Posted in background screening, Mind Your Business Inc, MYB, year in review
As we begin 2017, we’d like to review — as always — the previous year, both for us here at MYB and also the employment screening industry overall.
The ban-the-box movement continued to spread, as more cities and states passed legislation preventing employers from discriminating against job applicants with criminal records. 24 states and over 150 cities and counties have now implemented such legislation.
The White House also unveiled a voluntary initiative to encourage employers to reduce or eliminate barriers to employment for persons with criminal histories: the Fair Chance Business Pledge. Two rounds of signatories have committed to the pledge, including industry leaders such as Facebook, Google, and Walmart.
Marijuana legalization was a hot topic in 2016, with five states voting in this year’s general election on whether to legalize the drug for recreational use.
With California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusettes voting yes (only Nevada voted no), there are now eight states that have fully legalized cannabis with another 22 now allowing marijuana for medical purposes.
Technology became a leading conversation in the employment screening space, as companies such as Uber and Lyft found themselves in regular battles with local government agencies.
Ride-sharing companies paid tens of millions of dollars to settle lawsuits over driver background check policies and processes.
Mind Your Business, Inc.
MYB has continued to advance our role as a leading background screening company in both the federal and commercial space.
Most recently, we secured a new contract continuing our relationship with PBGC, continuing our expansion into EEO investigations for federal organizations.
We’ve also expanded our team and continued to play a critical role for clients in the retail, transportation, healthcare, and nonprofit industries.
What a year! We look forward to seeing what 2017 will bring.
Posted in background screening
As of August 1, 2016, fines related to immigration for employers have been increased.
The minimum penalty imposed by the Justice Department for the unlawful employment of immigrant workers will rise from $375 to $539, while the maximum fine will go from $3,200 to $4,313. Violators facing multiple charges will be subject to a new maximum penalty of $21,563.
The most significant increase is for mistakes or omissions on the Form I-9, said Mitch Wexler, an immigration attorney and a partner at Fragomen Worldwide, based in Los Angeles, who noted that “fines in this category go up 96 percent.” The new rules raise paperwork violations related to I-9 verification from a maximum of $1,100 to $2,156. The minimum penalty per violation increases from $110 to $216.
“It is more important now than ever for companies big and small to make sure they have effective policies and procedures in place for properly ‘I-9ing’ employees during the onboarding process,” Wexler said. “This includes a regular review of existing I-9s and training staff that touch this critical function.”
An initial violation for discriminating against immigrant workers can bring a new top penalty of $3,563 per charge, up from $3,200. The minimum penalty increases from $375 to $445.
Employers, take note. Just a few mistakes can really add up.
In order to avoid mistakes, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of due process and the legalities around hiring immigrant workers. Take a look at some of our other blog resources around this topic and connect with our team if you have any further questions. It’s more important than ever before to get these processes right – we’d love to help.
Posted in background screening
With almost 90% of organizations performing some sort of background screening, there’s clearly value to it. But how much, exactly?
Employers – whether they have a background screening program implemented or not – would be wise to know how much a background screening program is actually worth, and what the return on their investment is.
Let’s first consider the data we’d put into such an equation. These will vary from business to business, but there are a few core costs to consider:
Employee turnover/bad hires
The average cost of a second-level manager bad hire is a massive $840,000. In general, it will cost an employer 100%-250% per position (as a percentage of salary plus benefits).
What’s your current rate of turnover, and how often do you consider the consequences of that number?
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), one in five violent crimes in the workplace is committed by current or former employees.
While harder to place a monetary value on holistically, workplace violence may be the harshest consequence of a bad hire and its cost reaches far beyond litigation and turnover.
The estimated annual cost of fraud, worldwide, is $3.5 trillion. Occupational fraud and theft is a problem that knows no borders, affecting employers around the world.
In fact, in the US, the average total loss per fraud is $1,200,000.
Understanding your ROI
So, once we have this data, what do we do with it?
- Using the above costs, along with any others relevant to your business, identify the annual cost to your business. For example, if your turnover rate is 20% and your hire 100 employees per year, you can identify the cost per turnover (re-hiring/training costs etc.) and extrapolate your annual cost across all hiring.
- By identifying your costs, you’ve also identified potential savings. For example, if you can reduce your turnover rate by 20%, what would that mean in terms of reduced costs?
- Finally, add in the cost of a background screening company. Evaluating savings vs the cost of a screening company will display your potential ROI.
Let’s take an example…
Annual cost of turnover: $250,000
Targeted turnover reduction of 20% (potential savings): $50,000
Cost of screening company (100 hires x a $65 background check): $6,500
Value of screening program: $100,000 – $6,500 = $43,500
A return on investment of more than 500%!
Implementing a background screening program makes clear financial sense, which is why so many organizations have a program in place. What’s your current ROI?
If you’re looking to create a program at your organization, or interested in understanding how you can get a better ROI on your background screening program that you currently earn, get in touch with the MYB team today.
