Weekly Wrap Up: March 29, 2013

It’s that time of the week again to share the latest updates with EmployeeScreenIQ! Most importantly, we’re continuing to post our thoughts on our 2013 survey report, examining different aspects of the results and focusing on the findings most interesting to us. This week we discussed two topics, including What Types of Criminal Records Disqualify Job Candidates and Are Facebook Profiles Fair Game for Employers? While we had our Survey Results Webinar over a month ago, and officially released the Survey Report to everyone a few weeks ago, we want to continue sharing these fascinating findings-so keep an eye on our blog for more of our point of view on the key findings! We also posted a couple blogs on interesting stories in the news, Nebraska’s New Online Background Check System-Is it Legit? and Scam Company in St. Louis Stealing from Unwitting Job Seekers. See below for more on all of these updates.

 

Survey Says: Are Facebook Profiles Fair Game for Employers?Social Media Background Check

Earlier this month, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report.  The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Among this year’s key findings was whether employers are really consulting social media profiles as part of the pre-employment background screening process and if not, why? Read More

 

 

Employment Background CheckNebraska’s New Online Background Check System-Is it Legit?

Online background checks have been a controversial topic with many who wonder if these websites deliver legitimate results. From accuracy to efficiency, there are always questions as to the best method of conducting a background check at the lowest cost, but also with the best results. Read More

 

 

Continue reading Weekly Wrap Up: March 29, 2013

Scam Company Requesting Money from Job Seekers for Background Checks

Criminal Record Background Check

Pre-employment background checks are a part of everyday business and common to most employers in 2013. Some companies conduct background checks with no charge to the candidate, but others will impose the cost on the potential candidate. And who wouldn’t comply with a “small” fee, as long as it promises a job in the near future. Unfortunately, some unsuspecting candidates in desperate need of work are at risk for scams like this one in St. Louis.

You’ve probably heard the story, or rather a story like this one before-a company advertises work and lures in hopeful job candidates who soon find out the company is little more than a fake. The St. Louis Better Business Bureau reported that a company called Bio Advocate Pro has been taking $89 payments from job candidates for a criminal background check. As mentioned above, this might be standard for some companies that cannot afford to do a background check on every candidate. The problem is the job candidates handed over the money for a criminal background check…and never heard from Bio Advocate Pro again. Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO commented:

“To take money from people who are struggling to support themselves and their families is reprehensible. These thieves and others like them are using bogus job offers to draw people into their scams specifically to steal whatever they can get.”

According to the BBB in St. Louis, job seekers should be suspicious of any potential employer requesting payment by prepaid cash cards or electronic wire transfer systems.

Unfortunately for some, it would have been helpful to know that it is simple for job seekers to prevent this kind of theft by doing a quick search online. Typically, if a scam has been discovered, a quick search on Google or other search engine will provide the information that could protect job seekers from being deceived. Some simple research tips:

  • Search for the company’s website and verify the address and phone number
  • Check the Better Business Bureau website for alerts and see if the business is listed as accredited
  • Do a general search for the company to find out if anyone has posted a review on the company

Read the full article here.

 

 

Survey Says: Are Facebook Profiles Fair Game for Employers?

Social Media Background Checks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report.  The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Among this year’s key findings was whether employers are really consulting social media profiles as part of the pre-employment background screening process and if not, why?

Given the business world’s enthusiastic embrace of social media and social networking sites, it was surprising to see that 64% of respondents said they never review social networking websites as part of their background screening process. In fact, this year’s percentage was even higher than last year’s (52%). Only 7% of respondents this year said that they always consult social sites—down from 9% in last year’s survey.

These results once again show how divided employers continue to be when it comes to social media as a source of background information. The findings also again refute the common perception that all employers spend their time pouring over the online activities of workers and potential new hires.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Those That Conduct Social Media Background Checks

  • Develop a social media policy
  • Be transparent with your candidates and let them know what you are looking for
  • If you use a third-party to conduct this search, you might follow proper Fair Credit Reporting Act procedures
  • Assign the responsibility of making an adverse hiring decision to someone other than the person who has conducted the search

 

Download the entire 2013 Trends Survey Here

 

 

Nebraska’s Online Employment Background Check System

Employment Background Check Company

Online background checks have been a controversial topic with many who wonder if these websites deliver legitimate results. From accuracy to efficiency, there are always questions as to the best method of conducting a background check at the lowest cost, but also with the best results.

Nebraska has announced a new online background screening system by the State Patrol, and it sounds like they might be making it seem easier than it should be. If you know anything about the background screening industry or really, any industry, if something seems “too good to be true“, it probably is. According to Gov. Dave Heineman, “We live in an electronic age. We need to provide these services online to be relevant.” While this might be true, there are several factors to take into consideration when it comes to online background checks.

Continue reading Nebraska’s Online Employment Background Check System

Survey Says: What Types of Criminal Records Disqualify Job Candidates?

Criminal Records Background Checks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report.  The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Among this year’s key findings were the types of criminal records found on an employment background check that would disqualify a candidate from employment.

