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5 Reasons Why You Should Get a Personal Background Check

Aren’t we all looking for a leg up when on the job hunt? Simply knowing a little more about yourself might be the boost you need when walking into an interview.

Suppose you aren’t sure you know what is on your criminal record, motor vehicle record, and/or any other legal criteria. Whether you are new to the job market, diving back in after many years, or just curious, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what might show up on your background report.

Five reasons why you should get started with a personal background check:

  1. Avoid Surprises– When you run a personal background check on yourself, you eliminate the element of surprise when asked questions about your background.
  2. Check for Accuracy– Taking a deep dive into the internet won’t always give you accurate answers. Searching on public databases may give you some information about yourself, but the information has not been verified. We recommend working with a reliable background check company (like One Source) to receive accurate real-time, original source answers.
  3. Be Proactive– By running a personal search, you can check if the information on your report is correct and up to date. If you find inaccurate information, you can work to get things cleared up to ensure you are disclosing information to the potential employer accurately when asked.
  4. Get a Competitive Edge – In this day of age, you need any advantage you can get when searching for a job. Go above and beyond. Know what is on your background check to be prepared to answer any question that may come up during an interview.
  5. Peace of Mind– Job hunting is stressful enough. So, before you even start the interview process, choose to put your success first. Receive accurate answers from a reliable screening source.

Getting ahead of potential concerns and being proactive might make more of a positive impression on your potential employer. Overshadowing anything questionable in your past. Run a personal background check with One Source to know you’re receiving compliant and thorough reporting.

If you are interested in running a personal background check, start here!

Want to learn more about One Source? Check out our solutions page to see how we can help empower others with informed decisions. Connect with One Source on our social media LinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter.

Blueprint to a Compliant Background Check Process

Conducting background checks is a simple way to help mitigate the risk of a bad hire, but they can add some trouble right back on your organization without being done correctly.

Background checks conducted by third-party background screening firms (like One Source) are considered ‘Consumer Reports’ by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). What does that mean? Simply put, you must adhere to their rules and regulations and ensure you comply with the plethora of federal, state, and local laws. Not complying with these rules and regulations could result in steep fines, lawsuits, and sometimes even class action settlements.

Using a Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) accredited background screening firm is an easy step to be sure you are building a team compliantly for your organization.

Here are Four Best Practices for Compliance to ensure you have a successful blueprint for compliant background screening:

  1. Background Check Policy

Before you start screening applicants for employment, it is crucial to have a policy in place. In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its Enforcement Guidance on the use of background screening in the employment hiring process. What should this Policy include?

  • Purpose – Identify the reason you are running the background check; for example pre-employment.
  • Scope – What types of background checks are you running? How often are you screening applicants, upon hire, annually?
    • Not sure where to start? The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides a great template to help you get started. Read more.
  • Process – How will you be reviewing offenses and determining what is acceptable or not? Onboarding should be consistent within position levels when making determinations. Onboarding managers need to assess the potential risks and liabilities related to the position’s requirements to determine whether you should onboard the applicant through individualized assessments if in the context of employment.
    • The EEOC recommends you consider the nature and gravity of the offense, the time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence, and the nature of the job sought to ensure that the exclusion is essential for the position.
  1. Disclosure* and Authorization

Now that you have a screening policy in place, you are ready to begin the background screening process. The next thing you need to do is obtain Disclosure and Authorization from the applicant. The FCRA outlines this for employers, and the FTC has guidance available here. *Disclosures are only required under the permissible purpose of employment.

Be sure to:

  • Inform the applicant or employee that you may use the results of the consumer report for decisions related to their employment. This notice must be in writing and in a stand-alone format.
  • Gather written consent from the applicant or employee. If you want to use this authorization throughout the duration of the individual’s employment, you must state that clearly and conspicuously.
  • Review federal, state, and local laws and include applicable notices. Your screening vendor should provide these to you.

One Source provides all clients a compliant Disclosure and Authorization form, which you can find here

  1. Quality of Data

In the background screening world, there are two main ways that Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) conduct criminal background searches. The first is by conducting real-time, original source record searches directly from the source. The second is utilizing a database or repository.

