A Background Check is More Than a Price Tag: 3 Methods for Valuable Criminal Background Checks

Valuable Background Checks

When seeking an employment background screening provider, many factors are brought to the table that contribute to making a decision. These could include services, criminal hit rate, accuracy, turnaround time, and of course, cost.

In any given purchase, not only background checks, you aim to pay the lowest price possible and still hope for the best product. In some cases, this might work-you can buy a quality product at a lower price and not worry. On the other hand, there are many purchases that are worth spending a little extra.

The same standard should be true for your criminal background checks. You find background checks for the awesomely low price of $9.95 and sign up without hesitation, believing the company is reputable and safe. But what if a couple months later, your background check “breaks”? Your background screening provider missed a criminal record in the search and you hire someone with a criminal record. While a criminal record alone should not be a disqualifier for a candidate, employers should still know who they’re hiring. You can’t ask for a refund, like some purchases, so what can you do?

Continue reading A Background Check is More Than a Price Tag: 3 Methods for Valuable Criminal Background Checks

Do ‘American Idol’ Criminal Background Checks Discriminate Against Minorities?

File this one away in the category, “You Can’t Make this $h:t Up”.

The EEOC has cleared the path for 10 former contestants to sue the show’s producers for the discriminatory use of criminal background checks.  The suit alleges that 31 percent of ‘Idol’ semi-finalists who were black males were disqualified for reasons “unrelated to the singing talent” and that in the show’s 10 year run none of the non-black contestants were disqualified.

According to ABC News, “The plaintiffs, all of whom were disqualified from the show over six seasons for reasons other than singing — including criminal history — were recently issued notices of “right to sue” by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, allowing the 429-page lawsuit they filed in July to move forward.”

The 10 plaintiffs include Jaered Andrews (season 2), Corey Clark (season 2), Jacob John Smalley (season 2), Donnie Williams (season 3), Terrell and Derrell Brittenum (season 5), Thomas Daniels (season 6), Akron Watson (season 6), Ju’Not Joyner (season 8)and Chris Golightly (season 9).

Each former contestant is seeking $25 million in damages for “economic injuries, lost business opportunities and/or lost earning potential” following their dismissal from “Idol.”

I find this case extremely interesting for five reasons:

  • Who knew that American Idol was still on TV:)
  • By suggesting that the plaintiffs were disqualified for reasons unrelated to their singing, they are taking an extremely narrow view of what is and what is not job-related.  Sure, these people could carry a tune but if they were going to represent the show as all contestants do, then American Idol should be entitled to deny participation to those who might reflect negatively on the show’s image.  In fact, that’s exactly what the show’s producers argued in their response to the complaint.  They argued that they use background checks to insure that contestants who may become finalists have no legal entanglements that might ‘interfere’ with or ’embarrass’ the show. They also said that their biggest concern with a contestant’s arrest history was not having that person available because of pending legal matters.  I’m thinking that it might be an unreasonable request to ask the producer’s to reschedule a live show if someone has to appear in court.
  • “American Idol” producers argue that these “contestants” are not “employees”.  If they aren’t employees, then it would appear to me that the case really has no merit.  Excuse the expression, but this is definitely not a black and white issue.  Will a court determine that they were employees because they stood to get paid for their participation?
  • And to me, the most compelling argument is that the show did not disqualify 31 black contestants who had criminal records.  This suggests that there was no blanket policy in place to deny participation based on the presence of a criminal record.
  • Four of the twelve winners (33%) are black.  Hello!  If this doesn’t demonstrate fair treatment, I don’t know what will.

I wonder what former ‘Idol’ judge Simon Cowell might say about all this.

No Stone Left Unturned in Criminal Background Checks

Comprehensive Criminal Background Check

What components are required for a comprehensive criminal background check? It’s no longer enough to simply say that you’ve done a background check. Employers need to consider elements such as accuracy, criminal hit rate, an address history search, alias names, county criminal searches and how far back the record is found. Is your background screening provider conducting a comprehensive background check? Our expert panelists discuss the components that can make or break your criminal background checks.

Perhaps conducting a background check is just another item on your to-do list and you’re not concerned about the level of accuracy. However, if you want to learn how you can make the best hiring decisions based on all information available, this video is for you. Our expert panelists discuss the intricacies of forming a comprehensive criminal background check.

