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Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Protocol Updates

Tightening access and privacy on personal identifiable information (PII) is always top of mind in the screening industry. In response to the national trend to increase PII privacy, adjustments are being made, implementing stricter PII protocols for their courthouses. Some are already in effect, and others start in January 2022. Learn what states are impacted and how this affects the screening industry.

Where will you find policy changes?

In September of 2021, California began redacting date of birth PII from their public access terminals in the courthouses. It is essential to know that this information is still on the hard copy court file. As for the online court records accessible to the public, those records have date of birth PII removed. 

Note: This rule is not new to California; it is now being complied with by the courts within the state.

In addition to California, Michigan will begin redacting the consumer’s date of birth from court records beginning January 2022. While the entire state is scheduled to redact the date of birth on records by January 2022, some Michigan counties have already started implementing this change.

How does this impact the screening industry?

With states redacting PII, this will cause inevitable delays and the potential for additional paperwork. The Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) requires consumer reporting agencies to have more identifiers than just a name; this will add more time to reports when researching possible records in those states.

Suppose the court allows additional research to be conducted. In that case, this is usually completed by a record researcher with boots on the ground, meaning a physical person is going into the courthouse to request the records physically, causing a ripple effect of extended delays. Some cases in the court may require a signed release from the consumer.

Note: One Source will always communicate what is necessary from our clients to complete a search.

If you are interested in learning more about this ever-changing landscape, here are a few links to discussions within the industry.

  • Read about the Michigan redaction from the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) here.
  • Read about the California redaction from the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) here.
  • Listen to industry-recognized professional and host of the Background Check Radio, Kevin Bachman’s podcast here.

We are unsure if other states or municipalities will follow suit. Stay connected to One Source to stay up to date on the screening industry dynamic.

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 hire individuals who seem 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 working for your business.

*Specific to continuous monitoring with One Source.

How does the process work?

  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, make sure your continuous monitoring policy is clearly stated when they are hired and then reminded on an annual basis. You want to have shared expectations between you and your employees when you start your continuous monitoring. If you are interested in learning more or 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.

How to maximize your investment in quality background checks

Nearly every organization hiring or recruiting volunteers utilizes background checks in some way. Applicants and employers alike often see screening as another box to check as they work toward a hiring decision. 

While the ubiquity of background checks is a great sign, many organizations don’t realize their screening process has untapped potential. Background checks drive success when done right and lead to serious difficulties when done insufficiently. 

That’s why background checks should be viewed as an investment in the future of your organization. Thorough, accurate background screenings can help you hire the best candidates with confidence—building your team with people you can trust.

Here we’ll talk about how making the most of your investment in background checks strengthens your company and how you can avoid the hidden costs of inadequate screenings.

Tailor background checks to each job description.

Background checks are an investment in your organization’s growth, so it’s worth it to put thought into how each candidate is screened. Each job description is different with varying expectations—one-size-fits-all screening just isn’t efficient for finding the best candidates.

Go through each department in your organization and determine their screening needs. Some departments may need team members to have clear driving records, while some may need certifications of specific degrees. You can then work with your background check agency to tailor screening protocols to each job opening. At One Source, we offer driving record checks, education verification and more to meet the specific needs of each of your teams. 

By putting careful thought into what each screening includes, you use your resources efficiently and cover all your bases while finding the best candidates.

Work with a screening partner.

Background check agencies offer expertise and assistance you can’t find anywhere else. If your company runs a lot of background checks, you can maximize your time and resources by hiring an agency to help you.

When you work with a partner like One Source, you get background check experts working with you to create a tailored screening policy. You’ll also get reports delivered in a clear layout that makes important information clear. To take tedious tasks like sifting through reports off your hiring team’s plate and make the most of the dollars you put toward background checks, find a screening partner.

Avoid the consequences of inadequate screening.

Organizations invest in high-quality background screenings to ensure they make positive hiring choices for the future. By finding a reputable screening partner and planning an efficient hiring process, you greatly decrease the chance of making a poor hiring choice. Hires who don’t contribute to your organization’s mission increase turnover and hinder your goals. 

The costs of a bad hire outweigh the costs of a well-planned hiring process. Your investment in screenings will ripple across your whole organization and reflect in your dedicated team. To learn more about how quality background checks can help your company, contact One Source’s Client Relations team.

