Monday, March 29, 2010


Background Checks and Criminal Records Checks Can Detect Resume Fraud

One of the biggest reasons to conduct background checks and criminal records (Click here) checks on potential employees is the increasing trend of resume fraud.

A recent study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. found that most resume fraud is missed by HR employees because they don't bother to check a candidate's work experience, education or references.

Today, most companies use outside consultants to check this information, but the companies that do check found more false information or exaggerations during 2008, when the study took place.

A prime example is Dallas-based Automatic Data Processing Inc., which reported that 46 percent all fact checks the company did during 2008 revealed some discrepancies, which is an increase from 41 percent during 2007.

In commenting on that study, an article from ScrippsNews makes a good point in noting that those numbers are probably much higher now, taking into consideration that there are tens of millions of unemployed Americans, many of who have been out of work for at least six months.

Vikita Poindexter, owner of an HR consulting firm in California, told Scripps that most recently, job seekers have turned to listing fictional former employers that are no longer in operation on their resume.

"It is something that is pretty prevalent right now," she said "I try to educate my clients to do full background screening, but you'd be surprised how many don't. Someone presents a list of past employers, and every one has gone out of business, so there's no way to check? Every one. That's a huge red flag."

Here are some ways ScrippsNews notes candidates can lie on their resumes:
  • Job titles: Making or boosting a title in order to command a better salary. One person claimed to be a chief financial officer but held a minor job in the accounting department.
  • Education: Listing a degree from a school not attended; mentioning a school that is not accredited; inflating GPA or embellishing honors.
  • Reason for leaving: Saying you were a victim of a mass downsizing when in reality you were let go for poor performance.
  • References: Some try to pawn off family members as business references, which can backfire when it turns out your uncle actually doesn't think much of you.


Monday, March 1, 2010


Background Checks and Criminal Records Checks for Dallas County Constables

A recent incident is causing some local officials to question the depth of background checks and criminal records (Click here) performed on constables.

Dallas County Judge Jim Foster is requesting that the Dallas County Sheriff's Department conduct background checks on some deputy constables to make sure they are qualified for the job. This concern came about after a lieutenant in Precinct 5 was charged with minor felonies during a constable investigation.

An investigation by The Dallas Morning News found that before Constable Jaime Cortes hired Lieutenant Howard Watson, he was wanted in California in connection with a large legal judgment and child support, and previously faced criminal charges that were eventually thrown out.

Because of that information, Foster plans to put the idea of requiring additional background checks for other deputies in Precinct 5 up for a vote. Commissioners Maurine Dickey and Kenneth Mayfield have come out in support of the idea.

"I want this court to order that this precinct submit each and every person to undergo a complete and thorough background check," Foster told TDMN. "We've already seen evidence that it's not being done."

Lawrence Friedman, the lawyer representing Cortes, said he will go along with the idea if Foster, Dickey and Mayfield consent to background checks themselves. He said the three are neglecting the duties they were elected to perform by concerning themselves with constables' affairs.

Currently, the Dallas County Human Resources department only performs preliminary background checks on new constable employees, which include such things as education verification. The constables are then responsible for conducting additional employee background checks, such as contacting previous employers and verifying other information.


Monday, January 18, 2010


Background Checks and Criminal Records Increasing in Schools

The number of background checks and criminal records checks being conducted by employers is continuing to increase, especially on candidates who would be working in trusted positions, such as those with the elderly, children or other vulnerable people.

This has been most obvious as of late based on the number of schools throughout the country that are implementing rules requiring teachers, volunteers and other personnel to undergo background checks.

Most recently, Boulder Valley School District officials passed a measure requiring all volunteers to undergo a background check. Although the district has long performed background checks on employees, checks on volunteers were never consistent from school to school.

Under the new policy, anyone who regularly volunteers in the school, chaperons overnight trips or coaches must undergo a background check. Those who only volunteer occasionally will have their names cross-checked with Colorado's sex offender registry.

