The Background Check Results Are In . . . Who Won’t HR Hire

So your candidate’s background check didn’t turn out all roses. Now what? Employment background checks are under a microscope from federal and state regulators who are cracking down on employers in an effort to combat perceived misuse and discrimination. With that in mind, EmployeeScreenIQ polled the HR world to find out what steps professionals take (and what they avoid) to prevent getting into hot water. You can be among the first to hear the results. Background screening experts Jason Morris, Nick Fishman and Angela Bosworth, J.D., will host a free webinar on February 15 titled, “Risky Business: Ensuring Your Background Check is Legally Compliant.”

Webinar Title:
Risky Business: Ensuring Your Background Check is Legally Compliant
Date:
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Cost: FREE
Register here: www1.gotomeeting.com/register/154532953

Drawing from our new trends survey report, we’ll cover best practices and tips to ensure that your hiring practices comply with ever-changing screening laws, legislation and guidelines. We’ll also discuss some colorful background check scenarios that we presented to survey respondents . . . and their surprising answers.

Those who attend will receive an advance copy of the 2012 survey report, so register today!

Download the Whitepaper now!

2/15/2012 Risky Business: Ensuring Your Background Check is Legally Compliant

So your candidate’s background check didn’t turn out all roses. Now what? Employment background checks are under a microscope from federal and state regulators who are cracking down on employers in an effort to combat perceived misuse and discrimination. With that in mind, EmployeeScreenIQ polled the HR world to find out what steps professionals take (and what they avoid) to prevent getting into hot water. You can be among the first to hear the results. Background screening experts Jason Morris, Nick Fishman and Angela Bosworth, J.D., will host a free webinar on February 15 titled, “Risky Business: Ensuring Your Background Check is Legally Compliant.”

Webinar Title:
Risky Business: Ensuring Your Background Check is Legally Compliant
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST
Cost: FREE
Register here: www1.gotomeeting.com/register/154532953

Drawing from our new trends survey report, we’ll cover best practices and tips to ensure that your hiring practices comply with ever-changing screening laws, legislation and guidelines. We’ll also discuss some colorful background check scenarios that we presented to survey respondents . . . and their surprising answers.

Those who attend will receive an advance copy of the 2012 survey report, so register today!

Download the Whitepaper now!

Download EmployeeScreenIQ’s Webinar “Your Applicants Have Something to Hide”

Screenshot of webinar

At long last, we are finally posting the recorded version of our webinar, “Your Applicants Have Something to Hide: Why You’re Not Finding It”.  Check out our description below:

A school teacher is accused of striking a child. The background check had reported no record of criminal activity; however, a school investigation following the incident reveals that the teacher had a pending assault and battery case..

Sadly, background check horror stories are more common than you think. Don’t let it happen to you!

Drawing from 13 years of experience, EmployeeScreenIQ’s webinar explains how to ensure accurate criminal background checks. You’ll also learn:

  • Why taking “shortcuts” can lead to compromised background checks
  • How companies can inadvertently hire violent criminals
  • How to maintain a positive candidate experience, even if negative results are revealed

Sixth Grade Lesson That Stuck With Me

I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Cooley.  He was right.  Mr. Cooley was my 6th grade teacher at Brady Middle School in Pepper Pike, Ohio.  And this guy was off the wall.  He sometimes intentionally, sometimes not gave us a lifetime of entertainment in one school year.

Over and over again, he told us that years from now (then), we would all remember the Mr. Cooley stock exchange. And now I know why I thought about this morning.

The stock exchange was an unbelievable lesson Mr. Cooley designed to teach us how the stock market worked.  He started by printing out fake money that was distributed to each student in equal amounts.  We could the npurchase shares of any stock we wanted as long as it was traded on the New York Stock Exchange.  Shares were purchased at the actual value reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer that day.  And as long as you had the money, you could buy and sell as many different stocks as you liked.  Like with the real stock exchange the value of our portfolio fluctuated every day.

There was a “central bank” where money was exchanged for stock certificates and vice-versa.  And of course, each student got a chance to be the banker during the course of the lesson.

At the end of the lesson everyone had to sell their entire portfolio.  And that’s where the fun really started.  Students were asked to donate some items from their homes that weren’t being used anymore.  These items would be auctioned off to the highest bidder in class (with the money earned from the exchange). I think Mr. Cooley even got some local businesses to contribute to the cause.

If I remember correctly, stock in Chubb Insurance was exploding at the time.  Huge gains everyday and even a split at one point.  I’m not sure where the tip came from, but a few of us plowed into it.  Then, we all bought stock in our favorite companies (the ones we actually knew), like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

I promise I’m getting to the point.  When something was on the line and there was something tangible to be had, we all ran around like Wall Street moguls.  I wanted the donated TV so bad and I was determined to get it.

One day, my cousin Howard was the banker.  And a small group of us decided, that day, there would be a run on the bank. We exchanged shares with Howard, but he gave us quadruple the amount of their worth.  We’d give him a piece of the pie for his efforts.

