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Employee Criminal Records: How far back should you look?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, May 04, 2017

In today's world, it's no longer safe to simply rely on a potential employee's resume as a reliable source of information. While the resume is a great source of information about the previous work history, conducting a criminal background check for employment has become an essential and vital part of hiring new employees.

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Topics: Employee Background Screening, Employment Background Screening, criminal background check

What is included in a National Criminal Background Search?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Mar 03, 2017

From 10+ years experience performing background checks, we know that employers are looking to save both time and money when hiring. Saving time and money also means ensuring the right person is hired because employee turnover definitely puts a dent in hiring costs. At a minimum for all candidates, a national criminal background check is definitely on the list of recommended basic background checks. Some employers may do an internet search for a "national criminal check" and hope to find quality data to help with their hiring decision. Be wary.

Is a National Background Search all-inclusive? The short answer to this is no. 

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Topics: Employee Background Screening, Instant Background Checks, Employment Background Screening, criminal background check

How Criminal Background Checks affect Teen Convicted Felons

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Jan 16, 2017

Last week, NPR shared a story of Eduardo, a 32 year old man who was tried as an adult at age 17 when he was caught selling cocaine outside his New York apartment building. He was released on parole for good behavior but his criminal record has stayed with him ever since, affecting job and housing opportunities. In December, Governor Cuomo pardoned Eduardo, one of the first pardons in the state for those convicted for non-violent crimes at age 16 or 17, sealing his record from the public. 

Should employers be concerned?

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Topics: hiring employees, Tenant Screening, criminal background check

Disclosing Criminal Records on Job Applications: What Hiring Managers Should Look For

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Dec 02, 2016

When selecting the right person to work for an organization, hiring managers must discern between their gut feelings, the job requirements and the information presented to them. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and various Fair Chance and Ban the Box initiatives have questioned the necessity of criminal records disclosure until after an offer of employment. Denial of employment based on that record is also prohibited unless the record is job-related. In general, hiring best practices are to run a background check after offering a job to a candidate. 

What should managers look for regarding candidate disclosure of criminal records during the hiring process?

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Topics: criminal background check

Accurate and Compliant: Background Checks Keep Employers out of Courtrooms

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Oct 13, 2016

We're living in a more litigious society than ever and employers are at risk for violations and penalties if they're taken to court. More laws are being written to protect job applicants from discrimination in the job market, especially as it relates to criminal background checks. Human resources and hiring managers must individually assess each candidate thoroughly and accurately in order to make hiring decisions. The actions before and after the decision to hire (or not) must also follow up-to-date standards and regulations. 

If employers can obtain accurate data and stay compliant with the law, their litigation risk is lessened.

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Topics: compliance, FCRA Compliance, criminal background check, hiring practices

Should Fingerprint Background Checks be used in Hiring Decisions?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Jul 28, 2016

Fingerprinting has become a widely disputed topic with Uber's recent fight against attempts to fingerprint its drivers. State legislators believe it to be the safest way to ensure drivers, healthcare and childcare workers aren't harmful to those they serve. Matching job candidate fingerprints against the FBI criminal database would seemingly constitute a comprehensive and accurate background check if it didn't actually negatively impact many candidate's opportunities for employment.

When considering an applicant for employment, will fingerprinting tell the whole story?

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Topics: hiring employees, Employment Background Screening, criminal background check, fingerprinting

How to Reintegrate Ex-Offenders: Employment

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Jul 14, 2016

With the proliferation of Ban the Box and the growing call for fair chance regulations across the United States, employers are often left at a loss when a background check reveals an ex-offender. More Americans are talking about the nation's incarceration rate and how to successfully reintegrate those convicted of a crime, yet there is still substantial evidence that the paradigm shift hasn't fully been accepted. There is undeniable evidence that employment is one of the strongest factors in successful reintegration. 

Despite a criminal background, employing ex-offenders could be a positive contribution to society.

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, criminal background check

Assessing Criminal Records in Employment Decisions

Posted by Ryan Howard on Sun, May 15, 2016

The Obama administration has recently proposed that federal agencies prohibit all inquiries about an applicant's criminal background until after the employer has extended a job offer. The Ban the Box imitative and the growing support behind the initiative allows those with criminal histories a fair chance at employment. Four years ago, the EEOC also asked employers to consider specific guidance when assessing an applicant's criminal history.

Employers recognize that they must make changes with regards to criminal background checks and hiring practices but many aren't sure where to begin.

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Topics: hiring employees, EEOC Compliance, criminal background check, background check policy

What is Ban the Box? Updates to State and Local Regulations

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Apr 28, 2016

Hiring an employee isn't as straight forward as you might expect. Federal, state and local regulations protect the rights of the job seekers and employers must stay current on any changes that may affect their recruiting and hiring processes. "Ban the box" is one regulation that is appearing in headlines across the country and affects employers and job seekers alike.

What exactly is Ban the Box and what do employers need to know?

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Topics: criminal background check, ban the box, hiring practices

Tenant Screening: Do Criminal Records Matter?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Apr 15, 2016

As a landlord, single or multifamily property owner, you probably already have a process for screening potential tenants. Having a defined rental policy is as important as a prepared lease agreement. Property owners and managers must abide by the Fair Housing Act which protects tenants or property buyers from housing discrimination. Earlier this month, federal changes have mandated that property managers revisit rental policies regarding tenant screening and criminal background checks. Here's what you need to know.

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Topics: Tenant Screening, criminal background check