According to an article by KMGH, the school plans to conduct background checks on 1,500 to 2,000 volunteers this year, which will cost a total of about $6,000. While district officials have considered charging volunteers for more in-depth checks, they don't want to discourage anyone from volunteering.

The Dougherty County School System in Albany, Ga., also recently passed a measure requiring all current and future employees to undergo an FBI background check. While the DCSS Board of Education will pay for all current employees' background checks, new hires will be responsible for footing the $53 bill.

According to an article by WFXL, members of the school board decided to require an extensive background check to make sure that no employee working in the school system has a history of being fired from an out-of-state school for something inappropriate or illegal.

Other efforts to implement background checks in schools within the last year include:
  • The Francis Howell School District near St. Louis, Mo. is requiring volunteers who have lived in the state for the last five years to undergo a state check every four years, while those who recently moved to the state have to undergo an FBI check.
  • The State of Indiana is requiring teachers to undergo a check so it can create a public database of teachers convicted of drug or sex crimes.
  • The State of Texas has been enforcing a law passed in 2007 that requires all new non-certified employees to undergo fingerprint checks and all certified educators, substitute teachers and classroom aides to undergo background checks before 2011.
  • An audit by the Utah State Legislature found the current background check system flawed and ineffective, causing many lawmakers and education leaders to push for background checks. Proposed measures include: requiring licensed and classified employees to report any arrests or convictions within 48 hours, implementing a personal database that would alert officials of employee arrests, and requiring employees and teachers renewing their licenses to undergo fingerprint testing.
  • The British government is considering a bill that would require parents who home school children to undergo a background check.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Background Checks and Criminal Records Checks for Home Schooling Parents in the U.K.

Parents and others who home school children in the United Kingdom could soon be subjected to background checks and criminal records checks.

A bill recently proposed by the British government would not only give local educational officials the right to determine whether or not they will register a home education program, but also would require parents to undergo background checks before teaching their own children.

If the bill is passed, the United Kingdom would be one of the first countries to require such measures. Neither the United States nor Canada - where the majority of home schooling takes place - require parents to register, and only two states require home schools to be approved.

In most instances, parents only have to inform the proper authorities that they plan on home schooling their children. While some states impose various testing requirements for home schooled students, most encounter no interference from government.

According to an article by the Home School Legal Defense Association, many British citizens are concerned about the implications of the bill proposed by the government. This has caused a parliament committee to conduct a special inquiry to determine whether the bill was conducted properly.

Some officials have claimed the government has adopted an extreme interpretation of the Untied Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child by granting authorities the right to access home schooled children and gather their views on home education.

In addition, the bill would allow local authorities to terminate registration if parents choose not to cooperate. It also would give some jurisdiction to the Local Safeguarding Children Boards.


Monday, November 2, 2009


Background Checks and Criminal Records Could Include DNA

It's not uncommon for employers to obtain background checks and criminal records on potential candidates, but many people are asking if one Ohio school has gone too far.

The University of Akron recently announced that in addition to criminal background checks, it will require all new employees to submit a DNA sample. While many colleges require employees to undergo background checks, adding DNA to the mix seems to be a first.

According to an article by Inside Higher Ed, the new rule states that all candidates selected for employment must undergo a background check and all offers will be "contingent on successful completion" of that check. In addition, applicants "may be asked to submit a DNA sample."

The rules state that all employees, including faculty members, are covered under the measure. The school's Board of Trustees adopted the new policy in August, but only recently notified faculty of the measure.

Laura Martinez Massie, University of Akron spokeswoman, said the school has not yet collected DNA and has no plans to do so, but is "merely reserving the right to do so."

"(Akron wants) a safe environment for all of its students and employees," she said. "DNA testing was included in the policy because there have been national discussions that indicate that in the future, reliance on fingerprinting will diminish and DNA for criminal identification will be the more prominent technology. (Akron wants) the flexibility to adopt the new technology if we found it necessary."

Some faculty and community members have taken exception to the new rule, and one adjunct faculty member has already quit because of it. There also is concern that the school never consulted with the American Association of University Professors before passing the new rule.



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