Finding the Perfect Tenant
When you’re renting property, it’s only a matter of time before you encounter a problem tenant. If you’re lucky, that tenant won’t become a nightmare, but you’ll still wish you’d screened them a little differently in the beginning.
When you’re screening first fully consider what’s at stake:
- unpaid rent
- property damage
- legal bills
- court fees
- and your own mental health
Now, train yourself to spot these red flags and save yourself the sleepless night and thousands of dollars that come from renting to a problem tenant.
- Do they have a problem with paying for a background check? It’s your right to charge a rental application fee that will cover a professional background check. Do it and weed out the people who don’t want to comply.
- Do they have a problem with you talking to their current or former employers? Talking to employers isn’t only a method for confirming income. They may be limited in what they can legally say to a prospective landlord, but it’s worth your time to question the type of employee they are. Their performance as an employee will tell you a lot about their suitability as a tenant as well.
- What kind of debt do they have? Who would you prefer to rent to? Someone with $20K debt for student loans and a car, or someone with $20K in consumer credit card debt? While their credit score can tell you a lot, it’s also worth investigating the type of debt they have to know how savvy they are financially
- Do they have a problem with you talking to former landlords? You NEED to do this part of your due diligence, because anyone who has a history of inflicting property damage or missed payments is not worth your time.
Next, partner with a reliable screening provider like VICTIG to find the perfect tenants for your property.
How to Properly Screen Volunteers for Your Non-profit
Having an established, methodical approach to screening candidates doesn’t mean that you have to do away with your natural intuition. There’s still room to consider your gut feeling about a person as a gateway toward further inquiry as opposed to using your feelings to make outright disqualification or hiring decisions.
Screening candidates becomes more critical as the sensitivity of the job role increases. For example, to protect your reputation, avoid negligent hiring suits, and eliminate risk to vulnerable community members, volunteers who will work with children and elderly must be rigorously vetted, while there is less pressure to run highly specific background checks on those who sort groceries or do non-sensitive clerical work for your organization.
Here a few back guidelines to follow as you screen your candidates:
- Customize screening procedures for the specific responsibilities of the position.
- Refrain from making a judgement until all the data is gathered.
- Ask the same question in different ways (i.e. verifying employment records by contacting former employers.)
- Include others from your organization in the selection process, though not all should have access to sensitive information.
- Don’t collect superfluous information on a candidate that you can’t consistently evaluate and make sure it’s necessary to the duty in question.
- Be consistent with the process with all the candidates of the same position. No preferential treatment.
- Be realistic and adaptable. If you don’t have the resources to screen with enough thoroughness for a specific, highly-sensitive duty, change the parameters of the duty itself so that it’s less sensitive.
Talk to the Experts
And don’t forget to consult with us as you begin the process of selecting volunteers for your organization.
Why Run Background Checks?
Common sense tells us that screening potential associates helps us to protect our assets, clients, and reputations. But what do the numbers say?
If you’re on the fence about screening your candidates, consider these statistics before playing the odds.
A Game of Numbers
- How much do you think it costs to replace an employee? Of course it depends on a number of factors, but on average, it will cost $7K to replace a regular salaried employee, $10K for mid-level, and a whopping $40K to replace a senior executive.
- One of the key things employees are trying to avoid when they run background checks is the possibility of litigation down the line. Did you know that employers lose 72% of all negligent hiring suits and the average award in these suit is $3 million? Yikes.
- Double check all resume claims! Over 85% of resumes include errors, omissions, and falsifications, while 34% contain outright lies (11% of applicants fudged the details about why they left former employers.)
- Would you believe that 30% of business failures is due to some form of employee theft? About 15% of applicants admit to internal theft of merchandise, 4.4% admit to theft of cash.
Statistics for At-risk Industries
Criminal records and sex offender registries are especially important resources for hiring managers in the health and child care industries. Clients for these industries are the most vulnerable of our communities: children, the elderly, and home care patients. Did you know that:
- There are over 400,000 new sexual assault victims each year?
- While there are over 550,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S., it’s estimated that over 100,000 have failed to register?
Work with Trusted Background Check Providers
It is vitally important to work with thorough and verified providers. Contact VICTIG to learn more about your options.
Why Screen Non-profit Employees and Volunteers?
Research has shown that 95% of all companies are victims of some form of internal theft, but only 10% of these same companies ever find out about it. We want your organization to be an exception to these statistics. Why? Because your non-profit exists to do good, and for that you need good people.
