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Debunking 5 common background check myths

Hiring managers should use every tool available to build the best team for their organization. Professional background checks are the best way to ensure a safe, reliable work environment, but some misconceptions prevent organizations from seeking out screenings. We’re debunking 5 common background check myths about all aspects of the background check industry so you can confidently partner with an agency to expedite and secure your hiring process.

All the information in a background check can easily be found on the internet

There are many online companies advertising cheap and quick database records. However, that does not mean all internet databases are reliable for hiring purposes. The future of your organization depends on the quality of your hiring, so it pays to take time to let a professional background check agency scour government records. It is impossible to obtain a thorough, high-quality report instantly, but an agency can make a certified accurate report in just a few days.

Volunteers don’t need to be screened

Just because volunteers are not permanent, paid employees does not mean they are exempt from background checks. Some organizations depend on volunteers to manage their day-to-day operations, promote their mission and interact with the community. Volunteers are just as important to the existence of some organizations as paid employees. And they should be screened with equal scrutiny. If your organization regularly seeks the help of volunteers, an agency will manage your screenings with solutions tailored for volunteer organizations.

Organizations only run pre-employment checks

People are most familiar with the background checks they undergo during the hiring process, but ongoing screening can make sense for employers. Team members up for promotions or screened a long time ago should be rescreened. Create an environment of transparency where team members expect screenings. That way, your organization can promote safety and integrity while maintaining your team’s trust.

Background check services are too expensive for some organizations

Background check agencies exist to help organizations build safe communities. Their resources should be accessible to anyone who wants to improve their hiring process. Agencies often work with organizations to tailor services to their budget. For example, One Source offers solutions designed for nonprofit organizations which may not have budget to spare for volunteer screening.

Also, a background check costs less than complications from a bad hire. The ROI of a good hire exceeds the price of a check.

Applicants can be instantly disqualified for their background check results

Professional background reports are vastly more accurate than free internet reports, but they are not infallible. If an applicant’s report contains potentially disqualifying information, hiring managers must follow adverse action protocol before eliminating them. Applicants have the right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to dispute the results of the report to ensure nothing was falsely reported. No applicant can be removed from the hiring process until their dispute is resolved.

That represented a quick debunking of 5 common background check myths. To learn more about background check solutions for your organization, contact One Source Client Relations.

 

4 Reasons to Screen Applicants with a Criminal Background Check

Vet your business’s applicants before bringing them into the fold with a quality employment background screening

An employee background screening gives you the context you need to make an informed hire for your company. For even greater insight, screen applicants with a criminal background check as part of that process. 

Verifying a criminal record as part of your pre-employment background check represents a must. If your prospective hire will carry out risk-laden tasks in their everyday role, this heightens in importance. These can range from driving a company vehicle to having facility keys to carrying a firearm. 

Furthermore, before baking a criminal background check into your pre-employment screening, make yourself aware of the restrictions. State and federal laws outline these rules and regulations, and anti-discrimination laws are in place to ensure applicants are treated fairly regardless of their past. Bringing on an employee with a checkered past isn’t uncommon—after all, most people deserve a second chance—and the results of a criminal background check don’t prevent you from making a hire. 

With that in mind, here’s why 4 reasons to screen applicants with a criminal background check. 

Protect your people

Hiring the wrong person doesn’t just put your business at risk. It can endanger the people around you.

However, while you can overlook a candidate’s past mistakes, you should be cognizant of your current employees and mindful of their safety. If you ignore a past transgression that could reoccur during normal work duties (e.g. hiring a delivery driver with a DUI), you could be in jeopardy of negligent hiring claims. It’s not illegal but can make your company liable (in this instance, if the employee was convicted of another DUI while on the job and injured someone).

Your new hire must integrate with your current staff and be safe around customers and the public. Therefore, ensure you have all the information to make a hire safe for all parties involved. 

Safeguard your company from risk

Adding a criminal background check to your pre-employment screening is like adding insurance to your hiring process. By making sure your applicants meet your company’s hiring standards, you’ll mitigate the risk of employing someone who could be a liability to your organization and employees.

Employing the wrong person could lead to countless unintended consequences if their record isn’t behind them. It can be avoided when you have all the pertinent information available to you before you send out offers.

