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Children play outside the Child Development Center at Fort Myer, Va. Adam Skoczylas/U.S. Army

 

It began with the disclosure that two employees at Fort Myer’s Child Development Center were arrested for assault charges on children under their care. Later it was revealed that there was a third woman caught on video assaulting a child. These cases ultimately led to an investigation that revealed 31 of 130 CDC employees had criminal records. For any company or organization, this would be a huge number-especially to have slipped through the employment background screening process. You have to wonder how these employees were hired by anyone, let alone within the military.

The first employee cases uncovered involved assaults, not sexual, but still harmful to the children involved. The two initial suspects reportedly “pinched, kneed, and punched toddlers.” The videos that later proved these violent outbursts were installed due to a mother complaining that she witnessed an employee yelling at children.

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Things are quickly winding down for the year at EmployeeScreenIQ, and we’re excited (much like Ralphie from A Christmas Story) for what’s to come in 2013. We’ve had quite a few blog posts this week that you might have missed in the hustle and bustle of the end of the month and the end of the year. Something I would like to highlight in particular is that our Employment Background Screening Trends Survey is awaiting your participation (and even better, we’ve extended the deadline through January)! As proven in 2011, our survey is a great resource for us and others in our industry. I’m not even sure where to begin wrapping up this last week because there are an overabundance of exciting stories on our blog.  I recommend taking a ten minute break from your work and scroll down our blog page. Some of the stories from this past week include, Recruiting On Social Networks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2012, an important update with ban the box in Pittsburgh and the results of a CareerBuilder survey showcasing the costliness of bad hires. Thanks for reading throughout this year and happy holidays!

 

Recruiting On Social Networks: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of 2012

Social MediaSocial recruiting has seemingly moved up on HR’s list of priorities when it comes to hiring-and not only seeking job candidates via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but also searching profiles for reasons to remove a candidate from the process. If a potential employee has a public profile, HR can easily scan their page. However, this becomes a problem if employers are requesting user names and passwords to look at a candidate’s private profile. See More

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We’ve encountered countless stories of job applicants lying on their resume, whether it’s been education or employment, somehow these tricksters have gained employment or even entered Ivy League schools based on resume lies. Several months ago the news was buzzing with the story of the Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson who deceivingly listed that he earned a degree in accounting and computer science. The latter degree claim was a lie. Earlier this year it was discovered that the CEO had only received a degree in accounting from Stonehill College and built his career based on this lie.

Another fascinating fabrication from 2010 was the story of Adam Wheeler, who elaborately created a resume not with little white lies, but blatant claims of attending schools he never did and earning test scores he never received. Wheeler was admitted into Harvard and even attended until his lies were uncovered.

It’s troubling that if Thompson and Wheeler got away with lies like these, there are definitely employees that are slipping through the cracks all the time. Whether it’s a huge lie like these two or something smaller, it’s disconcerting that either these companies are not completing employment background checks or these background checks are not being done thoroughly.

A recent Careerbuilder survey revealed intriguing statistics from employers saying they’ve made costly hiring mistakes in the past year.  [...]

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You probably wouldn’t hire this guy…knowing he has walked into several businesses on the premise that he’s applying for a job, and then precedes to rob these stores. The main stores include Subway and Starbucks near the San Fernando Valley. The man, known as the “job app bandit,” requests a job application and then pulls out a gun demanding money. He’s robbed nine different locations in the same general vicinity. News Channel 5 in Cleveland reported that most of his targets were Subway and Starbucks-could he have a personal vendetta against these companies? Probably not, but it’s curious that those have been his main targets. I also wonder if he could already have a criminal background and would not have been hired even if he applied for these jobs.

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As another holiday season approaches, there are many companies hiring employees for temporary positions. One of these holiday jobs includes finding individuals to work as Santa-whether it’s in a mall, department store or an event. It may only be a few seconds when children sit on a stranger’s lap and tell him their Christmas wish list, but I’m sure more than one parent has questioned-who is the man behind the beard?

In years past, there have been cases when Santa turns out to be a registered sex offender, but employers had no knowledge because they failed to do an employment background check. So how are these sketchy Santa’s uncovered? In some circumstances, they were recognized by someone who happened to see them working.

Not only is Santa under suspicion, but a story we talked about last year revealed that someone dressed up as Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster was a registered sex offender. See our past blog post below as well as an article about the most recent Santa mishap in Cleveland, Texas.

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In just a couple weeks, our 2012 Employment Background Screening Trends survey will be wrapping up, so we’re taking a few moments to reflect on the results of last year’s survey as well as review the upcoming trends for 2013. See below for last year’s survey results. In addition, as we eagerly await the results from this year’s survey, take a look at the comparisons of 2012 trends to the upcoming trends of 2013: [...]

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There are new cases of employees failing to disclose information on job applications every day.  This particular story as reported by News Channel 5, hits close to home as EmployeeScreenIQ is located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The two employees, Patrick J. Gallagher, Grounds/Maintenance Worker, and Michael J. Gallagher, Safety & Health Coordinator, provided misleading information on their job applications-one did not disclose his criminal history in full, and the other listed false education information.

However, while there was a failure for the two employees to provide this information, one must also question if background checks were completed, and if so, how thorough were the background checks if this information was discovered years later? An eight page report was provided on the News Channel 5 website which includes the details of this story, but it does not detail if there was a previous investigation or background check completed, prior to these allegations. The allegations were:

  • Patrick failed to disclose his criminal history on his application for a position with Cuyahoga County.
  • Michael falsified his original application as well as an application for promotion with the information that he earned an Associate’s degree from Cuyahoga Community College.

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Last week, I had the tremendous honor and privilege of providing testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights at their hearing on the impact of criminal background checks and the EEOC’s conviction policy on the employment of Black and Hispanic workers.  The purpose of my remarks were to highlight how background screening companies like EmployeeScreenIQ and employers conduct and employ the use of employee background checks in a responsible manner.  Many of you have expressed interest, so rather than condensing my message, I thought it best to post my testimony in full.  Please see below.

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According to CBS 6 in Richmond, Virginia city public school board members are taking issue with the district’s request of them to submit to criminal background checks.  Newly elected board member Kristen Larson was quoted as saying. “We are elected officials, we are not employees of Richmond Public Schools.”  She also stated that their job as board members was “administrative in nature”, insinuating that this would alleviate the need to conduct the background check.

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I’m sure you’ve heard more than enough about the rising number of reports of abuse in Boy Scouts of America. However, another angle regarding criminal background checks within BSA is interesting. Not only did the organization not do criminal background checks for their volunteers for a long time, but for many years, they felt it was not worth the cost to do background checks for anyone working within the organization.

The LA Times reported that some of the major reasons for not conducting background checks included, “checks would cost too much, scare away volunteers and provide a false sense of security.” Of course, since volunteers are unpaid, this could be seen as a loss for BSA. It can also be argued that in the long run it would be better to lose a few volunteers than harm the children the organization exists for. In addition, maybe if a volunteer had a criminal record or was a sex offender, the mention of a background check could have filtered them out of the process anyway.

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