How Technology is Changing the Face of Employee Screening

In the pursuit of efficiency in all aspects of the screening industry, employee screening providers are now incorporating advanced software technology in their processes in order to make the hiring experience for both employers and applicants faster, smarter, and easier. According to ESR CEO Lester Rosen, the adoption of such software will become more prevalent this year as providers seek to remain competitive.

The Need for Speed

Depending on the employer and the industry, a fast turnaround time for background check verifications during the hiring process is either crucial or simply preferred. Essentially, no one wants to wait forever for the results, and everyone demands accuracy. For the applicants, the sooner they can hear back about an employer’s hiring decision, the better. For both parties, software that can contribute to fast and accurate screenings transforms the experience and sets a new precedent for the industry into the future.

Beware of the Term “Disruptive”

While it’s one thing for a provider to offer quality and efficient software and features with their services and quite another for HR technology creator to repurpose and perhaps rebrand existing software as something new and “disruptive.”

“Disruptive” is a buzz word used to suggest a subversion of the old and the introduction of the new and cutting edge. The problem with this “disruptive” approach is the tendency to neglect the importance of diligent and conscientious compliance with the FCRA and the EEOC in favor of speed. Ultimately, this approach will end up costing too much at best and resulting in a lawsuit at worst.

VICTIG Software

VICTIG uses innovative software that is both compliant and effective in delivering accurate results quickly. To learn more about our solutions, contact us today.

A Comprehensive Approach to Protecting Your Business from Insider Threats

Conducting continuous screening of employees periodically throughout their employment may seem like a fool-proof way to protect yourself against insider threats, but Lester Rosen, CEO of Employment Screening Resources, says otherwise.

While it’s true that employee screening is a crucial component of any hiring process, protecting your interests post-hire is a much more nuanced and complex endeavor. It is especially important to tread carefully when conducting criminal background checks, because legislation protecting employees from discrimination based on their criminal histories is becoming more prevalent.

What’s the Overall Strategy?

Rosen asserts that spotting and preventing insider threats requires “an inter-disciplinary approach” that includes more than just continuous background checks. It can include:

  • mental health assessments
  • psychological testing
  • physical security
  • internal controls
  • continuous personnel evaluations beyond criminal histories (performance, integrity, etc.)
  • supervisor and personnel training to spot behavioral red flags
  • identifying risk factors
  • team collaboration
  • cultivating a culture of safety, reporting, and integrity

Overall, Rosen recommends the formulation and implementation of a cohesive strategy by a strong team of leaders. This plan may include continuous employee screening or it may not. Each company is different, and one of the highest priorities must be to avoid creating a workplace environment that fosters uncertainty and fear among employees. This is a real possibility when employees start to feel like their positions are constantly at risk. Make sure your policies are clear and in complete compliance with FCRA and EEOC rules.

Contact VICTIG to learn how to implement your own inter-disciplinary approach to protecting your company.

The Value of Continuous Employee Screening

We’re all familiar with the importance of employee screening in the interview process, but industry leaders, including Attorney Lester Rosen, predict that continuous employee screening will gain popularity in the coming year.

What is Continuous Screening?

Continuous employee screening is the practice of conducting post-hire background checks periodically on employees as a risk-management tool, in order to uncover criminal activity that may take place during their employment. The practice is particularly relevant to the financial sector, wherein criminal convictions of embezzlement, fraud, and theft are especially worrisome.

But is Continue Screening FCRA Compliant?

With the rise of ban-the-box legislation, employers must be particularly careful with how they handle their employees’ and prospective employees’ criminal histories. For example, in many regions, it is no longer compliant to run criminal background check in the preliminary stages of hiring in order to give the candidate a fair opportunity to demonstrate their qualifications. This is also to give them a chance to make a case for their eligibility.

Rosen recommends that employers consider these following factors in determining if continuous screening is applicable to their needs, fair, and compliant:

  1. They may lead to a false sense of security, especially if the background checks are incomplete or inefficient.
  2. The employee must know that continuous screening will be conducted and provide their consent.
  3. Procedures in place in the event that a criminal record is found.
  4. Must be compliant with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  5. Should not be considered or used as a stand-alone precaution against insider threats.
  6. Consider how continuous screening may impact morale and your company’s culture.

Contact VICTIG to find out if continuous screening may be right for your company.

What is Gig Economy and How Will it Affect Employee Screening Practices?

Photo courtesy of Business New Daily

How many people do you know with a “side-gig”? Between the years of 2010 and 2014, temporary work, or “gigs,” made up 30 percent of new job creation and represented an income source for a little over 2 million people in the US, according to an American Action Forum Report in 2015. As a result, employers have and will continue to have to strengthen their screening processes for this type of temporary side-employment.

A Gig versus a Job

The term “gig” implies short-term or part-time, and it describes temporary work such as driving for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services. It also includes house-sharing services and anything else that can be relegated as supplementary. Attorney Lester Rosen of ESR states that gig-economy employees must be subject to rigorous background check screenings just like full-time employees, but that the process may require a “different approach.”

