Running a background check on a potential hire is a best practice in today’s market. Gathering as much information as possible prevents an employer from hiring an unsuitable employee. Never before has so much information been available at the touch of a button. A company that partners with The Screening Source to conduct a Professional Background Check is at much lower risk for hiring an employee that might be a bad fit. The search tools The Screening Source provides to conduct a background check allow speedy access to need-to-know facts from databases everywhere. These tools also keep the background check within state and federal privacy regulations. The search tools are excellent but they are only half of the equation.
There are many laws in place to protect the hiring company and the potential employee. A professional background check service will always require a Disclosure and Release form signed by the applicant prior to the screening and will advise him or her of their rights. The applicant should also receive a copy of the background check results.
Laws and regulations differ between states, locales and even jobs. A professional background check service will have all results reviewed by a licensed investigator to ensure accuracy and report only legally reportable information. Contracting with The Screening Source ensures that all background checks are conducted within relevant laws and regulations.
A savvy hiring manager will examine the big picture instead of fixating on one facet of the potential hire. Focusing on one aspect of a potential hire gives only a partial picture of an applicant’s qualifications. A professional background check will provide an important portion of the information necessary to make an informed decision.
To protect the hiring company, The Screening Source recommends all applicants for the same job get the same background check. This practice helps protect the hiring company. A consistent background check procedure demonstrates that the hiring company is not discriminating against any applicant. Should a background check reveal information that may influence a decision, an in person discussion is suggested. This conversation may clear up inaccurate information or even a misinterpretation on the background check.
Instead of allowing an individual piece of information disclosed on the background check to influence a hiring decision, examine the information as a whole. An individual, or the capacity to do a job, is not limited by one aspect of the past. Studying repeated patterns in a background check allows the hiring company to carry out employment choices in a justifiable manner.
A background check reveals a lot of information about a potential employee. It is easy to focus on what the subject of a background check has done wrong. Remember that there is good information contained in the report as well. Often, the favorable details can tip the scale between proficient applicants.
With so much information available on the Internet, a hiring company may be tempted to conduct background searches on their own. Many computer users have entered a search query only to be overwhelmed with information. Taking time to sift through thousands of hits for accurate and reliable information takes time away from other job duties. Not all information desired in a background check can be accessed through a search engine. Most of the particular facts for a background check must be done by a professional business that specializes in background checks. A company such as The Screening Source has the trained staff and software to ensure the results are relevant, accurate and in compliance with state and federal laws. Contracting with a professional background check company ensures a smooth hiring process.
Did you know that more than half of all identity thefts occur in the workplace? That’s because business owners have files full of confidential employee data– social security numbers, bank routing numbers, dates of birth—yet they often are not careful about keeping that information secure.
It is vital for business owners keep this data safe, both to protect their employees and to avoid liability. A company can be liable for damages if their data is stolen or misused. There are other costs to identify theft, including damaged reputation and lowered productivity (how well do you think an employee will work if he is trying to deal with the unlawful use of his VISA card or social security number?)
What’s the best way to prevent identity theft? Here are some ideas that will help:
- Develop a data protection plan. Make a list of the information you believe to be confidential. Create a written plan detailing how each piece of data will be protected. Develop a protocol, and share it with your employees.
- Shredders. Make it simple for your employees to do the right thing. Have shredders accessible to everyone who has access to confidential information.
- Hire a security manager. Ideally, it is best if there is a person on staff whose job it is to oversee the handling of confidential data. If that is not possible, then assign these duties to a current employee.
- Screen vendors. Do not hire any outside service (bill paying, consulting, etc) without investigating its data security practice
- Secure cabinets. If you use paper files, be sure to store them in locked cabinets. Limit the number of people who have keys.
- Secure offices. It’s not enough to keep this information stored in a cabinet. For added protection, keep those cabinets in a room that can be locked. If you leave town or go on vacation, you can be sure the information is safe and inaccessible.
- Passwords. Digital files should be protected by passwords. These passwords should be complex (containing both numbers and letters). The user should be required to change them every six months.
- Encryption. All confidential data should be encrypted.
- Background checks. Conduct background checks on all employees, both existing and current, who have access to confidential data.
- Digital security. Install firewalls and anti-virus protection on all office computers.
- Process mail promptly. Do not allow business mail to pile up, particularly in a public place like a receptionist’s desk.
It’s impossible to protect yourself from data breaches entirely. However, in the event of a lawsuit, it will help you enormously if you can demonstrate that you took reasonable precautions to protect employee data.
Trying to find the right tenant for a property can be a headache. However, choosing the wrong tenant and having to resolve any issues that they left behind is more like a migraine that will have you kicking yourself. The best way to avoid this is to do a simple tenant screening on your potential tenants. Some landlords and property managers think that a tenant screening may be an unnecessary expense. However, when you meet someone in person, you never know what kind of information they may be misinforming you with. Instead, a simple tenant screening will clear any of that up and help you alleviate any issues, before they actually happen. Here are some reasons why the added expense of a tenant screening is certainly worth it.
