2015 Illinois HR Conference and Exposition (Speaking Engagement)


EmployeeScreenIQ executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Nick Fishman will present, “My Candidate Has a Criminal Record. Now What?” at the 16th Annual Illinois HR Conference and Exhibition at the Tinley Park Convention Center in Tinley Park, Illinois on September 15, 2015, 10:15-11:30 a.m.

Not a month went by in 2014 without a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against an employer for its background screening practices. Many companies may be putting themselves at risk if they are not following appropriate state and federal screening laws. While a criminal record should not automatically disqualify a candidate, employers must also protect their companies by properly screening candidates.

With nearly 16 years in background screening, Nick Fishman presents four steps to compliance when a candidate has a criminal record. These include: the proper use of a hiring matrix, individualized assessments, the execution of a two-step adverse action process and proper management of candidate disputes.

For more information, please visit the 2015 Illinois State Council HR Conference website.

EmployeeScreenIQ Approved for SHRM Preferred Provider Network

SHRM Preffered Provider Seal

As you may know, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) launched their SHRM Certification program for HR professionals in May, 2014.

Since that time, they have developed a credentialing program which makes recipients recognized experts and leaders in the HR field.  In order to qualify for, and maintain certification recipients must accumulate SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDC’s) which are awarded for continuing education activities.

I’m excited to share that EmployeeScreenIQ has been approved by SHRM to join its Preferred Provider Network.  This will allow us to award SHRM PDCs for the programs that we offer relating to the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK), including webinars, speaking engagements, podcast, e-learning and other programs. The SHRM BoCK contains the knowledge and behaviors on which the new SHRM certifications are based.

With all of the litigation and legislation surrounding employers’ use of employment background checks, it is more important than ever for human resources professionals to stay ahead of the curve and we look forward to providing quality educational opportunities to support the recertification efforts of the HR community who obtain their SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP Certifications.

SHRM established the SHRM Preferred Provider Program to give organizations that offer education, training and/or other HR-related Competency and Knowledge programming the opportunity to award PDCs, without pre-approval by SHRM, during a 2-year period. Companies who earn SHRM Preferred Provider status must meet a number of stringent qualifications, which ensure that sound learning principles are incorporated into the program. Being identified as a SHRM Preferred Provider eliminates the guesswork for credential holders, who know that the programs qualify for re-certification credits.

EmployeeScreenIQ Approved for SHRM Preferred Provider Network

CLEVELAND, Aug. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — EmployeeScreenIQ (www.employeescreen.com), a global provider of employment background screening services has been approved by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) to join its Preferred Provider Network. EmployeeScreenIQ can now award SHRM Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the programs that the company offers relating to the SHRM Body of Competency and Knowledge (SHRM BoCK), including webinars, speaking engagements, podcast, e-learning and other programs. The SHRM BoCK contains the knowledge and behaviors on which the new SHRM certifications are based.

EmployeeScreenIQ to Exhibit at 2015 Ohio Human Resource Conference


EmployeeScreenIQ will be exhibiting at the 2015 Ohio Human Resource Conference September 16-18, 2015 at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

Drop by our booth to learn how we can help you make the most informed hiring decisions without gambling on accuracy, quality or compliance. Let our experts assess your employment background screening program and be entered to win a variety of prizes.

Learn more about the conference.

8/25/2015 Employment Background Check Delays in Hennepin County, Minnesota

Background Check Delays in Hennepin County, Minnesota

Please be advised that the Hennepin County, Minnesota District Court record system has been partially down since a software update performed over the weekend created issues with criminal record indexing. We say “partially” because this issue is not affecting clear results and an undetermined percentage of individuals with criminal records. We have been informed that the court’s IT personnel are working around the clock trying to fix the issue.

We will continue to check on the status of this outage and advise you as soon as the issue has been resolved.

Thanks, Gerry

I first heard the name Gerry Crispin in 1998.

I was working for a job board at the time, and our CEO had been hounding the marketing department for weeks about putting our best foot forward for CareerXRoads, a book that, at the time, was the Bible for rating all the online players.

In the days before blogs and social media, publications like CareerXRoads were vital to vendors who wanted to make a splash. A solid review meant instant street cred, while something less than stellar meant another year in purgatory.

The book, as I soon learned, was a product of authors Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler. The book isn’t published anymore, but digging out old copies from the ’90s remains a fun stroll down Memory Lane.

Fast forward to 2005.

I had just become a solopreneur and birthed a blog that focused on the business of online employment. For someone with no name and no money, blogging was one of the only ways to get attention in a pre-Facebook world. I was fortunate to have a few fans in those early months, but Gerry stood out as the most influential.

One day that year, I checked my voicemail and got this: “Joel, this is Gerry Crispin. Give me a call,” or something like that. I didn’t hear much after “Gerry Crispin,” frankly. For someone like me, a call from Gerry Crispin was akin to God giving me a ring. It must be how a budding filmmaker feels getting a call from Martin Scorcese or Steven Spielberg.

