As we come to the end of another year, there is a lot to remind ourselves of – both for Mind Your Business, Inc. and for the employment screening industry as a whole.
With 2012 being an election year, there have been a lot of political issues that have affected the industry, while several tragic incidents have highlighted how important it is to protect the most vulnerable members of society.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key points in 2012 for MYB, employment and background screening:
Welfare drug testing has once again been a hot topic of debate with legislation introduced in several states, while others removed welfare drug testing programs that they felt had not succeeded.
We saw huge increases in gun background checks and firearm sales following the mass-murder tragedies we’ve experienced in this country during 2012. More and more people believe the only form of protection for their families is to arm themselves, and we saw Black Friday gun sales hit an all time record high this year with demand for new firearms so overwhelming that it caused outages at the FBI background check center on two separate occasions.
Employment screening saw an increase as America went back to work, with the unemployment rate dropping to 7.70 percent in November. This is the lowest we have seen since December 2008.
A final deserving mention is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) establishing a framework to achieve the EEOC’s mission to “stop and remedy unlawful employment discrimination.”
Mind Your Business, Inc.
We have again attended numerous events and received recognition for the efforts of our team in the employment screening industry, such as the 2012 Blue Ridge Business Growth Awards and our CEO Karen Caruso speaking at Spark & Hustle in Raleigh, NC.
It’s always an honor to be recognized as a contributor in the industry, and we feel privileged to be a part of such an important and necessary support system for improving society. Our influence in the North Carolina background screening space remains stronger than ever, and we can’t wait to hit the ground running in 2013!
Our work in the community included sponsoring and attending ‘Queen for a Day’ at the Hendersonville Boys and Girls Club, as well as participating in Asheville ‘Relay for Life’ and Earth Day 2012. These were so fun to participate in and it means so much to us that we’re able to give back to our community in such meaningful ways.
Most popular blog posts
We’ve also seen some big successes with our blog this year, driving more visitors and sales, and providing more industry resources, than ever before.
Our different types of background checks article continues to bring new visitors to our website on a regular basis, and does a great job highlighting to both employers and job applicants the different types of background checks that are commonly used in employment verification.
We also revealed the high costs involved for employers when they make bad hires, with an employer’s average cost of a second-level manager bad hire potentially reaching $840,000. The article also points out how you can avoid making bad hires, and avoid these dramatic costs, in the future.
Another post that has received a lot of attention this year was our article on why drug testing in the workplace is important. The fact that alcoholism costs 500 million lost work days each year, while alcohol and drug abuse cost the economy hundreds of millions of dollars a year is surely enough to catch any employer’s attention.
Overall, 2012 has had it’s ups and downs – as is the case of every year. At MYB we like to focus on the positive – of which there has been plenty. We can’t wait to get started in 2013, and look forward to working with current and new customers as the new year rolls in.
Wishing you all the best, and a prosperous 2013!
The governor of the Central Bank of Ecuador has resigned after admitting that he lied about having a degree in economics. Pedro Delgado apologized for providing false information when he applied to a business school more than 20 years ago.
He finished his masters degree there, but the business school – Incae – discovered he’d lied in his application and informed the government. “I have to admit that I have made a serious mistake 22 years ago which is costing me very dear,” he said.
In his application form to join the Incae business school, in Costa Rica, Mr Delgado said he had a degree from Ecuador’s Catholic University.
President Rafael Correa, who is Mr Delgado’s cousin, promised to investigate: “A very hard day. We can confirm that Pedro Delgado had presented a fake degree at Incae,” he tweeted. ”It has been a big blow to the revolution,” he said, referring to his left-wing program of government.
Verifying diplomas with Mind Your Business, Inc.
Only last week, our referencing department found significant fraud while verifying a diploma for one of our clients. Take a look at the degree below:
Degree verification ought to be a key part of any employment screening program. With the economy still suffering and millions of people looking for work, job applicants will go to extreme lengths to get some form of employment. Make sure you run thorough education verification checks as part of your background check.
Contact us for more information on how to start or improve an education verification program at your business.
We want to wish all Mind Your Business, Inc. customers, friends, blog readers and supporters a happy and healthy holiday season!
We truly appreciate all of your support, and look forward to to the developments, progression and successes that 2013 will bring.
