The Importance of Continuous Criminal Monitoringin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
When onboarding new team members, your goal is threefold: keep your organization safe, verify the applicant’s professional history, and catch any criminal offenses they may have committed. Background checks can find discrepancies in the provided information, but they can become outdated quickly depending on the individual’s behavior. Even if you have a self-reporting policy for contact with law enforcement in your policy, applicants often aren’t aware or don’t follow them. For the most up-to-date information on team members, continuous monitoring is your solution.
What Is Continuous Monitoring?
Simply stated, Continuous Criminal Monitoring is a process where a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), such as One Source, automatically rescreens selected individuals each month for criminal activity. This is treated similarly to an initial background check, allowing organizations to view updates to specific components tied to an individual.
Why Is It important?
Organizations may utilize continuous monitoring to ensure that team members continue to meet expectations, uphold company values, and stay out of trouble with the law. You may never be aware of new charges brought against someone if you don’t check up on them on a reoccurring basis.
For example, the U.S. Department of Defense vets their personnel using a version called Trusted Workforce (TW). Established in 2018 and planned to reach full Continuous Vetting (CV) status by October 1, 2023, they have already found success in this program. As reported by the DOD, the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) was alerted to a fugitive arrest warrant the day following an incident, allowing them to apprehend the individual and revoke their security access quickly.
“If we had not had this individual enrolled in continuous vetting, there’s a high potential that we may not have been aware of the situation until the next periodic investigation, which would have been five and a half years later,” Heather Green, Assistant Director of Vetting Risk Operations for the DCSA said.
To ensure your organization is protected and you stay informed on team member activity, consider incorporating continuous monitoring into your background screening program. Make sure expectations are clear and state your policy plainly to allow no room for misinterpretation.
One Source can help set your organization up for success with monthly, automatic checks of the Global Report, Multi-Court Jurisdictional Database, and National Sex Offender Registry. If we find a hit, we’ll conduct a County Criminal/Statewide search to verify accuracy.
For more information on this service, or if you’d like to add it to your screening process, contact us here. We’re here to empower you to make informed decisions.
Clean Slate Laws: What Employers Need to Knowin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
It’s no secret to hiring managers that fair chance hiring laws have gained momentum in recent years. However, confusion remains about how these affect an organization’s onboarding process throughout employment screening. Some, such as the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019, have been enacted at a federal level, while others differ from state to state, such as “Ban the Box” laws. Clean slate laws are another prominent example of the latter, which we will cover here to keep you and your team informed whether these laws have been codified in your state or legislators are considering doing so.
What Are Clean Slate Laws?
A ‘Clean Slate’ law refers to state legislation passed to allow criminal records to be cleared or sealed from individual records if they stay crime-free for a specified duration. This means that those records don’t appear on background reports. However, not all expungements are automatic in all states, occasionally relying on the individual petitioning the court instead.
A notable exception to these laws occurs in states that have legalized the recreational selling of marijuana. Here, provisions may be put in place to seal non-violent cannabis-related convictions automatically.
How Do They Affect Employers?
Limiting information about applicants may worry some organizations from a risk management perspective, but it’s important not to let it deter hiring efforts. It is still possible to provide a safe workplace as many high-level and violent crimes are not eligible to be hidden or removed. Concerns of recidivism, while valid, should be tempered, as studies show that the risk for re-offense of expungement recipients is very low.
By removing that information from the equation, these laws make it easier for employers who find it difficult not to create unconscious bias when they see criminal records that typically would disqualify the individual from employment. This is also helpful in preventing backlash related to negligent hiring, as withheld criminal information can’t be used as an example of why the individual shouldn’t have been hired.
Clean Slate States
As of this writing (February 2023), ten states have passed clean slate laws. Click a state in the table below to view the associated bill:
|State||Year Signed Into Law|
If your state already has a clean slate law in place, it’s important to stay up to date on any changes and adjust your screening policy accordingly. Pay close attention to the legislation that enacted these regulations and any amendments applied, consulting your legal counsel if issues arise. If your state has not established these laws, keep an eye out for the introduction of such bills as campaigns are being run in Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon, and Texas to further the adoption of programs like these.
Regardless of your company’s state, it’s important to remember that background screening is still crucial to effective onboarding. High-level crimes, those on the federal or international levels, and those linked to the National Sex Offender Registry will continue to be uncovered in any state.
For more information on sealed and expunged records, read Do Expunged Records Show Up on Background Checks?
End User’s Crash Course: The Fair Credit Reporting Actin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
Background checks are nothing new, and are now essentially customary in the recruiting and hiring world. Most companies 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 onboarding process, keep background check regulations in mind to protect your organization and 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 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 End User’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 candidates. It also allows 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. Applicants also have the right to advocate for their reputation and true identity. The burden of the FCRA isn’t just on reporting agencies, however. End Users must uphold the rights of their applicants in order to stay FCRA compliant.
How can I be compliant?
End Users 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 adverse action—such as rejection or termination—due to the content of a background report, you must follow the adverse action process. If adverse action is taken under the permissible purpose of employment (including volunteer), this includes sending pre-adverse and adverse action letters, a copy of their report, and FCRA Rights.
- Understand that applicants have the right to dispute their report at any time. When you send a pre-adverse action letter under the permissible purpose of employment (including volunteer), 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 non-compliance?
The number of lawsuits brought under the FCRA reached an all-time high in 2021 and has continually increased every year since 2011. If an end user and their consumer reporting agency fail to meet FCRA standards, they risk an expensive lawsuit.
Because background screening is often part of standard onboarding 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 FCRA compliant and here to help you navigate its regulations easily. That was your End User’s Crash Course on Fair Credit Reporting Act. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more about our services.
Personal Identifiable Information (PII) Protocol Updatesin Uncategorized/by One Source The Background Check Company
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 Checkin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
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:
- Avoid Surprises– When you run a personal background check on yourself, you eliminate the element of surprise when asked questions about your background.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Processin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 Easyin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
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.
- The applicant and reference information are entered in the solution.
- Reference requests are then automatically sent via email or text. This makes it quick and easy for them to respond anytime, anyplace.
- The reference completes a short and confidential online questionnaire.
- 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 Processin Blog/by One Source The Background Check Company
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:
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 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.