Do Small Businesses Need Employee Background Checks?

Small businesses are thriving in today’s economy and arguably are the lifeblood of many industries. As competition in the workforce heats up, it’s important for small business owners to protect their establishments from risk and choose candidates who fit the unique culture of their typically intimate and diverse workplaces.

While the economy and job market are up and candidates are flooding their resumes out, it’s become an important focus for CEOs at companies of all sizes to locate quality employees that add value to the company and are more likely to stick around for the long haul.

Employee background checks are actually a very critical step for small businesses. These checks won’t just notify you if the potential candidate has anything questionable in their past, but can also help you to understand the full picture of whether or not they’ll fit in with the rest of the company and daily requirements.

In addition, background investigations, or steps to verify an applicant’s education, references and understand their soft skills should all be taken.

Protecting your investment in employees and focusing on ROI are essential to the hiring process. Employees that don’t end up working out might be easier to come and go from a larger corporation, but for small businesses, the paperwork and costs associated with off-and on-boarding people can add up to be significant costs.

Handling the background check needs requires time and focus most small business owners also don’t have to dedicate sufficiently to the process. Hiring an established and professional service provider to assist with background screening provides peace of mind so you can make hiring choices with confidence.

Choose DataCheck to run a thorough background check, criminal record report, social security number verification report, driving record check, and a nationwide sex offender registry search on any applicant before they become a member of your team.

Save time and money, avoid negligent hiring lawsuits and provide a safer work environment.

Get in touch today!

Expanding the Labor Pool by Considering Rehabilitated Offenders

It’s an economic cycle: when labor is plentiful, employers can afford to be choosy about who they hire. When labor pools shrink, employers often need to remove some of their restrictions and consider hiring people with less formal education or fewer years of work experience. One place employers can look for workers to fill labor shortages includes a pool of applicants they might be accustomed to rejecting: ex-offenders.

Thinking Differently About Hiring Ex-Offenders

It’s been conventional wisdom for years that former offenders are riskier to hire: they may present a threat to other workers or steal money or stock from a business, so the thinking goes. But a new study has shown this may not be true, and that there may be benefits to hiring ex-offenders. The real question for employers willing to take the chance is how to evaluate and select these candidates, according to EHS Today, which highlights research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) which a demonstrated consistent work history is a better marker of a good worker than a clean record.

“It’s time to put an end to the stigma that holds back inclusive hiring and retire outdated employment practices,” said SHRM’s president Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. “With unemployment falling below four percent, employers must think differently about both jobs and the people who can fill them. A criminal record should never be viewed as an automatic disqualification for employment.”

In addition to a consistent work history, employers should look for references, job training, and a certification of rehabilitation. They should also be sure to conduct a thorough background check to validate the truth of claims on an application. It is, however, important to do so within the law. California already has restrictions on how criminal background check information may be used.

FIRST STEP Act

Another factor that may make relaxing rules on hiring ex-offenders more appealing is criminal reform legislation at the federal level in the form of the FIRST STEP Act, which cleared the House in May. Among other things, the legislation would provide $250 million over five years for new inmate education and rehabilitation programs, which include job training.

Call the Professionals

A pre-employment background check company like DataCheck can help you safely expand your pool of job applicants while continuing to protect your business and your existing employees. As a full-service background investigation company, we specialize in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.

Contact DataCheck via our website or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.

What Do EU GDPR Rules Mean for Employee Background Checks?

 

As a consumer, you may have noticed a spike recently in the number of data sharing agreements you’ve had to make when you use apps and websites. There’s a reason for this, and it originates in the European Union. Officially called the “General Data Protection Regulation” 2016/679, the EU GDPR is a new law that updates and enforces data protection and privacy for all individuals within the EU and the European Economic Area.

It was approved in April of 2016 and went into effect on May 25th of this year. Since the Internet doesn’t have borders, most companies have found they need to follow the rules. This includes anyone engaged in a hiring process that might touch EU and EEA citizens since these investigations involve collecting a lot of personally identifiable information.

How Does the EU GDPR Work?

Primarily, the rule governs personally identifiable information (personal data) of individuals in the EU, and applies to any enterprise doing business – even virtual business — in the EU, regardless of location. Essentially, it doesn’t matter where your organization is located…if you have any European customers or employees, the data protection rule applies to you.

The rule requires that you disclose any data collection as well as why you’re collecting the data and tell consumers how long the information is being retained. You must also inform consumers if the information will be shared with any third parties.

The EU GDPR gives consumers certain rights over their personal data. For starters, they have the right to request a copy of the data being collected (in a portable and “common” format), and they have the right to have their data erased under certain circumstances.

Public authorities and businesses who collect data are required to employ a data protection officer (DPO) who is responsible for managing compliance with the regulations. In addition, businesses must report any data breaches within 72 hours if they have an adverse effect on user privacy. Violators could be fined up to €20 million ($23 million) or up to four percent of annual worldwide turnover (whichever is greater).

