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FAQ: Personal Background Checks

When you’re job hunting, there are a whole lot of things on your mind. You have to get your resume looking prefect, update your cover letter, gather some good references and prep for interviews. One thing most job seekers probably aren’t thinking about is background checks. Because that’s the responsibility of the employers, right?

Generally speaking, yes. But before you start any other job search tasks, it may not be a bad idea to check up on your background report. If you’re wondering what your potential employers will see when they screen you, you can get a head start by running a report on yourself.

Below, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about personal background checks so you can determine if they’re something you should include during your job search.

Why would I run a background check on myself?

A background check is a process that companies use to verify a person is who they claim to be, check their criminal record, education, employment and more. If your potential employer is going to see it and make a judgment about your future based on it, wouldn’t you like to know what it contains beforehand?

With a personal background check, you can see what is currently on your report, avoiding any surprises and offering time to correct potential mistakes. Some criminal databases and court records are so it’s definitely in your best interest to run a background check on yourself to ensure your future employer is getting an accurate understanding of who you are.

What do I do if there’s false information on my background report?

One of the useful things about running a background check on yourself is it gives you the ability to check and correct the information within your report. Accredited screening firms, like One Source, use real-time, original source court records whenever possible. This helps provide you the most accurate and up to date information.

If you spot any inaccuracies in your report, you have the right to get them fixed. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the ability to dispute the information in their report and rectify potential negative impacts of the inaccuracies. Contact the company that created your report directly and they will review all disputed information.

How does a personal background check help me in the long run?

Once you have a copy of your report you can have unparalleled confidence that your background report is a true reflection of your past. From there, you can start to look at your report through the eyes of a potential hiring manager.

Start to think of any questions they may ask you about your report and prepare honest, thoughtful responses. A personal background check can provide you with an understanding of what your employers see and help you prepare more completely for any questions in the future. Knowledge about your background is a power worth seeking.

That served as your FAQ on personal background checks. Now, to learn more about the background check process, click here or contact us today!

A guide to screening contractors and contingent workers

Whether you’re a business owner in search of a consultant or a school superintendent looking to renovate, you’ll need to find and hire a contractor. Contractors, or contingent workers, follow a unique format of employment that depends on the expectations of those who enlist their services.

Since contractors are hired on a temporary, project-to-project basis, it can be unclear whether they should be subject to screenings like full-time employees. Contracting agencies often run background checks on individuals before they can join the agency. However, it’s impossible to know if those checks match your organization’s screening standards.

If you hire contractors, get in touch with a screening solutions provider that complies with the rights of contractors while still upholding your screening standards. Below we’ll discuss some rules about screening contractors and contingent workers to ensure you find the best contractor for your needs.

How should I handle contractor screening?

In order to decide the best background check process for contractors, think about the nature of your organization and what you expect of each contractor.

Some questions to consider as you outline your contractor screening policy include:

  • Is your organization regulated by any federal or state screening requirements?
  • Will the contractor interact with any vulnerable populations like children or the elderly while working on your property?
  • Could the contractor potentially have access to your organization’s sensitive information?

Determining the level of access a contractor will need and considering your industry’s screening regulations will clarify the kind of background check you should choose for contractors. When in doubt, follow the same screening policy you use for full-time employees. This ensures everyone working for you is screened equally and helps prevent discrimination claims.

What should I look for on a contractor’s background report?

At One Source, we provide simple, efficient contractor screening solutions to help you choose the right contractors for every job. It can sometimes be tricky to determine on your own what a background report really means, but we work with you to take the guesswork out of the entire process.

When you receive a certified contractor report from One Source, you will see if he or she does or does not meet our requirements. This way, you can quickly determine whether to hire a certain contractor. Your project will begin sooner and your organization remains safe with the contractor you choose. That’s just a beginning guide to screening contractors and contingent workers. 

To learn more about One Source’s contractor screening offerings, reach out to the One Source Client Relations Team.

9 Websites Your HR Team Needs to Bookmark

Human resources teams are the multitaskers, recruiters, coaches, cheerleaders and everyday administrators that keep companies going and thriving. While juggling payroll, benefits and hiring, they also need to keep up with news and trends in the HR industry. 

These nine websites your HR team needs to bookmark provide excellent resources to get quick updates on their field. Some analyze HR news, some break down ethical hiring practices and others have unique thought leadership to move your team forward. Bookmark your favorites and help your team stay sharp.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)

The PBSA is a trade organization that sets performance and ethical standards for background check agencies. They’re on the cutting edge of screening practices with plenty of resources and information for your hiring team. Check out their resources, education and accreditation tabs to learn how to choose an outstanding screening partner.

