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How An Inadequate Background Check Will Lose You Money

If you type “background check” into your search bar, you’ll likely see some websites touting their free, fast screenings mixed in with trusted background check agencies. These free background check websites can look tempting—especially if you’re looking to cut costs—but looks can be deceiving. This can lead a company to perform an inadequate background check and potentially a bad hire.

In the case of background checks, not all screenings are equal. Organizations that offer inadequate screenings are all over the internet. And while the screenings themselves may be cheap, their shortcomings can have long-term consequences.

Before you jump into a background check system, consider investing in quality background checks. A reliable, comprehensive background check service will save you from the dangers of an inadequate background check. In this blog, we’ll explain the pitfalls of free screenings and how quality checks from companies like One Source can save you money in the long run.

Lack of Personalization

Every organization approaches screening differently. Before you commit to a background check plan, think about how many screenings you’ll need, what specific information you want in each report and how you’d like to manage screenings. Background checks aren’t as simple as typing an applicant’s Social Security number into a free database. Free screening sites will lead you to believe they provide comprehensive information, but they will not be able to tailor screenings to your needs. However, this will lead to an inadequate background check and possible bad hire for your company.

Most free screening sites only let you perform one screening at a time, offer no way to organize information and lack checks that may be essential to your business. All of these issues will waste your time and still leave you with insufficient information. 

One Source tailors your background checks to each position in your company, provides an easy-to-use dashboard to keep reports organized and always provides comprehensive data.

Dangers of a Bad Hire

At One Source, we work to give you extensive information so you can make the most informed hiring decisions. Hiring a reliable, trustworthy candidate will always be a safer investment than hiring someone you don’t know much about. 

Inadequate background checks will never quite give you all the data you need to make a confident decision. Your peace of mind is worth finding a dependable screening resource. For every bad hire, organizations lose money—more money than a quality background check might cost. Wasted onboarding time, benefits and equipment all add up to lost funds when you make a bad hire. High turnover rates also lower productivity and dampens morale. 

Before you choose a screening service, remember how your hiring choices can ripple across your company. Quality screenings increase your chance of quality employees, who will in turn increase your profitability. One Source can work with you to personalize your screening solutions and ensure you have everything you need to make the best hire. Check out our TotalCheck solutions to learn more about how we can work for you.

What does my HR team need to know about background checks on current employees?

Pre-employment background checks are a nearly universal HR practice. Organizations generally screen potential employees before they offer them a position. However, it can be helpful to occasionally run background checks on current employees.

By running background checks on your current employees, you can hold your team continuously accountable. This also ensure your employees maintain company values. Each organization requires a unique set of screening procedures, but you can tailor your recurring screenings to fit your needs.

Today, we’ll talk about why some companies screen their current employees. We’ll also discuss what you can do with the information from new background reports. One Source tailors screening solutions for your needs—we can help you determine how your HR team handles background checks.

Why do companies screen their current employees?

Pre-employment screenings help you ensure the new people you bring into your organization meet your expectations and will perform their jobs properly. After you hire your team members, however, it can be a good idea to perform occasional checks to make sure they’re still qualified to work with you.

This especially applies if your employees have to operate cars or machinery. To keep your organization safe, you can check your employees’ driving records periodically. By making sure they’re still in good standing and can safely operate machinery, you protect yourself from the consequences of any potential accidents. You can also run comprehensive backgrounds checks on all of your team to keep the most current information on them.

What can I do with the information from these background checks?

Your HR team likely has clear guidelines that explain what charges or violations will remove them from hiring consideration. When you’re hiring team decides not to hire an applicant because of the information in their background report, they are taking adverse action against the applicant. You must be able to back up your decision with your HR policy and specific parts of the applicant’s report.

For your current employees, you can create a termination policy based on your adverse action policy. By aligning these policies, you hold all current and potential employees to the same standards. If you re-screen your employees once a year, you can determine if they are still upholding the expectations of your organization and if they are qualified to complete their jobs. 

How can One Source help me?

At One Source, we offer solutions that make rescreening employees efficient and easy. Applicant Recheck allows you to instantly run a screening on your employees you’ve put in the One Source system. We also offer bulk background checks. To complete bulk checks, we’ll send you a spreadsheet to fill out, you’ll send it back securely and we can then run checks on your whole team at once. 