The components to consider for a comprehensive criminal background check include:

  • Address history search
  • Alias names
  • County criminal search
  • Maximum possible accuracy philosophy
  • Research & test the tools that provide the best results

To learn more about the elements of a thorough criminal background check, download EmployeeScreenIQ’s article, Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security?









Related EmployeeScreenIQ Content

Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security? (Article)
Less Records Are Now More Valuable: The Ins & Outs of the National Database Search (Blog post)

5 Criminal Searches Every HR Professional Should Know (Blog Post)

Quick Takes is a video series blending together bits of experience and expertise from EmployeeScreenIQ’s background screening experts. With a newsroom feel, discussions surround the latest issues in the background screening industry. All of the videos were filmed unscripted-giving you the opportunity to hear genuine responses from the professionals. Topics range from social media background checks to conducting a thorough criminal records search. We’re releasing a new video every month, so stay tuned.

 

10/15/2013 9th Conference on Privacy & Public Access to Court Records (Speaking Engagement)

EmployeeScreenIQ Vice President of Compliance and General Counsel, Angela Preston will be participating in a panel discussion at the 9th Conference on Privacy & Public Access to Court Records held at William and Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia on October 15, 2013 at 1:30pm EST.

The panel, “Criminal Records and Privacy” will be moderated by Hon. Larry Smukler, Associate Justice, New Hampshire Superior Court and includes Susan Dietrich, Managing Attorney for Employment and Public Benefits, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia and Carolyn Bell, Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of Florida.

This session will examine privacy in criminal court records. What right do individuals accused or convicted of crimes have to ensure accuracy of the records? What is the impact of integrated justice efforts on the privacy rights of criminal defendants? In light of expansive criminal discovery rules that protect the right of criminal defendants to a fair trial, what rights do victims and witnesses possess to ensure their privacy interests are accounted for?

Click here for more information on the 9th Conference on Privacy & Public Access to Court Records.

5 Criminal Searches Every HR Professional Should Know

Criminal Records Search

How much do you really know about criminal background checks? Whether you know a little or a lot, the best place to start the conversation is by defining the different types of criminal records searches available. And while there are some criminal record searches that are more revealing than others, they all play an important role developing a comprehensive background check.  So the question is, where do you start? While the screening package might vary by job candidate, there are some fundamentals to know for any criminal background check.

A county criminal record search is the most tried and true source for finding criminal records. And in our experience, national or statewide criminal record checks are not a full compilation of all criminal records that could exist, nor can they guarantee that you have found what you’re looking for. However, a county search goes directly to the source of the criminal record. Before a county criminal records search has even commenced, the Social Security Number Trace (often referred to as an “Address History Search”) will determine:

1. If there are additional alias names associated with the candidate.

2. Addresses and therefore, counties where the person has lived.

Continue reading 5 Criminal Searches Every HR Professional Should Know

EmployeeScreenIQ Weekly Wrap Up: September 20, 2013

EmployeeScreenIQ

I don’t know about you, but September has been flying by for me! The EmployeeScreenIQ office has been bustling with activity, per usual, and of course there have been quite a few blog posts lately. Of course, you should check out our blog page, but here are a few highlights. Yesterday, we released a brand new article, Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security? You can download the article here.  In response to Monday’s tragedy, Nick shared a post confronting the issues that must be faced when it comes to preventative actions in background checks. Read Too Many Questions Unanswered About DC Gunman’s Employment Background Check for more information. Last week, we released this month’s issue of BTW, featuring Angela’s article, In Defense of Common Sense: Lessons from the Freeman Case Dismissal.