The US Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into nine data brokerage companies, ordering them to tell the agency how they harvest and use data on consumers. Previously, the FTC has been happy to take action against some data brokers, forcing Spokeo to pay $800,000 back in June to settle charges it illegally sold personal information for employment screening.
The FTC is looking to shed light on a multibillion-dollar industry that has largely operated in the shadows. The agency said on Tuesday that it planned to scrutinise the privacy practices of nine data brokers: Acxiom, CoreLogic, Datalogix, EBureau, ID Analytics, Intelius, Peekyou, Rapleaf and Recorded Future.
The FTC wants to know what the brokers do with the information they collect from consumers. It also wants to know if the data brokers let consumers review and correct their personal information or opt out from having their personal information sold to a third party.
Data brokers are not required by law to disclose to consumers the information they collect on people’s finances, race and ethnicity, shopping habits, social media updates, health concerns and more. By some estimates, these brokers stockpile several thousand details on people around the world.
The industry says the information is used solely to target marketing pitches that benefit consumers who get offers for products and services in which they are interested.
Government scrutiny has intensified as the data brokerage industry has grown more powerful and online privacy concerns have moved to the forefront of a public policy debate in the US and Europe. As people live more of their lives online, they leave ample digital footprints for data brokers to follow.
“A digital gold mine of infinite details is harvested about each of us — what we buy, who our friends are, how much we earn, our ethnicity, health concerns, location, etc. For the most part, these records are off limits to consumers, who can’t really discover what they say about us — including the likely errors they may contain,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Centre for Digital Democracy. “Today’s action by the FTC will unmask this largely stealth consumer surveillance industry.”
Read the full release here.
The unemployment rate in the United States decreased to 7.70 percent in November of 2012 from 7.90 percent in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In November, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.
Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 151,000 per month, about the same as the average monthly job gain of 153,000 in 2011. In November, employment rose in retail trade, professional and business services, and health care.
Employment levels and employment checks
As companies continue to hire and new vacancies are being created, the importance of a formatted hiring process should not be forgotten. When you hire new employees, you want to be sure that they are trustworthy, reliable and professional – which can be achieved through background screening checks such as drug screening, education verification and criminal record checks.
For more information on implementing a background screening process, allow us to guide you in the right direction.
A controversial bill in Texas that proposes drug screening for welfare recipients would only be fair if applied to all who receive taxpayer dollars – including elected officials, said Rep. Joe Deshotel (D-Beaumont).
The bill, filed last month by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound), would authorize the use of drug screening for recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program and unemployment benefits, according to information on the governor’s website. Deshotel said he was disappointed that state leaders such as Perry, Nelson and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst were singling out poor families in supporting the bill.
“There is no evidence that poor people abuse drugs more frequently than any other socioeconomic group, therefore I challenge Senator Nelson, Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst to support adding a drug test requirement to the application to run for state office in Texas,” he said in a news release.
Welfare drug testing
Welfare drug screening legislation would be a welcome addition for many, who are justified in claiming that anyone receiving welfare should not be an exception to the drug screening rules that many employed taxpayers are subjected to.
Nonetheless, there will also always be critics, particularly when it comes to such a controversial topic. Some critics suggest that drug testing welfare recipients is simply not a cost-effective measure and not a valid use of taxpayers dollars – with money saved being only a fraction of that which is spent on the tests. In addition, the ACLU argues drug testing is considered a search under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches.
According to a number of studies, the average base employee pay increase next year is likely to be around 3%, which is a slight increase from previous years. Robert Half International’s 2013 Salary Guide reports do an excellent job of breaking down pay by industry.
Robert Half states that pay in the tech sector is expected to see the greatest 2013 average raise, with an increase of 5.3%. Mobile app developers in particular will see a salary increase of 9% on average.
Workers in the accounting and finance sector can expect to see a 3.3% jump in pay, and administrative and office support professionals are expected to see increases of 3.5%.
“A supply and demand imbalance exists for specialized talent within many professional occupations, including information technology and accounting,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. “To attract the best employees, companies must stay up-to-date on compensation levels, including trends affecting their regions and industries.”
Another trend that’s likely to continue next year according to HRMorning: Rewarding top performers with the lion’s share of the salary increases. WorkatWork’s Kerry Chou says top performers can expect to see raises that are roughly 50% greater than average workers.
Teachers at an independent special school in the UK are on strike after one of them was asked to take a random drugs test. Eleven teachers at the Alderwasley Hall School, which is a residential centre as well as a school, took action last week.