Rise of the Gig Economy

Intuit recently reported that by 2020, at least seven and a half million people will comprise the gig economy, with the number of people filing 1099 tax forms continuing to rise. A report revealed that more than half (60%) of full-time workers supplement at least 25% of their income with side-gigs.

A Different Approach

Employers of gig workers need to process background checks quickly. The main issue is the volume of reports that need processing, considering how gig work goes hand in hand with high turnover rates. Screenings need to be both accurate and fast and must abide with the mounting legislation surrounding transportation network companies (TNC).

For example, Massachusetts recently passed a bill that requires TNCs to conduct full state Criminal Offender Record Information background checks that include the driver’s sex offender registry status, and a bi-annual national commercial background check. This in response to a rash of assaults perpetrated by Uber and Lyft drivers over recent years.

Contact VICTIG with any questions about conducting your own fast and accurate background checks.

How Drug-Use Legislation Will Potentially Change Employee Screening Policies

Only months into the  New Year and we’ve already got a substantial list of changes to expect in the workplace. Jena McGregor of the Washington Post writes that this list includes the potential repeal or replacement of the Affordable Care Act and its effect on employee health insurance, changes to the Dodd-Frank act which requires some companies to publish their CEO-to-worker pay ratio, and the possible expansion of paid parental leave. A hot item on the list is also the issue of marijuana legalization and how many companies have had to adjust their policies to reflect their state’s changing stance on the subject.

Currently, marijuana is allowed for recreational use in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine. The number of states that adopt similar legislation is expected to grow, but even before that takes place, companies within these four states will adjust their drug testing policies in ways that will have a far-reaching effect on long-distance employees as well.

Significant Changes to Expect

McGregor reports that many human resource leaders believe that companies will begin requesting that screening providers to omit tests and reports on marijuana use specifically going forward. Obviously, there a few jobs where this omission would be, at best, impractical and at worst dangerous:

  1. Airline pilots
  2. Truck drivers
  3. Construction workers
  4. Medical professionals

However, these same professionals maintain that employers—even if they decide to omit marijuana drug testing from their pre-screening processes—will and should reserve the right to prohibit its use on the job and to test employees when reasonable suspicion has alerted them to the employee’s impaired performance.

Contact VICTIG with any questions regarding your region’s stance on marijuana use.

New Emphasis for Stronger Security Measures Placed on Screening Providers

Recently, many large corporations experienced data breaches in security resulting in millions of dollars in losses, including Yahoo! Inc. in September and Sony Pictures in April. In March, Home Depot settled a class action lawsuit for $19.5 million for a breach that took place in 2014.

Where did the weak points for these breaches originate? Vulnerabilities were often traced back to inadequate security measures of third party vendors. As a result, industry experts have predicted that 2017 will see added emphasis placed on the security measures of third party vendors, including screening providers.

Special Concern for Financial Institutions

Organizations within the financial sector will feel added pressure to closely scrutinize the security measures of third party vendors in the coming year, due to the fact that they handle highly sensitive information on a regular basis. For many of them, a breach could mean the end of their company.

Minimizing Liability

When it comes to deciding on a screening provider, it is critical to confirm that the provider in question has done the work of earning appropriate accreditation. This will ensure that the provider has taken adequate measures to safeguard your sensitive information in addition to that of your applicants. Additionally, a quality screening provider also bears the responsibility of vetting each of your potential hires, doubling the burden of ensuring your ongoing security.

VICTIG’s applications and certifications include Verizon Cybertrust Security, accreditation with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners, and the National Consumer Reporting Association. Contact us to learn more about how we will protect your data and interests into the coming years.

What to Expect When Running Criminal Background Checks

With the rise of Ban the Box legislation in America, the legislation that prohibits employers from automatically eliminating candidates based solely on the existence of a criminal history, it is important to understand the basics of dealing with criminal background checks.

How Many People Actually Have Criminal Histories?

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults has a prior arrest or conviction on record. That’s about 70 million people. To put that number into some perspective, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of Millennials—people between the ages of 18 and 34—numbered around 75 million in 2015. The Baby Boomer population hovered around the same amount, give or take a million.

People with criminal records represent a massive chunk of the workforce. The odds of finding issues after running a criminal background check on an applicant is great and your policies should reflect a clear and measured procedure for handling that information.

Understanding Ban the Box and other Re-entry and Second Chance Programs

NELP reports that Ban the Box legislation has a presence in at least 27 states in the nation. This means that more and more employers will need to adapt their policies in order to protect themselves from the risk of discrimination allegations. But what is the sentiment behind Ban the Box?

Ban the Box and other Re-entry and Second Chance programs exist to assimilate ex-offenders back into society by allowing the opportunity for them to get gainful employment. Without a job, ex-offenders are crippled in their effort to rejoin society and thereby become more at risk of reoffending.

A study conducted by Northwestern University found that as employees, ex-offenders were no worse at their jobs than their non-offender counterparts. Are these findings applicable to your own experience?

Contact VICTIG with any questions or concerns about how Ban the Box may apply to your area.