San Francisco Joins the Growing Number to Ban The Box

San Francisco Ban the Box

It’s official—San Francisco has banned the box. Employers in the city or county of San Francisco may no longer inquire about criminal history on employment applications or during interviews. Titled The Fair Chance Ordinance, No. 17-14, the new law goes into effect on August 13, 2014 and 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.

If an employer wants to screen for criminal history information, the ordinance adds some new requirements. In addition to delaying the criminal question until post interview or post-offer, it also requires additional notification prior to any inquiry, notice prior to taking a negative action, and an individualized assessment to give the applicant a chance to ask for reconsideration.

Continue reading San Francisco Joins the Growing Number to Ban The Box

Military Employment Background Checks Slowing Down Hiring

Former president George W. Bush took to the airwaves this week to announce a worthy program he is launching to help veterans transition back to civilian life and treat those that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. In doing so, President Bush pointed out that unemployment rates for veterans now hovers at an alarming rate of approximately 10% and while this number has decreased since last year (11.7%), the overall U.S. unemployment rate is just beneath 7%.

Why is this happening?

This is a troubling problem and one we hope employers will take note of.  At EmployeeScreenIQ, we actually go out of our way to recruit former military personnel. As much as I would love to grandstand and say that we do it out of the goodness of our hearts, we find that those who have served in the military make for great employees. They’re well-trained, process-oriented, dedicated, disciplined, engaged and empowered. And compared to the types of decisions they might have been making in the military, civilian life decisions typically don’t faze them.

Expediting the Background Screening Process

As this issue has come into the spotlight, we’ve taken time to reflect what could be done to help veterans when it comes to employment background checks. If you’ve ever tried to confirm a candidate’s military service, you know that the process is both cumbersome and lengthy.

The best way to confirm military service and access personnel records is to request DD-214  Separation Documents. Information contained in this report can include dates of service, rank, experience, discharge and/or current military status. Sounds kind of like an employment verification, right? Well, it should be, but unfortunately the military has developed an anachronistic system for providing the information. You can’t just pick up the phone or tap into an electronic database and receive information after providing consent from the subject of the report. Instead, you can only request these records by mail or by fax.

Once they receive this request for information, it can take weeks to provide the results. This puts job seekers with military service experience at a significant disadvantage compared to their civilian counterparts whose background checks can generally be completed in a matter of days. And if you have questions about the information they’ve returned, fuhgettaboutit!

If the military wants pointers about the things they can do to support veterans as the reenter civilians life, they should really consider modifying this process. Why not develop an automated verification system that allows employers and background screening companies to complete military verifications in real time? If developing a system is too costly, perhaps they would be comfortable outsourcing these records to a third party verification system such as The Work Number or the National Student Clearing House? I’m sure that one of the concerns with outsourcing would be the security of sensitive personal information, but there are ways to protect that information.

If electronic verification isn’t an option, at the very least, they could dedicate the necessary resources to respond to these requests in an expedient fashion; 1 to 3 days is a great target compared to 2 to 4 weeks.

This measure alone won’t turn the tide on the alarming unemployment rates, but it is definitely an obstacle that employers face when hiring veterans.

We’re often accused of being a one trick pony. It’s true, we have a one track mind; we’re all background checks all the time. But if this one small solution helps, imagine what those of us in the human resources community can do if we really put our heads together.

HR’s Guide to Avoiding a Hiring Horror Story

Background Check Company

You know that feeling when you’re watching a horror movie? That creeping feeling of anticipation, knowing that at any minute something will go wrong? If you think horror movies are scary, just imagine how a hiring horror story might feel for your company. Maybe a candidate’s criminal record wasn’t found in the screening process…or you didn’t send an adverse action notice to your applicant and now you have a lawsuit breathing down your neck. And you’re left wondering, how could this happen?

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—an employment background check is only as effective as the background screening provider behind the results. Are you confident that your company is receiving the most accurate results? You rely on these results to ensure that you’re making informed hiring decisions and that the candidate you choose is the best fit for the position. Are you placing your trust in less-than-reliable background check results?

If you’re unsure about the quality of your employment background checks, we have two resources that will help you determine if you should start searching for a new screening partner.

Take our quiz to find out if it’s time to break up with your background screening provider:

Pre-employment screening

Our article, HR’s Guide to Effective Evaluation of Background Screening Providers will provide you with the five key areas to evaluate a current or potential provider:

HR's Guide to Evaluating Background Screening Providers

 

 

2/14/2014 EmployeeScreenIQ Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service

We are very pleased and excited to announce that EmployeeScreenIQ has achieved Oracle Validated Integration of our employment background check screening platform with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service, a component of Oracle Talent Management Cloud. This integration will enable Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service users to execute their employment background screening programs with EmployeeScreenIQ through single sign-on technology.