Posted in background screening
This Sunday, April 3rd, the 2016 NAPBS Mid-Year Legislative and Regulatory Conference kicks off in Washington D.C.
The event focuses on regulation, legislation, education, and compliance related to the background screening industry, as well as offering networking opportunities for background screening professionals.
Following the formal opening ceremony on Sunday, Monday’s schedule is packed with educational sessions. Content includes discussion around recent legislation, advisory panels on key challenges such as avoiding litigation, and insight into current trends impacting the background screening industry such as the ban the box movement.
Tuesday continues the conversation around current events impacting the industry, such as the legalization of marijuana and privacy issues.
Interspersed throughout the educational sessions will be Vendor Demonstrations during which companies that supply products or services to the industry can showcase these in a 50-minute timeslot.
Following the conference, attendees are invited to participate in NAPBS Advocacy Day on Wednesday, April 6th.
While MYB is NAPBS accredited and has attended the NAPBS conferences previously, we will not be sending any team members to Washington for this particular event. We’ll be following closely online, though, and looking forward to learning about the important conversations that will be happening over the next few days!
Posted in background screening
Pre-employment screening is becoming more important, and widespread, as each year passes. It’s now an integral piece of the hiring process for many US businesses and organizations.
With hiring processes becoming stricter, applicants are finding new and creative ways to lie to employers about their personal and professional background.
In fact, 86% of respondents to the 2015 HireRight Benchmarking Report indicated that verifying employment revealed candidates who lied on their resumes or applications.
We’ve dived into the data, and deciphered the five most common lies told by job applicants. Employers – be aware!
1. Exaggerating their past job responsibility
According to a Harris Poll study, 55% of job applicants exaggerate their past job responsibility. It’s no surprise that some candidates who are not qualified for a vacancy may claim expertise and experience they do not have, and they inflate their previous salaries to negotiate better packages.
2. Changing their dates of employment
The same Harris Poll study also indicated that 42% of job applicants alter their dates of employment on their resume. Candidates often attempt to stretch the truth on dates to cover gaps in employment they may not want to explain.
3. Falsifying their Degree
With roughly a 20% discrepancy rate in resume information provided by candidates regarding their education qualifications, it’s important that employers understand the variety of ways applicants lie to claim unearned degrees.
In many cases, candidates may forge diplomas, purchase a degree from a diploma mill, lie about their major, or may have attended classes but never graduated.
4. Concealing a Criminal Record
The most common way job applicants with a criminal background try to attempt to avoid detection is by changing details such as their date of birth or spelling of their name. This is why it’s critical that employers conduct thorough criminal searches, going beyond the basic data provided, in order to confirm the results and avoid hiring a potentially dangerous individual.
Finding and compiling this data isn’t easy, which is where hiring a professional screening company becomes critically important.
5. Hiding a Drug Habit
Workplace drug and alcohol use costs U.S. businesses an estimated $100 billion each year, and about half of Americans admit to having used an illegal drug in their lifetime, so conducting a proper drug test should be a standard step in any screening program. There are numerous ways drug users attempt to beat the drug test, and some go to great lengths. Ensure you have strict screening procedures in place.
Lying on job applications at the very least provides reason to question an applicant’s character. Be careful who you hire, and don’t take applicant information at face value. With professional background screening best practices in place, employers can make the right hiring decision the first time.
Posted in background screening, Mind Your Business, MYB, year in review
As we begin 2016, we’d like to review — as always — the great year that both Mind Your Business and the background screening industry have had.
There have been significant strides in the employment industry over the past year, with legislation improving employment equality introduced, minimum wage increases, and a reduction in wage theft.
It was another emphatic year for the ban-the-box movement, as more cities and states passed legislation preventing employers from discriminating against job applicants with criminal records. (New York City, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the state of Oregon now have ban-the-box policies, among others.) Indeed, President Obama even signed an Executive Order for federal employers to remove the criminal-history check box from government job applications.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission cracked down on enforcement of both the Fair Credit Reporting Act and adverse action on behalf of job applicants in 2015, winning $525 million for defendants who had been discriminated against. (Make sure your company doesn’t become next year’s statistic by making sure you comply to federal laws when taking adverse action.)
Mind Your Business, Inc.
Mind Your Business continued to advance our role as a leading background screening company in the federal space. We expanded the team committed to this space, including hiring a new Director of Government Solutions to lead the effort.
We also acquired two EEO contracts, and became a designated recipient of the Blanket Purchase Agreement for meeting specific requirements under its Social Security Administration GSA Schedule.
In addition, to ensure we stay at the forefront of technology in the screening industry, we integrated our applicant tracking system with even more customer-relationship management programs (taking us to 24 integrations in total). As an 8(a) certified business, we were also invited to attend the National Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Winter Conference.
It has been quite a year! We are thankful to have had such a successful 2015, and look forward to seeing what 2016 will bring, both for the industry and for our company.
