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Personal Background Checks


Judge: Texas Can't Sue EEOC for Criminal Background Check Guidance

Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that the state of Texas cannot challenge the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidance on criminal background checks because the state is not presently at risk of being penalized for refusing to adopt the policy. You might recall that this suit was filed last November by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a legal action which challenged the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “enforcement guidance” that limits the use of criminal records during the hiring process.  

Those who conduct employment background checks should read on to learn why this case was so important, but why you shouldn’t despair over the ruling. [...]

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Employment Background Checks and Ban the Box in Austin, Texas

Question: What do you get when you combine ban the box” compliance with utterly idiotic hiring practices? (I know I’m supposed to be diplomatic but no can do in this instance.)

Answer: Ask the city of Austin, Texas who hired a six-time convict to work in their public library . . .  that just plead guilty to attempted indecency with a child.

Before we dig into the details, let me show you the resume (see: rap sheet) of said employee, Joe Heath brought with him to the Austin Public library where he would come in regular contact with the public, including children.

  • 1987 – Trespassing
  • 1987 – Assault 1-year probation
  • 1990 – Assault 1-year probation
  • 2004 – Aggravated Assault w/ deadly weapon  4-years probation
  • 2005 – Money Laundering  = >$20K <$100K, sentenced to 4-years jail in 2007
  • 2006 – Hindering Secured Creditors  = >$100K – $200K

And here’s the kicker, not only didn’t the city of Austin fail to ask about past convictions on their job application, their hiring manager never bothered to ask at any point in the hiring process. Worse, they never conducted an employment background check.

How Did This Guy Get Hired?

The comedy of errors that led to Joe Heath’s hiring and retention would be funny if the consequences weren’t so serious. Read on to learn how you can avoid these mistakes when it comes to complying with ‘Ban the Box’ laws and exercising responsible hiring practices through employee background checks. [...]

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Employment Background Checks

It’s been awhile since our last weekly wrap up, and we’ve posted quite a few stories on our blog the past couple of weeks. If you’ve been out of the loop, now is a great time to get plugged back in, and I’ll give you a jump start with four of our latest blogs.

Ban the Box Has Jumped the Shark- It’s Getting Ugly Employers

The talent management community needs to push back.  Employers can’t just sit back anymore and think that these background screening laws are benign. Read More

Integrating the Candidate Experience & Saving Time

Wondering about the benefits of integrating your background screening program with your ATS or is there something you can do better? Watch our video to learn more. Read More

Is Your Background Screening Program Missing a Piece of the Puzzle?

Is your company using resume verification in its background screening program? If not, your hiring decisions could come back to haunt you someday. Read More

San Francisco “Ban the Box” Effective on August 13, 2014

Employers beware: you will need to do a lot more than just take the check box off of the application. Removing the box is not enough. Read More

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Employment Background Checks

Want to save time and improve the candidate experience? Look no further than streamlining your background screening program with an applicant tracking system (ATS). Whether you’re seeking to understand compliance best practices for your current system, or simply want to learn more about how an ATS can significantly save you time and improve the candidate experience—listen as our experts discuss the benefits of integration.

Wondering what some of the benefits of an applicant tracking system are or wondering if there’s anything you can do better? Watch our brief video and take a look at the overview below. [...]

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iCIMS is a preferred EmployeeScreenIQ integrated ATS partner.  Learn more.

iCIMS ATS Webinar Information

In many companies the human resources department is treated as a cost center. That means that your department costs your company money but it is “impossible” for the powers-that-be to associate the human resources department with profit generation. Unfortunately, that is a sad reality for the department tasked with recruiting the best and brightest talent. In reality, the human resources department has a significant impact on the company’s bottom line! But how can you prove that?

A key point to remember is that the recruiting tasks that seem to be nothing more than day-to-day details eventually make up the big picture at your organization. Recruiting metrics allow us to not only report on those day-to-day tasks but they also allow us to take a more analytical approach to hiring. Further, measuring what we do creates focus and accountability.  It helps us to target efficiency, headcount, cost and the more tactical pieces that make up the effectiveness of a recruiting function. Simply put, metric tracking should be used for both measuring and improving recruiting effectiveness, efficiency, and quality.

So, how do metrics help to turn recruiting from a cost center to a profit center?  To answer this, I want you to think about another cost center in your company – the accounting/finance department(s). No one complains about accounting being a cost center, right? So, why does accounting get away with being a cost center and recruiting gets all the headaches? Simple, accounting is constantly offering strategic advice based on their area of expertise in order to improve the company’s profitability.

