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Personal Background Checks



With 2015 off to a great start, we’re thrilled to announce that our 6th Annual Background Screening Trends Survey is officially under way! With topics ranging from how employers handle criminal background checks to ever-changing screening laws to marijuana in the workplace, our survey has it all!

We can’t wait to share the results of this year’s survey, but we can’t do it without YOU. Keep reading for 5 reasons you should take this year’s survey. [...]

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Why Wouldn't You Run Employment Background Checks

When we started EmployeeScreenIQ 15 years ago, we heard a lot of reasons about why a company wasn’t conducting employment background checks on their job candidates. I’m happy to tell you that it is a rarity these days that we talk with someone who needs to be convinced of their importance. The practice has become so mainstream that after our second annual background screening trends survey in 2011, we stopped asking HR professionals if they screen their candidates. The number peaked at 92%.

Still, I’ve scratched my head for years wondering, who are the 8% that are holding out? My initial assumption was that these were smaller businesses without the wherewithal or resources to engage a background screening company. And that assumption might be correct, but I keep learning that’s not always the case.

Who are the 8%?

Earlier this year on a flight to Vancouver, I sat next to the CEO of a Hollywood production company who employs 300 people. He told me that everybody knows everybody in Hollywood and that background checks were intrusions into the lives of his candidates. After some conversation about the potential risks, he asked if I would speak to his HR director. I figured it was a blow off, but she actually called me back. [...]

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Image Courtesy of TalentCulture

Image Courtesy of TalentCulture

Last weekend, Jason Morris and I had the pleasure of joining the folks over at TalentCulture on #TChat to discuss the pros and cons of using social media sites as part of their employment background screening efforts. Check out the primer here.

As a follow up to our conversation, host Kevin W. Grossman wrote an excellent take on whether using social media employment background checks was fair game and we wanted to give our readers a chance to review it in it’s entirety (see below).

The Hot Potatoes Of Social Screening- By Kevin W. Grossman

That’s when I saw the photo — a full view of a man’s naked back severely cut open from multiple slashes of some kind of large knife. Before even knowing the context (and not really caring at first), I cringed and rolled my eyes. I’ve seen a lot of inappropriate images online since I’ve been playing and working in online networks, usually the more social of the bunch like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, even Instagram (of course, since that’s where you share photos, and my appropriate share is plentiful). [...]

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Unemployment Discrimination

When graduating from college a little over three years ago, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy road as I searched for a full-time job. For the first few months, I worked several part-time jobs before finding a full-time position with EmployeeScreenIQ. While I was never without a job, I can imagine the stress and fear millions of Americans have experienced who have been unemployed for months—with no end in sight. As many have struggled to find work since the recession, it has become widely recognized that unemployment discrimination is a major issue in the U.S.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2.95 million have been out of work for 27 weeks or more. However, the unemployment rate has dropped from 2.5% to 1.9% since December, meaning progress has been made—but there’s still work to be done. With the White House, over 300 companies announced they’re adopting best practices for recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed.

A total of $170 million in 23 grants will help companies to train and hire the unemployed. While this benefits hundreds of companies in the U.S., others might not have the resources to jump on the bandwagon. So, for employers seeking to shed the unemployment bias and give unemployed candidates a chance, here are a few considerations when screening the long-term unemployed. [...]

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Compliance Background Checks

For those interested in staying up-to-date with the latest in compliance for pre-employment background screening and the laws that affect your use of employment background checks, follow our publication, BTW: Your Guide to Staying Out of Hot Water. This compliance resource has been created by our VP of Compliance and General Counsel, Angela Preston, and is a must-read for human resources and security professionals.

Uber Back in the Headlines with FCRA Class Action for Background Checks

Uber can’t seem to get it right. First, the company was criticized for NOT doing background checks, and now it’s under attack for doing them the wrong way. The national ride sharing service that everyone loves to hate is back in the headlines (although I’m not sure they ever left) facing a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Read More [...]

