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Ryan Howard

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

Should Your Company Have a Holiday Party?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Dec 07, 2018

The #MeToo movement may be affecting the annual company holiday party tradition, according to a recent study quoted on HRDive. Even though consumer and corporate confidence in the economy is higher than last year, the amount of companies planning to host a holiday party is as low as it was in 2009. The reason? Alcohol, the potential for inappropriate behavior and the liability of the HR department and the company throwing the shindig. While 57% of employees have seen their co-workers drunk, many businesses are considering a way to make the annual gathering less...wild.

Should your company have a holiday party? Let's offer some ideas to avoid bad behavior.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employee Relationship Management, Employment Background Screening

What Employers Need to Know About Background Checks

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Dec 03, 2018

Whether it's your first hire or your thousandth, employers should have very clear and thorough knowledge of background checks. Pre-employment background checks are highly recommended to reduce turnover, minimize risk of negligent hiring and legal costs. At a minimum, employers should be verifying previous employment, education, criminal records, and credentials. 

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recommendations for screening candidates that employers must also follow so they won't be responsible for punitive damages if the candidate decides to file a claim. Employers should also know what screens to ask for, how to get a faster turnaround and at a fair cost.

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

How to Select a Background Check Package for New Hires

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Nov 19, 2018

When hiring a new employee, it may be tempting to run every background check available. This is a bad idea for two reasons - (1) running unneeded background checks will take longer and (2) they'll cost more too.

Instead of checking the box on every background check, consider certain background checks may only be needed for certain types of jobs. Understanding the types of background checks, and what information they reveal, can also be helpful to determine which background checks best fit the situation.

How to select a background check package for new hires

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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

HR Policy for Criminal Background Checks

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Nov 09, 2018

Creating a background check policy allows your human resources department to be consistent during the hiring, promotion and terminations processes. Employers must be mindful of applicant rights when applying a background check policy and any local, state or federal employment laws applicable in your area.  Attempting to remember screening procedures as well as compliance rules can be challenging, especially if hiring is done sporadically or not as often. A screening policy is a dependable, company-wide policy that helps to create a positive experience for hiring managers and employees.

Here are the most important steps to creating an HR policy for criminal background checks.

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

What Employers Should Consider When Hiring for the Seasonal Holidays

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Nov 02, 2018

It's that magical time of year when retailers across the nation are looking for seasonal employees to take them through the holidays. With a great economy in full swing, stores are looking to hire over a half a million workers, just in time for Black Friday. Seasonal hiring may be different this year, thanks to the great economy, because the unemployment is the lowest it's been since 1969.

Here's what employers should consider when seasonal hiring this year.

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting

Introducing: Business Search and Corporate Screening

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Oct 26, 2018

With many thanks to our subscribers and clients, we're excited to bring you the latest company news. In addition to VeriFirst's continuing services of employment and hiring background checks, tenant screening, and customer ID verification, we are expanding to include business and corporate screening services.

VeriFirst Background Screening is one of four companies under the umbrella of BYL Companies. Each of these sister companies has their own specialty and yet work together to provide outsourced back office operations to our clients. Expanding our service offerings to include corporate screening was a natural development of our current client relationships and requests.

Read to learn more about corporate screening services and why you may need it.

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Topics: VeriFirst Insider, Customer Identity Verification, Types of Background Checks

The Masks Applicants Wear to Hide Who They Are

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Oct 19, 2018

Most people lie on their resume. The typical resume untruths are embellishments or exaggerations so the candidate sounds more impressive or more experienced than they are. Earlier this year, CareerBuilder reported that 45% of hiring managers can't find qualified talent so fluffing up credentials is happening more than ever. These resume white lies may not necessarily reveal a bad hire if the candidate is bright, hardworking and willing to learn. Some applicants, however, may be hiding who they really are and it's up to the discerning hiring manager to uncover the scary truth underneath .

Here's what you may find behind the masks some applicants wear.

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Topics: Hiring and Recruiting, Employment Background Screening

How Background Checks Affect Workplace Culture

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Oct 12, 2018

Nearly three quarters of employers run background screens on employment applicants. While it is assumed that employers are looking for criminal records, a Reddit thread about background checks uncovered plenty of other valuable and available information to determine if the applicant is a good fit. Those who fit well, perform better and stick around longer, reducing turnover costs and the risk of low morale.

Employers may be closely reviewing background check information to help improve or maintain a positive workplace culture.

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Topics: Employee Relationship Management, Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

HR Policy Updates: How to Include Rolling Background Checks

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Oct 05, 2018

More companies are choosing to screen their employees, both prior to hire and after they are employed. With the “Me Too” movement and the most recent accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, rolling background checks are now considered a good idea for employers wishing to make their workplace safe from sexual harassment.

If your company or HR department has considered rolling background checks, here are some best practices for updating your employment policies to include it.

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

🚨 Alert: New FCRA Summary of Rights Notice 🚨

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Sep 28, 2018

It's very important that we continue our mission to educate and inform our clients and readers about new regulations that may affect FCRA compliance.  We regularly share information on this blog about screening for hiring or placing tenants while explaining the importance of applicant rights. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) specifies how to collect consumer reports, who has access and for what purpose, and that applicants should be aware of the information in their consumer reports. 

Effective this week, September 21, 2018, companies using background checks must implement new regulations pertaining to Consumer Rights and FCRA compliance.

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Topics: FCRA Compliance