In the end, I still didn’t have enough to buy the TV.  I’m not sure what I bought when all was said and done.  But I certainly learned a valuable lesson.

And that brings us to today.  We’ve been talking a lot about crimes of opportunity and we know that businesses lose billions of dollars to internal theft every year.  What we did when we were 12 years old reinforces the notion that access to a valuable asset can tempt anyone.  We had something to gain.  We had inside access.  And we had the opportunity with little oversight.

Most of us grow out of the immaturity we displayed back then, but some never do.  That is precisely two of the big three reasons (Violence, Loss, Dishonesty) businesses need to conduct background checks.

So, thank you Mr. Cooley.  You were right.  I definitely remember the stock exchange.

P.S. I’m not the only one who turned away from a life of crime. Howard is a legitimate business man who owns a high end pet hotel in Cleveland and LA.

New Changes To E-Verify System Effective 1/30/2012

We were just notified by our I-9 channel partner, Form I-9, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be releasing the newest version of E-Verify on January 30, 2012 and that there will be new requirements in order to process requests through EmployeeScreenIQ’s system.

Please note that the new requirements will not affect those that use the electronic I-9 Form and then submit for E-Verify.

For those that submit E-Verify requests without the electronic I-9 Form,  you will see a few changes to the form and the data entry, but the overall resolution process will remain the same as it is now.  In general, DHS is now requiring that E-Verify requests indicate the specific List B and List C documents provided on the Form I-9 and, in cases where a Driver’s License is used in List B, E-Verify now requires the issuing authority, document number and expiration date to also be provided.

Again, the Form I-9 is unaffected, only the New E-Verify form is impacted by these changes.

Below are links to screenshots of the changes you will see on January 30, 2012.

The New E-Verify form will have some cosmetic changes.  To view an example, click here

You will enter the employee information as usual.  In cases where the employee has provided a List B and List C document for their Form I-9, you will select “List B and C Documents” in the drop down menu.  To view an example, click here

When the “List B and C Documents” option is selected, two (2) drop downs will appear, so that the user can specify exactly which List B and List C documents have been provided.  To view an example, click here

If the List B document is NOT a Driver’s LIcense, users only provide the List B document title.  We have provided an example where a US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card and a Social Security Card are provided on the Form I-9, so the user simply reflects that information in the New E-Verify form.  To view an example, click here

If the List B document is a Driver’s License, then the issuing authority, document number and expiration date fields are also required.  (The form will automatically display these fields.)  To view an example, click here

List C will only require a Document Title to be specified.  To view an example, click here

After clicking the Process E-Verify button, users will then be prompted to review data as usual, check the affirmation box regarding the completion of the Form I-9 and click the Continue E-Verify Process button.  To view an example, click here

After clicking the Continue E-Verify Process button, everything else will work as usual.   You will receive the same results you are already used to seeing during the E-Verify process.

To learn more about EmployeeScreenIQ’s I-9 services, please check out http://www.employeescreen.com/employmenti9.asp

1/26/2012 New Changes To E-Verify System Effective Jan. 1

We were just notified by our I-9 channel partner, Form I-9, that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be releasing the newest version of E-Verify on January 30, 2012 and that there will be new requirements in order to process requests through EmployeeScreenIQ’s system.

Please note that the new requirements will not affect those that use the electronic I-9 Form and then submit for E-Verify.

For those that submit E-Verify requests without the electronic I-9 Form,  you will see a few changes to the form and the data entry, but the overall resolution process will remain the same as it is now.  In general, DHS is now requiring that E-Verify requests indicate the specific List B and List C documents provided on the Form I-9 and, in cases where a Driver’s License is used in List B, E-Verify now requires the issuing authority, document number and expiration date to also be provided.

Again, the Form I-9 is unaffected, only the New E-Verify form is impacted by these changes.

Below are links to screenshots of the changes you will see on January 30, 2012.

The New E-Verify form will have some cosmetic changes.  To view an example, click here

You will enter the employee information as usual.  In cases where the employee has provided a List B and List C document for their Form I-9, you will select “List B and C Documents” in the drop down menu.  To view an example,click here

When the “List B and C Documents” option is selected, two (2) drop downs will appear, so that the user can specify exactly which List B and List C documents have been provided.  To view an example, click here

If the List B document is NOT a Driver’s LIcense, users only provide the List B document title.  We have provided an example where a US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card and a Social Security Card are provided on the Form I-9, so the user simply reflects that information in the New E-Verify form.  To view an example, click here

If the List B document is a Driver’s License, then the issuing authority, document number and expiration date fields are also required.  (The form will automatically display these fields.)  To view an example, click here

List C will only require a Document Title to be specified.  To view an example, click here

After clicking the Process E-Verify button, users will then be prompted to review data as usual, check the affirmation box regarding the completion of the Form I-9 and click the Continue E-Verify Process button.  To view an example,click here

After clicking the Continue E-Verify Process button, everything else will work as usual.   You will receive the same results you are already used to seeing during the E-Verify process.

