For the first time in 17 years, portions of the united states government are closed as the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White house were unable to reach an agreement to fund the federal government for the 2014 fiscal year.
While the affects of this government shutdown are broad and far reaching, the main cause for concern for human resource professionals should be that a number of government organizations such as; e-verify, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), have been either shutdown or severely limited.
The rising popularity of background checks has given rise to new trends for vetting new hires and employees by organizations across the U.S.The growth of background checks also permeates other areas such as screening of volunteers, contractors, business partners, board members, housing tenants and even purchasers of guns. Here’s a list of the latest 10 ten trends for 2013 complied by First Contact HR.
Your new potential hire has just left your office following a final interview. You feel great about their attitude and they appear to have the pedigree of a top candidate. They have all the signs for success: a resume full of great experience, stories about converting tough clients, and the charisma/charm and character you’ve only ever read about in hiring books.
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) released 5 tips for conducting effective employee background checks in 2013.
The Association’s guidance is targeted to all employers that utilize employment background checks to vet employees for job opportunities. Company roles in human resources, legal compliance, risk management, finance and general management should review the full press release.
In recent years identity protection has become an increasingly big deal. Specifically, the handling of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) by companies has been reworked in a number of states in order to better safeguard their employees against identity theft. The sudden concern arose primarily due to companies putting employee’s financial information at risk for years by asking for SSNs in places they really do not need to be. Identification cards, employment applications, pay stubs, mail, or even the electronic transmission of SSNs via the internet all unnecessarily heighten the risk for identity theft. With today’s criminals consistently finding new ways to exploit inadequate security systems, it’s important that companies and employers strive to cut down on excessive exposure of sensitive information.
In most states across the U.S. it is illegal to do the following:
·Publicly display or post more than the last four digits of SSNs.
·Print SSNs on employees’ badges, parking permits or timecards.
·Require people to use their SSN to access a website unless encrypted or over a secure connection.
·Use more than the last four digits to access a website unless a password or other unique identifier is also required.
·Use more than the last four digits of an SSN as an employee number.
·Send SSNs through the mail, unless the documents are applications or other such forms; and then SSNs must not be visible through a windowed envelope.
·Keep unsecured files containing SSNs and allow non authorized personnel access to such files.
The California Office of Privacy Protection has put together a set of recommendations, click here, for any entities who wish to tighten up their SSN practices.
With the increasing number of employers conducting background checks, public concerns have arisen pertaining to the method, use and fairness of such checks in potentially barring applicants from employment.
First Contact HR has compiled a list of the most significant trends that are shaping the background screening industry.
When bringing a new employee on board, there’s no telling what their previous employment or criminal background was, apart from what they told you. As a hiring manager, it can sometimes be difficult to read a person who may be lying during the interview process or even trust that the background check you did was 100% accurate.
Sometimes state repositories for criminal convictions are inaccurate and not up to date, so companies can end up hiring individuals with criminal backgrounds. Another loophole in criminal record background checks is that companies will only conduct the search within the hiring state. Nowadays, most employers will conduct background checks on new employees, but if the search is limited to only the current state of residence, they could end up hiring employees with criminal records – some of them with very serious charges.
Often times, criminal records are not discovered if people committed the crimes out of state. Alternatively, employers can better protect themselves and their clients by conducting more comprehensive criminal record searches, to include but not limited to:
Conducting county-level criminal records research everywhere a person lived, worked or attended school;
Running a multi-jurisdictional database scan, along with county-level criminal records searches, and;
Conducting sex offender searches in each state of residence in addition to the research mentioned above.
Change of name and address also makes it difficult to background check employees or potential employees for criminal history. With a social security trace and/or address history search as part of the background check, hiring managers can make sure they are searching the right names, aliases, counties and states for a more complete picture of an employee’s background.
This is the official company blog for First Contact HR. Here, you can expect to find content ranging from hiring insights from professionals in the filed of human resources, company newsletters, information about upcoming events and industry presentations, and general information of what’s going on with First Contact HR!
About: First Contact HR provides employment screening services, including drug and alcohol testing, identity validations, criminal and credit records research, attitude and knowledge testing, driving records, identification badges and employment and education verifications.