Database searches, while fast and inexpensive, provide non-compliant data. Record information is often not updated regularly and pulled from archived sources. These inconsistencies leave gaps and holes for outdated information and error galore. While these searches are often the most affordable solution, they can lead to costly lawsuits and ligation.

Be sure that your background checks include live, real-time court records. Original source records mean your vendor is going directly to the courthouse to obtain information that is up to date and as accurate as possible, eliminating errors caused by expungements, dismissed records, and recent convictions that may otherwise be missing.

  1. Adverse Action

Before making a final employment decision based in whole or in part on the background check results, the employer must provide a Pre-Adverse Action Notice, a copy of the background report, and their Summary of Rights Under the FCRA.

This process allows the applicant to review their report, and if necessary, dispute the accuracy of the findings. The timing and actions required during this process are crucial to staying compliant. You can learn more about how employers and applicants should handle adverse action here.

Don’t let the compliance of background screening seem daunting. The blueprint to a compliance screening process is simple; have a rock-solid background check policy, compliant disclosure and authorization forms, quality, real-time data in your reports, and follow the adverse action process.

The best part of it all is that One Source is here to help you through the process. Reach out at any time for a free review of your process from start to finish.

Reference Checks Made Easy

One of the most time-consuming pieces of onboarding can be the process of contacting an applicant’s references. Traditional phone-based reference checking requires finding time to learn more about an applicant. This can also cause delays on when an individual can start a position – leaving room for the possible loss of onboarding good, quality applicants for your organization.

One Source offers a leading reference checking solution to provide you with an online, automated process that delivers fast results. This streamlined process of conducting reference checks makes it easier for both the onboarding professional and the applicant.

How simple is it?

Once the account is set up and you select the questions you wish to ask. Which are either specific to your organization or standard approved questions, your account will be ready.

  1. The applicant and reference information are entered in the solution.
  2. Reference requests are then automatically sent via email or text. This makes it quick and easy for them to respond anytime, anyplace.
  3. The reference completes a short and confidential online questionnaire.
  4. Receive the reference response on a document that will be attached to the report to review.

The process is that simple.

A frequent complaint about reference checking is that applicants select references who will say only positive things about them. This is not the case because the survey allows contacts to respond freely and confidentially. Which encourages the reference to answer more honestly. 83% of all reference providers provide comments on an applicant’s areas of improvement.

Benefits of Reference Checks:

  • Reduce Turnover – Client research results show involuntary first-year turnover can be reduced by over 35%.
  • Increase Efficiency and Cost-Effectiveness – Free up recruiting teams from time-consuming phone-tag, data collection, and reporting tasks – so they can focus on finding great candidates. The solution provides a significant return on investment when you add considerable staff time savings, lower potential turnover costs, and reduce third-party expenses.
  • Enhance Satisfaction of Onboarding Managers – Provide onboarding managers detailed reports showing feedback, candidate summaries, and behavioral interview guides.
  • Convenient, Cloud-based, and Mobile – Makes it easy to get started and for candidates and references to respond anytime, anywhere — even via text messages.

If this service sounds like something you would like to incorporate into your onboarding, watch our recorded webinar, “Reference Checks Made Easy.” We go in-depth on how the reference process works through a demo, along with information on how this service provides you with more data, time, and money compared to traditional references.

Sign up to watch our webinar here! You can also contact the One Source Client Relations Team to learn about our other services to help streamline your onboarding process.

 

How to Personalize Your Background Screening Process

Every organization is unique in their own way. Different organizations have different needs. And that’s no different when it comes to building and maintaining internal teams.

So, shouldn’t your background screening process be made to meet those unique needs? What if you want to screen one position level differently from another position? How do you go about this? The answer: Customizable background screening packages.

Many background check companies offer generic packages with no option to customize your solution. Here at One Source, there are many ways to tailor your screening to what works for you, and the different position levels you hire. Therefore, incorporating services such as drug screening, employment verification, social media searches, and many more make it simple to do so.  Let’s dig into what some of these services offer:

Drug Screening

Are you looking to maintain a drug-free workplace? Whether for safety reasons or something else, adding drug screening can help as you work to maintain a drug-free environment. Drug testing with One Source combines drug testing results into the background check, streamlining the entire employee screening process.

