The Florida Department of Children and Families is pushing a proposal to require summer camps and child care providers to register in an online database. They could only access the database after completing a background check and then obtaining a special code to access the database.
The database would be public and allow parents to scan it for a summer camp they are considering sending their children to.
Currently, many providers across the state already comply with a state law that requires anyone that works for or volunteers at a summer camp to have a background check. The problem is that there is no check to make sure the providers are actually following the law.
This push for change follows an investigation by local media revealing that child molesters and other felons had successfully owned or worked at summer camps.
“Summer camps, since 2010, have been required to do background screening anyway. That’s not going to change, we just need to get them doing it,” said Deborah Russo with the DCF.
Though nothing is required by law yet, more than 1,000 providers have already completed their background checks to access the database.
Bentley Child Development Center in Riviera Beach is among those that have already entered their information on the website. Employee LaJuanda Williams has worked for the center for more than 25 years. She says she gets a background check every year, along with every employee and volunteer at the center. “If you’re going to be exposing these children, you really want to have [employees] cleared,” said Williams.
As the summer camp season nears, summer camp background checks will once again become a priority on the agenda of parents and summer camp employers across the county. Get in touch for more information on employee screening in your community.
Hiring the right employee can be a challenging process. Making wrong hiring decisions can be expensive, costly to your work environment, and not to mention time consuming.
Hiring the right employee, however, pays you back in employee productivity, a successful employment relationship, and a positive impact on your total work environment and – ultimately – your profits. Here are our ten vital steps to hiring a great team:
1. Understand your needs
The first step is the most important step towards a successful outcome. You and your team need to develop a clear understanding of your company’s culture, structure, policies, vision, and how this specific position fits within this.
2. Prepare your job posting
Prepare a job posting that defines the duties, requirements and responsibilities of the position you wish to fill. Make sure that this is understood and accepted by the rest of the team that will be working with the new employee.
3. Collaborate with your team on your interview process
What are the key questions you need answered prior to hiring for this role? Ensure you’re all on the same page with hiring objectives before bringing anyone in for an interview.
4. Screen candidates thoroughly
Depending on the role, you’ll need to employ various screening tactics to ensure they’re right for the vacancy. Bring a professional employment screening firm on board to make sure this process runs smoothly and effectively.
5. In-depth Qualifying Process
Following this, you’ll need to conduct in-depth interviews with the candidates who pass the employment and background screening process. This may include in-depth phone call screening and face-to-face behavioral based interviews.
6. Don’t waste your time
Don’t rush your decision simply to fill a vacancy. Even if it takes a long time to find the right person, this will benefit you in the long run.
7. Focus on personal trajectories as well as professional
Don’t forget to ensure all employees and potential employees understand that you care about them personally, as well as professionally. Take the time to understand their goals and needs, and how you as an employer can help them succeed.
8. Respect everyone’s opinion
When hiring, everyone’s opinion is relevant and valuable. Keep an open mind.
9. Request feedback from all quarters
Like #8, an open mind in opinions will lead to the desire of feedback from all involved – from management to your current team to the potential employee.
10. Enjoy the process
You’re building your team and, if things work out, driving increased success for your business – enjoy it!
Georgia legislators are taking the next step to further to keep children safe, with the introduction of finger-printing based background checks in the child care industry.
“Parents come to us regularly. One of the first questions they ask is what measures are taken with your new employees, do they have background checks?” said the Director of Best Academy, Nancy Isaacson. Right now state and local background checks are required for child care workers but employers might not get the full criminal picture. This introduction intends to change that.
“A background check will examine criminal convictions for misdemeanors and felonies locally and within the state,” said WSAV Crime Expert, Gerry Long. “This would prevent individuals from moving from state to state that have convictions not only for sexual offenses but as well as violent offenses that could put their access to children and to your children in jeopardy,” said Long.
According to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, the child care agency will be responsible for paying for the fingerprint-based background checks. The Director of Best Academy said she doesn’t mind paying for fingerprinting.
“We want to have the double protection and want to make sure the staff is the best and of the utmost,” said Isaacson, providing everyone a better peace of mind.
“Children are their most prized possession. They [parents] want to make sure that when they cannot be with their children that they are in the most protective and safe environment and the people that are working with them are the most trustworthy and responsible,” said Isaacson.
Under the law, a child care worker hired next year will have to get a fingerprint background check. Those who are already working will have to be fingerprinted no later than January 2017
Mind Your Business, Inc. CEO Karen Caruso will be in attendance with more than 500 others at ‘Marketplace 2013: Procurement Opportunities for Small Businesses‘ later this month.
Marketplace 2013 – hosted on 29th May in Durham, NC – is the 14th statewide contracting conference designed to bring small business sellers together with buyers from federal and state government and large prime contractors.
The one-day event provides an opportunity for small business owners to meet contracting officers from 50 federal, state and local government agencies and prime contractors, and we’re excited to be participating this year!
The agenda looks particularly enticing for 2013, with a great mix of seminars, networking opportunities and exhibit areas. Additionally, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, SAS and W.M. Jordan Company standout as this year’s top sponsors of the event.