How a background check company can enhance your hiring process

When you need to add another employee to your organization, it creates a lot of work and plenty to consider. You have to write the perfect job description to attract the best candidates, list the job in the right places, filter through resumes and cover letters, schedule interviews and so much more. You have to invest a lot of time and effort to find the best candidate, which can change your organization for the better. But you don’t have to do it alone. The vast majority of organizations include some form of background check for employment. This can be simple and worthwhile by partnering with a background check agency. Background check companies like One Source enhance your hiring process for and make it safer for your clients. See how background check services can streamline your hiring and help you find the ideal candidate.

Get help standardizing your screening policies.

Whether or not you enlist a background check company to help you, your organization must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This act gives several rights to candidates throughout the background check process—including the right to dispute the contents of their background report. If you choose to remove a candidate from consideration because of information in their report, the FCRA mandates you inform the candidate of how you came to your decision through using the Adverse Action process.

A background check agency helps you navigate the FCRA and build a compliant hiring policy that treats all applicants fairly. You don’t have to worry about becoming an FCRA expert because your screening agency has all the knowledge you need.

Screen applicants quicker.

Filtering through and accessing multiple sources on your own can be tedious and confusing. Identifying compliant and verified data can be time consuming and  bogs down the hiring process.

Background screening companies like One Source provide clear, easy-to-navigate dashboards that cut right to the info that matters. You don’t have to spend extra time digging through documents to determine an applicant’s history—all relevant information will be clearly presented. With One Source, you’ll also have access to expert customer service for any questions about a candidate’s report and how to interpret it.

Guarantee quality background checks.

Professional background check providers have developed methods for curating the most accurate and comprehensive reports. One Source offers the TotalCheck service. This includes local, state and federal criminal records; an applicant history check; a sex offender registry check; and a global watchlist report. Additionally, We can also add several other checks, like drug tests and driving history reports, as needed.

A professional screening agency makes certain all of your background checks are accurate and compliant with FCRA. If you perform background checks yourself or use quick online reports, you can’t be sure you’re getting correct information—let alone quality information.

One Source is a dedicated background check partner. We care about you and want enhance your hiring process every step of the way. Learn more about our TotalCheck screening process and how we make hiring simple by contacting our Client Relations team today.

Should social media checks be included in screenings?

Social media offers an accessible, easy-to-navigate database to see someone’s interests, education, employment and personality. These days, it feels almost natural to peruse someone’s social media for an update on their life if you haven’t heard from them in a while. While social media is useful for connecting with those we know personally, the ethics of using it to evaluate potential employees can be murky.

A job candidate’s social media accounts can provide the clearest picture of their true behaviors and personality—and social media screenings can absolutely have a place in the hiring process. However, that screening should not be as simple as letting your hiring manager quickly scroll through a candidate’s profile(s). Social media screenings must be integrated into your hiring process carefully, and we’re here to answer any questions and help you formulate the right policy for your company.

In what situations does social media screening make sense?

Not every job description would necessitate a social media search—for the majority of jobs a pre-employment background check will be sufficient. However, if you’re looking to hire a public relations manager, social media strategist or any other consumer-facing position, taking a peek at their profile(s) would make sense.

Essentially, you don’t need to look into a candidate’s social media if it is not related to the job they applied for. While social media allows for a candid look into the lives of others, it is not always an accurate depiction of their true self. Screen social media profiles only if your team deems it ethical for the vacant position.

Who should conduct my social media screenings?

You hire background check agencies because they can access records that would be difficult for you to find. But with social media, the internet is right in front of you and it isn’t hard to find your candidate’s profiles. However, just because it’s easy for your hiring team to access social media doesn’t mean they should be the ones conducting the screenings.

For compliance reasons, it would be a good idea to outsource your social media screening. Another agency can provide you with an overview of a candidate’s social media that only contains information you can legally consider in your employment decision. If your team comes across personal information like religious beliefs or sexual orientation on a candidate’s profiles, you can claim that information didn’t play into your decisions but you can’t prove it. To avoid any potential discrimination accusations, it might be best to have your background check agency look at social media.

Can I take adverse action based on a candidate’s social media posts?

The short answer is yes. But as with everything about social media, it’s more complex than that. Your organization should already have set guidelines about what would move you to reject an applicant. If a candidate posted something that falls within those guidelines, you may then remove them from consideration and explain why you made that choice.

You can’t take adverse action just because you disagree with something an applicant said online. That could get you into a world of compliance troubles. Treat a social media screening like any other screening and you’ll be able to make compliant decisions.

