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Personal Background Checks

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Tracy Seabrook
Tracy Seabrook

employeescreenIQ‘s Jason Morris sat down with Tracy Seabrook, Executive Director of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) for an insightful conversation on how this vital organization advocates on behalf those who conduct background checks (both employers and screening companies).  They also discuss the organization’s soon to be released certification program and its benefits. Take a listen.

 

 

 

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If all reporters read the employeescreen University Blog ,stories like this would be more interesting and full of facts! We have written countless times about using social networking sites to conduct background checks. This story focuses more on the recruiter using it as a tool, still a bad practice but not a violation of the FCRA.

By Samantha Anderson

COLORADO SPRINGS – There’s a growing tend in the number of employers going above and beyond the resume to check on potential candidates.

More and more employers are using social networking sites, such as Myspace and Facebook, during the hiring process.

Management recruiter, Ken Cantin, uses these sites as tools to get know his recruits. “It’s a lot easier for an employer when they can see what someone looks like.”

Job Analyst, Steve Fehl, said employers “want to see if you are the kind of person who’s going to fit into our culture, our environment, and are you going to be able to interact?”

But what happens when there’s just a little too much information on your web site?

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Lucia Bone
Lucia Bone

employeescreenIQ’s Jason Morris spent some time talking to Lucia Bone, Founder & President of the Sue Weaver Cause. Lucia’s sister, Sue Weaver was raped and murdered by a service worker who was hired to do work in her home. Had the employer conducted a background check they would have known that the employee was a convicted sex offender. Lucia founded C.A.U.S.E. to educate employers about the need to perform background checks to ensure that they are not hiring the wrong individuals. Please take a moment to listen to this interview.

P.S. Yesterday, we posted a story that we found in New York’s Daily Star that told of a cable employee who entered a customer’s home while on the job and sexually assaulted her. We asked Lucia for comment on this story and she offered the following:

“Absolutely it is the responsibility of the company that uses contractors and subcontractors to make sure that they are being screened to the same criteria as if they were an employee. After all, they are representing the company that contracted them.

Many companies have been found liable for the actions of not only their employees but their subcontractors as well. Businesses have an obligation to their customers to make sure they are not sending convicted felons into their homes.

The Sue Weaver CAUSE, Consumer Awareness of Unsafe Service Employment, was founded in memory of my sister that was raped and beaten to death by a twice-convicted sex offender hired to do service work in her home. Her killer was a subcontractor of Burdines. Not only did the contractor go out of business, but the premier Florida retailer settled out of court for millions.

C.A.U.S.E. Certification is a program designed to better protect consumers and employers by offering a means of hiring safer employees, contractors and subcontractors. Such a program could and should have saved not only Sue’s life but many more. C.A.U.S.E. Certification is launching on August 27, the seven year anniversary of Sue’s murder, with a national awareness campaign to educate consumers and employers to the dangers of not knowing who you hire.”

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We last wrote about the Taleo acquisition of Vurv in May when it was announced.  Our friends at HRMarketer.com posted an interesting take on the story today.  While there is always a lot of speculation before, during and after acquisitions are complete they do a nice job of summing it all up!

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Jennifer Brogee
Jennifer Brogee

employeescreenIQ’s Nick Fishman sat down with Jennifer Brogee, Product Develop Manager at MyStaffingPro to talk about the emergence of Applicant Tracking Systems. One of the trends Jennifer highlighted was the need for ATS developers to build programs that are easily customizable so that individual development can be kept at a minimum. She also elaborated on how organizations can use ATS to streamline the hiring process and how it can even be used to expedite the background screening process. Take a listen.

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Before I start to make my point, read the first few paragraphs from a story I found in the Oneonta, NY’s Daily StarService calls should not be a threat.

Most of us have probably opened our door to a stranger – we needed the meter read, the cable fixed or the phone connection checked.

And most of us probably willingly allowed these uniformed workers in without giving it a second thought.

Unfortunately, a few of these employees aren’t as trustworthy as we may think.

Last month, a registered sex offender entered a 23-year-old woman’s house while working as a subcontractor for Time Warner Cable and allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Joseph J. Devine, 36, of Endicott, is an employee of Sure Connect in Kirkwood, not an employee of Time Warner, said David Whalen, vice president of public and government affairs at Time Warner Cable of Central New York.

Whalen said Time Warner performs background checks on all employees and requires the companies it contracts with to do the same.

However, Devine was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in 2001 in Broome County, according to the state Department of Correctional Services records. Shouldn’t this red flag have come up in a background check and be reason enough not to allow him to obtain a job where he’s often alone with people in their homes?

Whalen said it would be “improper” for him to comment on whether Time Warner or Sure Connect knew of Devine’s conviction because he isn’t an employee of Time Warner. But in our minds, he’s close enough. He was representing Time Warner, and the company should take responsibility and admit somewhere along the line, their system of background checks failed.

