Do Your Due Diligence with Criminal Background Checks Before Hiring

Sooner or later, it happens to every business: someone you hired or contracted has some unpleasant secrets that come back to haunt the company. While most organizations make it policy to ask potential new hires about their criminal histories, it shouldn’t be a surprise that not every applicant is forthcoming with the truth.

According to HireRight’s 2017 employment screening benchmark study, a whopping 85 percent of employers found that applicants have been less than truthful on their resumes or applications. While some of these lies are minor and involve fudging academic achievements, some pertain to criminal or sexual harassment histories.

Manual Background Checks

While you could dedicate an employee to manually conducting background checks on each potential new hire, there are drawbacks to this approach. For starters, your employees are already busy with their current duties, and a rush job can miss important details. Secondly, most of your existing employees likely lack the expertise and/or the tools to engage in the right level of due diligence before hiring. Scouring social media and search engines can help, but it’s time-consuming and may not yield critical information. If you need qualified workers in place quickly, a disorganized manual process will create impractical delays.

Getting employment checks right is a sound business decision that saves organizations time and money and protects them from litigation. A study conducted in 2008 by the Society for Human Resource Management found that the average cost to settle a negligent hiring lawsuit was $1 million.

Professional Employee Screening Services

A sound policy of criminal background checks also creates a safer and more positive work environment for existing employees by preventing workplace violence or harassment, and helps keep morale and productivity high by reducing turnover. In short, every company needs all the facts about potential employees before they can make sound hiring decisions.

For this reason, smart companies rely on professional services to facilitate thorough criminal background checks. Federal employment law does not bar employers from conducting searches for criminal and sex offender information on hiring candidates as long as it’s done in a non-discriminatory way. (Find the most recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines regarding background checks here.)

At DataCheck we offer tools that allow hiring organizations to quickly do a multi-jurisdictional search of state and county criminal records on any individual. Our custom solution, called C.O.P.S. – Criminal Offender Profile Summary, provides one of the broadest searches available for information from criminal data repositories as well as sex offender registries.

Relying on professional services to conduct pre-employment background checks makes good business sense. Pre-employment screening services should be an important element of every company’s HR strategy. This way, you can prevent the “unpleasant surprises” before they happen. Contact us today!

Could a Bad Credit Report Keep You from Your Dream Job?

So you’ve found your dream job, completed the interview process and now seem a shoo-in for the position. But there’s one more hurdle to clear: the company wants to conduct a credit check on you before they offer you the position. Is it possible those missed car payments from two years ago are going to prevent you from getting the job?

The answer is, “maybe.” While potential employers can’t see your credit score or account numbers, the inquiry allows them to see some of your financial information, provided the disclosure doesn’t violate equal employment regulations.

Why Are Employers Looking at My Credit?

Initially, it might seem unfair or even outrageous that employers want to conduct a credit check. For starters, not all companies do a check. A survey of human resources professionals conducted by HR.com and the National Association of Professional Background Screeners found that only about 25 percent of employers do credit checks, typically for jobs that involve handling money.

If you’re applying for a position that will require you to see customer bank accounts or credit cards, for example, a company might wish to know if you’ve got a handle on your own finances. Additionally, employees who are deeply in debt might be more likely to steal or mismanage their employer’s funds.

What Information Are Employers Seeking, and From Where?

While some employers might be approaching the three credit agencies – Experian, TransUnion and Equifax – directly, others might be using a third-party screening tool to seek out your credit history, including your paying habits and any judgments, liens or bankruptcies. They may also be looking for previous addresses, prior employment information, aliases used and any variations in your social security number.

This information is useful in determining financial responsibility, money management, and the possibility of wage garnishment by state or federal tax authorities. This check before employment won’t affect your credit score the way applying for a new credit card might, and companies are engaging in these credit checks to protect themselves from financial risk.

What Are My Rights?

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, an employer must notify you if it intends to do a pre-employment credit check and must get your permission in writing. The notification needs to be in clear and direct language and can’t be cloaked in “fine print.” Some states have laws that limit or prohibit pre-employment credit checks. (Employment law website NOLO has compiled a list of those states and their statutes here.)

You can, of course, refuse to give permission for the credit check, but this could lead to a company rescinding a job offer. HR professionals advise would-be employees with less-than-stellar credit to proactively explain the reasons why to the person making the hiring decision. By volunteering the information up front, you may be able to reduce the impression that you’ve got something to hide.

If you’re an employer in need of pre-employment screening services, rely on DataCheck to the information you need.

Drug Testing, Background Checks and Finding Work While Sober

Finding a job in today’s economic times can be difficult, to say the least. A shortage of jobs, a population lacking necessary skills and rising costs for employers, all make the landscape what it currently is. For employers, the need to hire the right people is always top of mind.

Wasting time and resources to onboard, train and then, dismiss an employee, is never the desired route. To pick the right candidate however, there are several steps hiring managers should take. These steps will test the skills of a candidate, verify their identity and examine their background to help the company make an informed decision about who they are bringing into their workplace.