One Source can help you set up company-wide screenings at any frequency that makes the most sense for you. Reach out to our Client Relations team to learn more about how we can help you build the best screening process for you.

2020 Q3 FCRA Compliance Update

As we enter the fall of 2020, it is a good time to take a look at your company’s policies and processes. This new season will bring different challenges and opportunities for businesses. Whether you plan on hiring this fall or not, it’s always in your best interest to stay up to date with new FCRA compliance policies.

The first half of 2020 brought some policy changes in the world of hiring and screening. Here, we’ll cover some of the most prominent new FCRA compliance policies to keep your hiring practices compliant with state and local laws.

Salary History Bans

Recent measures have been taken that prevent employers from asking applicants about their salary history. They are intended to stop employers from basing their pay on previous compensation. In general, these bans seek to increase pay equity and ensure employees are paid fairly—regardless of any previous salary.

Maryland recently passed a version of salary history ban that includes additional expectations for employers. After October 1, 2020, employers must upon request provide applicants with a range of wages they expect to pay the person they hire. Employers cannot retaliate against an applicant for requesting pay information. Additionally, employers can’t use previous earnings as a baseline to set pay for new hires.

Toledo, Ohio and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania also each passed salary history bans in their local governments. Both bans went into effect in June 2020.

Ban-the-Box Laws

A ban-the-box law delays the time an employer can ask about an applicant’s criminal history. Instead of inquiring about criminal history at the beginning of the hiring process, employers under ban-the-box laws must wait. A potential criminal record must be obtained later in the hiring process. Ban-the-box laws can also change the way an employer is allowed to respond to a candidate’s criminal record.

In Waterloo, Iowa, organizations with 15 or more employees cannot take adverse action against applicants based on arrests, pending charges or expunged records. They also cannot take adverse action against any criminal charge without a “legitimate business reason.” The new law in Waterloo defines a “legitimate business reason” as instances where a criminal record would pose a risk to other employees, the public or any vulnerable populations served by the business.

The communities of Suffolk County, New York and St. Louis, Missouri also just passed ban-the-box laws. Suffolk County’s law goes into effect on August 25, 2020. St. Louis’s ban-the-box ordinance will start on January 1, 2021.

Whether or not these new laws impact your business, they reflect trends that may spread to your community. As you develop plans and policies for the coming months, One Source will keep you updated on compliance laws and help you find screening solutions. Learn more about our tailored background check solutions here or get in touch with our Client Relations team.

Answering all of your Fair Credit Reporting Act and adverse action FAQs

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guides the background check process for employers and offers privileges and rights to the candidates who undergo screenings. Following the FCRA is essential for any hiring team, especially when it comes to adverse action, which is the process of removing an applicant from consideration due to screening report results.

Complex and important aspects of the background check process, both the FCRA and adverse action can raise plenty of questions for employers. One Source’s team can guide you through the FCRA and answer any questions about adverse action. Below we have discussed some frequently asked questions.

How long do I have to wait to remove an applicant from consideration after I notify them of my intent to take adverse action?

Once you decide to take adverse action against an applicant, you must notify them of your decision and the specific parts of their report led to your choice. You must then put any further actions on hold to give the applicant the opportunity to dispute their report. Generally, you must wait five business days before sending a final notice. The waiting period can vary by state, though, so be sure to check with your background check agency.

What if a candidate declines to consent to a background check?

If screenings are one of your company’s requirements for employment, then refusal to participate in a screening would disqualify them. However, the FCRA does not apply to applicants who don’t want to be screened. By refusing a background check, they waive their FCRA rights. Therefore you can remove them from consideration without taking adverse action.

Do I have to follow adverse action with contractors and volunteers?

Yes. Contingent employees and volunteers are protected by the FCRA, so you must follow FCRA guidelines in order to remove them from your recruitment process. There are several functions to which FCRA applies, including contractors, and volunteers. 

What if the information we are basing adverse action on is vague?

Sometimes, a criminal record won’t provide much context to a charge, so you’ll have to take adverse action without a full understanding of how an applicant got a criminal record. That’s why it’s required to wait several business days before you can finalize adverse action. You leave space for an applicant to provide details about their charges or dispute their accuracy. Plus, this gives you time to consult your screening firm. They will help you decipher what the codes on a criminal record mean and explain how the record translates into actual crimes. You can then make a better judgement about whether or not to keep the applicant in consideration.