Save time and money by hiring the right person—the first time

Hiring for open positions poses enough challenges. If you make the wrong hire because a criminal background check couldn’t save you from making an ill-advised hire, you can cost your company thousands.

Therefore, spare yourself some déjà vu and your business a financial loss. 

Avoid PR fallout

If a poor hire ends up endangering or harming customers or coworkers, you’ll have created a public relations crisis. On top of the money it costs your company to hire and fire a problem employee, it will cost your communications staff time and effort that could’ve been better spent on positive marketing outreach. To make matters worse, it can be harmful to your brand and make hiring the next time even harder.

Warning signs of belligerent behavior can be flagged in pre-employment background checks that include criminal record screenings.

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

Learn how to hire a reliable contractor

A guide to certified contractor checks

Contractors provide invaluable services many organizations lack the time or resources to do themselves. They can bring buildings up to code, install new hardware, offer technology support and much more. Organizations may also rely on contractors to upgrade facilities or keep them running efficiently. But how do you learn to hire a reliable contractor?

While most organizations run background checks on employees, few screen the contractors they hire. The contractors may be checked by the company they work for, but their standards may not align with your organization’s standards. This means you may be giving a contractor access to your property and information without knowing if they can be trusted with access.

Fortunately, there are several ways to ensure your organization hires trustworthy contractors. Take the following steps to avoid scams, protect your organization and learn how to hire a reliable contractor. 

Research potential contractor firms

Before you decide which contracting firm will suit your organization’s needs, look up the best contractors in your area and compare them. There are websites where people can candidly review and rate contractors. If you notice certain firms have patterns of reviewers complaining or accusing them of scams, you should take that firm out of consideration.

It also helps to ask colleagues and friends for referrals, so you get a firsthand understanding of how a firm works. The best contractors often arise through word of mouth, but that does not mean they are infallible. You should check a firm’s history, licensing and qualifications before you select them.

Ask your contractor plenty of questions

Develop a shortlist of contracting firms and contact each for a quote on the cost of your project. You can gain further information about their processes to help you make an informed decision.

Ask each firm about their experience on projects similar to yours and request a list of references. They should be able to give you examples of recent clients who were satisfied with their work, the reliability of the workers and the cost efficiency.

You should also clarify if your project will require any permits and make sure the contractors will get those permits before they start working. On top of permits, contractors should have personal liability, workers’ compensation and property damage insurance so you will not be held liable for any damages or injuries.

Screen the contractors you choose

Once you have settled on a contracting firm, check the backgrounds of the contractors before you officially hire them. One Source offers a simple screening process that lets you know whether a contractor is eligible to access your site.

We perform our rigorous TotalCheck Plus screening, check our certified contractor requirements and then tell you if a contractor “meets requirements” or “does not meet requirements.”

Our One Source Certified Contractor guidelines ensure contractors are compliant with our checks. Plus, it’ll ensure they have no felony or misdemeanor convictions and a negative drug test. When you receive the check’s results, you can then hire your contractors and begin your project. And just like that, you learn how to hire a reliable contractor. 

To discover more about One Source Certified Contractor checks, contact One Source Client Relations.

Does your organization need a background check process?

Many organizations run screenings on potential volunteers, but some may find the idea of formalizing their organization’s background check process daunting. However, a formal volunteer background check protocol can make recruitment easy, safe and efficient. So, if you are unsure whether your organization needs to develop a background check process, answer these eight questions to find out.

1. Are you expanding your volunteer base?

Growing organizations must gain the loyalty of new volunteers to continue their efforts. However, more of them bring a higher-liability risk. You can expand your volunteer base with confidence by screening applicants and verifying their skills.

2. Are you trying to develop a trustworthy brand?

By cultivating a culture of honesty and responsibility, volunteers and donors will be drawn to your organization’s strong reputation. Background checks can help ensure that you choose volunteers that will uphold your organization’s values. Therefore, volunteers can be your greatest advocates if they represent your brand with reliability and respect.

3. Do you want to reduce turnover?

Minimizing turnover allows you to spend less time training new volunteers and more time fostering a positive environment for volunteers and those you serve. Build a strong core of consistent volunteers by authenticating their backgrounds and aligning them with your goals and ideals.