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Employment Background Checks and Hiring

I almost can’t believe it myself, but it’s already December. And this point in the year means it’s almost time to close the books on 2014. As the year comes to an end, I’ve spent some time looking back at the legal trends in hiring and employment screening throughout 2014. Here is a list of the top five background screening and employment issues from 2014 that are worth reflecting on as we get ready to raise a glass to ring in the New Year.

1. An Uptick in Job Growth

Let’s start with the good news. Hiring is up. Job growth for 2014 is ending on a strong note, and the government’s November jobs report was good. And I mean really good. The US economy had the biggest gain last month since January 2012, adding 321,000 jobs. Unemployment clocked in fairly low, at 5.8 percent. It all adds up to a report card in the A range, when all that was expected was a C or maybe a C+. November set a new record as the 50th consecutive month of job gains. As business analyst Jill Schlesinger put it, “2014 has become the best year for job creation since 1999!” (Cue the Prince music, please.)” That’s welcome news for job seekers and businesses.


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Congressional Committee Report

On November 24, 2014, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (H.E.L.P.) issued a scathing report, taking the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) to task for a laundry list of egregious tactics. The report’s title sums it up nicely: EEOC: An Agency on the Wrong Track? Litigation Failures, Misfocused Priorities, and Lack of Transparency Raise Concerns about Important Anti-Discrimination Agency

The Report

The Senate H.E.L.P. Committee Report doesn’t pull any punches. Inside are key findings of questionable practices and litigation failures by the EEOC. The report criticizes the agency’s sketchy litigation tactics, its practice of filing suit without a commission vote, questionable discovery requests, the lack of cooperation with defense counsel and a failure to conciliate. It points out that the EEOC has been ordered to pay sanctions and attorney’s fees ten times since 2011, and it has been “openly chastised” by the courts. The report also slams the EEOC for a lack of transparency, citing the dearth of reports from the General Counsel’s office, the practice of introducing guidance without public comment, and failure to respond to F.O.I.A. requests.

The report includes a chart listing the ten cases where the EEOC has been ordered to pay sanctions over the past four years. The list includes the Peoplemark case, which involved disparate impact claims based on the company’s background screening policies.

To sum it up, the report asserts that the EEOC’s tactics are ineffective, burdensome, and are costing taxpayers too much money.

A few of the specific complaints contained in the executive summary of the publication are as follows: [...]

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If there’s one part of the hiring process when the candidate experience can blow up, it’s the background check. The idea of a background check is daunting for most people—even those with a clean record. If a candidate is rejected as a result of something in the background check, it is increasingly common to hear from their legal representative. One way employers can avoid problems in the background screening process is to educate job applicants. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. [...]

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Uber Background Checks

Uber can’t seem to get it right. First, the company was criticized for NOT doing background checks, and now it’s under attack for doing them the wrong way. The national ride sharing service that everyone loves to hate is back in the headlines (although I’m not sure they ever left) facing a class action lawsuit for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The case, Mohamed v. Uber Technologies Inc et al.[1] asserts that Uber violated the FCRA by failing to provide Mohamed and other drivers with a copy of their background check (as required). This case is just one more instance in a parade of many questioning the company’s practices. [...]

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Employment Background Screening

As Bob Dylan would say (or sing) the times they are a-changin’. From the workplace, to technology, to our own lives, we’re living in a time when change is inherent. And with ever-changing background screening laws and other screening requirements, employers should be prepared to face changes in the hiring process. So what’s step one? Create a flexible screening program with a trusted screening partner that can walk your company through necessary changes.

It was with future changes in mind that Dina Anzalone, Senior Manager of HR with Leviton, began searching for a background screening company. She knew that the screening program Leviton set up in the beginning would not look the same within a year or two, and because of that, it was essential to choose a partner that could adapt to the company’s needs over time.

How Leviton Built a Better Hiring Process with Background Checks


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