Their union, the NASUWT, says one teacher was suspended after refusing to take a test, while the union also says other members of staff have been threatened with dismissal if they were to refuse. Chris Keates, the general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “It is simply unacceptable for an employer to impose a policy of drug and alcohol testing which we believe is unjustified and unlawful and attacks the professionalism of the teachers at the school.
“There is no basis whatsoever for believing that dedicated and committed teachers at Alderwasley Hall School are misusing drugs or alcohol. This is simply a case of an employer abusing its position and flagrantly disregarding the rights of its employees.”
The union says the school’s policy on drugs tests is unlawful under human rights legislation because it allegedly breaches a person’s right to respect for their private life, while advocates of drug testing suggest those who are clean have nothing to fear.
Government guidelines say employers have to have consent from staff they want to test for drugs and that tests should be random, and it seems questionable that it’s a group of teachers that are taking this particular stance. Children are the one of the most vulnerable sectors of society, and we should be taking every precaution possible to ensure their safety. On top of that, the fact that the children at this school require special needs means that protection and support is even more of a necessity from those who care for them.
Parents in Cleveland, Texas, were outraged when they found out their children had been posing for pictures with a Santa Claus volunteer who, under the white beard and red suit, was a registered sex offender. The community’s reaction has inspired the city manager to change Cleveland’s policy regarding background checks, but the man’s actual crime — and his name — have not been revealed.
“A friend of mine recognized the Santa Claus and informed me this morning of his name and that he is a registered sex offender,” Emily Collins – who was visiting Santa with family – said. “The biggest thing that I’m upset about is not to go after him. I mean he’s done his time, whatever the charges were, however old he was, but that the city of Cleveland would not do a background check.”
The “Santa Sex Offender,” as he’s been called in Texas, has served time and was not deemed a threat to children by the Texas Sex Offender Registry so it’s unclear whether a background check would have kept him from being hired for his job. “I don’t want anyone with a background like that even holding my child, much less talking to him or anything like that,” Ashley Trahan told Click2Houston.
Protect children this holiday season
While it’s obviously important to protect children at all times of the year, it’s particularly important not to drop your guard over the holiday season. With distractions, it’s easy to forget vulnerabilities and dismiss risks, but that doesn’t mean that those risks disappear.
Children aside, we should remember to be careful in all aspects as we head into the holidays. While many are looking forward to the festive season, not everyone is in the festive spirit. The holidays are a time when crime soars, as criminals take advantage of people dropping their guard – make sure you protect yourself, your family and your business over the holidays.
An infographic created by Resoomay explores the baffling costs of making a bad hire, and it’s certainly information we thought was worth highlighting. Check out a few of the startling statistics – no doubt you’ll be surprised:
- Between hiring costs; total compensation; cost of maintaining the employee; disruption costs; severance; and mistakes, failures, and missed business opportunities, an employer’s average cost of a second-level manager bad hire is $840,000
- Missed business opportunities from a bad hire can cost their employer in the region of half a million dollars
- The ROI of a bad hire can be as awful as -298%
- The average cost of a new employee (not including training costs) is $57,968
- In 2009, estimates show U.S. organizations spent $125.88 billion on employee learning and development
- For a small business with only 64 employees, the cost of turnover is just shy of $8,000
- 75% of demand for new employees is to simply replace workers that left a company
When the costs of a bad hire are this baffling, is it any wonder employers think twice before taking hiring chances?
Preventing a bad hire
So what are the steps to protecting your business from a bad hire? Well there are quite a few, but primarily it’s all about implementing thorough employment screening and background check programs to ensure the people they’re hiring are right for the position.
Three key steps we would suggest:
1. Run background checks
A background check on an applicant may pick up on some negative information about them, which could certainly save you from problems in the long term. This type of screening could include criminal checks, education verification or checking their previous employment history.
2. Check references
In this economy, many people are unemployed and desperate for work. One of the principle ways that applicants “spruce up” their resume is to provide false references. Make sure that their references are verifiable, and the people they list are trustworthy.
3. Perform a drug test
The cost of drugs in the workplace is severe, so to avoid potential damage it is always a good idea to drug test applicants. By doing this, you are ensuring that any new hires will be reliable and productive workers.
Want to learn more? Get in touch and we can discuss a screening program to suit you.
Next Page »