Employment Verification

Employment verification is one of the crucial keys to finding quality. One Source contacts previous employers to verify: dates of employment, wages/salary*, rehire status, and more. Previous employment is the largest source of falsification on applications. That’s why we recommend you utilize this robust service.
*There are some cities, municipalities, and states that do not allow salary verification and/or have strict restrictions that come into play when requesting it.

Social Media Records

Social media screening may seem like a task your HR department can do themselves. But reviewing an applicant’s online presence isn’t exactly the most reliable or ethical way to conduct a thorough and compliant search. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliant social media hiring report involves a combination of technology and human expert analytics to correctly identify an applicant’s online presence on any publicly available website.

Motor Vehicle Record Search

If your business acquires drivers, a motor vehicle record search might be in your best interest. The information is obtained from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) agency. The report shows information like the issue and expiration date of the license and if the applicant has committed any traffic violations, and if the license is current,  suspended, or revoked.

These are just a few of the many a la carte services we offer to enhance your screening. If you are interested in learning more about other services, check out more on our Solutions Page or reach out to our Client Relations Team.

Don’t forget to connect with us on Social Media, LinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter.

Should you continuously monitor your staff?

When you are in the process of onboarding an employee or volunteer, it is routine to run a background check to help you make an informed decision. What about later down the road, though? What about criminal offenses following the initial background check? Continuous monitoring is a way to automatically screen your workers to make sure they continue to uphold the same standards you set when they first joined your organization.

What many employers may not realize is that it is good practice to run continuous background checks even after the job offer. Continuously monitoring helps protect your organization, employees, and customers, as well as prevent noncompliance that occurs after the hiring process has been completed.

Let’s take a closer look at continuous monitoring and how it works.

What is continuous monitoring?

Continuous monitoring is an automated search of over 650 million records, including a Global Report, Multi-Court Jurisdictional Database, and National Sex Offender Registry.* The individual’s names you choose to provide will be rerun each month to check for new records. If flagged, an additional county criminal, statewide if available, the search will be added to verify the accuracy of the flag.

While most organizations try and onboard individuals who are trustworthy, at the end of the day, there is no way to predict what the future holds when it comes to criminal activity. The concept of adding a monitoring service is to stay on alert to new criminal offenses and changes in sex offender registration to better inform you of the individuals within your organization.

*Specific to continuous monitoring with One Source.

How do you start the process?

  1. Establish a continuous monitoring policy that is compliant with state and federal employment laws and regulations.
  2. Enroll in continuous monitoring service(s).
    – Monitoring searches can be customized based on your needs.
  3. Provide a roster of individuals you would like included in your continuous monitoring.
  4. One Source uploads the orders.
    – We will run an initial search to verify the names on the list.
  5.  Now the monthly monitoring process begins.
    – This will be rerun on the 1st of every month.

To stay compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), verified records will always be provided.

Ready to get started?

Incorporating continuous monitoring into your screening process could be the difference in creating a safer environment for your organization. To keep the trust between you and your employees/volunteers, make sure your continuous monitoring policy is clearly stated when they are onboarded and then reminded on an annual basis. You want to have shared expectations between both parties when you start your continuous monitoring. If you are interested in learning more or would like to add this service to your process, contact us here.

For more information on background screening, check out our blog or get in touch today.

Connect with us through social media LinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter.

Should I screen my furloughed or laid off employees if they come back?

Furlough. Layoffs. Remote employees. The arrival of COVID-19 created a tidal wave of change for businesses of all sizes. As retail and office spaces begin to reopen, HR departments and leadership will be working together to establish return-to-work plans focused on safety, operational efficiency, and government-mandated protocols. Depending on whether employees were furloughed, laid off or able to work from home, businesses will need to take a close look at their new employee processes. Businesses need to determine whether it is necessary for them to be screening furloughed employees. 

Were your employees furloughed or laid off?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to implement the hiring process for furloughed employees. Legally, they remained an employee. So while you may not need to go through an application process,  reviewing contracts, salary, and benefits may be necessary. This could also be a good time to conduct a new screening of furloughed employees.

