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Ryan Howard

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

How Accurate is Your Tenant's Background Check?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Jun 26, 2020

As if the COVID-19 pandemic and rising unemployment doesn't hit hard enough, some renters are being denied housing due to inaccurate screening reports. Last month, the New York Times reported that many automated tenant background checks produce reports that aren't verified and often untrue. This leaves renters that are denied housing to scramble to find a safe place to live with their families. 

If you're a property manager or landlord, have you considered this? How accurate is your tenant's background check?

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Topics: Tenant Background Screening, FCRA Compliance

How to Protect Employees from Workplace Retaliation

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Jun 19, 2020

More employees are worried about workplace retaliation due to the COVID-19 and BLM protests across the country. Some are concerned with losing their jobs in their reluctance to return to an unsafe workplace. Others are worried that speaking out about racism could cause discrimination and workplace bullying. Employers are wise to understand how to protect employees and provide resources if workplace retaliation is suspected. 

With heightened awareness of discrimination due to COVID-19 or the Black Lives Matter protests, employers need to know how to protect employees from workplace retaliation.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employee Relationship Management, Employment Law

Can Employers Consider Protest Arrests on Employment Background Checks?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Jun 12, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the world's attention now includes protests in response to the death of George Floyd. Social media and video postings have brought to light individual reactions to the ongoing events and employers have been forced to address issues of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Another consideration for employers is a potential arrest record when those individuals speak out or stand with protesters.  

Should employers consider arrest records from protests on employment background checks?

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Topics: Human Resources, Types of Background Checks, Employment Background Screening

How to Attract and Support LGBTQ Employees in the Workplace 🌈

Posted by Ryan Howard on Thu, Jun 04, 2020

In 2018, the Human Rights Campaign reported that nearly 50% of LGBTQ workers remain in the closet at their place of employment. The report revealed that these workers are told to dress more masculine or feminine or have heard others tell offensive jokes about being gay or lesbian.  They're afraid to come out because they don't feel that they would be supported, they would face discrimination and it would ruin relationships with their co-workers. These fears lead to feelings of depression, exhaustion or the inability to focus on their jobs. While there is legislation to protect LGTBQ employees, employers can create a more inclusive workplace through leadership and recruitment. 

Here are best practices and examples of how to support LGBTQ employees in the workplace.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employee Relationship Management, Hiring and Recruiting

Denying Employment in the Era of COVID-19

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 29, 2020

For hiring managers seeking qualified job applicants, it can be especially challenging to consider denying employment when the unemployment rate keeps rising. Still, finding the best candidate, getting them screened, hired and onboard is job #1. Employers must be sure to avoid hiring bias and allow candidates access to the information used in denying employment, especially when hiring as the nation returns to a new normal. 

Employers must continue to abide by the federal agency regulations such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when hiring and denying employment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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

The Reason Background Checks Are Taking Forever🤦‍♂️

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 22, 2020

Businesses are doing their best to navigate the changing dynamics of employment during the COVID-19 pandemic and after. With remote work, furloughs and new return-to-work policies, HR managers are feeling the strain of tasks that needed to be finished like yesterday.  Just when things seem to be leveling out again, background checks appear to be slowing down the hiring process. Why does it feel like nothing is happening fast enough?

What's the real reason that background checks are taking forever?

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

Why Hiring Decisions Require a Human Touch (vs. AI)

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, May 18, 2020

While employers and organizations look for quicker, easier ways to hire employees, many are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) decision making. It would appear that using algorithms in decisions would limit discrimination but in fact, algorithmic discrimination is still a very real problem. When considering an applicant for employment, there are far too many mistakes that could occur under the premise of "machine learning". 

Instead of relying on solely on artificial intelligence for hiring, employers are better served making hiring decisions with human touch.

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Topics: Employment Background Screening, Hiring and Recruiting

Employer Considerations for an HR Return to Work Policy

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 08, 2020

As state economies are reopening as shelter-in-place orders are lifted, employers may have questions related to rehiring and on-boarding employees after a layoff. There are benefits in bringing back employees who were furloughed or laid off.  The employee already knows the business. HR can expect reduced on-boarding and on the job training, and company culture is already established.

Proper procedures, however, should still be followed that are consistent with company policy. 

Here are HR and legal recommended practices for your employees returning to work.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employee Relationship Management, Hiring and Recruiting

Remote Talent Acquisition Challenges for Recruiters

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, May 01, 2020

Acquiring the right talent can be challenging at any time but recruiting during a lockdown is especially trying. During the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and staff have had to adjust to a new remote way of working. Talent acquisition, much like anything else, has moved virtual and recruiters are adapting and teaching candidates how to adapt as well.

Read on to learn how recruiters are adapting to new remote talent acquisition challenges.

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Topics: Employee Relationship Management, Hiring and Recruiting

Employment Background Screening Challenges During COVID-19

Posted by Ryan Howard on Fri, Apr 24, 2020

While the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting businesses, some organizations are in need of candidates, from front line workers in fields like the medical industry, retail or those transporting goods across the country. Remote work is also challenging employers to consider applicant qualities that they may not have considered before. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating new employment background screening challenges for employers. Here's how to adapt.

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Topics: Human Resources, Employment Background Screening