer who fills the position. Being clear on this up front sets expectations and boundaries. It is also a great way of determining what needs to be checked during screening by fitting the scope of the check to the job duties. Find out more  in  “One Size Does Not Fit All ~ Why You Need to Fit the BG Check to the Job!”.   

Identify the Background Check Fees & Who is Responsible for Paying ThemState clearly whether these fees are to be paid fully by your organization, fully by the volunteer, or by a combination of the two. Being up front is the best way to avoid surprises.

Obtain an Application and Signed Release for All Volunteers The application should include the potential volunteer’s full name, any previous names used, addresses for the past 7 years, references, and a copy of their photo ID. It is important that you get this application from each volunteer and keep it in a secure file.

This also goes for a signed release form. This form both notifies a volunteer that a background check will be performed and documents their consent. Requiring this authorization helps protect your organization. 

Establish Procedures to Review the Volunteer’s Application ~ In reviewing the application, look for inconsistencies in the information listed. Check references and try to develop references not listed. Any questionable information found during this process needs to be documented. It is also important to be clear that false statements on the application is cause for disqualification as a volunteer. Taking the time necessary to be diligent here is an important step in making sure you identify possibly problematic volunteers.  

Clearly Identify Which Criminal Offenses Would Disqualify a Volunteer ~ While it is important that each organization determine for themselves what offenses will prohibit someone from volunteering, the following criminal offenses should be taken seriously and result in automatic  disqualification:

  • Child, Elderly, or other types of Abuse or Domestic Violence Convictions
  • Sex Offenses & Sexual Misconduct Convictions
  • Violent Felony Convictions

Although the following offenses may not be grounds for immediate disqualification ~ Pending Criminal Cases, Arrests, and Misdemeanors within the past 7 years ~ they should also be noted.

Document All Information Obtained During the Screening Process & All Actions Taken ~ Be sure to keep a written log documenting what was checked, when it was checked, and what action was taken because of the information obtained. It is important to keep a clear and concise record of any decision you make regarding each of your volunteers.

Create a Privacy and Personal Information Policy ~ Protection of sensitive, personal information should be a priority. All the information obtained on each volunteer, from the application, application review, and the criminal background check, must be kept completely confidential. It is good practice to keep the application review results and criminal check histories separate from the general volunteer files. These should only be accessible to authorized personnel.    

We need to remember that Volunteers are important. They provide much needed man power to many organizations and their contributions cannot be minimized. However, that does not mean that you should take any volunteer into your organization blindly. 

Making sure they do not pose a potential problem to those you serve is priority number one. And putting sound screening procedures in place is a great start. Making sure your volunteers understand why these checks are necessary is key.   

Contact API today! We can help you create a sound background check policy and provide the services you need to hire safely and effectively!

Authored by    

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Sunday, June 20, 2021

What is “Provisional” Employment and how can You use it in your Small Business?

Have you ever hired an employee on a “conditional” basis? Do you even know what that means? 

Here we will try to shed some light on hiring a “provisional” or “conditional” employee and how it can make sense for your business!

Provisional employment, or “conditional employment”, is when a new employee is offered a job contingent upon the successful completion of certain pre-determined criteria.

That criteria may include things like finalizing a degree or training, taking an entrance exam, or, most commonly, and the one we will focus on here, passing an employment background check.

The whole concept of “provisional” or conditional employment can be confusing.

In the United States, most workers are employed “at will”. Although this can vary by state, in general this means that employees can be fired for any reason. The exception is if the termination violates federal or state anti-discrimination laws. 

The same principle applies to job offers. Because of this, employers are free to expect prospective employees, or those given a conditional offer of employment, to fulfill certain requests, such as to pass background checks, undergo drug screenings, or any other requirements in order to get the job.

In order to decide if offering conditional employment would work for your business, it is important that you understand what hiring an employee on this basis really means.

First and foremost, hiring someone on a provisional basis means you really want them for the job. The candidate has the qualifications and skills you need and has impressed during their interview(s).

So, you may ask, why not simply hire them permanently right now?

The reality it that it may be best to wait on making that final job offer and hire them conditionally instead. Conditional offers of employment can actually work for your business. They allow you to hire quickly when needed, such as when you have a sudden influx of work, someone unexpectedly leaves, or you need a seasonal hire, all without waiting for the finalized background check.

Conditional job offers can also be beneficial to your applicants. It shows that you value what the skills they have to offer, gives them a measure of security to know that you want to hire them, and can even give them an edge when negotiating with other potential employers.

However, not all job candidates my look on a conditional offer as favorably. They might not agree with the conditions you have set or be unable to meet them. But, most often, a provisional offer simply does not give them the same sense of security as an “unconditional” job offer would.

When it comes to making conditional job offers it is important to do it right! "Tweet This"

It is critical that you are honest and concise as to what that conditional offer means and the criteria that you are expecting to be met. The clearer you are the more positive this experience will be for both you and the potential employee.

The first step is to make sure you craft the clearest provisional offer letter you can. And you need to make sure that this offer follows all the best practices when it comes to the background check!

Before sending your conditional offer letter or, ideally before you ever even decide to hire, you should make sure that your hiring practices are not violating EEOC guidelines, especially those concerning background check releases and disclosure forms.

Begin by ensuring that you are not guilty of committing these 4 Common Background Check Release Violations:

  • You (the Employer) don't Disclose that a Background Check will be Obtained
  • You don't obtain a Signed Authorization from your Applicants
  • Your Authorization Form is Not a Stand-Alone Document
  • Your Authorization Form includes a Release from Liability

Find out more about the steps you need to take in order to screen your employees in “Tips to Help Your Business fly under the EEOC Radar”!

When you are ready to make an offer of conditional employment, and all your best practices are in place, then your offer letter should do the following:

  • make it clear the applicant is being hired as a provisional / conditional employee
  • list exactly what criteria is expected to be satisfactorily completed ~ such as the employment background check, passing a drug test, or anything else required of new employees
  • state a definite start date and the time when it is expected that the criteria required will be completed
  • state that permanent employment will follow completion of the conditions, or seasonal employment if that is the original goal

The key to it all is clear and honest communication, and it all starts with you ~ the Employer!

The whole idea of a background check can be daunting for many ~ even if they have absolutely nothing to hide. That is why you need to be completely upfront, open, and honest with your applicant. 

Make sure you are completely clear about the following:

  • What You will Check
  • What You are looking for in the background check 
  • What Factors can Cause Delays in the Background Check 
  • What Errors can be encountered during the entire process 
  • What Rights are afforded to Your Applicant

All candidates who are undergoing an employment background check have rights. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) dictates that employers must inform candidates in writing and get their written consent before conducting a credit check. In the event that the offer is revoked based on information discovered during the check, the FCRA requires employers to notify candidates and provide them with information on how to dispute the report

Learn more in “Ready to Hire? What your Applicant needs to know”!

As an employer, the tone you set from the beginning can have a lasting impact on the relationship you will have with your new employee. Being honest, responsive to questions, and keeping them apprised of their status, will go a long way towards making sure you leave your applicant with a good impression of you and your company.

And this is possible even when making a “provisional” hire!

Using conditional offers of employment can be good for your business. They can help you hire the talent you need without skipping any of the steps necessary to make sure they are a smart hire. 

Do you still have questions about Provisional Employment and Safe Hiring? We can help you navigate the world of employment background checks while keeping your bottom line firmly in mind.

Contact Us Today!

Authored by 

Discover what Access Profiles has to offer here.

And learn more About Us and what our Happy Clients have to say too!

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, 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, 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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