Drug Testing for Jobs

Employers will shy away from hiring drug users not only because the activities are illegal, but also because it can affect work performance, put the workplace and other employees at risk, and in some industries, is even against the law.

For the many people who are fighting addiction and making their way back into the workforce, this topic also raises a number of questions around employability and whether or not their past will have an effect on their ability to enter the workforce again.

Having the stability a job provides is important for everyone. Especially those who may be recovering from addiction and looking to stay on a healthy path. A regular paycheck will make it easier to pay bills, afford necessities and keep some stress at bay. With the job market in its current condition however, this can be difficult to achieve.

Background Checks Will Reveal Lies

Companies who choose to screen candidates for drug use, or randomly test their own staff, have seen incidents where skipping out on the test center appointment all together is happening. This is a sign of the current situation faced by many employers.

If your company has a plan in place to assist with re-entry into the workforce for those who may have had issues in the past but are doing better in the present, you’ll need a plan in place to ensure they remain committed to the job and sober. Work with case managers and counselors to match and manage candidates for the best outcome.

For applicant’s, remember that while you don’t need to talk about your past addictions or issues, lying on an application or being dishonest in the interview process will likely cost you a potential job. Background checks will show the employer past arrests or other criminal activity you have been involved in – even if your drug test comes up clean. If you’ve been doing better, highlight that when the question comes up and be honest about your personal advancements.

If you need help with background and drug testing for potential new hires contact DataCheck Inc. We offer criminal checks, driving records, credit reports, employment and education verification, reference checking, drug testing, and a wide variety of other searches to assist you in your applicant pre-screening process. Protect your business  and pre-screen before you hire.

New Hires & Drug Testing: What You Should Know

Hiring new employees is a cumbersome task. From vetting the right candidates, to scouring resumes and ultimately starting the application and hiring process – there is a lot involved. Depending on the industry you’re in and the state you reside, there can be several other factors that also come into play as well.

Drug Testing for Jobs

Drug testing is a major part of the hiring process for many companies. These tests can show if an applicant has used illegal drugs like cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates and more. Urinalysis is the most common method used to test for traces of drugs in the system and is one of the best options for uncovering illegal drug use long after its affect has worn off on the user.

Why Employers Drug Test for Jobs

Bringing individuals into a workforce that can put the operations or others at risk is a huge liability. That can extend beyond drug use to those with criminal, violent histories or simply being careless in their online social media presence. Qualifications and standards necessary for each job will vary. Operating heavy machinery will take a certain level of awareness that drugs can impair for example. Screening for issues upfront is the best way to protect a company from issues down the line.

Are Drug Tests Legal?

While there has been laws passed that say it’s not an invasion of privacy to have applicants drug tested at a facility, there are still somethings you’ll need to be sure of before you create a policy for your company. Some states have mandatory drug testing, while others don’t, for example, and there are laws stating that discriminating or being selective about who you drug test violates laws. It’s best to work with professionals who know the laws and cover all the bases.

At DataCheck, we offer drug testing services so you can ensure you hire drug-free workers. We offer traditional urine-based lab testing at over 4,000 collection facilities nationwide as well as instant testing products and drug testing with hair and saliva. We can also help you write your drug free work policy.

Contact us to learn more about our drug test kits and services.

Hiring Done Right: Include Factual Data in the Process

Job ApplicationOnboarding new employees is a risk for many businesses. While on the hunt for candidates, they’re likely churning through applications looking for candidates who have the qualifications and background needed to excel at the job. But as many a manager has come to find out, sometimes those qualifications aren’t the only thing that matters.  Personality and ethics should all play a role in the final decision process if you want to bring on a new hire that’s going to work out in the long run for the company.

Pre-Employment Screening for Accuracy

But how do you know that people are being honest and truthful in their paperwork and when they meet with you? That can be the tricky part. Thankfully, pre-employment screening technologies exist that can ensure applicants are who they say are and don’t have any “issues” they’ve neglected to tell you about that could affect their employment eligibility.

Background checks can be used today to do so much more than tell a potential employer if an employee has committed any serious crimes or has substance abuse issues. It can also verify that they attended and completed schooling, or check credit reports. Likewise, it can keep businesses in complaint and meeting hiring standards to avoid fines and other legal issues.

Reduce Business Risk

The worst thing you can do for your business is bring on an applicant that won’t stick around, or worse is dishonest and could put the company at risk. The only way to protect your business from this is to have pre-screening processes set-up and standards that must be met for all job hiring you do.

Having factual data and statistics on potential hires is also a great way to make informed decisions for the good of the company. Looking beyond background information and drilling down the stats to see who is best suited for long term roles versus who might move around a lot in their career could be vital information. Why should you go without that knowledge?

DataCheck offers everything you need to get reliable, accurate information when hiring new staff members. As a full-service pre-employment background screening company we provide everything from DMV history to past employment verification, drug screening and more. Get a free quote.