HR Bartender

Sharlyn Lauby, an HR consultant, is the friendly, welcoming voice of the HR Bartender blog. She fills her site with fun commentary, insightful opinions and thoughtful analysis of trends in the human resources world. Often, Lauby will answer reader questions from all perspectives of hiring and talent development. If you want enriching and educational content delivered with pizzazz, make a habit of visiting HR Bartender.

Fistful of Talent

The authors of Fistful of Talent take current events and uncover how human resources concepts appear in all of them. Their editorials offer approachable commentary and lessons about how to manage talent and grow teams.

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

While a bit more technical, the EEOC’s site has vital information for any hiring team. If you ever have a question about employment law or ethical hiring practices, you can check the EEOC’s publications page and peruse their variety of fact sheets. Basically, everything you need to know about equal opportunity employment lives on this site, even if you have to search a bit to find it.

Evil HR Lady

For off-the-wall, honest HR content with a pinch of sass, Evil HR Lady is your go-to blog. The writers aren’t afraid to tackle tough subjects with class and mundane topics with excitement. If you’re ever unsure how to handle a particularly difficult, weird or emotional HR situation, the answers are probably somewhere on this site.

TLNT

TLNT is a division of ERE Media, an online hub for recruiters. On the TLNT site, you’ll find professional news, analysis and opinions of the HR industry plus a daily e-newsletter and a curated feed of HR blogs from across the internet. So, TLNT is an all-in-one resource for everything talent and recruitment related.

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

SHRM stands as a key human resources trade organization with over 275,000 members around the world. They are thought leaders in the HR space with thousands of articles, reports and studies to inspire your team. Some content requires SHRM membership to view, but much of their best content is free.

BLR

One of the most unique features of BLR’s site is its comprehensive, easy-to-use search function. Therefore, they make it easy to hone down the exact topic and kind of content you need from their huge library of HR articles, presentations, quizzes and talking points. It’s especially useful if you need to find specific information about compliance or employment law.

One Source

Here at One Source, we have resources, blogs, FAQs, a glossary of background check terms and a responsive, knowledgeable Client Relations team. So, when you need background check guidance or hiring assistance, One Source will have your back and help create the best HR solutions for your team. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more about our services and resources.

Three essential background check tips for nonprofits

Nonprofits exist to create good in their communities, and volunteers are the perfect vehicle for that good. They’re the face of many nonprofits—they interact with the public most and are what people remember about nonprofits. The roles of volunteers within nonprofits can vary widely too. Some can take long-term administrative roles, and some may work just a single event.

Regardless of how involved any given volunteer is in your nonprofit, they will make an impact on your audience. You need to be certain that volunteers will represent your nonprofit in the best light, so it’s a good idea to screen them.

Protect the people you advocate for and get excellent volunteers with these three essential background check tips for nonprofits.

Use more than one check

A simple criminal background check will clarify some aspects of a volunteer’s past, but it won’t uncover everything you’ll want to know. Identify the qualifications and traits you expect from your volunteers and choose screenings that will tell you exactly what you need. If your volunteers will operate vehicles, run a driving record screening on them. If your volunteers will work with children, check child abuse records or education credentials.

Make your application process streamlined

Those who apply to volunteer for your nonprofit are driven by a desire to make a difference. They want to help you as soon as they can, so a seamless application process will make it easy for them to start helping you and make the screening process faster. If you can send your applicants’ information off to your background check agency quickly, you’ll be able to get the best volunteers to work right when you need them.

Be aware of your risks

Budgeting is extremely important for organizations that don’t work for profit. While screening every single person who wants to volunteer may seem out of budget, there are background check agencies such as One Source that are happy to work with you and offer special nonprofit pricing. Build your budget to include room to screen the number of applicants you expect. Carefully spending on background checks will always be less costly than managing the fallout of a bad volunteer. It may take a budget adjustment, but it’s worth it in the long run.

That’s three essential background check tips for nonprofits, but it’s jus . To learn more about how One Source can help you get the best volunteers, contact our Client Relations Team.

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.

3 Ways Background Checks Improve Your Hiring Process

Integrating a pre-employment background check into your company’s hiring process gives you the best chance of making the best hire. Folding rigorous, thorough vetting into your decision helps you go beyond taking an application and interview purely at face value. Instead, carefully curated employment background screenings provide invaluable data to validate your perspective on the applicant’s fit.

Read how administrating background checks improve your hiring process and gives you the clarity and confirmation to hire the right person for the right job.

Verifying application information

Resume fraud is real. So, background checks help employers find the truth, and the right type of screening will uncover inconsistencies between resume and reality. Finding a difference between what was submitted and what is actually real for an employee’s history helps determine which applicants are worthy of consideration.