With the help of an expert screening partner like One Source, your team can navigate the FCRA with ease. Contact the One Source Client Relations team today to see how we can help you manage your hiring process.

Employers’ Crash Course: The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Background checks are nothing new, and now essentially customary in the recruiting and hiring world. Most employers run checks on all new applicants for every open position and even those up for promotions.

So while screenings are a normal part of the hiring process, keep background check regulations in mind to protect your organization and your applicants. Designed to protect the rights and information of job applicants, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) carries immense influence.

When followed properly, the FCRA will help you make informed hiring choices while protecting your candidates. When broken, however, the FCRA gives people the power to levy lawsuits against organizations. To protect your business, make excellent hires and avoid potential legal trouble, brush up on your knowledge with this Employer’s Crash Course on Fair Credit Reporting Act.

What is the FCRA?

The FCRA outlines the responsibilities of consumer reporting agencies and the rights of those undergoing background and credit checks. It requires consumer reporting agencies to report accurate and complete information to businesses when they evaluate employment candidates. It also allows job applicants to see their reports and dispute any inaccurate information.

Under FCRA rules, background check agencies have a duty to be thorough and accurate in their reporting. Job applicants too have the right to advocate for their reputation and true identity. The burden of the FCRA isn’t just on reporting agencies, however. Employers must uphold the rights of their applicants in order to stay FCRA compliant.

How can I be compliant?

Employers must follow certain procedures when recruiting and hiring to comply with the FCRA:

  • Inform applicants you are going to screen them, then get written consent from every applicant to begin the background check process.
  • Explain what information your background reports gather and why you need it but only if an explanation does not cause confusion.
  • Be aware of your state’s screening restrictions and adhere to them. “Ban-the-box” laws have become more common in recent years.
  • If you are going to take employment action—such as rejection or termination—due to the content of a background report, you must follow the adverse action process. This includes sending pre-adverse action and adverse action letters, a copy of their report and their FCRA Rights.
  • Understand that applicants have the right to dispute their report at any time. When you send a pre-adverse action letter, you have to allow a reasonable amount of time—typically around five days—for the individual to dispute their report.

If you follow these steps, you will stay within FCRA rules and avoid negligent hiring suits.

What are the consequences of noncompliance?

The number of lawsuits brought under the FCRA reached an all-time high in 2019 and have continually increased every year since 2011. If an employer and their consumer reporting agency fail to meet FCRA standards, they put themselves at risk for an expensive lawsuit.

Because background screening is often part of standard hiring processes, organizations can repeat the same FCRA infraction multiple times. This can lead to costly class-action lawsuits from multiple parties.

Eliminate the possibility of FCRA non-compliance suits and maintain your responsibilities by partnering with a trusted background screening agency. One Source is completely FCRA compliant and here to help you navigate its regulations easily. That was your Employer’s Crash Course on Fair Credit Reporting Act. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more about our services.

How can I expedite my background check process?

When a position opens up at your organization, you want to fill it as quickly as possible so the new team member can start contributing their talents. Before you can select the right candidate and get them to work, however, your organization should vet each applicant with a thorough background screening process.

If you or your organization are new to the background screening process, you may be concerned with your screening agency’s timelines. Complete, accurate background reporting takes comprehensive work and should not be rushed, but that doesn’t mean screenings will slow your hiring process down.

One Source completes most background checks in 48 hours or less. We can provide the information you need to make informed hiring choices within your timelines. But if you need checks outside of the TotalCheck system or require services outside One Source, it can be trickier to estimate turnaround time. Regardless, background checks are meant to advance quality hiring, not hinder it. To expedite your background check process, prepare your applicants and team by doing the following tasks.

Have applicants provide relevant information up front

Be sure you can proceed with the screening process as soon as you have an applicant pool. In order to keep moving, get all the identification information you’ll need to run screenings from your applicants early on. Screening agencies may need addresses, educational degrees, past salary data and other information to build accurate reports, so ask for that information in the job application. When all of that data is in one place, you can access it easily and your background check agency can quickly get to work building a precise report.