I’ll leave the lecture about the importance of conducting background checks for a later time.  I think everyone has heard that lecture now (except the company that contracted the employee in this case).

Instead, I’m going to focus on the issue of the service provider “Time Warner” contracting with a subcontractor responsible for entering their customers’ homes.  Shouldn’t they demand that the subcontractor performs background checks?  Shouldn’t they know what type of background check they conduct?  Shouldn’t they have developed standards for what is considered an acceptable background check?

Yes, yes, and yes!  We recently published an article on this very topic: My Contractor Said They Performed a Background Check. Check it out.  Among the advice provided was the need for the contracting organization to ensure that background checks being performed and that they their minimum standards.  We also listed the types of workers that must be checked beyond a company’s own employees.

The following are examples of contract workers that should be screened before being cleared to work at your organization.

  • Contract (PEO for example) and 1099 Employees
  • Temporary or Temp-to-Perm Workers
  • Onsite Vendors’ Employees

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It isn’t realistic to expect that anyone who may come into contact with children could be – or should be – subjected to background checks. But those working in certain jobs should be checked to avoid placing youngsters in contact with those who have criminal records of offenses against children.

Ohio law requires some background checks but doesn’t enforce the rules well, if at all, an investigation by The Columbus Dispatch revealed. And background check laws sometimes defy logic.

Operators of day camps for children are required to provide the state with background information on employees. But The Dispatch found that at least one-third of the camps in Ohio have not completed employee background checks. No system of collecting fines from camp operators who do not comply has been devised.

But The Dispatch uncovered an even more serious gap in the law. It seems that operators of camps where children stay overnight are not required to submit background check information on their employees.

That’s absurd – and it makes one wonder what other dangerous lapses occurred in writing and approving background check laws.

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Thefts, Neglect, Even Killings Underscore Lack of Regulation; Addicts, Criminals on Payroll
By PHILIP SHISHKIN

In late 2006, 85-year-old Priscilla Stovall, a bedridden survivor of three heart attacks, was killed in her Clovis, Calif., home. Her killer: the aide hired to help her around the house.

Earlier this year, Kelly Jones was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to three years in prison for the death of Ms. Stovall. The state says Ms. Jones, who had a prior criminal record, was on drugs when she gave Ms. Stovall a lethal overdose of morphine and methadone and ransacked her house.

VICTIMIZING THE ELDERLY

• As employment in home care rises, so is abuse of the elderly who receive home care.
• Most abuse cases involve nonmedical aides hired to help around the house.
• Many states don’t require criminal background checks of home aides.
• Older people are sometimes afraid to report abuse.

Killings by home-care providers remain rare, but they are only the most extreme examples of what prosecutors and advocates for the elderly say is a growing number of cases of abuse, neglect or fraud in which home caregivers take advantage of the frail and the ill. And that’s prompting calls for better oversight of an industry that’s expanding fast as more Americans age and try to avoid nursing homes.

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Barry Nixon

employeescreenIQ’s Nick Fishman sat down with Barry Nixon, Executive Director for the Pre-Employment Directory and the National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence for an insightful conversation about trends in workplace violence and how background checks have played a significant role in the decline of workplace violence incidents. Mr. Nixon explains that while the number of workplace violence incidents have declined significantly over the past decade that year over year numbers were actually up in the past year for the first time in a long while. This is the fourth interview in a series of podcasts coming to employeescreen University.

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India, one of the largest pools of IT professionals in the world is seeing an increased need for background checks.  One of the reasons we launched employeescreen University was to educate employers across the globe on the virtues of doing proper employee background investigations.  One bad hire can cost your company millions in lost revenue and a lot of embarrassment.  Global background checks or “international background screening” is a growing trend. (Read employeescreenIQ 2009 Trends).

This story is a perfect example of why organizations need to tighten up their hiring practices.

IT Firms Have No Place for a Fake Resume

The IT-BPO industry is becoming increasingly clear that a fake resume can cost you your job with India’s largest IT serivces provider, Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), being the latest to recently ask close to 20 employees at its Kolkata centre to leave. The company, during the background verification, found that these employees have used fudged resumes to get jobs.

In the recent past all the major IT firms including Infosys, Satyam and Wipro Technologies and many mid-cap firms have taken a hard stand on fake or fudged resumes. However, the incidents continue. First Advantage, a leading background screening firm, in its recent report states that 30 per cent of all the resumes they have screened have discrepancies. In 2006-07 the company screened over 2 million applicants across industries. Ashish Dehade, managing director (West Asia), First Advantage says, “The percentage has been increasing. In 2006 it was 16-17 per cent, for 2007 its was 30 per cent and while we are just six months into 2008 the percentage is around 30 per cent.”

TCS is not the only firm doing this. Earlier Infosys had asked close to 100 employees to leave in FY07 due to discrepancies found in the resumes. Same goes for Satyam and Wipro Technologies. Some time back it was reported that Wipro would be sharing with other IT firms the database of job applicants who have faked information in their CVs.

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