Surprise it’s the Holiday Season

Now that the holiday shopping season has reached its peak, (unless you’re a guy like me who doesn’t even think to shop until the 23rd/24th) companies have been scrambling to hire talent to ensure staffing levels are ready for all the hustle and bustle.

This can create a world of problems for hiring managers and HR teams across the board. First of all, try training a new employee during the holiday season in the retail world. Talk about a high pressure environment where not only the shoppers are in a hurry but so are fellow team members. This compressed timeframe is just one of the many items that can increase the blood pressure of even the most experienced HR Pro. Think about this from a corporate standpoint, companies trying to meet that hiring demand often skip steps in their standard process and thus open the door to liability as well. Many industries have peak hiring seasons and the lessons from retail apply to everyone.

Below I have included a few tried and true tips from the best in the world of retail:

  1. Don’t abandon your standard practices: This is the “golden rule”. When that sense of urgency is at its peak, companies often abandon their everyday procedures such as background screening and reference checking. This is something we see time and time again, and it can really put your company in hot water. Background checks should only take a day or two and it is worth the wait compared to employing someone that could increase risk and liability.
  2. Look into previous employees: I’m not saying call Johnny who was fired for shoplifting slippers last year. I’m talking about the college kids that worked over the summer and will be home around the holidays. This is a great idea for most companies as it provides them with another team member that already has been trained and can operate well under the given circumstances.
  3. Start the process early: I would love to hear everyone say “Ryan, this blog isn’t relevant because everyone starts the seasonal hiring process in September” sorry this is not the case. Seriously though, the biggest piece of advice I can give is to look ahead. Get those jobs posted well in advance and begin your interviewing process early on, this will not only reduce your own stress level but will pay dividends.

I am sure a lot of this information I shared today is somewhat common thought, but there are those times when companies are looking for assistance and this is for them.

For more information on holiday hiring and how we can help during your time of need, contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or info@credentialcheck.com

The Issue with Databases

In the wake of the Louisiana shooting, background checks and gun control have come to the forefront. Under the current federal law, gun dealers are required to perform background checks through the FBI’s  instant criminal background check system database, or NICS.

So what’s the issue? Why are the individuals who are committing these heinous crimes able to legally purchase a gun? The answer simply put, is that certain states have elected to not provide information related to a persons’ mental health to the federal database. When looking at the data the numbers are frightening, after a report showed Louisiana as one of the worst states to voluntarily comply with only 4 mental health records reported as of November 2013. Following the report they have stepped up efforts reporting 908 records as of December 2014. To put this in perspective for you, Delaware implemented its version of the law in 2012 and nearly 20,000 records were filed in the state, which has less than 1 million people compared to Louisiana’s 4.65 million.

Why is all of this important and how does it apply to HR, Ryan? The correlation between screening practices for gun control and employment is that database sources of information are only as good as the sources and the information provided to the database. Companies around the world advertise instant background checks, where do you think this information is coming from? If it’s instant that means it’s on hand and stored information.  What happens if in the location your candidate committed a crime they don’t report to a database and the only way to gather this information is actually a hand-pulled court house record that requires a court researcher? That information isn’t going to be available in the database and you will never see it.

We aren’t looking to scare anyone, we are simply looking to educate. We partner with several suppliers that provide fantastic databases that include national coverage, are they the “silver bullet?” Absolutely not, but it’s a great supplemental search that can increase your coverage area and provide information rapidly. If you’re performing these types of searches today, we recommend you contact your provider and ask for a source list of where all the information originates and see if it’s accomplishing everything you had hoped.

For more information on database searches and other background screening topics, please contact CredentialCheck at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com

Did you know…..?

CredentialCheck® offers many solutions to maximize efficiencies. Customized Risk Matrices are available to our clients to expedite the background check review process. CredentialCheck® will work with your HR team to determine what items should remain flagged for additional review on completed background checks. This can include motor vehicle reports, criminal records, and employment and education verifications among other services. CredentialCheck®’s compliance team would review each individual order within the background check, and compare it to the Risk Matrix to determine if the flag should remain, or if it should be removed based on your customized criteria. While this does not replace individualized review of all background checks, a custom Risk Matrix can improve efficiencies within your organization.

Interested in this service?  Please call CredentialCheck® at (888)689-2000 and tell our team that you’d like more information on building a Custom Risk Matrix!

 

73 Airport Workers Passed TSA Background Checks with Possible Terror Ties

In a recent news article, Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth read a troublesome report on recent security blunders and lapses at the long-troubled agency.