Time for a Wake Up Call? Find out if Your Criminal Background Checks Are Giving You a False Sense of Security.Criminal Background Checks

As a background screening company, the key to a thorough criminal background check is gathering information that helps employers make smarter hiring decisions. This includes knowing the different types of criminal background checks, how far back to search for records, and how accuracy plays an important role when searching for criminal records. Whether you’re already knowledgeable in criminal background checks and would like a refresher or if you know very little, this guide is for you. Read More

 

 

Background Checks

Too Many Questions Unanswered About DC Gunman’s Employment Background Check

In light of Monday’s tragedy in Washington DC, our nation again mourns the loss of innocent lives which could have been prevented. And while I desperately wanted to fire off an angry post on Monday, I intentionally sat back for two days so that I could digest all of the finger-pointing I knew would ensue. Read More

 

 

September BTW: In Defense of Common Sense: Lessons from the Freeman Case DismissalEEOC vs. Freeman Case

In the September issue of By The Way, our featured article highlights the recent Freeman case dismissal, in which the EEOC originally accused Freeman of disparate impact in their hiring practices. Angela shares the lessons that can be learned from this particular case and how employers can protect themselves when conducting employment background checksRead More

 

 

 

Time for a Wake Up Call? Find out if Your Criminal Background Checks Are Giving You a False Sense of Security.

Criminal Background Checks

Do you worry that your criminal background checks aren’t as accurate or thorough as you assume?

As a background screening company, the key to a thorough criminal background check is gathering information that helps employers make smarter hiring decisions. This includes knowing the different types of criminal background checks, how far back to search for records, and how accuracy plays an important role when searching for criminal records. Whether you’re already knowledgeable in criminal background checks and would like a refresher or if you know very little, this guide is for you.

Download EmployeeScreenIQ’s latest article, “Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security?,” and you’ll receive a five-step guide to help you determine whether your background checks are truly giving you all of the information and protection you need.

This guide provides you with critical insights into:

  • The truth about social security number traces and address history searches.
  • The reasons all criminal record searches aren’t the same.
  • Why the National Database Search is valuable when used with other tools.
  • How criminal records should be verified.
  • Often-overlooked options for your employment background checks.

Download a copy today to learn valuable information for your organization’s employment background screening program.









Too Many Questions Unanswered About DC Gunman’s Employment Background Check

In light of Monday’s tragedy in Washington DC, our nation again mourns the loss of innocent lives which could have been prevented.  And while I desperately wanted to fire off an angry post on Monday, I intentionally sat back for two days so that I could digest all of the finger-pointing I knew would ensue.  Some people say it’s gun control.  Others question why the gunman, Aaron Alexis was honorably discharged from the Navy after a pattern of poor behavior. Some wonder if this person should have been given security clearance or if his mental records should have been considered by the contractor that hired him.

Over the last couple days, I’ve heard some wild and unfounded accusations as well as proposed remedies for how events like these can be avoided in the future.  But before we can discuss how to remedy the problem, we need the facts.

Rather than focus on politically divisive issues or those in which I have little expertise, I want to discuss some important points to consider about the employment background check that many feel failed to highlight aberrant behavior that would have dissuaded the employer that hired him. Continue reading Too Many Questions Unanswered About DC Gunman’s Employment Background Check

9/17/2013 NAPBS Annual Conference (Speaking Engagement)

EmployeeScreenIQ’s Angela Preston and Jason B. Morris will be presenting a session at the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Annual Conference in Scottsdale on September 17, 2013 titled, “Compliance vs. Sales: Who is Winning in Your Company?”

Angela and Jason will debate about two competing forces in most background screening companys’ organizations: Legal Compliance and Sales.

Most CRA’s have internal department conflicts—its not just you!  There is a natural tension between your internal watchdogs and sales and marketing.  Sales pitches, websites, forms, contract negotiation, special requests—we’ve been keeping score, and this will be the day of reckoning to see who ultimately wins, who loses and why both sides need to work together!

WSJ op-ed Writer on Syria Fired For Lying on Her Resume

No one is immune to being in the spotlight for resume lies!  Was a background check conducted?

The Syria researcher whose Wall Street Journal op-piece was cited by Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain during congressional hearings about the use of force has been fired from the Institute for the Study of War for lying about having a Ph.D., the group announced on Wednesday.

“The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University,” the institute said in a statement. “ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”

O’Bagy’s Aug. 30 op-ed piece for the Journal, “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War,” was cited by both Kerry and McCain last week. McCain read from the piece last Tuesday to Kerry, calling it “an important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy.” The next day, Kerry also brought up the piece before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and described it as a “very interesting article” and recommended that members read it.

But the piece had also come under fire for misrepresenting her affiliations. Originally the op-ed only listed O’Bagy, 26, as only “a senior analyst” at the ISW, later adding a clarification that disclosed her connection to a Syrian rebel advocacy group.

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