Given the legal and privacy issues that abound in today’s business world, employers continue to engage in a delicate balancing act—juggling the needs and protecting the interests of shareholders, partners, customers and their workforces. As we have reported in past years, criminal conduct (e.g., workplace violence, fraud, theft, sabotage of computer systems, etc.) can have profound effects on an organization’s reputation, its ability to compete for talent and its bottom line.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that respondents showed greatest concern over felony convictions related to crimes of violence, theft and dishonesty. It is worth noting, however, that their concern dropped substantially regarding drug/alcohol felony convictions. This same drop off occurred related to misdemeanor convictions, with respondents showing significantly greater concern for misdemeanor convictions regarding crimes of violence, theft and dishonesty as opposed to drug/alcohol misdemeanor convictions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s some quick advice for employers when it comes to evaluating candidates with criminal records:

  • Avoid to the extent possible any automatic disqualifiers or brightline hiring decisions
  • Evaluate how the negative information relates to job in which the candidate is being considered
  • Consider the recency and severity of the offense and whether the person is a habitual offender
  • Conduct an individual assessment which includes allowing the candidate to provide further explanation
  • If you still chose not to hire the candidate, make sure to follow the proper Adverse Action procedures

 

Download the entire 2013 Trends Survey Here

 

Weekly Wrap Up: March 22, 2013

What’s happened since our last Weekly Wrap Up? EmployeeScreenIQ released our survey report available for download here. We also released the March issue of By The Way, our compliance resource featuring articles from our VP of Compliance and General Counsel, Angela Preston. Our cover story, Snoop No More: New Social Media Policy Introduced in Congress reveals the latest update with a new social media policy. You can read additional articles including an update on “ban the box” and a K-mart background check claim in the newsletter. Lastly, we talked about the need for 20,000 workers in the health care industry in California, find out more in the full post.

Employment Background Screening

Survey Says: Criminal Records Aren’t Automatic Disqualifiers for Employers 

Last week, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report. The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Read More

 

 

Snoop No More:New Social Media Policy Introduced in CongressConsumer Privacy Background Checks

The social media privacy debate continues to rage – and now Congress has taken up the reins. Recently we blogged on a handful of states that have passed laws that restrict employers from accessing passwords to private social networking accounts. Now Representative Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.) has introduced H. R. 537, the “Social Networking Online Protection Act.Read More

 

Continue reading Weekly Wrap Up: March 22, 2013

BTW- Should Employers Ask for Social Media Passwords?

Consumer Privacy Employment Background Checks

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

Our March issue focuses on issues of consumer privacy particularly as it relates to employers request of their candidates’ social media passwords.  While we don’t believe many employers engage in this practice as part of their employment background check policies, congress seems poised to create a federal law banning such a request.  We also take a close look at a recent $3 million FCRA settlement and the trend of local/state governments adopting “Ban the Box” measures.  For a preview of this issue, check out Angela’s video below.

 

 

Review March Issue

 

 

California Needs 20,000 Employee Background Checks-Can It Be Done?

Employee Background Checks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the near future, many in the United States are expecting a drastic change in health insurance. The future of insurance is looming over not only those receiving it, but also employees of health insurance companies. With these changes, there will be a lot of new information and the necessity to hire extra hands to assist with the transition. In addition, working with health insurance means coming into contact with private information on a daily basis, including social security numbers, dates of birth, income data and tax returns. This also means that insurance agencies should require background checks of some sort for the new employees they will soon have.

In California, this is the issue causing controversy in the health insurance industry as well as the state. California needs to hire 20,000 employees that will assist with insurance enrollment throughout the state, starting in October. The employees will not be government employees, but rather will work for nonprofit and other community groups that are working with the state on outreach and enrollment; it’s these groups that will be responsible for recruiting and hiring these employees.The main argument is that screening all of these individuals will “create barriers for a lot of communities of color and disproportionately exclude African American and Latino men from participating. We need a massive amount of people to help with outreach,” according to Carla Saporta, health policy director at the Greenlining Institute. Additionally, they need to hire 20,000 in a matter of months, making one wonder if that is enough time to thoroughly screen each candidate.

Continue reading California Needs 20,000 Employee Background Checks-Can It Be Done?

“Ban the Box” Bandwagon Rolls On

Ban the Box Employment Background Checks

The movement to “ban the box” shows no signs of slowing down. New Jersey, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Minnesota and Michigan are all considering new bills for statewide bans on the practice of asking applicants to check a box on their job application indicating whether they have a criminal conviction. We can hardly keep up with the influx of proposed new laws limiting criminal history in one way or another. Here is a run-down:

New Jersey
The most comprehensive and far-reaching proposal is in the State of New Jersey. On February 7, 2013, three New Jersey Senators introduced “The Opportunity to Compete Act,” (“OCA”) which would eliminate the check box that requires job applicants to disclose their criminal history and would also prohibit advertisements discouraging those with criminal records from applying. The bill is modeled after the recent ordinance that was passed in the city of Newark. The bill, as proposed, will significantly complicate the hiring process in the State of New Jersey.

Continue reading “Ban the Box” Bandwagon Rolls On

Criminal Record Isn’t Automatic Employment Background Check Disqualifier

Criminal Record Background Check

 

Last week, we released our official 2013 Employment Background Screening Trends Survey report.  The report includes findings from nearly 1,000 HR professionals in various industries across the United States, who responded to our survey on employee background checks at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013.

Among this year’s key findings was sentiment that criminal records are not necessarily deal-breakers when it comes to hiring candidates. Continue reading Criminal Record Isn’t Automatic Employment Background Check Disqualifier