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“It’s time to put an end to the stigma that holds back inclusive hiring and retire outdated employment practices,” said SHRM’s president Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.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.


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.

Background Checks Are Important Even for Temps

Today’s workplace doesn’t look like it did a few decades ago. Increasingly, it’s made of freelancers (the “gig economy”), part-timers, job-sharers, third-party contactors and temporary employees. While this may reduce the cost of doing business, it also creates complexities employers need to plan for in advance.

Hiring is a difficult and time-consuming process, and many employers believe they can lower the bar a little when they’re hiring temporary employees. After all, how much damage could a bad temp hire do in a short amount of time?

Quite a lot, as it turns out.

Temp Steals Permanent Employees’ Identities

A cautionary tale from the second installment of the new CNBC Make It series HR Confidential shows how hiring a temporary worker without a background check led to identity theft for the worker’s colleagues at one company.

A senior HR manager for a foreign banking interest was approached by several employees who reported their identities had been stolen. The manager was ultimately confronted by the local postmaster general and postal police officers (who were armed with guns!)

“The guy was a temp employee who we had hired through an outside agency to work in our file room,” the HR manager told CNBC’s HR Confidential. “When you have 3,000 employees, their personal files quickly pile up, so we hired him to clean up each person’s file, add information to them and put them away. However, he was going into these files, taking people’s social security numbers and stealing all of their information.”

How a Background Check Would Have Helped

The temp, as it turned out, was already under investigation by the post office for fraud. The culprit and a friend were signing up for credit cards with the stolen identities and having the cards delivered to their home addresses. The post office was able to easily make the connection between the individual, his address, and the fraudulent credit card applications. Unfortunately for the bank, the damage to employees was already done, and it cost the company a lot of money to help employees clean up their credit.

“For the employees who had their identity stolen, this was such a nightmare,” the HR manager told HR Confidential. “It took some of them more than a year to get this solved. I also felt somewhat responsible because I’m the one who hired the temp and this happened under my watch. I did the best I could in providing support.”

Make Background Checks Routine, Even for Temps

Always perform background checks, even for temp employees (just like you would for a full-time employee), especially if the temp will be handling any personal or sensitive information. Full-service pre-employment checking companies like DataCheck, LLC can ensure that any temps you hire are fully vetted.

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

Poor Hiring Decisions Lead to Managers Wasting 10 Hours a Week Coaching Underperformers

“Measure twice, cut once” goes the old proverb. What it means – and there are many other proverbs with similar meanings – is that if you do your work carefully the first time, you won’t need to repeat it. Hiring, always a troublesome, time-consuming task, can certainly benefit from this wisdom. Poor employees take up an organization’s time, money and patience, and they’re more common than we might think.

Research conducted by global staffing firm Robert Half found that managers spend more than 10 hours “coaching underperforming employees” during the average work week. This translates to an average of 26 business hours a week coping with employees who don’t know how to do their jobs effectively. Bad hiring decisions can also affect the overall team morale at a company.

“A bad hire is tremendously expensive for a company,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “The time and money managers spend on recruitment and training is lost, and they also have to fix underperformers’ mistakes and deal with their effects on staff morale and productivity. A bad hire signals that your hiring process may be flawed. It could be that you are not putting sufficient weight on soft skills or are overemphasizing qualities that aren’t crucial to the role.”

Fixing the Problem

From this, it seems clear that improving the recruiting and hiring process can greatly benefit most companies. This may mean bringing more people into the HR process, or adding steps for evaluating applications and resumes. It might mean more face-to-face interviews, or peer interviews in which the candidates potential coworkers meet with him or her. It might also mean more background checking of candidates, as “resume fudging” is a common practice today. While some candidates can “wow” in interviews, their education and experience may not be what they claim.

“Don’t skip the reference check,” Robert Half analysts advise. “Nobody loves calling strangers to get information, but the reference check is still one of the best ways to ensure potential employees are who they say they are, especially since resume lies are on the rise.”

Engage Professionals

If you don’t have time to vet every candidate (and who does?) it’s recommended that you engage the services of a professional background check organization.

DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining relevant information about candidates through criminal background checks on a statewide and national level, past employment and background history information, and background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other aspects on individuals for employers nationwide.

Background checks and pre-employment screening are so important. There is a real threat employers are facing today under the legal doctrine “negligent hiring.” Screening your potential employee through a thorough background check allows your human resources department to make the right decisions to avoid lawsuits and other pitfalls.

For more information about DataCheck, visit www.datacheckinc.com or call 949-339-3205.