This will be our third large conference in as many months, with previous attendance at the 23rd Annual Government Procurement Conference in April and participation in the National Reservation Economic Summit 2013 back in March. All valuable experiences that we know will aid progression and positive development for both MYB and our clients.
You can take a closer look at the Marketplace Conference 2013 here: http://www.sbtdc.org/events/marketplace/, and we’ll be sure to write a follow up after the event!
Will you be in attendance?
The Federal Trade Commission sent letters to ten data broker companies recently, warning that their practices could violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) after a test-shopping operation by the FTC indicated the companies were willing to sell consumer information without abiding by FCRA requirements.
The test-shopping operation was part of a worldwide privacy protection effort. FTC staff members posed as individuals or representatives of companies seeking information about consumers to make decisions related to their creditworthiness, eligibility for insurance or suitability for employment.
Data broker companies that collect, distribute or sell this information are considered consumer reporting agencies under the FCRA, meaning they must reasonably verify the identities of their customers and make sure that these customers have a legitimate purpose for receiving the information. This requirement ensures that the privacy of sensitive consumer report information is protected. Of the 45 companies contacted by FTC staff in the test-shopper operation, ten appear to violate the FCRA by offering to provide the information without complying with the law’s requirements.
The FTC issued the letters this week in conjunction with an international privacy practice transparency sweep conducted by the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN). The network connects privacy enforcement authorities to promote and support cooperation in cross-border enforcement of laws protecting privacy. Several GPEN members from countries around the world are taking steps this week to ensure that companies meet their obligations related to the privacy of consumers’ personal information.
The ten companies receiving the warning letters from the FTC include:
- Two companies that appeared to offer “pre-screened” lists of consumers for use in making firm offers of credit: ConsumerBase and ResponseMakers;
- Two companies that appeared to offer consumer information for use in making insurance decisions: Brokers Data and US Data Corporation; and
- Six companies that appeared to offer consumer information for employment purposes: Crimcheck.com, 4Nannies, U.S. Information Search, People Search Now, Case Breakers, and USA People Search.
The letters are not an official notice by the Commission that any of the named companies is subject to the requirements of the FCRA, nor do the letters lay out any formal complaints against the companies. Instead, they serve to remind the companies to evaluate their practices to determine whether they are consumer reporting agencies, and if so, how to comply with that law.
It’s a stark reminder to all those interested in performing background checks of any sort to ensure they work with a verified and reliable screening company, in order to stay within the law. Contact us for more information on how Mind Your Business, Inc. can help.
In the NAPBS ‘History of the Screening Industry’ learning resource, one of the most valuable sections highlights the five most compelling reasons, according to NAPBS, for why organizations should perform background checks on their employees, contractors and volunteers.
It provides real insight that we wanted to share with the MYB audience. Here are their key points, in summary:
The need to hire the most qualified candidate, and the inherent risk in hiring the wrong candidate, has never been greater. Workplace crime, unethical business practices, and misleading résumés are on the rise. The costs of fraud, embezzlement, theft and violence are a multi-billion dollar drain on our economy, bleeding organizations both large and small. Organizations owe it to themselves and to everyone with whom they come into contact to know everything they can about their employees and volunteers, and the most effective method to accomplish this is by conducting thorough background checks.
Background checks are being used today to not only screen prospective employees and volunteers, but also to screen prospective business partners, political candidates, board members, trial witnesses, community leaders, sporting coaches and jurors. Background checks are also an integral part of criminal, civil, or financial investigations.
Background checking has exploded in the workplace over the last 10 years. Some of the most compelling reasons organizations now conduct background checks are:
- Making background checking a part of an organization’s culture can not only enhance its effectiveness (e.g., through greater productivity and retention), but also its reputation.
- Background checking can supplant an organization’s loss prevention efforts by helping provide a safer environment for employees, volunteers, and others.
- The most common reason among employers for not conducting background checks is cost. However, the cost of background checks represents a fraction of the cost of: terminating an individual; re-recruiting, re-hiring, and re-training his or her replacement; and defending a lawsuit brought by a victim of a dishonest or violent individual’s actions (which can range in the multi-millions of dollars). Additionally, background checks may uncover a history of fraud or theft, and many organizations—especially retail companies—experience very high levels of employee theft.
- A background check may uncover deception. It can affirm an individual’s professional or personal integrity by confirming that an individual told the truth on his/her résumé or application regarding criminal, employment and education history.
- In some organizations and industries some form of background checking is often required—whether because it is mandated by law, or because an insurance company demands it.
Historically an often overlooked subject of background screening has been the volunteer. Companies and organizations are often so happy to have volunteers that they assume a volunteer’s spirit of public service and dedication to community denote someone who couldn’t possible have a blemish in their background. However, newspaper headlines in recent years have made it clear that persons with unsupervised access to children, the elderly and other vulnerable populations have blemishes, too—and sometimes they’re serious enough to put the safety of these special populations at great risk.
A simple background check could be the difference between an organization’s success or its succumbing to the notorious headlines or tremendous losses that can result if a diligent effort is not made to assure a safe environment.
