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Feb 4 14

Are the Long-Term Unemployed Unsuitable Candidates?

by Ryan Cowsert
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Companies evaluate resumes on a daily basis.  Hiring managers look at past experience, educational background, trade-specific skills, and for some, the amount of time elapsed since the candidate was last employed. The topic of the Long Term Unemployed has been gaining significant attention well beyond HR circles.  Candidates with gaps in work history may have taken time off since their last position for a multitude of reasons, one of which certainly may be the economy and resulting difficult job market. One generalization is that these candidates aren’t particularly “quality” candidates due to the amount of time they have been on the market since their last position.  Every person in the US has been affected in some way by the economic crisis, some more than others and countless have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

On Jan. 31st hundreds of business leaders and elected officials traveled to the White House to meet with President Obama to discuss the Long-Term Unemployed.  During this meeting, President Obama stated that “Every worker needs a fair and equal chance to find a job” .  The White House is asking employers to examine their corporate hiring practices and commit to eliminating discrimination against applicants who have been unemployed for long stretches of time.

Over 300 of the nation’s largest employers such as Wal-Mart, Apple, General Motors and Ford Motor Company have already committed to the initiative. These companies believe that with one of the toughest economies amongst us that the gaps of unemployment, should not be seen as a “red flag but as a white one”.   President Obama has pledged to take steps to ensure that employers do not discriminate against long-term unemployed among job applicants.  The first step taken by his office was the issuance of a memorandum distributed to the heads of executive departments and agencies which directs the Federal Government, America’s largest employer, to lead by example and and review their recruiting and hiring practices relating to eliminating undue obstacles such as long term unemployment.

The White House will continue their initiative to secure commitments from more companies that they will not show bias against applicants who have been out of work for more than six months.

For more on this topic or all other items HR related please feel free to contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or Info@credentialcheck.com

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Jan 28 14

It’s Not Just About the Job Anymore

by John J. Byrne
It's Not Just About the Job Anymore

Higher Education Steps Up Vetting of Advanced Degree Candidates

 

Students applying for admission to advanced degree programs are finding out that background checks are no longer relegated to the realm of pre-employment activities.  Many universities have begun to implement verification programs for their candidates.

As Melissa Korn writes in her January 15, 2014 blog for The Wall Street Journal, many institutions have put in place rigorous background check processes such as verification of “…employment, education and even anecdotes from essays.”

She goes on to cite examples of people who gained admission to various prestigious graduate programs, only to later be expelled upon discovery of falsifications of transcripts.  It is becoming more common now, however, that inconsistencies on applications are being detected prior to admission.

Several schools would occasionally conduct random checks, but more and more of them are now implementing comprehensive vetting programs.  Some schools, those without robust verification policies, might conduct an occasional Internet search then direct questions about inconsistencies to the applicant themselves, but such places are becoming less common.

The moral of the story is this: for those seeking admission to an institution of higher learning for acceptance into an advanced degree program, disclose accurately and truthfully all elements asked for on the application.  This can be a stressful process, with potentially great risks and rewards, which can present temptation to “stretch” the truth.  Remember this, though…it’s not just about the job anymore!

For more information on these topics or all other things HR related please contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or info@credentialcheck.com

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Jan 22 14

Dawn Standerwick of Credential Check Appointed Secretary of NAPBS Board of Directors

by Business Development
NAPBS logo

Troy, MI

January 8, 2014

Credential Check is delighted to announce that Dawn Standerwick, Vice President of Business Development, has been appointed Secretary of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Board of Directors, Executive Committee.

Credential Check is a global provider of on demand workforce screening services and HR technology solutions that have assisted employers in making informed hiring decisions for nearly 30 years.  NAPBS is a professional organization that was formed in 2003 to promote ethical business practices and compliance with state and federal laws and to foster awareness regarding consumer protection and privacy rights.  Credential Check is a founding member of NAPBS which currently serves over 800 member companies in the US and internationally.

“It is truly an honor to be selected by my peers to fulfill the role of Secretary for NAPBS and to represent our profession in this capacity”, says Standerwick.  “I fully stand behind the mission of NAPBS and look forward to advancing the goals of our association.”

Dawn Standerwick has been an active, contributing member since 2006 and at the time of her appointment was serving her second term on the Board of Directors as a Member Director.  She also served as the Chair of the Grassroots Sub-Committee under the Government Relations Committee and participates in annual meetings in DC with legislators and regulatory agencies.