Gerry basically told me he really liked what I was doing and to “keep up the good work.” He probably doesn’t even remember the call, but for an unknown like me, it meant the world. I continue to cherish that moment and feel incredibly grateful that Gerry remains a friend and supporter.

He celebrated a birthday last week. Through all the social media love he received, I couldn’t help but think about my first memories of Gerry, as well as all the lives he has positively impacted over the years … lives he continues to touch, showing no signs of slowing.

Thanks, Gerry. “Keep up the good work.”

Even Where It’s Legal, Marijuana Still a Drag for Truck Drivers

(FleetOwner) Among employers in general, for example, some in places where medical or recreational use of marijuana is permitted notably have tightened up their policies on pot, according to EmployeeScreenIQ, a background and substance abuse screening provider based in Cleveland.

The company states that in Colorado, which legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2012, employers have been able to continue to enforce drug- and alcohol-free workplace policies that ban marijuana — again, particularly because the federal position on marijuana is unchanged.

3 Keys to Successful Resume Verification

Verification of Employment

You already know that resume verification is an important part of a candidate’s background check, but perhaps you’ve never wondered why certain information is required from the candidate to achieve success. And more specifically, how does a background screening company use this information to complete an employment verification? Knowing why you’re requesting this information will give you a better understanding of the “big picture” of employment background checks.

Both the applicant release form and employment verification form (usually included on a job application or separate background screening questionnaire), whether in electronic or paper form, have the potential to provide information that is particularly helpful for completing the background check and ultimately, helps you make smarter hiring decisions. However, information provided by candidates can also hinder the verification process when it’s incomplete or incorrect.

 Wet vs. Electronic Signature

For both legal reasons and verification purposes, your candidates are required to submit a signed release which authorizes you to conduct an employment background check before you can begin the process. When a researcher contacts a candidate’s former employer, they usually request a copy of that signed release before they verify any information. Herein, lies the most common issue you can run into.

Nowadays, many employers have their candidates electronically sign these forms. In many cases, this electronic authorization simply requires a candidate to check a box which grants proper consent. While electronic consent is legal, many employers won’t verify past employment without seeing a “wet” signature or something that resembles an actual signature.

They do this for the same reason you would; they simply can’t afford to release confidential or protected information without being assured and can prove they were provided proper authorization by the subject of the inquiry. If you don’t have this information readily available, there’s a better than good chance that they will withhold information until you can provide it.

You can accomplish this in a time effective manner using one of two methods (yes, I’m eliminating the snail mail option). First, is to fax or scan and email the form. The other option is to utilize an electronic signature, but instead of an innocuous check box, utilize mouse-signature technology.

 Candidates Should Not Leave Out Any Details

Employers should also ask applicants to be thorough when listing past employment information on an employment verification form. For example, if a candidate worked for a company with franchises or more than one location, such as McDonald’s where they have tens of thousands of restaurants, simply providing something like the information below will not suffice for the verification process.

Name: John Smith

Employer: McDonald’s

Location: N/A

Contact Information: N/A

To prevent this, make sure you clearly communicate with your candidates that they need to provide as much information as possible, including:

  • Name of Employer
  • Location of Employer
  • Employer Phone Number or Website
  • Dates of Employment
  • Starting and Ending Job Title
  • Starting and End Salary
  • Reason for Leaving

This advice is not limited to employment verification. Employers should also request that academic information be filled out to completion. If it’s not, there are more than a handful of candidates who have not clarified whether or not they graduated from a school or only attended. Having this information could prevent the background check from being delayed.

Another commonly overlooked piece of information is whether the person worked directly for the organization they claim or through a temp agency or contractor. Without divulging this information, it might delay the search while the background screener attempts to resolve the inconsistency.

Employment Verification Form vs. Verified Information

The best verification is always the one where the background screening company can compare the information the candidate provided to the information the employer shared which is why employers are encouraged to tell candidates that they must fill out all of the information requested to the best of their ability. This can be used to highlight inconsistencies such as dates of employment, salary, job titles or responsibilities, etc., which in-turn offers more insight into a candidate’s experience and character.

If a hiring manager is able to see that the information provided by the candidate matches the verification, they can make a more informed hiring decision knowing that the information the candidate provided was accurate. However, the opposite is also true—for candidates whose employment verification form does not align with the employment verification, a hiring manager can compare information on the employment verification form and the verification to make an intelligent hiring decision.

Pre-Employment Screening Before the Job Offer


Do you conduct pre-employment screening before the job offer? Or are you unsure if you should?

While some cities and states might prohibit employers from requesting a background check before they offer the candidate a job, there are also certain employers that are required to do a background check before the job offer. Keep reading to learn more about when you should or should not use pre-employment screening.

When Should You Request a Background Check?

Evaluating the results of an employment background check before the job offer can be a significant part of your hiring decision. From a criminal background check to employment verification, having this information can either affirm or change your mind about a candidate.