Hiring an applicant that fabricated parts or all of their job history opens your organization up to a loss in credibility. Then, preserve your business’s reputation by avoiding a fraudulent hire.

Double checking competencies and capabilities

On top of confirming the accuracy of an applicant’s basic information, you also want to corroborate what they say about their qualifications and skills. A job applicant may misrepresent or mischaracterize their actual experience or educational accomplishments. It could be their job title at a previous job. Or it could be their academic degree. It could even be a credential—like licensure or certification for job-specific roles—essential to your vacant position.

The wrong hire could affect your company’s bottom line. Hiring an applicant that over-embellished their abilities can lead to financial losses over time. Bringing in an underqualified person for a job they’re unable to perform means low productivity and, thus, lower profitability.

Making a safe choice for your company and community

Above all else, a pre-employment screening should ensure your hire won’t jeopardize the safety of those you employ and those you serve. Upholding the trust and equity your business has built with its own employees and the public at-large should never be sacrificed. So, background checks help you cover the bases and provide insurance for deciding on the right hire. 

Certain jobs entrust individuals with high levels of responsibility, from driving company vehicles to even using firearms. A background check uncovers the applicants truly qualified to carry out these sorts of tasks. Implementing a background check into your screening helps find out if an applicant’s past raises any red flags. It can’t preclude you from hiring an employee—that protection is law, part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act—but it can help you make the appropriate determinations. For example, if you’re hiring a delivery driver, you’d want to know if an applicant has any DUIs.

A background check helps you hire with confidence. Hiring managers carry the burden of making critical decisions for their businesses, and they need to make informed ones. Therefore, bringing on the right employee helps keep the company’s people and community safe while preserving its credibility. So, making the wrong hire can have a devastating ripple effect on each of those criteria.

New to the world of how background checks improve your hiring process? Then, explore our wide array of insights, tips and employment background screening guides on the OneSource blog.

Eight Key Considerations for Hiring a Background Check Agency

Before you invite a stranger into your business and give them access to proprietary data and sensitive information, be sure to run a background check. Proper background checks are a critical part of the hiring process.

Not all background checks are created equal, however. A background check is only as good as the company that provides it. To minimize your risk, work with the right screening company for your particular business or industry. They will understand what you need to know about a potential employee before you extend an offer.

Wondering how to hire a background check agency? Start with these eight considerations.

Is the company accredited by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA )?

This accreditation program reviews the policies and procedures of background check providers in the areas of consumer protection, verification standards, legal compliance and other industry practices, and acts in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which governs the background check process.

Does the agency provide clear, accurate and complete reports?

You want thorough reports, yes, and accuracy is key. If they’re not accurate, they’re not effective. Background checks can contain inaccurate information, and there is no central clearing house where inaccuracies can be contested like there is for credit reports. Choose a company that has a reputation for accurate reports and tells you specifically how they prepare their reports.

Does the agency provide the types of screenings and checks you need?

This might be obvious, but it’s worth saying: You want to choose a background check agency that can offer and perform any background screen you think you might need or want. Do you require supplemental searches like drug testing or motor vehicle records? Be sure they can perform them before you choose them.

Do the agency’s costs and fees fit your budget?

Cost may be a consideration for you, so be sure to ask upfront about any additional fees you might be charged that aren’t obvious. At the same time, you don’t necessarily want cost to be your driving factor; the cheapest process could mean a poor-quality screening. And when it comes to money, the price you pay for a good background check pales in comparison to the cost of terminating an employee and recruiting, hiring and training a replacement.

Does the company offer excellent customer support?

Background check companies may offer support and assistance via email, phone or live chat—which do you prefer? Decide how you’d like to receive support, then make sure you choose a company that’s equipped to provide that. You’ll just be frustrated if you can’t get the help you want in the way you want it.

Do they provide a password-protected online portal?

Especially if you perform multiple background checks and plan on placing several orders, you’ll want to go with a company that allows you to easily do this (and view the reports) online.

What’s the turnaround time?

When you’re working with a tight deadline, it can be frustrating to learn too late in the game that the agency you’re working with doesn’t accommodate quick turns. Ask them about their turnaround times and if they have any guarantees.

Which industries do they serve?

Most of them do serve several, but some offer industry-specific packages to select from, which can give you the peace of mind that your candidate is getting an appropriate-for-the-job screening.

Bottom line: Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of the background check agencies you’re considering working with. That way you’ll ensure that you’re hiring the right company to do the right checks and screenings for your business, and you’ll be able to trust the results that much more. That’s a great place to start learning how to hire a background check agency. For more information, contact One Source today.