Do You Have Any Employees or Applicants in the EU?

If so, the EU GDPR applies to you. Background checking potential employees could be a minefield of regulation violations. A pre-employment background check company such as DataCheck can help you screen your potential employees to protect your own organization while remaining compliant with GDPR rules.

As a full-service background investigation company, we at specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues. As professionals, we understand regulations like the EU GDPR and can ensure that your screenings of employees won’t land you with expensive violation fees.

Contact DataCheck via our Web site or call 800-253-3394 to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.

 

Criminal History Check Update: A Look at Current Laws

More states, cities, and municipalities are opting to “ban the box” and bar public employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal histories on initial applications and paperwork. (It’s permissible to do so after the job has been offered if it’s relevant to the applicants’ position.) It’s a way to ensure that ex-offenders are given a fair shake in the job market. Since California put their own nation-leading “ban the box” ruling into place last year, many other states and regions have followed.

Here’s a look at the most recent states and what they are doing to further protect applicants:

  • In June 2018, St. Louis County officials announced the county will no longer ask job applicants for criminal histories in their initial employment applications,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • With an executive order signed in May, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer “banned the box” for people who apply for executive branch jobs with the state. “It provides applicants with the opportunity to explain their unique facts and circumstances and what has happened to them and how their lives have changed,” said Governor Colyer.
  • On March 13, 2018, Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed the Washington “Fair Chance Act,” which prohibits employers from asking about arrests or convictions before an applicant is determined otherwise qualified for the position sought. With both California and Oregon on board with “ban the box,” this means the practice is law on the entire U.S. West Coast.
  • Also in June, Johnson County, Iowa passed a ban the box ordinance that removes the requirement for applicants to initially disclose any criminal history.
  • Massachusetts already has ban the box rules in place, but on October 13, 2018, further restrictions on employers’ ability to consider a job applicant’s criminal history information in the hiring process will take effect. Among other rules is a decreased time period for disclosure of misdemeanor convictions by applicants from five to three years.

Private Employers Step Up Background Checks

At the same time, states and municipalities are making rules to protect applicants, some private employers like Uber are stiffening the requirements for background checks for applicants. Private companies (like Uber) have settled legal cases alleging faulty practices and a lack of thorough checking for sex offenders, in particular.

Hire a Professional Background Check Company

As an employer, how do you ensure you’re not running afoul of the increasingly complex rules and regulations, but also protecting your business and your existing employees? Third party agencies such as DataCheck help employers navigate the complex rules and regulations around compliance and privacy laws such as “Ban the Box,” while protecting both applicants’ rights and employers’ best interests.

Contact DataCheck today for professional pre-employment services such as criminal background checks that protect your workers and your business from identity theft, fraud and negligence.

Why Home Health Care Agencies Should Conduct Pre-Employment Background Checks

Many people who suffer from physical limitations because of illness, injury, or advanced age rely on home health aides to provide care and assistance with daily activities. Family members often seek care for loved ones if they are unable to provide full-time care themselves. Many families choose to hire home health aides through agencies.

State laws vary on whether or not background checks are required for home health aides. If you run a home care agency, it would be wise to conduct thorough background checks on all of your employees, even if state law does not require it.

Background Checks Can Protect Clients

Patients who are disabled and home-bound are particularly vulnerable. They may be physically or mentally unable to protect themselves from abuse or to tell someone if it occurs. By conducting thorough background checks, you can protect your agency’s clients from abuse. A background check should look for a criminal record. Any history of violence, abuse, or neglect needs to be taken very seriously.

The potential for theft is another concern. Since aides work in the homes of their clients and are often unsupervised for periods of time, it can be easy for them to steal money or valuable items. The theft might not be noticed for a period of time, and someone might think the item was simply misplaced. Conducting background checks can help your agency identify job applicants who have stolen in the past and who might pose a risk to your clients.

Home health care agencies want to hire employees who are qualified for the job. Many states require aides to have specific training and certifications in order to protect clients from harm. Conducting background checks can help your agency verify that a person really has the training and certifications he or she claims to have on a resume and is qualified for the job.

Background Checks Can Protect Your Agency from Lawsuits

In addition to protecting clients, conducting background checks on job applicants can protect your agency. If a home health aide abuses or neglects a client or steals, and it is later shown that the person had a criminal record, but that the agency that hired the aide did not conduct a background check, the agency could be sued. A negligent hiring lawsuit could claim that the agency should have conducted a background check and that if it had, the aide never would have been hired and the client never would have been victimized. The cost of conducting background checks is much less than the cost of a negligent hiring lawsuit.

DataCheck Can Help Your Agency with Pre-Employment Background Checks

Agencies that hire aides to provide health care in clients’ homes have a responsibility to conduct thorough background checks. Doing so can protect clients from harm and can also help the agency avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. DataCheck has helped many types of businesses conduct pre-employment background checks. Contact us today to learn more.