Best Employee Screening Articles For August & September 2009

October 1, 2009

human_resourcesIn case you missed any of our employee screening articles for August and September, here’s a quick recap of our most popular:

Smart, Compliant Hiring Decisions Made Easy

FYI Screening, Inc. is a leading provider of on-demand, easy to use employee screening solutions.

Photo credit:  net_efekt

Sex Offenders In Ohio

September 25, 2009

Congratulations to Ohio for being the first state in the country to reach “substantial implementation” of the provisions of a federal law cracking down on sex offenders (FYI Screening, Inc. is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.)

The state is largely in compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which is part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, according to Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was signed into law by U.S. President George W. Bush on July 27, 2006.

The legislation organizes sex offenders into three tiers:

  1. Tier 3 offenders (the most serious tier) must update their whereabouts every three months with lifetime registration requirements.
  2. Tier 2 offenders must update their whereabouts every six months with 25 years of registration
  3. Tier 1 offenders (which includes minors as young as 14 years of age) must update their whereabouts every year with 15 years of registration.

Failure to register and update information is a felony under the law. It also created a national sex offender registry and instructs each state and territory to apply identical criteria for posting offender data on the Internet (i.e., offender’s name, address, date of birth, place of employment, photograph, etc.)

States, tribes and territories must “substantially implement” the sex-offender law by July 26, 2010, or face a 10 percent reduction in federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch

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More Background Checks

September 25, 2009

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It’s not everyday that I see a headline like this  in our local newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch.

Last night the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities voted to require background checks every three years on all their employees.  Previously, background checks were conducted upon hiring and the county relied on the honor system for employees to report any offense after that.

This is a good reminder that your organization should have a Post-Hire Screening Program in place.

A Post-Hire Screening Program (also called recurring screening) is considered a best practice for employers. It ensures a safe workplace and helps reduce the risk of a negligent retention lawsuit. Conducting checks on all new hires is essential. Keep in mind, that a lot can happen in the years after a new hire comes aboard. Companies should consider protecting themselves with periodic post-hire criminal checks and drug screening.

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Dangers Of Using Social Networks On The Job Hunt In Australia

July 22, 2009

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NEWS.com.au (Australia) reports about the Dangers of using social networks on the job hunt.

Employers using social networks to gather information on job candidates could be breaking the law.

Social networks have become hot recruitment tools but Harmers Workplace Lawyers warn that using such sources to gather personal information to screen would-be employees carries a number of legal risks.

Harmers senior associate Bronwyn Maynard says many employers and recruiters are not aware of their obligations under the existing Privacy Act let alone the “General Protections” section of the Fair Work Act that came into force on July 1, 2009.

Under the Privacy Act employers and recruiters must:

  • Inform a candidate that they have collected personal information about them.
  • Explain the purpose of gathering the information.
  • Tell the candidate who else will see the information.

Luckily for recruiters and hiring managers, most candidates don’t realise that under privacy legislation they are entitled to see notes made about them during the recruitment screening process.

“The Privacy Act also dictates that companies must only collect personal information that is necessary for their business,” explains Ms Maynard.

Candidates can apply directly to employers and recruitment consultants to see the notes made and information gathered about them during a recruitment campaign. A candidate can request that inaccurate information be corrected. If the candidate considers the information irrelevant he or she can then make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner.

Ms Maynard said while there is no set timeframe, to expect a reply within 30 days would be a reasonable.

Read more about the Dangers of using social networks on the job hunt.

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The Importance Of Accurate Background Checks

July 14, 2009

anonymous_gunLast week I reported how a Post-Hire Background Check could have prevented a terrible crime.

On the front page of this morning’s Dispatch I read…

Rape suspect got 2nd job because of faulty vetting

Weapons charges should have disqualified caregiver

It looks like this suspect was able to get a second job with Goodwill Columbus because of two errors with his background check:

  1. Goodwill ran a background check through the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) which incorrectly showed a weapons charges against him had been dismissed.  Actually, the suspect pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to reduced misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon and improper handling of a firearm in 2008 — convictions considered to be disqualifying offenses for working among people with developmental disabilities.That information was not on the BCI report, said Margie Pizzuti, president of Goodwill Columbus.
  2. Goodwill ran an additional background check through an online records-search service (I don’t know which company), but that report was confusing and Goodwill staff members apparently did not see that Quintero had been convicted, Pizzuti said.”This instructs us to be even more vigilant in finding out what’s in these reports and making sure we understand them,” she said. “If we had seen that and understood clearly, it probably would have been at least a red flag.”

