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Candidate Experience

Halloween or not, most organizations are not looking to scare away their best candidates. However, they may be doing just that if their candidate experience is not up to snuff. Job seekers talk – and the ripple effect of a negative candidate experience has frightening ramifications: desirable candidates will look elsewhere; referrals will wane and an organization’s reputation and brand in the marketplace will suffer. Scarier still? Many organizations are unaware of the critical impact their background screening process has on the overall candidate experience. [...]

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Social Media Background Checks

Why, oh why do state governments feel the need to waste valuable time and tax payer money enacting laws that prevent employers from requiring access to the social media accounts of current or prospective employees?

HRMagazine is reporting that New Hampshire became the 18th state this past August to adopt such legislation and that similar bills have been introduced in at least 28 states.

Here’s my take- this is a waste of time because this is not a widespread trend among employers. In fact, I’ve yet to come across an employer who demands this of their candidates and employees. Whatever they are going to find isn’t worth the negative candidate experience or media attention this practice creates.

Where we have seen this, we’ve found that candidates stop applying for jobs and the media absolutely eviscerates the employer. Check out what happened in Bozeman, Montana several years ago. As soon as their practices of asking for social media passwords came to light, it took them about 2.5 seconds to rethink their policy. That was in 2009. The only other instance I’ve seen is from the White House. That’s right.  If you want to work for President Obama, beware that you’ll be asked to share your deepest and darkest secrets on Facebook. And guess what? I’d think they were crazy if they didn’t ask.

Evidently, the federal government gets it. According to Eric Meyer of Dilworth Paxson LLP and “The Employer Handbook” blog (which is incredibly entertaining and educational), “There have already been two attempts to pass a federal social media workplace privacy. Both have stalled out.”

Our most recent marketplace trends survey shows that most employers aren’t even conducting social media background checks as part of their employment background screening process, let alone asking for candidates’ passwords (see below).

Does your organization conduct online media searches for candidates as part of your hiring process?

Social Media Background Checks

I want to be clear that I think the practice of asking for social media passwords is a joke. Employers shouldn’t do it. It’s a horrible invasion of privacy. But there are a lot of things employers shouldn’t (and aren’t doing) that the states don’t bother wasting time legislating. I know it sounds great for a politician trying to create a name for themselves, but let’s add this to the list.

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Denver Background Checks

Denver’s year-old policy allowing for the disposal of pre-employment background checks in its jail system is garnering more attention for a system already under the microscope. An April 2013 policy allows for the destruction of pre-employment records in as little as three years after the employee is hired. This is only a year above the minimum set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and far below the minimum recommended by Colorado municipal clerks and consultants. Keep reading to learn the three failures of background checks in Denver’s jail system.


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Criminal Mugshot

While reading Orange is the New Black recently, I was struck by a point the author made about the difficulties prisoners face when they’re finally able to leave prison and re-enter society. After living in an institution that supplies them with a job, food, and place to live, many are unprepared to step back into the “real” world.

For example, the book’s author mentions that because of advantages she had before prison (like a college degree) there was a job waiting for her when she finished her sentence—which was not the case for many prisoners. Many of the women around her did not even have a high school diploma let alone a college degree. And not only did they lack education, but experience. Many of the prisoners had never had real jobs. With little practical job training available in prison, job opportunities have become severely limited for the formerly incarcerated.

To Hire Or Not to Hire?

The message I want to share is simply that employers shouldn’t be afraid to hire ex-offenders just because of a conviction. While there are cases when a candidate with a criminal record should be disqualified for the safety of your employees, clients, company, etc., there are instances when you shouldn’t let a conviction stand in the way of your hiring decision.

On the candidate’s side of the argument, it’s fair to say for most—they are looking for jobs. They want jobs. Whether they spent time in prison, or simply made unfortunate mistakes in the past, many want to redeem themselves by finding a stable job. And it’s for individuals like these that employers have the choice to look beyond the results of an employment background check.

Whether you need to be convinced that hiring ex-offenders could be a good idea or you want to hear best practices for doing so, keep reading. [...]