Posted in background checks, background screening, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, criminal background checks, Medicaid, nursing homes
In the state of Connecticut, it has been the burden of long-term care facilities — such as nursing homes, hospice providers and home health agencies — to conduct background checks on direct-care employees.
The state requires that employees and volunteers that come in direct contact with residents must undergo federal and state background checks to ensure the individual has no criminal record and no history of abuse or neglect.
In November, however, the Connecticut Department of Public Health created a system that will allow care facilities to better screen their employees and job applicants in an attempt to reduce the number of incidences of neglect and abuse. Long-term care facilities will now be able to use the state’s Applicant Background Check Management System (ABCMS), which should provide facilities with information about applicants’ criminal convictions and any records of patient abuse.
The individual facilities will be able to submit volunteer and applicant information, as well as access fingerprint background check information and other registry information, such as that in the Connecticut Nurse Aide Registry, within ABCMS.
It was not clear whether the ABCMS system contains only state background check information, or federal information as well.
The program was funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the system was created with the help of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
Posted in background checks, background screening, criminal background checks, employment, fingerprinting
Despite the company publicly denouncing fingerprint background checks due to database inaccuracies and unfairness, Uber has quietly started testing the fingerprinting process on some of its drivers. Uber background checks have been a controversial issue since day one.
Five hundred Los Angeles-based Uber drivers were invited to undergo fingerprint background checks; it has not been determined whether fingerprint screening has been tested in other markets, or whether the fingerprinting program will expand at this time.
Background checking comes up frequently with ride-sharing services such as Uber, as several allegations of assault have surfaced since the company first gained popularity. In fact, the company claimed to have the “safest rides on the road” at one point, despite concerns that, by forgoing fingerprint checks, it was easy for people to apply to be Uber drivers under someone else’s identity.
Last December, Uber released a “Commitment to Safety” post on its website that indicated that the company would be looking into biometric and voice safety options for driver screening. Uber does utilize other kinds of background checks outside fingerprinting; however, the company has found itself the target of some lawsuits — including with the state of California — over misleading background check information that was provided to the public.
Taxi services utilize fingerprint background checks when hiring drivers.
Posted in background checking, background screening, employment, employment background screening, identity theft, scams
In a recent study regarding cyber crime and company security, business professionals were asked what factors they deemed most important when it comes to protecting their companies against hacks, stolen data and other cyber crimes.
While survey respondents had the option to choose from a variety of factors — such as physical security, access control and anti-malware software — a full 60 percent of respondents said the most important form of security is to conduct background checks on potential and current employees. This is perhaps because 35 percent of respondents see former employees as the highest security threats, only behind professional hackers (whom 55 percent of respondents saw as a security threat).
In addition, 47 percent of the professionals were concerned about their own personally identifiable information being stolen due to cyber crime, more so than about other information — such as credit or financial information, or intellectual property — being stolen.
The study showed that in 2015 alone, “compromised records” have resulted in approximately $400 million in employer losses.
Ninety-eight percent of respondents said that they thought background screening was at least “somewhat important,” with 57 percent declaring background screening to be “extremely important” to cyber security. Likewise, 35 percent of respondents thought re-screening existing employees was, at least, “somewhat important.”
However, despite these admissions, only 13 percent of the employees’ companies conduct repeat screening year after year, with an additional 10 percent conducting employee re-screening biannually. Sixty-one percent of respondents said their companies never re-screened employees after hiring.
To learn more about conducting employment re-screening, or to create re-screening policies, get in touch with Mind Your Business.
photo credit: Phone security via photopin (license)
Posted in background screening, criminal background checks, pre-employment background checks
While some forms of background screening are par for the course for most employers, fingerprint background checks are not always as common. However, they have been getting more and more press recently. Why do employers check fingerprints in the first place, and what can they find out by doing them? Should all employers check fingerprints before hiring?
Here are three good reasons for doing fingerprint background checks at this time:
1) To meet position requirements. Some types of positions — such as teachers and law enforcement officers — require thorough background screening to ensure the employee does not have a criminal record that would preclude him or her from being able to perform the job. For those who work with children or the elderly, any kind of felony record is likely to remove that candidate from consideration.
2) To meet industry requirements. Some employers, such as Medicaid, have implemented requirements that some (if not all) employees must undergo fingerprint background checks in an attempt to reduce instances of fraud. Employers check fingerprints because they can be checked against databases like the FBI’s fingerprint database, in which any crime that has been reported in county, state or federal courts will turn up. (However, these databases are not foolproof. Problems with how the districts report crimes and how the databases are managed have cause concern before.)
3) To ensure a future employee’s criminal record is clean. While databases are not perfect, fingerprints are the most accurate way to ensure a person’s identity and criminal record. While you can always change the name you go by, you can’t change your fingerprints, and so any records associated with those fingerprints will always be there. Even if a position does not legally require someone with a clean criminal record, some employers are more likely to prefer candidates that don’t have certain types of crimes on their records (such as financial crimes if the candidate is applying to work in the accounting department).
Contact Mind Your Business to learn if fingerprint background checks are right for your company.
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