4. Are you looking for volunteers that will advocate for you?

Volunteers can carry a lot of weight for an organization, and some even rely on volunteers to run their day-to-day operations, promote their mission and recruit future volunteers. Therefore, those organizations must place their trust in volunteers to further their ambitions. So, background screenings can help you choose the volunteers who will advocate for you and stay dedicated to you.

5. Do you need to verify volunteers’ qualifications?

Some volunteer positions require prior training, education or knowledge. Before you send volunteers out into the field, you can get peace of mind by checking that their background is legitimate. Through a background screening, you can make sure your volunteers have all the qualifications they need to fulfill your mission.

6. Does your organization require skills that must be certified?

If your volunteers need to drive, operate machinery or perform any certifiable task while working for you, it is in your best interest to verify their abilities. Background checks can report on driving records and confirm all certifications. You can keep your volunteers and your community safe by making these checks a standard part of your recruitment process.

7. Do you want to avoid negligence claims?

While organizations do everything in their power to avoid issues, nothing can prevent all problems. So, should any problem arise, you can protect your organization from legal claims by performing background checks. Hence, screening all volunteers proves that your organization did its due diligence to maintain a safe environment.

8. Can your volunteers’ integrity affect your bottom line?

Your volunteers can be the face of your organization, and those in your community who interact with them should feel respected and uplifted. If just one volunteer leaves someone with a negative impression of your organization, it can throw you off course. So, to maintain your brand and character, screen volunteers and choose those who will live your principles.

In order to learn more about volunteer background checks or start your background check process, contact One Source Client Relations.

A beginner’s guide to completing background checks

You found the best applicants. What’s next?

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

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

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

Choose a background check agency

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

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

Explain your screening process to candidates

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

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

Gather information from applicants

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

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

Review and interpret the report

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

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

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

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

What background checks do — and don’t — include

Hiring new employees is a fantastic opportunity for your business or organization to gain fresh knowledge and skills. However, the hiring process always contains an element of risk. Background checking your applicants serves as the best way to mitigate risk and ensure you find the best people. But what do background checks include?

To expedite your background screening process, it helps to understand what information you will receive in a background report. Once you know what to expect, it is easier to interpret reports and recognize if you need extra information.

One Source runs screenings through its unique TotalCheck packages. This comprehensive screening system is tailored to your company’s needs and your industry’s regulations. No matter your needs, TotalCheck always includes all the necessary parts of a common background check. Let’s take a look at what background checks do — and don’t include.

What’s in a background check?

A TotalCheck background report is comprised of six essential searches to give you peace of mind when hiring. These searches include:

Applicant History Trace

This search ensures your applicants are who they say they are. TotalCheck examines public records to verify an applicant’s identity and residential history. This search also looks into potential aliases and appearances on the Death Master Index.

County/Statewide Criminal History

We look at real-time county court criminal records to report any felony and misdemeanor convictions that may not be included in broader searches. Statewide searches also can be included where available.

Multi-Court Jurisdictional Database

This is an additional criminal check that searches millions of records from across the United States. We source the records from the Department of Corrections, county courthouses, state police reports, traffic court and more.

National Sex Offender Registry

TotalCheck searches sex-offender registries from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., all U.S. territories and more than 100 tribal registries.

Global Report

We examine an extensive database of public government watchlists and federal, state and industry sanction lists. We also check new records as governments release them.

Nationwide Federal Criminal

TotalCheck cross-references the government’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) U.S. Party Case Index with the Federal Bureau of Prisons database to ensure your check is comprehensive and valid.

What’s not in a background check?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) determines what information can and cannot be included in background checks conducted by third-party agencies. The standards set by the FCRA protect applicants’ privacy rights throughout the hiring process. One Source is compliant with the FCRA, so some credit information will not be in a TotalCheck package. The FCRA prohibits background check companies from reporting the following information:

  • Bankruptcies from more than 10 years ago.
  • Civil suits, arrests or non-convictions from more than seven years ago.
  • Paid tax liens from more than seven years ago.
  • Any adverse information, excluding criminal convictions, from more than seven years ago.

To learn more about how to use background checks or to start your company’s screening process, contact One Source Client Relations.