Lay-offs terminate existing contracts. If a business would like to re-employ an individual, it’s in their best interest to treat it as a new hire. It may be possible to relax some procedures, but weigh the risks before you change anything. Consider each layer of your process and carefully determine why or why not it’s necessary to follow each step. This should include everything from application forms to background checks. Furthermore, be prepared to explain to your re-hires that these screenings are in the best interest of the company moving forward.

Is this a good time to review state and local laws?

As leaders discuss plans for reopening, in addition to reviewing policies and employee handbooks, it is just as important to review current federal, state and local laws. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if a former employee is rehired within three years of the origination date of the original Form I-9, employers have the option to either use the same form or complete a new one. Electing to utilize the previously completed form could help streamline the hiring and onboarding processes. This will allow you time to screen re-hires.

Businesses considering bringing employees back can also consider a solution that isn’t simply keeping all processes or eliminating others. When it comes to background screening, our team can work with yours to build a customized background screening program. We can help minimizes risk and supports your hiring process and goals. You may not yet know if you’ll re-screen returning members, but our services can give you confidence in your decision.

Protesting and background screenings: Is your business prepared?

Over 10,000 arrests in the last three weeks are from protests. These arrests vary widely and can be tricky for HR departments. When it comes to business policy, protesting and background screenings: What impact could an arrest due to protesting have on a prospective or current employee?

How arrests can impact a person’s record

Some arrests made this month are due to violent behavior. However, most are less serious crimes or petty infractions. These arrests include things like obstructing traffic and being out past curfew. A majority of protest-related arrests will be released without charges. But if an applicant is charged with a crime, then the arrest could rise to the surface during a pre-employment background check. One Source does not report arrest records—they cannot be considered in the hiring process. Other credit reporting agencies may report arrest records, but you will be unable to use them in hiring.

Each state handles cases like these differently. So people might now know whether their arrest will be removed from their record. Complex court systems and tedious administrative processes just add to the challenge. All of these challenges encourage businesses of all sizes and industries to take a closer look at their policies. 

Creating policies regarding criminal records

One Source tailors the pre-employment screening to the specific needs and concerns of your business. Flexibility is especially useful in the instance of protesting. For arrests made for non-violent infractions, businesses can emit these records from the screening. One Source offers these arrest reports, but they cannot be used for hiring purposes. Sharing your business’s policies with our team and discussing any additional requirements you have allows us to develop an appropriate, and thorough, screening to support your policies.

Consider your approach to social media checks, too

In addition to criminal records as they relate to protesting, it may be necessary to discuss your approach to any social media screening your business does as part of its hiring process. Outline your expectations and policies specific to social media can save your internal team time. This also helps inform potential (and existing) employees. One Source offers Fair Credit Reporting Act compliant social media checks, should you choose to screen social media.

As our world continues to evolve, take time to review and create policies to reflect what’s currently happening. This can help your business plan and prepare for what’s next. Develop policies to guide your HR processes and minimize hiring bias, improve screenings and enhance communications with prospective and current employees. Rely on the specialized expertise of your business partners, like us, to offer recommendations and opportunities that support your needs.

If you currently don’t have a policy in place regarding arrests due to protesting—for applicants and employees—this could be the right time to start an internal conversation.

One Source Celebrates National Consumer Protection Week

One Source The Background Check Company is celebrating National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) March 2nd-6th, alongside government agencies and organizations nationwide. During this week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  focuses on helping individuals understand their consumer rights and protect their personal information. One Source is joining in to help employers and applicants understand what information a screening agency collects and how it’s used and secured.


What information is collected?

Two types of information is collected: Personally identifiable information and non-personally identifiable information. Personally identifiable information (PII) is just what it seems, any information that can identify you (such as your name, address, and IP address). It does not include statistical information. Based on your relationship with the screening agency, you may be asked to provide certain PII. Non-personally identifiable information (non-PII) cannot be used to trace the identity of an individual. It’s simply data that is anonymous.  Non-PII is usually collected by businesses to track and understand the digital behavior of their consumers.


Why information is collected and with whom it is shared?

Most information collected by a screening agency is for the purpose of screening an individual consumer. The background check is only done upon the request of a user who has a permissible purpose under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to request information on that consumer. In cases of employment as a permissible purpose, the FCRA requires a user to certify to the screening agency that it has obtained the written consent of the consumer to request information before the requested screening information can be supplied.


