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Get to Know the One Source Certified Contractor Program

Generally, it’s a given to run background checks on all full-time employees. Employees get widespread access to your organization’s information, facilities and trade secrets, so it only makes sense to screen them before they join the team. But what about contractors? They are not full-time team members with access to all of your information, but they do get to spend time in your facilities and networks. Even if you don’t have time to run full-scale background checks on all your contractors, it is worth it to screen them in some way, and we can help through our Certified Contractor Program.

Whether a contractor is troubleshooting your computers, working with your electrical system or renovating your office space, you should be able to fully trust them with your property and information.

At One Source, we offer a simple way to ensure the contractors you hire will be reliable and safe through the One Source Certified Contractor (OSCC) program. This program looks into the backgrounds of contractors to see if they meet a set of standards identified by One Source. Should the contractor fail to meet these standards, they will not receive access to your site. And you’ll save time because neither you nor the contractor have to decipher full background checks.

We know not every organization and site are the same, so we offer a few different levels of to the OSCC program.

  • Level 1: A full criminal background check
  • Level 2 and higher: A full criminal background check plus a drug test

All contractors must be certified against a set of standards , which you can review here. These standards were built by background check professionals and are intended to keep you, your organization and the contractors as safe as possible. Recently, a school district in Omaha, Nebraska entrusted the OSCC program to screen contractors who would have access to their school facilities. Through our screenings, we prevented more than one registered sex offender from being granted site access at a school.

The OSCC is part of the many ways we are committed to keeping our community safe. And the best part of the OSCC is that it is completely free for you to use. In order to run OSCC background checks on contractors, all you need is a contractor’s OSCC credentials. Enter those credentials into the search bar on the OSCC Search page, and One Source will check them to the highest standard.

Make sure everyone entering your organization to work is thoroughly vetted with the OSCC program as well as One Source’s comprehensive background check options. Learn more about how we can provide proper background checks for everyone in your organization by browsing our blog or by reaching out to our team today.

What happens if a candidate is lying on an application?

Current background check technology makes it increasingly difficult to stretch the truth on a job application—but that doesn’t mean people don’t try lying on an application. Luckily for you and your hiring team, background checks are a simple way to detect inconsistencies.

And if your company runs background checks on current employees, you may occasionally find falsehoods on their applications years after the fact. Dishonesty can throw a wrench in your HR team’s work, but if you have the expert help of One Source and know how to spot troubling information on your own, you can save a lot of time and suspicion.

Today, we’ll be looking at how people typically stretch or hide the truth on resumes and what you can do to make sure your team members are as qualified as they say.

Misrepresenting Education and Qualifications

It’s relatively easy to catch when people aren’t honest about where they went to school and what degrees they earned—easy enough that you may wonder why people would ever attempt lying on an application about something like that. Still, it is not uncommon for applicants to change their school history or stretch the truth about their level of education.

One Source can verify education credentials, and we can also verify the specific degrees an applicant lists. Sometimes people are honest about where they went to college, but may be altering the exact details of their degree. You should always verify a candidate’s school and degree records, especially if their education is essential to their potential job.

Overly Complex Job Titles

These days, job titles in LinkedIn profiles can be less likely to represent what a person actually does. Job titles can be full of flashy buzzwords that don’t give you a clear understanding of their work. And sometimes, these overly eye-catching titles can be a lot of show and not much substance.

Keep an eye on the less exciting job titles too. People can exaggerate their skills or involvement in a task by creating impressive sounding titles that don’t exactly reflect reality. A “social media manager” who snapped a few pictures at a company event don’t have experience building a social presence. Basically, just because a candidate lists a job title does not mean they are well-versed in the job they describe.

These mistruths can be trickier to detect in a background check, but you can make a judgement call. Always ask applicants to explain the specific duties and responsibilities of former roles. This will help you find those who are genuine.

How to Detect and Prevent Dishonesty

There are a few ways to be certain you’re hiring a genuinely qualified candidate: background checks and attentive interviewing. One Source will identify inconsistencies about work history, education, criminal history and more. It’s up to you to recognize when applicants stretch the truth in more subtle ways. However, One Source can help you determine how legitimate a candidate is.
Reach out to One Source today to learn more about our comprehensive TotalCheck system and how we work with you to help you hire honest, qualified employees.

How changing marijuana laws affect hiring.

Today in the United States, marijuana is legal to some capacity in 33 states. Other states are discussing legalization. We can expect marijuana laws for legalization to expand over the next several years.

Rapidly changing marijuana laws presents questions and challenges in the employment screening space. Many pieces of marijuana legislation include new employee protections that could impact the way you screen potential employees. To stay compliant with hiring and credit reporting laws, it is important to stay up to date with state regulations.

In today’s blog, we’ll give an overview of the most recent laws protecting employees in regards to marijuana. If your state is not included, now is a good time to adapt to nationwide trend. This allows you to get ahead of the game in case your state passes marijuana laws.

Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act

In January 2020, Illinois became the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana. Part of the law that allowed for recreational marijuana included the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act. In other words, employers cannot punish them for using marijuana outside of work.

Essentially, Illinois employers cannot fire or refuse to hire an individual because they use marijuana in their free time. This doesn’t mean employers cannot run drug tests on candidates or employees, but the results of marijuana tests are not grounds for termination.

Pre-employment Drug Screening in New Jersey, Nevada, and New York City

New Jersey, Nevada and New York City have all passed similar measures in the past year regarding drug screening and employment. This means employment refusal or termination cannot be based on marijuana screening results.

New Jersey’s ruling specifically applies to those who use medical marijuana. An employee being fired for a positive drug test even though they were using marijuana for medical reasons which led to the passing of this law. The employee sued their employer for not accommodating their medical needs. Now, with the exception of jobs that require lots of safety precautions, employers cannot discriminate against those who use medical marijuana.

Additionally, in Nevada and New York City employers can run pre-employment drug screenings, but those screenings cannot include marijuana. Bypassing marijuana screening eliminates the possibility of hiring teams discriminating against those who use marijuana. There are exceptions to these regulations for safety-conscious positions.

If you think your business may be affected by these new laws or if you want to plan ahead, reach out to One Source. We can help you tailor your drug screening and hiring process to your local mandates.

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?

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 ensures 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?

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 rescreen 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 winter 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 went 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.