“We are very proud of the significant contributions Dawn has made to NAPBS and, as a result, to our profession”, says Michael Pachuta, President of Credential Check.  “As a founding member of NAPBS, our continued support of this organization readily translates to our mission of empowering employers to make informed and compliant hiring decisions.”

 

About Credential Check

Credential Check Corporation is a leading, global screening firm providing on demand access to reliable and compliant workforce screening services that enables our clients to quickly make informed hiring decisions.  The company’s extensive set of competencies and sound business processes have been developed and refined over nearly 30 years in business enabling us to consistently provide the highest-caliber services to businesses of every size.  Credential Check delivers vertical specific solutions to meet the needs of companies across a broad spectrum of industries including Healthcare, Government, Transportation, Staffing, Education and Retail.   We expertly serve the global community and extend access to vital information from more than 250 countries and territories to support the needs of multi-national companies and those from abroad working in the United States.

About NAPBS

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) is an organization that exists to promote ethical business practices, promote compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) laws, and foster awareness of issues related to consumer protection and privacy rights within the background screening industry. Founded in 2003, NAPBS was established to represent the interests of companies offering employment and tenant background screening services and has grown to include international chapters.

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Jan 8 14

Don’t Always Believe What You Read!

by John J. Byrne
Don't Always Believe What You Read!

If you are an employer and you use, or are considering using the services of an employment agency, be vigilant.  When such an agency sends you an applicant’s resume you assume they have performed a thorough background screening and verified the information contained within the applicant’s resume, correct?

Not so fast!  In a recent article I read in the Hartford Sentinel, a story was relayed about an attorney looking to hire someone with good office skills who could work afternoons.  The attorney made it clear to the employment agency that he did not need a paralegal or a legal secretary, merely someone who could help around the office with some of the administrative work.

Soon, the employment agency provided an “impressive resume” for the “perfect candidate.”  The attorney, however, was suspicious due to the remarkable credentials claimed by the job applicant.  After a bit of investigation and a conversation with the applicant, the attorney discovered that much of what the applicant claimed on the resume was, in fact, a stretch, if not an outright fabrication.

As an employer, be sure to conduct your own due diligence to know what type, if any, background checked was performed and insist that the type of background check aligns with your own screening policies and standards.

In another, real life, story, I will tell you of a potentially tragic failure within the medical profession related to the lack of proper background screening.

While working in an undercover investigative capacity with a major law enforcement agency, I was contacted by a hospital administrator about a “physician” seeking privileges at the administrator’s hospital.  The administrator made a quick call to verify the claimed credentials, and the stated medical school had never heard of the “physician.”

Long story short, after lengthy investigation I determined that the “physician” seeking hospital privileges was not really a physician at all.  After briefly attending a foreign medical school the “physician” returned after a holiday to find the medical school out of business with the doors chained shut.  Desperate for a solution to the predicament, the “physician” engaged the services of a “consultant” who ultimately provided a “medical degree” from a well-known U.S. medical school.  The “physician” then practiced cardio-thoracic surgery for several years at numerous medical facilities around the U.S.  The “physician” went to prison.  How did this happen?  No previous employers ever conducted a proper background screening…amazing!

Bottom line, H. Dennis Beaver, the attorney writing for the Hartford Sentinel cautions, “Before reaching a decision to hire, employers should insist upon a full-blown pre-employment screening by a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. It will usually cost less than one day’s pay and could save you a fortune.”

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Dec 19 13

Words of Encouragement

by Ryan Cowsert
Motivate-yourself-now

What can we do to encourage those we work with? Most people desire to do something that matters, something important. I feel that those around us are the most important resources we have in our lives and impacting their everyday life in a positive way is something we should all try to do.

I learned how important the topic of encouragement was through one of my recent posts on LinkedIn that was nothing more than a motivational quote “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain. This post was viewed over 2,000 times and Cliked by more than 200 LinkedIn connections within the first day.  People love to be encouraged; it is one of the most empowering feelings that can unleash great things for those that receive it.