The Vital Importance of Screening Your Volunteers
The Face of the Organization
As a non-profit organization, you depend entirely on attracting and keeping only those volunteers who share your vision and will do their utmost to uphold your positive reputation. One negative interaction with one of your volunteers will tarnish your image indefinitely to a member of the community you hope to serve, and in today’s technological age, that one experience can become a PR nightmare once it hits social media. As you’re interviewing each volunteer, consider that you are hiring the face of your organization. Your due diligence should reflect the significance of that role.
What does their past suggest about their future with you?
Consider the essential functions of the volunteer’s role within your organization and then conduct a targeted background check that verifies their eligibility for that specific role. For example, if the volunteer will be driving one of the organization’s vehicles? What does a Motor Vehicle Record search say about their qualifications in that area? Will they be handling your organization’s finances? What does their Credit Report suggest about their financial history?
Litigation can be the death knell for most non-profits. Conducting background check on your volunteers helps to reduce the risk of liability that may lead to litigation. Work with a reputable screening provider to ensure that only the best people are brought into your organization.
Conducting FCRA and EEOC Compliant Criminal Background Checks
For employers and hiring managers alike, making hiring decisions while remaining compliant with local and federal laws is an increasingly challenging task with the growing restrictions around how applicants’ criminal records are handled.
Background checks provide the confidence and reassurance employers are looking for when they are bringing new faces into their companies. For some industries, an in depth look into an applicant’s criminal history is crucial to avoid liability and to protect especially vulnerable clients, such as the child and home care industries. Such industries are safer to practice hardline policies that automatically disqualify certain candidates. For the rest, it is generally recommended to keep their focus on recent convictions.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Originating in the 1970s, the EEOC discourages employers from making hiring decisions based on arrest records, as “racial and ethnic minorities are often treated differently at the arrest level,” according to attorney James Reidy. Additionally, it provides compliance guidelines that require employers to consider how long ago the criminal incident took place and its pertinence to the job in question before making sweeping disqualifications of applicants with criminal histories.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
The FCRA regulates employers’ methods for conducting background checks using third-party credit reporting agencies (CRAs), including their policies managing consent, disclosure, and giving applicants appropriate notification about the results of the reports. Employers are liable for any mistakes that a CRA makes during the background check so it’s very important to choose a third party agency wisely by reviewing customer ratings and the BBB.
Finding a Good CRA
At VICTIG, we have over ten years of pre-employment background screening, volunteer screening, and tenant screening experience. Contact us to learn more about why choosing us is the right move for your organization.
How Tennessee’s Airbnb Protects Locals, Hosts, and Guests with Background Checks
Nashville, Tennessee is reported as one of Airbnb’s top five most common tourist destinations, with Fourth of July bookings totaling an estimated $1.3 million+ in costs. As a short-term lodging service, Airbnb provides tourists with a variety of options, savings, and experiences outside of the typical hotel stay, but a significant concern for many is the vetting process for guests as well as hosts who use the service.
Owner-Occupied Versus Non-Owner-Occupied
Owner-occupied Airbnb lodgings are often more palatable to locals because of the added oversight provided by the presence of the Airbnb hosts. Non-owner-occupied Airbnb lodgings create concerns for locals about the presence of criminals and sex offenders who are not registered with the local authorities.
Although Airbnb is upfront about the limitations of their background checks, they do check public, state, and county criminal records of hosts and guests, as well as the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
- Those accompanying the booking guest, however, are not checked.
- The accuracy of the checks are dependent on the accuracy of the information provided (full, correct legal name and date of birth, for example.)
- Checks are performed once per user, which means that offenses committed after a user is vetted may not be reported.
Airbnb bans persons:
- convicted of violent crime
- serious sex offenses, including prostitution
- felony drug-related offenses
- identity theft
Another vetting process is the built-in rating system for hosts and guests. Hosts can cultivate excellent reputations and became verified superhosts, while hosts may also rate guests so that future guests and hosts can choose wisely when they’re booking the next stay.
What do you think?
Do the advantages outweigh the drawbacks with Airbnb’s system of background checks?
Victig Screening Solutions Joins List of Prestigious Utah Tech Companies
In 2017, Utah saw some major attention on the business front, with Forbes naming Salt Lake City the “next tech mecca,” and CNBC calling Utah the 8th Top State for Business. SLC tech businesses also received upwards of $519 million in funding, with more than 42 startups launching before the end of the year.
This momentum started in a big way in 2002, when SLC impressed the world with the Winter Olympics. Entrepreneurship in tech has only grown since then and the predictions are in that the next Silicon Valley is gaining steam in our own backyard.
Top B2B Salt Lake City Tech in 2018
G2 Crowd took a close look at data that not only reflects the growth of business in Utah, but also its quality, and made a list of 2018’s top B2B Tech in Salt Lake City. Victig Screening Solutions comes in at #2!