The recent blunders include inadequate baggage screening, hiring of convicted criminals, questionable spending, narcotics smuggling and human trafficking by TSA employees. During the hearing last week after Jer Johnson, Secretary of Homeland Security reassigned the acting administrator of the TSA in the wake of reports that auditors from Roth’s office had successfully slipped mock explosives and weapons past TSA checkpoints 67 out of 70 times.

The latest case, Inspector General Roth said, is investigators had found the names of 73 airport workers “with possible terrorism-related information” in a classified federal database that the TSA could not normally access. Roth testified “TSA acknowledged that these individuals were cleared for access to secure airport areas despite representing a potential security threat.”

The discovery of this information was after Roth requested over 900,000 active aviation workers be checked again the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE. This database contains confirmed and unconfirmed information about people with potential terrorist links.

Following the search 73 matches of people cleared for access to secure areas with possible relations to terrorist ties.  Typically those people who are hired by the airlines and airport vendors are checked against a more narrow and unclassified database that is maintained by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center.

General Roth also repeatedly criticized the TSA’s use of PreCheck, which allows for expedited screening of vetted passengers, He said the TSA allows expedited screening of nearly half the flying population, often by randomly pulling people out of line. In one case, he said “a former member of a domestic terrorist group” was granted expedited screening even though the traveler was “sufficiently notorious” that a TSA screening recognized him. The screener “notified his supervisor, who directed him to take no further action and allow the traveler to proceed through the PreCheck lane”.

For more information on this topic or questions regarding background checks, contact CredentialCheck at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com

When Do You Perform the Background Check and Why it’s Important?

The state of Connecticut recently proposed a bill that has parents and taxpayers alike scratching their heads. The bill is based around creating a safer school environment by screening employees to ensure they are not on the sex-offender registry or other government watch lists. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea and quite the shocker that they weren’t already screening the folks that will be coming in contact with kids on a regular basis.

The parameters of when the background checks need to be executed is the shocking part. Within the proposed legislation it outlines that the employees must undergo the criminal background check within 5 days of starting employment with the school board. This is considered a vast improvement when compared to today’s guidelines which require the check to be completed within 30 days following the employees start date.

Looking at this as a provider of background checks, I have a hard time understanding the timeline in which the state is recommending these searches be performed. Let’s think about this, you are willing to hire an employee allow them to work for 5 or 30 days depending on whether the bill passes and then that finalizes your hiring decision? When looking at best practices for hiring, allowing a candidate to begin work, not knowing if they meet the requirements is a waste of money and also puts those around this individual at risk. By performing the background check as the last step in the hiring process, before allowing the candidate to begin work you’re accomplishing a few key items:

1. It protects your current employees/customers

2. It’s financially sound

This provides companies the opportunity that if this candidate does not meet the qualifications necessary for the position to go back to the talent pool.  This eliminates the   cost of additional resources such as training, orientation and all of the other things HR Professionals manage when a new employee comes onboard.

For more information on how and when to utilize pre-employment background checks, contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or Sales@credentialcheck.com

State Criminal Background Checks “Only as Good as the Records They Keep”

The phrase “you are only as good as the records you keep”, no longer only pertains to your taxes. This is what some organizations are discovering when reviewing their current screening practices. A recent review done by the state of Ohio has proved that their statewide criminal database is nothing more than “cobbled data” that is “running on borrowed time”.

From local law enforcement to day-care centers looking to avoid hiring individuals with criminal histories the challenge is real. This system doesn’t always reveal the truth about the people they are dealing with. A study of thousands of intertwined criminal-conviction and fingerprint records with processing errors have backed up the system, thus keeping the real pertinent data from being discoverable by those who need it most.

In 2014 alone the state of OH had to inform employers of 195 instances in which they provided a clear record for an individual for employment purposes, to then later return to the employer with the unfortunate news that a mistake had been made and the individual did have a criminal history.

Here at Credential Check Corporation, we get asked regularly which source our clients routinely use as a best practice in regards to criminal records.  Obviously there are benefits to utilizing the state repositories to cast a wider net and some states have better data than others; however, they shouldn’t be your only source. Over the 30 years we have been in business, we have seen a best practice evolve among our clients of utilizing county level searches along with statewide database searches to ensure that you retrieve the most accurate information possible.

For more information on the different levels of criminal searches and what model best fits your organization, please contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com