Below I have included a few of my favorite quotes on encouragement. I hope that they inspire you to make a difference in someone’s life during the season of giving.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, your right.” – Henry Ford

For more information on the topic above, and everything else HR related please contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or info@credentialcheck.com

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Dec 11 13

Is One Background Check Enough?

by Dawn Standerwick
screen rinse repeat

Having a workforce screening program in place is commonplace for the majority of companies.  There is a distinct realization as to the legal implications that not having a program in place creates as well as the value it brings to the organization overall.  One area that is often missed within a comprehensive screening policy is the inclusion some type of ongoing monitoring or periodic screening process.

In order to achieve the goals of a company’s screening program, the background check or drug test is often not just a one-time review.

Could companies have liability for crimes that their employees commit if they have a documented history of that behavior post hire?  The answer is absolutely.  Conducting a background check to proactively mitigate risk against negligent hiring claims is the basis of most programs and historically for many companies was just a one-time check into a prospective employee’s history.  Many organizations recognize the critical importance that an ongoing review has within their policy, not only to mitigate risk, but also to ensure that the essence of their workforce screening policy continues to be upheld.

There are many types of annual, semi-annual or periodic programs available that can assist companies to economically achieve their screening goals on an ongoing basis.  Depending upon the duties of each position, the type of checks may differ and, for some, may be more critical to conduct.  For instance, companies that have drivers (non-DOT) may consider reviewing each driver’s history annually.   If substance abuse testing is part of the pre-employment screening process, does the organization have a random, post-accident and reasonable suspicion program as part of their policy?  Many states offer incentives for having a drug free workplace policy in place and participants enjoy reduced workers’ compensation rates and reduced awards for individuals who test positive post-accident.

Companies whose employees have a high degree of interaction with vulnerable populations or that have employees working in home or public environments where there is little to no supervision, should certainly consider implementing an ongoing monitoring program.

Companies with ongoing programs demonstrate that they take active interest in the safety of those individuals with whom their employees come in to contact with, even if just within their own organization.

The cost of not having an ongoing screening program in place has the potential of far exceeding any time or money spent on ensuring that a company’s standards for their workforce continue to be met.

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Dec 4 13

It’s a Great Time to Review Your Workforce Screening Programs

by Ryan Cowsert
evaluate

I was reading a recent news article from the LA Times which reported that the LA County Sheriff’s Department recently admitted to hiring roughly 280 officers with troubled, and in some cases, criminal pasts.  The agents hired had documented issues from unnecessary force to dishonesty, to lying on polygraph exams and hiring prostitutes, yet, the hiring managers still hired these individuals.

The number of companies who don’t perform a pre-employment background check is dwindling.  The majority of companies engage with a professional screening firm to manage these programs for a number of reasons.  With 2013 coming to a close, it is a time that many companies take time to review their current programs and set their sights on changes for the New Year.

Below I’ve outlined a few key areas to consider as you review your current program and screening partner:

  • Compliance: ensure the company strictly follows the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and has the ability to assist you in remaining compliant.  We saw lawsuits against employers and screening firms for sub-standard practices.  Some of these, the employer had outsourced processes to their background screening company to manage and they weren’t compliant.
  • Technology: This could be a make or break for all sizes of organizations. If the technology isn’t user friendly, keep looking!  Many screening firms are integrated with popular Applicant Tracking, e-learning/e-training and payroll providers.  Significant efficiencies can be gained by using an integrated company, but, don’t think that just because they are integrated that they are a good fit for your company.  You can and should be selective.
  • Off-Shoring: Ask if your screening company sends any part of its operations overseas or if candidate data is accessed on US servers from abroad.   The potential liability created for companies and the trauma it could cause a candidate is immeasurable.  Many companies do not find it fits with their company culture to put their candidates and employees at risk for identity theft.
  • Service Offering: Many companies want a single source provider for all workforce screening programs.  This is great in theory and there are many firms that offer drug testing, occupational health screening (physicals and breath alcohol testing), assessments etc.  It is important to make sure they have the knowledge and experience to capably manage all facets of your programs.

Credential Check has a patented process for evaluating your screening program to ensure it meets your intended goals.   For more information or assistance in examining your screening program, please contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or info@credentialcheck.com

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Nov 20 13

Background Screening Class Action Lawsuit Underscores Importance of Compliance & Accuracy

by Dawn Standerwick
lawsuit

A background screening entity has settled class action lawsuits totaling $18 million dollars.  The allegation is that it failed to ensure that the reports it sold to employers met the “maximum possible accuracy” requirement under the law (FCRA).

