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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. 

5 Things You May Not Know About Background Checks

If you help with your organization’s hiring process or are applying for a new job, the impact and value of background checks are likely on your mind. Background checks equip hiring departments to make more informed decisions and expedite the entire process. While screening has become an extremely common part of hiring, few applicants or employers know what happens behind the scenes of background reporting.

To build strong background checks or apply with a better understanding of the process, it helps to know how screening reports are created. These five facts about background checks will help you handle screenings successfully.

Reporting a criminal record can be complicated

You won’t find one all-inclusive database where you can collect someone’s entire criminal history. Criminal records are dispersed throughout thousands of county, state and federal court documents, so it requires know-how and skill to compile a criminal record.

There is a wide variety of background checks

Most background reports offer more comprehensive information than a criminal history check. At One Source, a screening report includes a criminal record as well as applicant history trace, sex offender registry checks, global watchlist reports and additional screenings if you request them.

Applicants must be aware of and approve every screening you perform

According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employers must get informed, written permission from every individual they wish to screen. This protects applicants’ rights and gives a clear protocol if employers want to remove an applicant from consideration due to their report.

Complete background reports can be created quickly

As we explained earlier, compiling the information in a screening report takes thorough checking and research. However, professionals working with excellent systems can build comprehensive reports in a matter of days. One Source can deliver a report in 48 hours while upholding the highest standard of quality.

The most effective screening processes continue beyond hiring

The most important time to run background checks is during hiring but making ongoing checks a regular expectation helps too. When your employees expect rescreening, they place trust in your culture of security and hold themselves accountable.

As you embark on your job search or hiring process, know what to expect from background checks. And know that One Source is here to partner with you to deliver expertise and excellence in screenings.

What Ban-the-Box Laws Mean for Employers

Over the past several years, more than 33 states and 150 cities have created laws prohibiting employers from asking applicants if they have ever been convicted of a crime. These laws are called “ban-the-box” rules and businesses must shift their hiring practices to meet the requirements of the laws. As Congress considers a federal ban-the-box law, called the “Fair Chance Act,” let’s dig into what the law could mean, how it could impact your business and how to keep your hiring process compliant.

Origin of ban-the-box laws

Job applications often include the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime? Check yes or no.” That leaves the 60–70 million Americans who have a criminal record no choice but to check the “yes” box. Employers have used this question to narrow down their applicant pool without knowing the specifics or timing of candidate’s crime. Because of this hiring practice, those with criminal records have high unemployment rates, and studies show ex-offenders who do not find work are much more likely to commit another crime.

Ban-the-box laws have been introduced across the country to keep employers from asking about criminal history in initial job applications. Under these laws, it is illegal to disqualify an applicant from consideration just because they have a criminal record. Employers must at least know an applicant’s offenses to make an informed hiring decision.

Organizations working in security or with vulnerable populations are generally exempt from ban-the-box laws.

How you can meet ban-the-box requirements

Compliance with these kinds of laws and secure hiring practices are absolutely not mutually exclusive. With slight adjustments to your organization’s processes, you can build a safe workforce and in accordance with the law.

If necessary, update your organization’s application forms—removing criminal history questions and making sure outdated applications are completely inaccessible. You may also need to train your hiring managers how to handle applications and interviews to stay ban-the-box compliant.

Even if a state or city does not have a ban-the-box law, it is becoming more common for companies to voluntarily remove criminal record questions from applications. If your organization chooses not to ask upfront about criminal history but still needs to consider criminal offenses, decide when in the hiring process would be best to inquire about a background check.

To give all applicants a fair chance and make informed hiring choices, partner with a background check agency giving you a comprehensive report of applicants’ criminal records. Background reports will show you what crimes an applicant was convicted of, how long ago the crimes were and how relevant they are to your organization.

With the assistance of background checks, you can accommodate ban-the-box laws and make the best possible hiring choices for your team. Contact our Client Relations team to learn more about criminal background checks and how One Source can help you.

Questions Nonprofits Should Ask About Background Checks

Nonprofit organizations solve problems, enrich communities and advocate for social good. The altruistic nature of many nonprofits’ work includes consistent interaction with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly and people with disabilities. In order for nonprofits to protect the people they serve and expand their mission, they must do everything in their power to ensure safety and honesty in their staff and volunteer base. 

One way nonprofits can promote security is by background checking all of their workers, both paid and volunteer. By screening everyone who would like to associate with a nonprofit, leadership can more carefully select those representing the organization and place more trust in its team members. Before any nonprofit initiates a screening policy, it should clarify these questions nonprofits should ask about background checks with a screening agency.

What background information do nonprofits need to know?

A criminal history check is the baseline screening every organization should run on their applicants. Different organizations may require more specialized checks like driving records or certifications, but background check agencies can easily bundle those screenings with criminal checks. One Source provides county, state, multi-court and federal criminal checks as well as searches of the National Sex offender Registry and global watchlists in its standard TotalCheck package.

TotalCheck provides a full picture of an applicant’s criminal history, and One Source can include additional checks if necessary. You should identify screenings that may be relevant to your nonprofit—driving history, child abuse registries, drug screening or others.

How can a nonprofit create an ideal screening program?