EmployeeScreenIQ Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service

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We are very pleased and excited to announce that EmployeeScreenIQ has achieved Oracle Validated Integration of our employment background check screening platform with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service, a component of Oracle Talent Management Cloud. This integration will enable Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service users to execute their employment background screening programs with EmployeeScreenIQ through single sign-on technology.

To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. This integration provides a multitude of benefits for users, including support to maximize efficiency by virtually eliminating duplicate data entry on behalf of both employers and their job candidates.  The are only a select few background screening companies to achieve this validation and we look forward to working closely with Oracle and their customers to streamline the hiring process.

Here are a couple quotes from our press release:

“EmployeeScreenIQ is proud to achieve Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service through OPN,” says EmployeeScreenIQ president and chief operating officer, Jason B. Morris. “Oracle Talent Management Cloud users can leverage our screening platform with the click of a button while protecting the security of sensitive candidate information.”

“Achieving Oracle Validated Integration gives our customers confidence that the integration between EmployeeScreenIQ and Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service, a component of Oracle Talent Management Cloud, is functionally sound and performs as tested,” says Kevin O’Brien, senior director, ISV and SaaS Strategy, Oracle. “For solutions deployed on-premise, in the cloud, or both, Oracle Validated Integration applies a rigorous technical review and test process that helps to reduce deployment risk and improves the user experience of the partner’s integrated offering.”

Adds Morris, “As one of a select few background screening companies accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, EmployeeScreenIQ is excited to provide mutual customers with a comprehensive and accurate background screening solution.”

Read the full release here.









2/14/2014 EmployeeScreenIQ Achieves Oracle Validated Integration with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service

EmployeeScreenIQ (http://www.employeescreen.com), a Gold level member of Oracle(R) PartnerNetwork (OPN), announced today it has achieved Oracle Validated Integration of its employment background check screening platform with Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service, a component of Oracle Talent Management Cloud. This integration will enable Oracle Taleo Enterprise Cloud Service users to execute their employment background screeningprograms through single sign-on technology.

To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers. This integration provides a multitude of benefits for users, including support to maximize efficiency by virtually eliminating duplicate data entry on behalf of both employers and their job candidates.

2/17/2014 Background Check Delays Due to President's Day

Please note that all U.S. courts will be closed on Monday, February 17, 2014 in observance of President’s Day.  Anyone requesting employment background checks leading up to the holiday can expect a 24 hour delay on criminal research.  All courts are expected to reopen on Tuesday the 18th.

Have a great holiday!

By the way, I struggled over whether it was Presidents Day, President’s Day or Presidents’ Day.  Thought you might enjoy this article I found in the New York Times.

2/14/2014 Background Check Delays in Philadelphia Due to Court Closures

We have been informed that all courts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are closed today, Friday, February 14, 2014 due to a winter storm.  Those requesting criminal background checks in the affected areas should anticipate a delay in processing.  It is anticipated that these courts will reopen on Tuesday the 18th (all U.S. courts will be closed on Monday for President’s Day).

February BTW: Avoid a Lawsuit: 5 Things Employers Should Know About the FCRA

Compliance Employment 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.

Our February issue of BTW features Avoid a Lawsuit: 5 Things Employers Should Know About the FCRA. Angela shares the five things employers must be aware of in their background screening program in order to avoid becoming one of many companies facing a lawsuit. Read More.

And speaking of lawsuits, Whole Foods Market is the latest example of a company being targeted by the FCRA for their improper use of employment background checks. Read More.

This issue also brings the story, State of Texas vs. the EEOC: Is Timing Everything? The state of Texas recently went after the EEOC for its guidance on criminal background checks, but the outcome has not proven successful. Read More.

Lastly, in response to several questions we receive on the EEOC Guidance, Angela provides answers for specific questions related to the guidance in this month’s Ask Angela response, Two Years Later: Questions on the EEOC Guidance.

Read the February issue of BTW here.

 

2/13/2014 Court Closures Cause Background Check Delays in New Jersey and Washington D.C.

All courts in the state of New Jersey and Washington D.C. are closed today, February 13, 2014 due to a snowstorm.  Those requesting criminal background checks in these areas should anticipate a delay in processing.  It is anticipated that these courts will reopen on Friday the 15th.