While some employers might think that it’s a good idea to request a background check for every candidate that submits a job application, it’s really not to the employer’s advantage. Not only will your company lose out on the cost, but the time your screening company spent on one candidate might have been better spent on someone more qualified.

When you request a background check on your candidate, it probably means you’re ready for the next step—a potential job offer. So, if you haven’t interviewed your candidate yet, it might not be time for the background check.

An additional consideration before pre-employment screening is that you must have a compliant authorization form signed by your candidate. In fact, it is illegal to have a background check done without written consent.

When Shouldn’t You Request a Background Check?

Knowing when you shouldn’t request a background check is even more crucial. Due to ban the box laws in multiple cities and states, employers might be limited when it comes to requesting an employment background check before the job offer. For many of these locations, employers are required to make a conditional offer of employment before they can run a background check.

In addition to certain limitations of when an employer can conduct a background check, these laws also specify whether or not they apply to public and/or private employers. And because of this, certain ban the box laws might not pertain to employment with the government or a school. Due to the highly sensitive nature of jobs in these organizations, they can typically conduct a background check before the job offer.

What Should You Do with the Background Check Results?

Now that you have the results, what should you do?

If everything has been verified and your candidate doesn’t have a criminal record that would affect employment with your company, congratulations! You can make a hiring decision and ultimately, a job offer.

However, if adverse information is found on your candidate’s criminal background check, ensure that your company is following the appropriate state and federal screening laws. It’s a requirement, not an option, to send a pre-adverse and adverse action notification to candidates with a criminal record that would eliminate them from consideration.

Once the candidate receives the pre-adverse action notification, they can choose whether or not to dispute. Depending on the position, some employers will allow additional time for the candidate to resolve any issues with their background check. If the candidate does not dispute the background check results, the employer or third-party will send the adverse action notification to the candidate.

Now that you know when you should or should not use pre-employment screening before the job offer, learn more about how to keep your company’s screening program in compliance with our guide, Keep It Legal: 5 Steps to Compliance When Your Candidate Has a Criminal Record. Download your complimentary copy today.

Will an Arrest Show Up in a Background Check?


What Employers Needs to Know About Using Arrest Records in a Background Check

Nowadays, employers have a heightened concern about arrest records. They want to know if they will show up on a background check, if it will be clear on the report that the record found is not a conviction and of course, what should they do when an arrest is reported.

When conducting a criminal background check it is important to know that most courts will provide arrest records in the same manner as they report convictions. It is then up to your background screening company to decipher the information that has been reported.

When it comes to arrest records there are a few designations to look for:

  • Pending Case- This means that the person has been arrested charged with criminal activity, but that the case is still pending adjudication (trial, plea bargain, etc.)
  • Arrest/Non-Conviction- This means that the person was arrested but ultimately the charges were dismissed or the person was found not-guilty.
  • Arrest Record/Conviction- This shows that the person was arrested, prosecuted and was found or pled guilty to the offense.

Can You Use the Record?

The quick answer to this question is that the federal statute that governs the use of employment background checks, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows employers to use arrest records when making hiring decisions. Employers can consider arrests that occurred within the last seven (7) years.

Now before you act on that information, consider that there are a few specific-state laws around the country that preclude this practice. For instance, if you are conducting background checks in California, you should know that arrest records cannot be considered.

Further complicating matters are myriad anti-discrimination laws such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on this use of criminal records that cautions employers that they better have a good reason for denying employment based on an arrest.

Should You Use the Record?

I know you want me to wave a magic wand and give you a straight-forward answer. Unfortunately, every company is different and has there own practices, policies and regulations. That, and our general counsel would tar and feather me if I dared opine on the subject.

While I can’t give you the answer to this question, I can provide some guidance on things to consider:

  • Pending Cases- Unless specifically precluded from doing so (see the California example), pending cases should absolutely be considered. If the activity isn’t something that would concern you even if the person were convicted, then you have your answer. If a conviction for the pending charge would disqualify the person for employment, then make sure to follow proper adverse action procedures.
  • Does your organizations have specific regulations that mandate your consideration of arrest records? – Some industries such as the banking, financial services, airlines, etc. require you to consider arrest records before making a hiring decision.
  • Does the person have a pattern of arrests and, or convictions?

What Should You Expect of Your Background Screening Provider?

There are some things that your background screening company should do to help you in this regard. First and foremost, they should honor your requirements when it comes to reporting arrest records. Some organizations want/need to see these records, while others don’t want to touch them with a ten-foot pole. They should be able to apply your criteria accordingly.

If you do not want arrest records reported, they should take steps to remove those records from the final report before completion.

If you do want arrest records, background screening companies should make it clear when reporting a record whether the record for a conviction or an arrest. They should also take steps to ensure you are not looking at the same case multiple times throughout the report. In other words, you don’t want a report that shows the arrest as one record and a resulting conviction as another record.