Streamline your process using electronic signatures

With today’s paper-thin labor pool and low unemployment rates, eliminating paper from your hiring can speed up the process. At One Source, we offer applicant entry options which can be as simple as sending your applicant(s) a link, having them enter their personal identifiable information (such as full name, address, DOB and SSN). The applicant then signs the disclosure and authorization form electronically as well. The complete release attaches to the consumer report for your reference at any time. Applicant entry helps streamline your process and assist in hiring those that may be relocating for work or working remotely.

Understand the process of adverse action

Adverse action occurs when an organization refuses to hire a candidate because of the contents of their background report. If your screening agency’s search comes back with information that may lead you to eliminate an applicant from consideration, the agency will double check that the information is correct before including it in a report. This diligence is part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that protects applicants from potential inaccurate data that could hinder their job search. So, if your screening agency thinks a piece of information could make you take adverse action, they will take a bit longer to finalize the report to ensure you are fully informed and the applicant is treated fairly.

Make applicants aware of their screening rights

The FCRA gives several rights to job applicants to ensure background check agencies represent them legitimately. It is meant to make candidates more comfortable with the screening process and empower them to dispute incorrect reports. When your applicants are familiar with their rights, they will be more willing to cooperate with screening agencies. Your agency may reach out to an applicant to gather old pay stubs or diplomas to further verify their identity and speed along the reporting process. Make your applicants familiar with their FCRA rights and they may help accelerate your hiring.

To receive complete, fast and accurate reports with excellent customer service, reach out to One Source Client Relations.

What to Do Before You Run an Employee Background Check

Established companies and new businesses alike must manage workplace safety and avoid fraud to stay secure. Background checks offer protection and peace of mind as you bring new people into your organization. However, developing an effective screening system to run an employee background check is sometimes easier said than done. Regardless of where your organization is in its development, it’s worthwhile to reflect on your background screening practices.

In order to help your company reap the benefits of background screenings while staying compliant with consumer protection laws, make sure you complete the following before screening applicants.

Create a consistent screening policy

Work with your HR department to build a comprehensive hiring process that includes your background check procedures. You can create a flow chart of the proper steps to take and how to proceed in different situations.

Vague background check practices may cause your hiring team to treat applicants’ reports differently, which can lead to legal trouble. To stay consistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you must follow a strict process when taking adverse action—the removal of applicants from consideration because of their background report. So, if that process is already in your procedure, your hiring team will respond correctly.

Hire an FCRA-compliant, PBSA-certified credit reporting agency

The FCRA determines proper background check practices, and you must follow its guidelines to protect your business from negligent hiring charges. According to the FCRA, you need written consent from anyone you want to screen. And you have to explain your reasoning if you take adverse action. Under the FCRA, applicants have the right to know what information is in their report and they can dispute anything they deem incorrect.

Compliance is crucial, and the best way to guarantee a legal hiring process is to hire a reputable screening agency. Hence, the best agencies are FCRA experts that help you navigate its requirements with ease.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) determines the ethical and performance standards for the screening industry. So, if a consumer reporting agency has PBSA approval, it meets ethical standards and can be considered a trustworthy company.

See from the perspective of your applicants

Background checks are an increasingly common part of job searches. Applicants likely complete a screening for every job they apply for, and the FCRA empowers them to take an active role in the process. Your candidates will be familiar with the screening process and may have questions you should be prepared to answer.

Make sure your applicants feel comfortable asking questions, voicing concerns, seeking clarification and viewing their results upon request. Therefore, by preparing yourself to meet applicants’ needs, you’ll help them build trust with your organization and expedite the hiring process.

That’s the first steps in learning how to run an employee background check. Learn more about employment screening and how you can improve your hiring process by contacting the One Source Client Relations Team.

A beginner’s guide to completing background checks

You found the best applicants. What’s next?

Growing businesses often reach a point where their workload exceeds the time of their staff. When that point approaches, managers must consider recruiting and hiring new team members to meet the rising demand.

Growth opportunities are an exciting sign of progress, but expansion comes with responsibilities and potential liabilities. Minimize risk and hire with confidence by running background checks on your job applicants as part of your hiring process.

If you are new to background check procedures, follow this beginner’s guide to completing background checks. Then, we will help you establish an efficient, transparent process for screening your new employees.

Choose a background check agency

No matter the needs of your company, your hiring team can benefit from a partnership with a background check agency. Companies that specialize in background checks offer unique resources and insights to guide you through the entire screening process. Build a relationship with an agency early in your company’s life to set a solid foundation for future hiring.