It is 100% the fault of the background screening company if their work product did not observe the ‘maximum possible accuracy’ standard.  I submit that the market also shares some culpability as all too often we see employers demand information from their screening firm that does not meet a suitable standard.

As an industry professional with 22 years of experience in the screening profession, I can tell you that often the market (employer) demands that information be provided as quickly and cheaply as possible.  This is part of the problem.  Many screening professionals lament that our services have become a commodity where the cheapest price wins the business.  Where there is a demand, someone in the market will bend to supply it and often that is raw database information that has not been properly reviewed and verified.

This is a perfect case in point to illustrate that “cheap” is not the route employers should take with something as important as their workforce screening program.  Companies must realize that to provide a safe work environment for their employees and the public and to minimize negligent hiring risks, it is not about simply saying they performed a background check.  It is imperative that the background check was conducted according to best practices, is compliant and was properly reviewed for accuracy.  Employers must construct a program with careful consideration given as to the impact upon the candidate and create a program where ethical processes and high standards are vital components.  A sub-standard program hurts the candidate, the employer and the screening profession at large.

Many companies in our profession believe that it is inappropriate to report information that comes from a data broker database that has not been verified with the originating source of the information (I.e. the court).  These are often called a “national” criminal search which implies that it is a comprehensive search.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Information maintained by data brokers can be inaccurate for a variety of reasons.  To achieve the ‘maximum possible accuracy’ standard under the law, we do not pass this un-vetted data along to our clients, even if they ask us to.

Does it take more time to verify the information?  Yes, but not a lot.  Is it more expensive to do it the right way?  Yes, but not a lot.  This is the way with most things in life.  There are things that may well be worth the gamble, but, others that are clearly not worth risking.  I have been known to point out that the savings between doing it the wrong way and doing it right is usually a fraction of what one hour’s time with an attorney would cost.  In these cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees will be paid which hopefully underscores that it is not worth saving a few bucks given the likely outcome of getting sued.  Not to mention that people can be hurt.  Lives can be ruined and honest, hardworking people can be adversely affected by a sub-standard background check.

For more information about this topic or Credential Check’s services, please contact us at (888) 689.2000 or info@credentialcheck.com.

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Nov 11 13

Hire our Heroes

by Suzanne Winfield
american-flag (1)

The name to our Blog is “HR Solutions”.  On this Veteran’s Day I would like to ask our HR associates to be the Solution for our Veterans.  These brave and patriotic men and women have served our country so that we may continue to enjoy the life we have.  Their sacrifices provide us with the Freedom we wake up with every morning.  Some of you are also Veterans and can truly appreciate what our men and women have had to endure.

Our Veteran’s are experiencing one of the Highest levels of Unemployment in the history of our country as they are returning home from active duty.  They are qualified and trained individuals with tremendous skill sets, however, they are being over looked due to Not having the “Civilian” world’s certifications that some HR Departments are requiring. Their resumes are not even being chosen due to this issue.

Below is a quote from an article that appeared in “The Blaze” regarding one Veteran’s search for employment:

“My struggle was not as tough as some,” Tulloch told The Blaze. “The Marine Corps trained me but I didn’t have the certification the HR people are looking for.”

It’s time for us to be pro-active and assist our returning men and women in this transition back into the work force.  Are you participating in a Veteran Career Fair?   Do you have a “hire a Veteran” program within your organization?  What can you and your communities do to help our Veterans find employment?

This Veteran’s day, please show our Veteran’s that you care.  It’s not just another day off from School or from Work.  It’s a day to show respect and Honor to those that serve our great country.

It’s time to Hire our Heroes and show them that we care.

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Nov 4 13

Credential Check to Host Tampa Networking Event

by Dawn Standerwick

Credential Check is pleased to host a networking event in Tampa on Tuesday, November 5thfrom 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Maestro’s on the River (right next to the Straz Center) for an evening of networking, food and fun!

The venue is a perfect setting to welcome members of the local HR community (HR Tampa & Suncoast HR) and local business owners.

We will have a special guest, Charles Klug, Director of the Port Authority, who will speak briefly regarding recent newsworthy topics in Channelside at 6:30 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event is sure to be a great time and offer a great opportunity to network.   The event is being hosted by Fisher & Phillips, Sentinel Screening, Credential Check, Oasis Outsourcing and PNC Bank.  The event is free to attend and hors d’ oeuvres and drinks will be served.

Please join us for a night of food, fun and networking!  To RSVP, click here.

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