To learn more about EmployeeScreenIQ’s I-9 services, please check outhttp://www.employeescreen.com/employmenti9.asp

Response to Harsh Article on the Background Screening Industry

Last month, the AP published an article titled, “When Your Criminal Past Isn’t Yours”, which ruffled the feathers of many in the background screening industry because they questioned the practices of the entire industry rather than the few that caused this issue they highlighted. And while the industry as a whole should not be cast in a negative light, the practices of a few continue to drag many of us down.

That said, I sent an email to both authors acknowledging that while the practices of some screening companies have led to events such as these, that the industry is not to blame, but rather the few who operate recklessly.  Below, is a copy of that email sent to authors Michael Liedtke from the Associated Press and Jordan Robertson, now from Bloomberg News.

Dear Michael/Jordan,

I appreciated your recent article, “When Your Criminal Past Isn’t Yours,” and I wanted to offer some additional information for your consideration.  Your article was very thorough and I largely agree with you — except in one respect: all background screening companies are not the same. There are companies committed to accountability and performing to the highest standards of professionalism.

Your article calls out a few background check companies for reporting  incorrect, and unverified information to employers, who then may use these inaccurate reports to deny people jobs, hurting innocent  people simply looking for work.  This is a problem.  There are companies that are careless and quick to pass along outdated or inaccurate information, that use only databases and don’t research actual court records and that simply scrape data off of court websites without checking it for accuracy. It’s these companies that give us all a bad name, pushing the idea that screening is a commodity.

There are reasons for this.  Conducting background checks is a complicated business. Employers are generally unaware of the nuances of local, county, state, and federal laws, their processes, problems or regulations. And that’s not their fault; it’s not their business.  But without this knowledge, and with all companies claiming to do the same thing, it’s easy to discount claims of service and accuracy and simply look at price and whiz-bang technology systems.  On the other side, these screening companies know this and their use of terms like “criminal search,” “instant,” and “national background check,” combined with a bells and whistles software allows them to perpetuate a higher degree of accuracy than their processes actually provide.

There is no doubt that both individuals and employers are harmed by careless background checks and companies that operate either on the fringe or outside the parameters of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

It’s because of all this that EmployeeScreenIQ takes a “no shortcuts” approach to screening.  It is the foundation for how we operate our business and is employed at every level of our organization in order to advance informed hiring decisions. One of the worst things one can do in the background screening process is to make a hiring decision based on inaccurate data. Rather than just reporting raw, unconfirmed information, EmployeeScreenIQ takes the necessary steps to ensure the results are reliable, accurate and up to date.

Before reporting criminal records, our Public Records department actually confirms that the information we’ve found belongs to the applicant. They also actually consult our 50 state compliance guide to ensure that the record is legally reportable. The same methods apply to verifying other pieces of adverse information such as employment and education verifications. We are willing to point out our dispute rate — only .017% of all county criminal checks we complete are disputed.

EmployeeScreenIQ has successfully achieved compliance with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners accreditation program and is formally recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council Accredited.  This recognition affirms our commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Less than 2% of employment screening companies have earned this distinction and we are pleased to share such a small stage.

Accreditation is an important seal of approval that all companies should look for when choosing a provider as it is the only program in our field that proves their procedures are compliant with industry best practices. It also affirms security protocols, industry knowledge and expertise.

I would be happy to discuss any of this with you at your convenience, answer any questions you may have and be a resource to you for future stories. Thank you again for keeping this issue in the public eye and I look forward to reading more of your work.

California Leads Nation in Unaccredited Schools

Dibyendu Malakar needed a graduate business degree to advance his career, but he was working full time and could not afford $100,000 or more for a two-year M.B.A. program at Berkeley, Stanford or another accredited business school. So Malakar enrolled at Frederick Taylor University, an unaccredited school in Moraga.
Because Frederick Taylor is listed in California as a state-approved school, he said, “I thought, ‘It can’t be completely bogus.’” In fact, he got his M.B.A. via the Internet in just a year, for less than $5,000.
That may not have been quite the bargain it seemed to be, though. “I did not realize that it did not carry the same weight as Berkeley or Stanford,” said Malakar, who emigrated from India. “But it was not a complete waste.” Malakar said his M.B.A. helped him get a job as director of product management at a software company in Cupertino.
Shakila Marando, a 33-year-old doula from El Cerrito, is seeking a bachelor’s degree in management from Frederick Taylor. Although she has been a student for nearly a year, she has never spoken to a teacher, she said. “They e-mail you a package of reading materials to read with a multiple-choice exam that is open book,” said Marando, who is from Tanzania. “For me, it is very convenient and I can work full time and read a little bit on the side. It is pretty easy.”