Find out how you can get started with implementing a background check program at your organization.
Employment-related fraud is on the increase in the UK, according to a recent analysis carried out by CIFAS.
The report claimed that there was a 43% increase in staff fraud, which was driven by numerous factors, each of which poses a significant challenge to employers and organizations.
Additional key findings include:
- The employment challenges facing many in the UK are undoubted catalysts behind the 22% increase in dishonest actions by staff to obtain benefit. This included cases of cash being stolen from customers (a 26% increase in 2012 compared with 2011) and the manipulation of systems in order to beat targets or obtain benefits for account holders (15% of all such dishonest action frauds recorded in 2012).
- There was also a 106% increase in the number of fraudulent job applications that were spotted and prevented before employment commenced, emphasizing a dire need among the population for employment.
- Successful applications for employment that were subsequently found to have contained fraudulent declarations also increased by 89%.
- The theft of customer data from a company for personal use rose by 18% in 2012 and represents – perhaps – the most serious challenge for the future. Not only does this data frequently get passed to criminal sources (who can then make use of this data for their own fraudulent purposes such as emptying a customer’s account of money), but this confronts the very way that organizations conduct business.
While this report stems from the UK, the economic factors contributing to the current employment situation there are global. We’re still feeling the effects of the economic downturn here in the US, and organizations are facing the same issues and challenges as those in the UK when it comes to employment fraud.
If you’re an employer, your best chance of not falling victim to employee fraud is by performing thorough employment screening checks on employees – both prior to and during employment. For more information on how your business can create and sustain a policy to suit you, get in touch with MYB today.
Companies are hiring more for web-related jobs, and e-commerce companies in particular will increase their number of employees over the next five years, according to a new report from Forrester Research.
Forrester predicts that US e-commerce companies will hire 100,000 more employees by 2017, increasing staff count by 25% from the current 400,000 to 500,000.
“The high demand for e-business positions and the race to create differentiated digital experiences tax e-business professionals to find specialized skills like I.T. and customer experience,” the report claims. “It’s a double whammy for these functions: e-business professionals feel both understaffed in these areas and think they are the hardest skills to hire for.”
Other key findings include:
- I.T.-related positions account for the largest part of e-commerce staffs, making up 23% of e-business teams. Marketing roles make up 15%, operations accounts for 12% and project managers 11%.
- While I.T. is the most common job, I.T. it is also the area where businesses say they are the most understaffed. 22% of survey respondents say I.T. is the e-business field where they most need more employees.
- 62% of respondents say customer experience-related jobs are challenging or very challenging to fill. 54% said the same about finding I.T. staffers with cutting-edge digital skills, and 55% said the same about finding business analysis and analytics professionals who can extract meaningful insights from multiple data sources.
Forrester polled 235 e-business professionals from its marketing and strategy research panel of volunteers in December for its report.
The unemployment rate dipped to 7.5 percent and the number of unemployed persons remained at 11.7 million, according to a report released last week by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Specifically, the April 2013 Employment Situation Report found:
- Professional and business services employment added 73,000 jobs in April 2013 and has added 587,000 jobs over the past year.
- In April 2013, temporary help services gained 31,000 jobs while professional and technical services gained 23,000 jobs.
- Leisure and hospitality employment in food services and drinking places rose by 38,000 jobs over the month. Job growth in the food services industry averaged 25,000 jobs per month over the prior 12 months.
- Retail trade employment increased by 29,000 jobs in April 2013, with general merchandise stores adding 15,000 jobs and health and personal care stores adding 5,000 jobs.
- Health care employment added 19,000 jobs in April 2013, with ambulatory health care services gaining 14,000 jobs.
- Construction employment changed little in April 2013. Construction gained an average of 27,000 jobs per month over the prior 6 months.
- Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, financial activities, and government, showed little change in April 2013.
- In April, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 4 cents to $23.87.
- The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.2 hour in April to 34.4 hours.
The Annual Government Procurement Conference is a national conference fostering business partnerships between the Federal Government, its prime contractors, and small, minority, service-disabled veteran-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and women-owned businesses. Now in its 23rd year, it has become the premier event for small business throughout the United States.
And this year, MYB CEO Karen Caruso made the trip to DC to participate in what was an exciting, rewarding and accomplished event.
This unique one-day event attracted more than 3,000 people including:
- Over 500 government attendees representing 50 Federal, State and local agencies
- Prime Contractors with teaming and mentor-protégé opportunities
- Hundreds of small businesses, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, service-disabled veteran owned businesses, 8a businesses and HUB-Zone businesses
The conference included educational conference sessions, procurement matchmaking, and a dynamic exhibitor showcase. All this lent MYB the opportunity to interact with other, similarly positioned small businesses, 8a businesses and woman-owned businesses, in addition to helping us to make some great new connections and presenting exciting opportunities for the future.
You can learn more about the 23rd Annual Government Procurement Conference here: http://www.fbcinc.com/e/procurement/default.aspx, and view the conference agenda here: http://www.fbcinc.com/e/procurement/agenda.aspx
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