Archive for July, 2010

Do You Need a Company Dating Policy?

Friday, July 30th, 2010

employeescreeningblogSmall employers often don’t worry about strict regulations and too many rules. With a small group, your employees may be more like family, and if everyone is getting along, it’s a good thing. But what if two or more employees are getting along a little too well, and start seeing each other outside of work? No big deal? But what if one of them is in a supervisory role? Now it gets complicated.

While relationships between coworkers don’t present a threat to employers, those that involve a person in power are a different story. A consensual romance that goes sour could lead to charges that it was, indeed, non-consensual. Favoritism is another potential hot issue, like when a manager promotes her boyfriend. No exactly fair to the other staff, is it? As an employer, you must protect the company from charges of sexual harassment. An inappropriate relationship between a supervisor and subordinate could leave the organization vulnerable to a lawsuit.

That’s why every organization with employees needs a basic, written dating policy. What should it include?

  • First, make it clear that while dating is not prohibited, romantic relationships between supervisors and employees are not allowed. Train supervisors to avoid workplace romances with subordinates.
  • Some firms avoid issues with nepotism and claims of unfair treatment with a policy that no couples or relatives will be hired.
  • Other companies require employees who intend to pursue a romantic relationship to report such to management. Why? For a written record that it is indeed consensual. Make sure to ask for notification when the relationship ends, too.
  • Clearly state that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in any form. This includes inappropriate language, behavior, or unwanted attention. Remind employees that “no” means “no.”

How to Deal with the Office Rumor Mill
When one employee spills the beans on another’s extracurricular activities, encourage him or her to pay attention to their own worries, not to mention their job. It’s best not to tolerate employees reporting on each other.

If Jack and Jill’s relationship is creating a negative work environment, deal with it before morale and productivity plummet. Obviously, your employees are being paid to perform their job duties and nothing else, so any damaging behavior should not be tolerated.

Is it Hiring Time Yet?

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

criminaldata.comWhen it comes to the economy, everyone seems to be waiting for something to happen. Reports we used to pay little attention to, like unemployment, consumer confidence, savings rates and housing starts, capture our attention and are analyzed closely.

Employers are no exception. They’ve weathered the economic storm, and many want to know if it’s ever going to turn around. You may be asking yourself if it’s time to spend some of the cash you’re holding on to, or if it’s time to hire again. Or you may just want to know if you can exhale yet!

We can’t tell you the answer to Questions 1 & 3, but here are some tips for question #2: How do you know if it’s time to hire?

1. You and your employees are stressed out. You might have cut positions, combined workloads, or just kept piling tasks on yourself and your staff. If your people are starting to show signs of discontent, are leaving things undone, or are threatening to walk out—you know you have a problem. It just might be solved with a new employee.

2. You are profitable. Profitability is a very good sign. But only when it happens for several months in a row. Much of this depends on your business, but if you’ve been turning a profit for 18 months, and your current staff is overworked, it might be time to hire. If you’re not steadily seeing profits, see #3.

3. The new hire will produce profit. If you’ve crunched the numbers and a new hire will pay for him or herself and then some, what are you waiting for?

4. You’re paying for temps or independent contractors. If there are services you need enough to pay higher temp and contractor fees, can you afford to turn that expense into an employee? Consider hiring a good-fit contractor or temp. If they have skills you need, then find a way to create a sustainable solution.

When you make the decision to hire, be sure to properly screen employment applicants. Pre-employment screening is an easy way to mitigate the risk of hiring staff with questionable backgrounds, criminal histories, or unacceptable credit problems.

Nebraska Man Accused of Setting Up Phony Background Check Company

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Federal investigators in Bellevue, NE arrested a man for running a background check scam. The FBI accuses him of forming a fake background check company and charging consumers $600 for each bogus background check. His total take for this fraudulent activity was a whopping $170,000!

According to reports, the 51-year-old man had previously been indicted on wire and mail fraud charges before he started his latest scam company. Apparently, he indicated he could run FBI and Interpol background checks on anyone—which is not true. FBI records are not generally available to the public.

It’s far too easy for scammers to find victims who will pay $600 for a fake “FBI-quality” background check. Employers and hiring managers should do their due diligence and make sure they’re using a reputable employee background check company.

How can an employer be sure a pre-employment screening company is legitimate? Ask the following questions:

For more information about our pre-employment screening services and background check services ranging  from $25 to $160 on average, please see our newly-redesigned website.