To turn recruiting into a profit center you must take your recruiting metrics and reports and put on your strategic advisor cap. For example, if you find that a particular department or position has a high time to fill, for example – dive into WHY that is a problem. Never assume you know the reason or that reason cannot be fixed. Start by asking the recruiters if they are getting enough information from the hiring manager. Dive into the job description; is it clear, understandable, accurate? Check out the performance of the recruitment advertising channels you are using to promote the position; are those appropriately targeted to attract the right people? Once you have uncovered why the problem exists – make recommendations to the hiring managers and executives to improve the situation. This is certainly not time to accuse – even if the hiring manager is the source of the problem, rather this is the time to teach how simple changes can improve the organization.  Be sure to back up your argument and recommendations with evidence on how the changes you are proposing impact time and cost to fill and how that will improve their bottom line.

While a standard metric like time-to-fill is a great example for a short blog post, there are tons of other ways that recruiting reports and metrics can have a positive impact on your organization – especially if you are using the RIGH recruiting reports and metrics. To that end, iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute is conducting a free webinar – Recruitment by the Numbers: Turning Your Metrics into a Business Driver to dive more deeply into the different types of reports and metrics recruiters can use to add value to their organization. Register Today!

Title: Recruitment by the Numbers: Turning Your Metrics into a Business Driver

Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Time: 1:00 PM EDT

Registration Link:


About iCIMS and the Hire Expectations Institute:

iCIMS is a leading provider of innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition solutions. iCIMS’ Talent Acquisition Suite, the industry’s premier candidate management solution, enables organizations to leverage mobile, social, and video technologies to manage their entire talent acquisition lifecycle from building talent pools, to recruiting, to onboarding all within a single web-based application.

iCIMS Hire Expectations Institute provides recruiters, executives, and hiring managers with immediate access to industry news and educational materials to support your staff in accomplishing your organization’s recruiting goals.


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Ban the Box- Criminal Background Checks

If you are in the talent management space, you know that there has been an explosion of “Ban the Box” laws that have popped up at the federal, state and local levels over the last few years.  These employment and labor laws generally prohibit employers from asking whether a job candidate has been convicted of criminal activity on the job application.  Sometimes, these laws only affect government workers, but more often they include private sector employers as well.

If you conduct employment background checks, you’ll want to read on to see why it’s time to take a harder stance on “ban the box”. [...]

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resume verification

Just when you thought your background screening program was perfect—you discover one of your top candidates wasn’t completely honest when they submitted their resume. In today’s job market, resume lies abound and vary from the famous to desperate job seekers. The trouble is—if you hire someone based on a lie, you’re not hiring the person you thought.

We’ve been talking about resume verification a lot lately—from our latest webinar to our newest white paper, we believe resume verification is a great addition to any employment background screening program. And while this service might not be as crucial to some employers as criminal background checks, overlooking this service could truly hurt your company.


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Employment Background Checks

Surely you’ve heard of the Myers-Briggs test—an assessment that categorizes people into 16 different personality types, the results supposedly able to determine the types of jobs that would be best for you. However, a recent article reveals this test may not be as telling as many employers—and others, once believed and reports, “Analysis shows the test is totally ineffective at predicting people’s success at various jobs.” And yet, many companies continue to spend money on this test and trust in its ability to reveal a person’s personality and behavior.


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San fran skyline

Things aren’t getting any easier for employers in California. As I posted way back in February, San Francisco has banned the box. Effective August 13, 2014, employers in the city or county of San Francisco may no longer inquire about criminal history on employment applications or during interviews. It’s Ban the Box on steroids, and it may be coming to a city near you.

Titled The San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, No. 17-14, the new law prohibits both private and public employers with at least 20 employees from asking about a criminal past on the job application or in an initial interview. The law also restricts asking about criminal history on applications for affordable housing within the city. With respect to employment, the law applies to temporary workers, contract workers, and city contractors and subcontractors. The proponents of this and similar laws are trying to give ex-offenders a second chance by deferring questions about criminal history until after the application stage of hiring.


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Drug Testing Employment Background Checks

By now, many of you are familiar with the Google executive that was killed on his yacht last year by a call girl that injected with a fatal dose of heroin. In the aftermath of this startling case, the San Jose Mercury News started digging into what it calls Silicon Valley’s “drug culture”.

Specifically, they assert that there is an increasing propensity for those in the technology space to abuse illegal and prescription drugs to cope with the breakneck pace of work that the sector demands.  And to make matters worse, they allege that employers are turning a blind eye to the problem by not drug testing employees as part of their employment background screening process.

Their hypothesis is simple. [...]

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