Quality Background Checks

Are You Interested in Accurate Background Checks?

accurate background checksThat seems like an odd question to ask.  Can you imagine anyone saying that they are not interested in accurate background checks?

However, I speak with prospective clients every single day who are most interested in speed and cost.  They would accept a fast and cheap background check regardless of the quality.

That is scary.

I will agree that a lot of this is driven by a frantic world that believes that a comprehensive criminal record check can be completed instantly.  But unfortunately, it cannot.  And a background screening industry that is focused more on profit that safety and security.

I made a personal pledge to myself, my staff and the clients we serve that we would not sacrifice quality for speed or being the cheapest provider in the background screening space.  I will admit that it would be very easy to give in and offer a low quality, cheap and instant product.  They are highly profitable and require very little labor.

But that is not who we are.  We are a niche background screening firm that is one hundred percent committed to accurate background checks.

The world is requiring accuracy.  Lawsuits against background screening firms and organizations alike are at an all time high.  And the foundation for almost all of these lawsuits is “inaccurate” information.

Lazy background screening companies that do not want to take the time or spend the money to verify information and determine if the criminal record is your candidate or not.  Criminal record searches that are limited to 7 years (even if not required by state or local laws).

The number of Fair Credit Report Act non-compliance lawsuits is higher than they have ever been.  Quality background screening firms should be committed to the spirit of the federal FCRA.

The EEOC has made it clear that they believe that the proliferation of criminal record checks has placed certain minority groups at a disadvantage.  So they have offered guidance for companies to ensure that you are using criminal background checks in a responsible manner.

There has honestly never been a more critical time for organizations to review their background screening process and make sure they are receiving accurate background checks.  Anything less places your organization at significant legal risk.

If you are interested in reviewing your screening program, please contact us and we will provide a guide that will help you evaluate if you are receiving accurate background checks.

5 Reasons Automated Quality Background Checks are the Bomb

quality background checksNow understand we are talking about automated quality background checks not instant.  Don’t confuse the two.  There is no such thing as an instant background check (I know, an internet search says otherwise but the screening companies are not being honest). A few years ago we created an Applicant Tracking System that allows you to conduct quality background checks without data entry.  We created this technology to assist our large volunteer organizations who process thousands of criminal record checks.

Hundreds of organizations have adopted this “paperless” process because it:

  1. Speeds the Turnaround Time.  Candidates can order a background check 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. Saves Money by Reducing Labor.  Candidates click on a link on your website, sign an e-authorization, input their information and initiate the background check.
  3. Increases Security.  The ATS replaces paper authorizations and encrypts and stores the information on secured servers.
  4. Reduces Data Entry Errors.  No more data entry errors because you cannot read information on a paper authorization which speeds the turnaround time.
  5. Allows Candidates to Pay for Their Own Background Check with a Credit or Debit Card.  Yes, this is a new concept for some organizations.  However, having the candidate pay for their criminal record check is growing in popularity.

The ATS is a great tool but it does not eliminate the application process and due diligence that you use to identify your candidates.  Candidates that attempt to provide a false social security number, change the spelling of their name or do not disclose other names or addresses will be flagged.   We recommend that employers require a government issued photo ID as part of the application process and compare this against their background screening report.

Are you ready to take your background screening program to the next level?  Contact us today.

#1 Hidden Danger of Quality Volunteer Background Checks

volunteer background checksHow many of you have kids?  Do you ever find yourself telling them the same thing over and over again?  Come on, I cannot be the only one. “Clean your room.”

“Pick up your dirty socks off of the living room floor.”

“Put the lid up when you….”   Okay you get it.  I have 3 boys.

It wears me out.  I keep thinking one day it will click.  No more broken record saying the same thing over and over again (how many of you even know what a record is?).

I also face the same frustration at work every day.  It is the same conversation over and over again with hundreds of volunteer organizations.  Yes, you need to be doing background checks on your volunteers.  No, you cannot select the cheapest service you find on the internet.  No, there is no such thing as an instant background check.  No, you cannot screen volunteers for $10.

Have you followed the Penn State tragedy?

I honestly think that the #1 hidden danger with volunteer background checks is apathy.  A genuine lack of interest or indifference.

Every day I speak to potential clients, present at conferences or online webinars or publish articles on quality background screening.  My efforts pale in comparison to the money the background screening industry spends to convince you that volunteer background checks can be done instantly for a few dollars.

By the end of most days, my voice is hoarse and my fingers are tired.  Have you ever tried to motivate a lack of interest?  Think of kids and homework.

However, this apathy to background screening has come home to roost.  I have 5 active kids that play sports- baseball, basketball, football, karate.

Our community has passed a policy requiring all coaches to have a criminal background check.  Unfortunately there was no definition or requirement for how a background check is done.  Which has lead to a search for the cheapest provider.

The problem is the community does have a policy that clearly defines what criminal offenses are excluders.  For the policy and the screening process to work in harmony, to provide protection to children and the community, then selecting the right screening partner is paramount.

What point is a strong policy if it is implemented with a weak screening program?  Yes, there is still a lot of indifference.  I listen to the comments.  “We know everybody.”  “We are a small community.”  “We can’t afford it.”

Do we really know everybody?  No way.  That is a false sense of security.  I have looked around at some of the volunteer coaches and I know they have criminal histories that include domestic violence, driving under the influence and drug possession.

I have spent almost 20 years criss-crossing the U.S. and Atlantic Ocean working with communities to end violence against women and children so I can tell you that I would NEVER allow my children to be coached by someone who believes they are justified in using violence, coercion and intimidation against their spouse our children.

What is scary is I recognize these coaches with criminal records and they are in a small pool of coaches I know.  There is a much larger pool of coaches I don’t know.  Are we comfortable with a hit-and-miss style of screening?

And save your breath, I don’t buy the “we-can’t-afford-it” story.  That is pure baloney.

I would have so much more respect for someone who honestly said, “screening is not a priority.”  Frightening, yes.  But honest.

Truthfully, I have never seen an organization that did not find money for their priorities.  The same groups that say they do not have the money will gladly raise their participant fees $10 to cover the costs of new uniforms, warm-ups, bags, matching shoes or the cost of traveling.  But they would never raise the participant fee $3 to ensure the safety and security of the children.

Now, I have served on many boards- sports, church, homeless teen ministry, domestic violence- and have witnessed control issues seeping into the boardroom.   I would hate to think that control- “you are not going to tell me what to do”- would generate the resistance to background screening.

We should recognize that our coaches are also role models.  And even volunteer coaches should be held to a higher standard.  They are influencing a young life.

I understand a DUI or public intoxication record may not be a game stopper unless the coach could be driving players to games or practice.  But quality volunteer background checks will provide the information to make sound policy decisions.

Implementing quality volunteer background checks is not an easy task.  As we work through a process of overcoming resistance- control, ignorance, financial- we have to make sure we don’t acquiesce to the resistance and implement a low quality background screening program.

Don’t fall prey to cheap volunteer background checks.  The screening industry recognizes that ignorance +tight budgets = high profit.  They will hook you on a $10 volunteer background check that has a high failure rate with violent offenders, drugs, online predators and the list goes on and on.

Are you willing to take that risk?  If not, contact us today and we can guide you through a process of implementing a quality volunteer background screening program.