Evictions Are A Nightmare
If you are in the real estate game, then you have to know how frustrating evictions are. First of all, they take time out of your day to go and have to deal with the situation on your own. Secondly, no matter how many times you’ve done it, evicting someone is never an easy task. You don’t know how they will react or the things that they might do if they are angry with your decision to evict them, even if they are in the wrong and deserve it. And lastly, if you have to evict someone, that means that you are going to have to go through the entire process of finding someone new, which isn’t likely to be any easier than the first time you did it. The chances of all of this happening can be quickly avoided with a simple tenant screening, which will allow you to see if the potential tenant has any other evictions in their past.
Lost Rent Revenue
Sometimes, before leading up to an eviction, a tenant may choose not to pay their rent. This may actually be the reason that you decide to evict the person. However, if they do not pay their rent on the first and it then takes you any extended amount of time to evict them, this is all lost money that you are having to compensate for. Lost rent revenue is a pain to have to make up, but can be avoided with a tenant screening. That tenant screening is also likely to be much less expensive than the financial loss that you’d take if you had potential lost rent revenue.
Damage To Property
In some cases, an evicted tenant may get angry and damage your property. In other situations, this damaging of property could have been happening for a long time and may actually be the reason they were evicted. Either way, the repairs that you will have to pay for that damage are going to be very expensive. Once again, this is much more expensive than the cost of a simple tenant screening.
There are plenty of reasons that demonstrate why a tenant screening holds its value. The truth of the matter is that finding a good tenant for your property is difficult. Then again, considering the type of investment your property is, it is important to correctly monitor it and make sure you have the best potential tenant living there. And the way to find that person, is through a tenant screening.
Fair Credit Reporting Act – FCRA
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) promotes the fairness, accuracy and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies.
Fair Labor Standards Act – FLSA
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – EEOC
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) administers and ensures Agency compliance with the laws, regulations, policies, and guidance that prohibit discrimination in the Federal workplace based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, genetic information, or reprisal.
Americans with Disabilities Act – ADA
The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964  which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal.
The Value of Background Checks
One of the greatest resources to help us live our daily lives and realize our dreams is having people around us who we can trust, including our friends, families, and neighbors. The Screening Source understands that most people slowly learn more about the people around them by asking questions and making a judgement about their character at a later time.
ROI – Return on Investment
While the focus of The Screening Source is on protecting your business or organization; we are still always aware of the fact that the bottom line is ROI. While there are very real benefits to background screenings involving personal safety and company reputation, we understand that you want to know that the expense of these services pays off in dollars and cents.
Experience has shown us that the return on investment for our screening process is huge. In fact, you can weigh the cost of screening a new employee against every single potential downside expense and realize a profit in the balance. A single incident can end up becoming damaging to a business. While background screenings are a real expense, their cost easily pales in comparison to the potential loss from any one of these dangers:
- Discrimination Lawsuits
- Workplace Violence
- Employee Theft
- Company Scandal
- Training Costs of Bad Hires
- Lost Production
- Identity Theft
- Intellectual Property Theft
The cost of workplace violence is more than financial. When it happens, the costs are also emotional and physical. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, describes workplace violence as any action or threat at a place of employment that involves physical violence, intimidation or harassment. In fact, it can be any form of disruptive behavior that threatens others in the workplace. As an employer, you may struggle to hire new employees. To make the process easier and safer, consider using an employment screening service since as many as 10 percent of job applicants have some type of criminal history. Keep in mind that those with a violent past often cause violence in the future.
Totaling the Financial Costs
According to a report ordered by the Department of Justice, the United States faces about 1.7 million incidents of workplace violence annually. Assaults that occur in the workplace cause approximately 500,000 workers to miss an estimated 1,751,000 days of work while those who suffer instances of workplace violence lose about $55 million in wages. Workplace violence causes employers to lose an estimated $4.2 billion yearly. Indirect costs in the form of insurance, negative public images and productivity losses increase the total cost to employers to as much as $36 billion a year. Employment screening services can help you save money since it includes a complete background check on job candidates to look for a history of violence or negative interactions with law enforcement.
When employees face violence at their place of employment, the situation can result in legal action against the employer. For instance, workers may file civil suits for negligent supervision, hiring or retention. A third party individual could also file a claim for damages, so if a violent workplace situation harms one or more of your company’s customers, then you could face this kind of legal action. By taking advantage of employment screening services, you may be able to avoid legal trouble.
Addressing Workplace Violence
Employers often handle the possibility of workplace violence by establishing zero-tolerance policies, installing security systems and providing employee training to help workers recognize dangerous situations. In some cases, employers pay for therapy as well as general assistance services. However, the best option is to avoid hiring someone who will put your company, staff and customers in danger, so consider working with a company that provides employment screening services.
An Ounce of Prevention
Employment screening services can simplify your hiring process while increasing the security of your company. With comprehensive screening, you can avoid bringing people into your business who will put your trusted workforce and your company’s stability at risk.