Background checks are just one piece of an entire resource toolkit nonprofits should use to promote a safe environment. By developing and implementing a security program, you can supplement the information from background checks and further build credibility. Safety should be an expectation integral to a nonprofit’s organizational culture.

All team members should be screened every few years so you can stay up to date on the status of everyone associated with your organization. Subsequent screenings paired with educational materials demonstrating how safety is imperative to your mission should help create a transparent culture of security. When staff and volunteers join your nonprofit with the understanding of regular screenings, they will be more open to all security measures. One Source has screening programs designed just for nonprofits to allow consistent screening and stay within budget with special nonprofit pricing.

What if a background report raises concerns?

In order to disqualify applicants ethically and consistently, create a code of expectations your nonprofit follows when reviewing background reports. Determine what offenses do and do not exclude applicants from participating in your organization and stick to that plan. If you need assistance in deciding how your nonprofit will interpret reports, One Source can help.

If you decide not to hire an employee or volunteer based on the results of their background check, you must follow (pre) adverse action requirements and notify them in writing of as quickly as possible. Provide context for your reasoning and give the applicant the contact information of your screening agency so the agency can handle any disputes the applicant may file.

You should be able to focus on doing good without having to worry about their team members. Nonprofit screening solutions with One Source can help your organization stay safe even on a budget. Contact One Source Client Relations to learn more.

Your Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance crash course

In 2016, Florida woman Theresa Jones applied to drive for Lyft, Inc. The rideshare company ran its typical pre-employment screening then immediately barred her from employment because of her criminal record.

However, the record reported in Jones’ screening was not hers. It was that of a different woman with the same name and same date of birth. Lyft’s credit reporting agency pulled these records with a “name-based only search,” which means common names like Jones may show multiple results. The agency did not dig farther into each result’s specific information to find the report that matched the real Jones. Lyft cleared up the confusion by confirming Jones’ identity with her fingerprints, but she still filed a lawsuit against the company.

She claimed the rideshare company took adverse action without giving her a chance to dispute the background check first. This unjustified consequence cost Jones weeks of work and broke compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

In 2019, Lyft rescreened Jones. Again, Lyft’s background check provider presented the wrong criminal record report and Lyft once again suspended her employment. This time, Jones filed a lawsuit against both Lyft and its screening provider. Jones now drives for a Lyft competitor.

Stories like this underscore why FCRA compliance is so important in the background check industry. When screening agencies and the organizations hiring them maintain the standards of the FCRA, all of these problems can be prevented.

Below is a breakdown of the Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance and how to protect your employees, business and reputation.

What is the FCRA?

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the FCRA “promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information in the files of consumer reporting agencies” to protect those subjected to background checks.

Under the FCRA, the candidates you screen have several rights throughout the background check process. In order to be compliant with the FCRA, your organization and the background check agency you hire must respect those rights.

Anyone you run a background check on has the right to know everything in their file. If they request access to their report, your consumer reporting agency must provide them with the information they have.

Those you screen also have the right to dispute any part of their background check they believe is incorrect or incomplete. Before you can take adverse action against an applicant, you have to give them the chance to dispute their report.

If the person disputing information in their report provides the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with enough information to investigate their claim and their dispute is resolved, they have the right to get all the incorrect information erased or changed. Once this process is complete, you can proceed with hiring decisions.

How can I make sure my organization complies with the FCRA?

The most important and simplest thing any organization can do to stay complaint with the FCRA is ensure everyone gives written consent to a screening. No background check agency can give you any information without certainty that the subject is fully aware of the check. Including a consent form early in your application process is an easy way to secure compliance.

Once you have an applicant’s report, you must immediately notify them if you want to take adverse action against them. You need to explain what specific information in their report led you to your decision so they can see if the report is accurate.

In the case of Lyft, they were taken to court for notifying Jones that they had already taken adverse action without giving her any opportunity to correct her report. Following the FCRA can help you avoid this. 

To learn more about the FCRA or One Source’s FCRA compliance practices, contact One Source Client Relations.

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.

 

OSCC Quarter 3 Report

Each quarter, we run a report to review the results of our One Source Certified Contractors (OSCC) program. This program is a rigorous check used to help decipher eligibility for site access with our TotalCheck background screening packages and the option of drug screening. From schools to construction sites, OSCC offers the screening you would normally require for your employees, to contractors who might otherwise go un-screened.

Minimum requirements include:

  • No felony or misdemeanor convictions for crimes involving weapons, drugs, violence, theft, robbery, burglary, terroristic threats or sexual offenses*
  • A negative drug test for amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates and phencyclidines (if drug screening option has been chosen by site)

Quarter 3 findings:

The Quarter 3 Report shows the OSCC program has continued to increase safety for many organizations. In Quarter 3, the total number of applicants screened reached well over 4,500 applicants. From this total, 343 applicants did not meet the minimum requirements, therefore denied site access. The OSCC screening process is to help organizations make educated decisions when it comes to the contractors they have on-site.

 

Check out the breakdown of the 343 applicants who failed to gain site access through our screening below.

To learn more about these results or our OSCC program, contact our OSCC Team.

 

*Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

 

NEW & IMPROVED: Our One Source Certified Contractors (OSCC) User Guides have been updated. Check out our updated guides here!