To learn more about how One Source can help you find the best background check solutions for your organization, contact our Client Relations Team.

One Source Resource Review: January–March 2020

At One Source, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive, transparent and useful background check education and resources. We are screening industry experts, and we believe everyone should have access to a review of One Source’s resources to determine their security needs.

We will continue to curate blog posts and include them in this review of our website’s resources. We’ll categorize the blogs by topic and we hope these review posts will make it easier to find the information you need and utilize our knowledge when you need it. With that said, let’s dive into the One Source Resource Review.

General Background Check Information

5 Things You May Not Know About Background Checks

Ever wonder how background check agencies pull together a comprehensive criminal record? Or how to create a truly effective screening process? This blog delves into all the little details and questions you might have about the complicated world of pre-employment screening.

Employers’ Crash Course: The Fair Credit Reporting Act

Designed to protect the rights and information of job applicants, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) carries immense influence. When followed properly, the FCRA can help you make informed hiring choices while protecting your candidates. If the FCRA is broken, however, it has the power to bring plenty of legal troubles to an organization. Stay aware of the FCRA’s guidelines with our handy guide.

How to manage 5 background check red flags

If you’re looking for a job right now, it’s totally understandable how the screening process could be confusing. Every different business may respond differently to the same background report. To stay prepared for any potential question about your background, it helps to understand how most organizations process screenings and what sticks out to them.

A guide to screening contractors and contingent workers

Contractors work on a temporary basis, so it can be unclear whether they should be screened like full-time employees. Contracting agencies do run background checks on individuals before they can join the agency, but it’s still impossible to know if those checks match your organization’s screening standards. In this blog, we discuss some rules about screening contractors and contingent workers to ensure you can hire provisional help with confidence.

Employers and Hiring Departments

9 Websites Your HR Team Needs to Bookmark

These nine websites for your HR team 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. So, bookmark your favorites and help your team stay sharp!

3 Background Check Budgeting Tips

Even organizations that don’t typically set aside funds for screenings can make a habit of budgeting for compliant background checks. In this blog, we discuss how the cost of making an uninformed hiring choice can exceed the cost of screening an excellent hiring choice. Our background check budgeting tips will help you build a hiring budget that prioritizes screenings so your organization can keep security and quality hiring at the top of your mind.

Eight Key Considerations for Hiring a Background Check Agency

Not all background checks are created equal—and really, a background check is only as good as the company that provides it. However, you can minimize your organization’s risk by working with the right screening company for your particular business or industry. So, keep these eight questions in mind as you choose a screening agency to hire.

3 Ways Background Checks Improve Your Hiring Process

Want the best chance at making the best hire? Pre-employment background checks are the key to a successful, sustainable hiring process that will identify the ideal candidates for your organization’s future. And the pros of background checks go beyond hiring too—read on to discover three unique ways screenings could help your business.

What to Do Before You Run an Employee Background Check

Established companies and new businesses alike manage workplace safety and avoid risk to stay secure. Background checks are an excellent way to maintain that security. 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, this blog can help you reflect on and hone your background screening practices.

How can I expedite my background check process?

One Source completes most background checks in 48 hours or less. You can count on us to do our part to keep your hiring process on track, but there are other variables that can be tougher to control. With these tips, you can effectively manage every part of the screening process so you can stay in your timelines.

5 vital insights from (pre) employment background checks

One Source’s team helps you decipher comprehensive reports, but there are a few indicators you can look for right away on any report. Therefore, you can immediately get a high-level understanding of an applicant’s history with five vital insights from our (pre) employment background checks.

Volunteer Organizations

Three essential background check tips for nonprofits

Often, nonprofits complete day-to-day work and fulfill their mission through the dedication of volunteers. When volunteers are so essential to your organization, they should be screened just like any paid employee would. You can make sure the people volunteering for you are representing your mission well by background checking them—and we can show you how to make the most of your screenings.

4 questions to ask about your volunteer background check policy

Before your organization starts recruiting volunteers, ask yourself how background checks fit into your recruitment process. You can ensure security for your organization and build a reliable volunteer base all while ethically screening your applicants. Find the best volunteers by considering these four questions about your volunteer background check policy.

That was just a review of One Source’s resources to determine their security needs. So, if you have any questions about background screening or how One Source can assist you, contact our Client Relations team.