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Ryan Howard

Vice President, Business Development at VeriFirst, a BYL Company
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Recent Posts

It is time to Review Your Tenant Screening Criteria?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 25, 2018

As a property owner or landlord, your goal is to find a tenant who will not only pay on time but also care for your property. VeriFirst's goal, as a background check company, is to help you find the right tenant and also encourage compliance with federal regulations such as FCRA and Fair Housing laws. To stay compliant, this means honoring consumer rights but you also need to protect your business. 

When is the last time you took the time to review your tenant screening criteria?

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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Tenant Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

How to Hire Your First Employee

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 18, 2018

When you're hiring your first employee, it may seem overwhelming to consider all that is required to honor your growing business, your customers and those who will be working for you. The best way to hire your first employee is to prepare for it. The point of hiring someone is to help while you turn your focus to other tasks that need your attention. If you're not prepared, you may spend more time directing your new hire than actually getting work done. 

Get ahead of the game with these preparation tips before you hire your first employee.

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting

Is Your Employee Screening Policy in Compliance with Background Check Regulations?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 11, 2018

If an employer screens applicants regularly, they should be aware of federal,  state and local laws around background checks. Businesses of all sizes are being held to these strict regulations or else they are facing punitive fines in court. Consumer rights are protected against inaccurate reporting of their backgrounds. Other laws penalize for discrimination during the hiring process. If your business is running background checks, your hiring and screening policies should be consistent and compliant.

Is your employee screening policy in compliance? Review these laws to find out.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance, Hiring and Recruiting

Hiring a New Employee? Follow this 5-Step Checklist

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 04, 2018

If your company is hiring many employees at once or even if you're an HR department of one and only hire sporadically, a checklist is an organizational tool that is helpful. A checklist will ensure that every step is taken, creating consistency, and covering all of the legal responsibilities of hiring. Selecting the right candidate, on-boarding and integrating the new hire into the team can be a positive and successful experience.

When hiring a new employee, documented procedures, such as a checklist, can make the process better for the hiring manager, candidates and employees.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

How Do Background Check Companies Get Information?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Apr 27, 2018

Employers and property managers rely on background check companies to provide current and accurate information before making the decision to hire or rent. A common misconception is that there is one large database that all consumer reporting agencies rely on for their data. In fact, there are hundreds of databases, records, and other sources that still could have erroneous data on the individual being screened. For this reason alone, screening companies must verify and double-verify data and also rely on the adverse action/dispute procedures set out in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

With a possibility for errors, how do background check companies get their information?

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening, Employment Background Screening

Important Updates for E-Verify

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Apr 20, 2018

E-Verify, the online system that employers use to access the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) database, was put into place as part of 1986's Immigration Reform and Control Act. The legislation requires that employees submit an I-9 form and valid forms of identification to verify their immigration status and eligibility to work in the United States. E-Verify is an electronic version of the I-9 form that confirms 98% of employees' eligibility within 24 hours. The system is undergoing some improvements after the most recent budget announcements by the Trump administration in February.

Employers take note of these important updates about E-Verify. 

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, Immigration

How to Tell an Employee They Failed Their Background Check

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Apr 13, 2018

Whether you're screening an applicant prior to employment or screening a current employee, the chore of informing that person about a failed background check can feel cruel. They likely have good intentions and, for all intents and purposes, may have been stellar candidates or solid employees. The good news is that you can prepare for this process with some forethought and you may not have to withdraw a job offer or terminate them after all.

Here is a clear process to tell an employee that they failed their background check.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance, Hiring and Recruiting

6 Common Myths about Background Checks

Posted by Ryan Howard on Tue, Apr 10, 2018

Background checks are necessary for employers who wish to have a clear picture of who they are hiring. It can be quite overwhelming to an HR department of one or an employer who doesn't hire often. With big companies being taken to court over compliance issues to fair chance hiring laws like "Ban the Box", a hiring manager could easily develop ideas about background screening that simply aren't true. 

Here are six common myths about background checks and the truth about what to do.

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance, Hiring and Recruiting

HR Best Practices for Keeping Employee Data Safe

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Apr 05, 2018

With Europe ramping up data protection compliance under GDPR and Facebook coming under scrutiny for its failure to keep user data safe, employers should also be aware of the responsibility of collecting employee data. Employees have a right to privacy under federal and state laws.  Their personal identifying information is to be kept confidential, stored securely and disposed of properly. 

Here are HR best practices for keeping employee data safe.

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Topics: Human Resources

Employee Criminal Records: How far back should you look?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Wed, Apr 04, 2018

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: Types of Background Checks, Employment Background Screening