Your screening agency should be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), offer accessible and responsive customer support, customize its services to your needs and provide cost-effective and timely reports.

Explain your screening process to candidates

The FCRA and screening best practices oblige you to maintain transparency with applicants. Before you begin screenings, clarify to candidates why a background check is necessary and how the report can affect their employment.

You and your background check agency will set packages and searches based on your needs and industry. You will then establish an employment policy and guidelines for your screening process. Make these guidelines available to potential applicants so they can decide whether or not to pursue a position. When applicants are aware of the potential consequences of their reports, give them an FCRA-required consent form that they must sign for you to proceed with screenings.

Gather information from applicants

Once candidates know how you will use their report and submit their signed consent form, your background check agency may begin searching their records. Most agencies will check local, state and national criminal records, sex-offender registries, watchlists and identity verification records. The more information about your applicants you can provide to your agency, the more comprehensive and accurate the reports will be.

A full name, a Social Security number and a birthdate can be enough information for a basic background check. However, to get more specific results and maximize accuracy, it can be helpful to provide a current address. Driver’s license numbers or passport numbers may be also required for driving record checks or international watchlist checks.

Review and interpret the report

Your background check agency will present you with their findings and should be available to answer any of your questions about the contents of the reports. As you review their results, refer to the guidelines and employment policy. Your company established for acceptable background reports to stay aligned with your requirements.

If the results of an applicant’s report are the reason you choose not to hire them, you must notify them and explain how the report influenced your decision. At that point,  they will have an opportunity to dispute the report before you move forward with your remaining applicants.

With that, you now have your beginner’s guide to completing background checks. Now what?

To kick off your background check process, contact One Source Client Relations and start hiring with confidence.

The 5-step guide to starting your company’s background check process

As your business grows, your team must expand to support new demands. Hiring can be an exciting process that adds bright new perspectives to your processes and bolsters your company’s integrity. However, uninformed hiring choices can have a negative impact on your team. So, deciding who to trust with the growth of your organization is crucial.

Pre-employment background checks offer valuable information that allows you to make more knowledgeable choices about your future employees. If your business has a minimal background screening process or no screening process at all, you should consider formalizing your background check policies before you make your next hiring decision. An official background check process makes hiring more streamlined and offers transparency and honesty to applicants.

Follow this step-by-step guide to create a reliable background check process for your company.

Step 1: Take inventory of your needs

Before you can choose a background check company or move forward with specific screening policies, you must decide what you want to get out of a background check process. First, identify reasons why you should screen applicants for various positions. Different jobs may require different levels of restriction and security. You can then tailor your background check policies to your company’s different job descriptions.

Also, you should decide early on how much you are able to budget for background checks. It’s less costly to pay for diligent background checks than to deal with potential increased liability of not screening.

Step 2: Understand and comply with background check laws

Job applicants have distinct rights during the background process. While a background check company will help you comply with laws, it is important for you to understand the rights and privacy privileges of your applicants.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the primary regulator of how reports are used by employers. The FCRA ensures that applicants are aware you are screening them and places responsibilities on the employer to protect the privacy of applicants.

Step 3: Clarify your policies

Once you recognize your company’s background check needs, team up with your legal counsel to mockup an applicant screening policy. That policy should inform applicants about which background check company is running the checks, what types of screenings will be run, how the information in their report will affect decisions and how disputes will be handled. It is also a good practice to offer applicants with an explanation of which offenses will bar them from certain positions.

Step 4: Find a company that fits your needs

When choosing a company to run background checks for you, consider the role you want the company to play in your hiring process. Full-service background check companies can be reliable partners throughout hiring that will help you interpret results and ensure you make informed decisions. Online background check services offer quick results but are less hands-on and may not be FCRA compliant.

No matter what you choose, verify the service you enlist is compliant with FCRA and accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA).

Step 5: Know what to do with information from a report

Based on the background check policy your company created, you will have guidelines on how to respond to certain charges on an applicant’s report. If you decide to remove an applicant from consideration due to information on their report, you are taking adverse action. When taking adverse action, you must notify the applicant of your decision and provide reasoning for it.

If you have any further questions about how to proceed, contact your background check company. Also, you can get in touch with One Source’s Client Relations Ream today.