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Employment Background Screening

Fall has officially arrived in Northeast Ohio complete with chillier temperatures  and of course, a variety of posts on the IQ Blog. Haven’t had a chance to keep up? See a few of our top posts below in addition to the full blog here. And stay tuned to our blog to hear about our upcoming webinar at the end of October and more!

BMW Flips Script on EEOC: Probes Agency’s Background Check Practices

BMW is questioning why EEOC can conduct employment background checks as a reliable exercise in hiring risk management, but questions BMW’s right to do so. Read More

Congress Criticizes the EEOC’s Policy on Background Checks

Congress is showing signs of life in the fight for employers to conduct reasonable background checks. Learn more about three recent bills aimed to increase the accountability of the EEOC. Read More

Ride-Sharing Companies Feeling the Strain of Background Checks in California

Three major ride-sharing services, Sidecar, Uber, and Lyft have been warned that company practices violate California law in two areas: background checks and car-pooling. Read More

NFL Player Introductions to Include Criminal Records?

You don’t have to be a football fan to know that the NFL is facing an unprecedented amount of negative publicity over the criminal transgressions of some of its players. Read More


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Memphis-based AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) is the latest company to be reluctantly inducted into the FCRA class action club. The company was hit with a suit for alleged violations of state and federal law in its background screening process. The case, Aceves et al. v. AutoZone Inc, filed on September 30, 2014 in the Central District of California, claims that the retailer violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), California’s Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act (CCRAA) and the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agency Act (ICRAA). [...]

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EmployeeScreenIQ president and chief operating officer, Jason B. Morris will present, “My Candidate Has a Criminal Record. Now What?” at the HR Florida Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida on October 6, 2014, 4:15pm-5:15pm.

Not a month went by in 2013 without a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against an employer for their background screening practices.

While a criminal record should not automatically disqualify a candidate, employers also want to protect their company by properly screening candidates. [...]

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a press release this week announcing it reached a settlement with a background screening company over the company’s pre-employment screening services. According to the press release, the company is a consumer reporting agency (CRA), that “screens applicants for hundreds of companies nationwide.”

The agreement requires the company to change its website, screening policies, and training procedures to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Genetic Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), and anti-retaliation laws. The underlying concern was that an investigation into an applicant’s medical history, history of personal injury, or workers compensation claims would be used by prospective employers to discriminate against the applicant.

If anyone wondered whether the EEOC would eventually extend its reach to CRAs, that question has been answered. The press release quotes Janet Elizondo, director of the EEOC’s Dallas District Office:

“It is important for the EEOC to engage, not only with employers directly, but also with their business partners who play an important role in facilitating connections between jobs and job seekers.”

Background screening companies take note, the EEOC is watching.

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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.

Building a Smarter Sharing Economy with Background Checks

It’s nice to share. At least that’s what we learned as kids. But for some people, sharing is more than just nice—it’s a way to make a buck. I’m talking about the sharing economy, which Forbes estimates at $3.5 billion this year, with growth exceeding 25%. Read More

Employers’ Hands are Tied: New Washington D.C. Law Goes Beyond Ban the Box

With over a year of debate and some last minute amendments, the District of Columbia’s Council passed a ban-the-box law that includes its own unique list of considerations before an employer can withdraw an offer of employment based on criminal history. Read More

Congress Criticizes the EEOC’s Policy on Background Checks

Congress is showing signs of life in the constant fight for employers to conduct reasonable background checks. Representative Tim Walberg, R, Mich., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, held the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s feet to the fire in a hearing on September 17, 2014. Read More


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Employment Background checks

It’s nice to share. At least that’s what we learned as kids. But for some people, sharing is more than just nice—it’s a way to make a buck. I’m talking about the sharing economy, which Forbes estimates at $3.5 billion this year, with growth exceeding 25%.  

For the uninitiated, in very simple terms, the sharing economy is a model where you loan out your stuff for a fee. It’s access over ownership. And the more we experiment with sharing as a business, the more participants are challenged by legal concerns, regulation, and operational details. Since one of the basic tenants of sharing is trust in the person and the product being shared, it’s time for some segments of the sharing economy to adopt a process that other business models have already embraced and acknowledged as a necessity—I’m talking about background checks. [...]

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