Read the article here.

CONCLUSION

  • A manual on-site search at the county courthouse by an experienced researcher is often the most accurate, and up-to-date criminal search available.  Goodwill ran a BCI check which is the authorized central repository for all felony records for the state of Ohio.  The bureau relies on police departments, sheriff’s offices, and courts of record to submit arrest and court conviction data to the bureau for record updates.  The bureau did not have the most current information in this case.
  • Your background screening provider needs to provide you with an easy to read report so there is absolutely no question about the status of the person being screened.

FYI Screening, Inc. is a leading global provider of employee screening solutions to corporations, government agencies, healthcare systems and educational institutions.

  • Contact us for a 10 minute online demo of the easiest, most cost-effective and reliable solution for employee screening.

Great, New HR Technology for Background Screening – Simplifies HR Management

June 26, 2009

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Take Control With Convenient Account Management Options Built Into Your Screening Software

Go beyond ordering and reports – simplify HR management and tap into powerful tools.

Our client module gives you access to features that streamline the whole screening experience.

  • Modify email and fax information, notification preferences and company information in real time
  • Sign up for regular screening statistics emails, giving a comprehensive summary of screening information on a daily, weekly or monthly basis
  • View past invoices online and download useful documents such as release forms from your own secure site
  • Administrative users can add, remove and manage other users online
  • Permissions management allows you to limit specific user access as needed

Request a Free Online Demo

Cool, New HR Technology for Background Screening – Easy Applicant Management

June 26, 2009

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Applicant Management Has Never Been This Easy Or Intuitive

Find and manage applicants and reports with ease

Our leading-edge technology features an advanced interface and powerful yet intuitive management tools.

  • System tracks applicants in progress, completed applicants, those with missing information and those with hits or discrepancies
  • Quickly search for individual applicants by name; system auto-matches first and last names and presents them for quick selection
  • Advanced search – find applicants by SSN, DOB, searches ordered, date of order and more
  • Icons quickly identify applicants with unread searches and status updates, those that need additional information and applicants with discrepancies
  • Applicants and status updates are auto-marked as read – no need for an inbox or manual completion
  • Easy-to-read report details allow you to quickly find detailed information, notes, documents and full reports

Request a Free Online Demo

Background Checks For The Education Industry

October 27, 2008

One of tragic ironies of the education industry is that it often fails to properly screen teachers. For example, a study conducted in 2007 found that most Illinois teachers who were hired prior to 2004 were exempt from FBI background checks. These educators have a dangerous level of exposure to children. Consider that many of them could easily hide a criminal past.

Chilling Examples

Newspapers are filled with hundreds of cases in which educators are hired, but are unsuitable to have exposure to children. For example, a high school teacher named Jaime Katheryn Steen was recently jailed for distributing pornographic pictures to her students. George Tolbert, convicted of sexually abusing 2 children, served 4 years in jail, only to earn his teaching credentials and teach for 10 years. Chassappasi Rain, convicted of shooting 2 people in 1978, earned his teaching certificate in 1990 and found a teaching job in the Chicago Public School System.

Comprehensive background checks should have been performed on each of these people prior to hiring them as educators. By failing to screen them properly and allowing them into the classroom, school administrators are gambling with the safety of the students in their care.

Pre-Employment Screening For Educators

As the number of criminal cases involving teachers continues to escalate, state governments are starting to require pre-employment background checks. The problem is that the scope of these background checks is usually inadequate. They’re often limited to running an applicant’s name through an FBI database and doing a child abuse registry search. Not only is this approach plagued with problems (i.e. misspelled names, out of date profiles, etc.), but they often fail to uncover past criminal convictions.

School administrators need to implement more thorough pre-employment screening protocols. Even if funding seems to be a obstacle, it’s important to realize that properly screening teachers and conducting wide-ranging criminal background checks is relatively inexpensive. In fact, it can usually be done for less than what that teacher will earn during their first day on the job.

Limiting Risk And Protecting Students

Doing the bare minimum when screening educators is no longer a viable option. There is simply too much risk to the safety of the students. Allowing convicted felons to gain all-day access to children is a recipe for disaster. In fact, the education industry has been buffeted by high-profile incidents for years. It’s time for school administrators to take control by conducting extensive background checks on all personnel.

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Related Posts:

The Importance of Employee Screening for Nonprofits

Do You Have a Sex Offender Working For You?

Top 4 Things You Need To Know About Employee Screening

Six Background Screening Mistakes To Avoid

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