So how was this data compiled? G2 Crowd collected data of all the top-rated products on the site (for tech companies headquartered in SLC) and the list is ranked by user satisfaction. More than 300,000 B2B software and services reviews were collected and we’re ecstatic that our clients’ satisfaction with our services won us a spot on the list! Victig is joined on this list by Domo, BambooHR, Instructure, and Qualtrics, to name just a few of the key players in Utah tech.
For a closer at G2 Crowd’s list of prestigious tech companies in Utah, click here. But if you want to experience our top-rated services for yourself, a Victig rep is waiting to discuss a perfect-fit screening solution for your vetting and hiring needs. Contact us today!here
What do Job Seekers Think About Background Checks?
Employers and HR managers will likely encounter applicants with a whole range of expectations as to what goes into the hiring process. No two applicants may enter your office with the same expectations and a seamless process greatly depends on setting appropriate expectations and following through.
So what are the common expectations and misconceptions job-seekers have while they’re on the hunt for new employment?
- You’re mainly concerned with the accuracy of their resume. While it certainly may be the case that inaccuracies on the resume will reflect badly on the applicant, it’s incorrect to think that other verifications won’t hold as much weight, such as salary history, criminal activity, credit scores, industry certifications, and professional character references.
- It’s safe to embellish their salary history in order to leverage a higher starting wage. It’s not uncommon for hiring managers and employers to request copies of applicants’ W2s or to directly ask former employers about what the applicant had been making.
- A background check will show their life history. Under the FCRA, there are limits to if or how the following information can be reported:
- There are time limits for tax liens, collections, civil suits and bankruptcies.
- Juvenile criminal activity cannot be reported
- Limits for adult criminal records will vary by state
- Anything negative on the report will automatically disqualify them. In addition to protections mandated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a growing number of states are requiring that adverse employment decisions based on criminal records must relate directly to the requirements of the job in question, the severity of the offense, and the time passed since the offense took place. In other words, there cannot be general disqualifications for anyone with a criminal history.
What Do You Think?
What has been your experience with applicant expectations during the hiring process? Share in the comments below!
California’s New Ban-the-Box Legislation Becomes Effective
Recently, new legislation regulating the use of criminal history in employers’ hiring decisions has become effective in California. Such legislation is known as “ban-the-box” laws because they do away with a catch-all approach to disqualifying job applicants who have to check the box under “yes” for the common job application question “do you have a criminal conviction?”
Before the Legislation
Previous to the new law, California employers were already limited as to inquiries they were allowed to make regarding sealed, expunged, or eradicated criminal convictions—or criminal activity that never resulted in a conviction. Now, employers are not allowed to probe into past convictions if the inquiry does one or both of two things:
- adversely impacts individuals on a basis protected under the non-discrimination law
- cannot be proven as job-related or necessary to the business
Though the burden of responsibility for proving an “adverse impact” is with the applicant, the employee has the responsibility of proving that the criminal conviction(s) in question, and the resulting disqualification, is related to job the applicant has applied for with consideration of:
- the nature and gravity of the offense
- the amount of time that has passed since the offense
- the nature of the job and the relevancy of the offense
What’s Your Take on Ban-the-Box?
Ban-the-box legislation is being adopted across the nation, so it’s important to understand how your business might be affected by your region’s imminent or relative adoption of similar policies. Contact us with any questions about how to adhere to the FCRA and local laws while adding to your employee base.
Federal and State Provisions for Employee Background Checks and Criminal Records
It can be a rough rode to employment for anyone with a blemish on their criminal record. In the United States, that’s at least sixty-five million people! The vast majority of employers include a criminal background check in their hiring process (at least 92% according to one survey), which puts a lot of job seekers in hot water and they try to reenter the workforce as contributing members of society.
Federal Protections for Applicants
There are two main federal laws that are designed to protect consumers and job applicants with criminal histories as they seek employment and housing.
First, there’s the FCRA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which outlines the ways consumer reports are handled by both background check agencies and the employers who work with them. Among other things, the FCRA requires that consumers are given the chance to see, challenge, and correct any inaccuracies on their reports.
Second, there is Title VII, which is enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and prohibits job discrimination. The EEOC hones in on employee practices and policies that disproportionately target protected classes of people. Under Title VII, employees must:
- consider the nature of the job and the particular offense
- consider the gravity of the offense
- consider the amount of time that has passed since the offense
- give applicants a chance to demonstrate merit before criminal records are analyzed
Applicant protections vary on a state-by-state basis and can include requirements for employers to:
- consider whether the offense reasonably relates to the job in question
- refrain from asking questions about arrest and criminal records that have been expunged
- refrain from considering offenses more than ten years old
Let us know if you have any questions about how you should be handling criminal records at your organization.