How is the collected information used?

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe, smooth, efficient, and customized experience. Personal information, such as date of birth and social security number, is never shared unless required to verify a record and then is only shared once the vendor has been fully vetted.

Learn about One Source’s Privacy Policy, including how information is secured and data retention here.

As a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), One Source and our clients must be aware of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Check out for more tips for Employers’ on the Fair Credit Reporting Act here. More information is also available at http://www.ftc.gov/ncpw.

To learn more, contact One Source Client Relations.

OSCC Quarter 3 Report

Each quarter, we run a report to review the results of our One Source Certified Contractors (OSCC) program. This program is a rigorous check used to help decipher eligibility for site access with our TotalCheck background screening packages and the option of drug screening. From schools to construction sites, OSCC offers the screening you would normally require for your employees, to contractors who might otherwise go un-screened.

Minimum requirements include:

  • No felony or misdemeanor convictions for crimes involving weapons, drugs, violence, theft, robbery, burglary, terroristic threats or sexual offenses*
  • A negative drug test for amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates and phencyclidines (if drug screening option has been chosen by site)

Quarter 3 findings:

The Quarter 3 Report shows the OSCC program has continued to increase safety for many organizations. In Quarter 3, the total number of applicants screened reached well over 4,500 applicants. From this total, 343 applicants did not meet the minimum requirements, therefore denied site access. The OSCC screening process is to help organizations make educated decisions when it comes to the contractors they have on-site.

 

Check out the breakdown of the 343 applicants who failed to gain site access through our screening below.

To learn more about these results or our OSCC program, contact our OSCC Team.

 

*Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

 

NEW & IMPROVED: Our One Source Certified Contractors (OSCC) User Guides have been updated. Check out our updated guides here!

 

How far back does a background check report?

FAQs about the background check process

Background checks are common for volunteer organizations and nearly universal for employers. The vast majority of job seekers will go through the background check process several times through their career. However, few people ever see the results of their reports or know how reports can influence hiring decisions.

Below are some frequently asked questions about the behind-the-scenes of background screenings, so you can be prepared for your next job or volunteer application.

How far back does a background check report?

To provide a comprehensive report, One Source looks back as far as each county allows. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) does not restrict the time frame that can be searched for criminal convictions. Many background check companies do not search further back than seven years, but One Source searches further back whenever possible. By searching an extended period of time, One Source can report felonies and dangerous crimes that may not appear in a seven-year check.

Some states have their own guidelines that may prevent extended background checks, but One Source will report as much information as possible. If you would like to check a limited amount of time, One Source also has options for seven-year and 10-year checks.

Where is the information in a report found?

Background check agencies draw from numerous databases and court records to complete a screening. One Source searches public records including the Death Master Index and residential records to verify identities. Basic screenings also include checks of county, state and nationwide criminal records as well as the National Sex Offender Registry and global watchlists. Based on an organization’s specific needs, One Source can include additional checks such as driver history, professional license verification, drug testing and more.

How do background check companies make sure information is accurate?

To ensure a more complete and accurate report, provide background check agencies with as much identification information as you can. One Source needs a full name and a full birthdate to verify criminal case information. A Social Security number, an address and a driver’s license number will also help further authenticate records.

The FCRA requires screening companies do everything they can to “assure maximum possible accuracy” in their reports. One Source uses several trusted, verified databases and proven processes so you and the organizations you work with can have peace of mind.

Can I get a copy of my background check report?

Yes. If an organization runs a check on you, you are always able to request access to the report. You may ask the organization ordering the screening to send you a copy of the report or you can contact the background check agency directly. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more about how you can receive a copy of your report.

Can I contest the results of my report?

Under the FCRA, the subject of a screening has the right to know what is in their report, and the right to amend any incorrect information. While One Source does everything in its power to provide accurate reports, you are free to contest the contents of your report at any time. Therefore, a background check agency must investigate a claim of false information within 30 days. If an organization takes adverse action against you based on incorrect data, notify the screening agency as quickly as possible.

To learn more about the background check process, request a report or contest a report, contact One Source Client Relations.