Archive for March, 2013

How Do Your Background Checks Measure Up?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

employee screening If you’re one of the responsible employers who protect their businesses, customers and staff by performing employee screening and background checks, you might wonder how your pass/fail rate compares to others.

Statistics are difficult to come by. Professional background screening companies don’t typically release this data. But there are a few interesting numbers that show that no matter what type of business you run, or what type of individual applies for employment with you, the chances are good that most of them will stretch the truth to some extent.

Applicants embellish the truth, sometimes innocently, as when they make up an impressive-sounding title for a previous job. They might get the dates of employment wrong, either by mistake or deliberately. After all, when a job seeker realizes that a six-month stint at a previous job looks better than the actual six weeks he actually worked there, it’s easy to enter the wrong month on a resume.

There are super-honest applicants, too, who lets you know right up front that she has a criminal past—but it happened when she was a teenager. That kind of honesty is great, but each company’s hiring policy will dictate whether or not this type of incident will prevent hiring.

Other misrepresentations are more serious, where an applicant invents a past, including academic credentials and previous positions. Or when they try to cover up the fact that they left their last position because they were caught embezzling funds.

That’s why it pays to take a broad approach when doing background checks. Investigate applicants who make it through the preliminary screening and interview process on the basis of education, employment, criminal history, driving records, and even social media use.

Remember, because of the large numbers of people out there with criminal histories, or who have embellished their backgrounds, the chances are good that you’ll hire someone with the potential to cause personal, legal or financial harm.

That’s why a system of pre-employment screening is so important to employers of all sizes.

Are Your Employees Getting Restless?

Friday, March 15th, 2013

employee screeningEmployees are not getting training and development to help them advance in their careers, according to a recent survey. In addition, two-thirds of workers aren’t receiving any feedback or recognition at all.

The data was released after a November survey conducted by Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., an HR software vendor. The company asked nearly 500 U.S.-based employees about their jobs and future plans in the wake of the economic slowdown.

The survey revealed that in the past six months, slightly less than one-third of employees received training, while only 25% had met with their supervisors to develop a career plan.

These figures are telling, because they illustrate a fundamental problem with America’s employers—they are not developing their employees, training them to improve and build real careers. What happens then? The employee leaves, and the cycle begins again.

Certainly, many employers cut back on training and development during the recession. But the lack of training is leading workers to change jobs in a big way. According to the survey, 13% of the U.S. workforce (or 19 million employees) plan to change jobs this year. The cost to businesses is estimated to be about $2 trillion.

The survey revealed the following about employees:

  • 14% plan to leave their current job within six months to a year.
  • 25% plan to switch employers within the next three years.
  • 46% of those surveyed said they have a long-range career with their current employer.
  • 48% of respondents said they stay at a job because of a good manager.
  • 46% stay on a job because of appreciation.
  • 39% cite opportunities as a reason to stay.
  • 32% said the chance to develop new skills is why they’ll remain on the job.

If companies fail to give employees the recognition, training and development they want, they should almost plan on workers leaving and seeking it elsewhere.

Recruiting the Best Team

Friday, March 1st, 2013

employee screening, employee credit checkIf your business is healthy again, or is just starting to recover from the recession, you may be thinking about your hiring needs. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a perfect mix of employees, who can take care of all your business’s needs, from waiting on customers or entering orders to keeping the books straight and the floors clean? A team with broad skills who can quickly transition to other roles, depending on what the business needed?

A smaller number of more nimble employees might be the perfect post-recession work force, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses. Here are some of the personality types that might make a good team for you:

  • Curious minds: When an employee craves knowledge, that’s your opportunity to cross-train and develop his or her skills to do a variety of jobs. Curious employees might be assigned research projects, so you don’t have to the legwork on which new technology is best for your company, or what peers in your industry are doing to promote wellness in their companies.
  • Cheerleaders: Positive energy can be priceless. It can undo the damage of workers with poor attitudes, or find hope even when sales are down or a key customer goes out of business. It also rubs off on others. Many employees depend on their upbeat co-workers to keep them motivated—and miss them when they leave.
  • Versatile workers: Some people cannot function if they’re bored at work. Variety is more than the spice of life for these folks—it IS life. Since you as the boss have to wear a lot of hats, why not ask this type of worker to do the same thing? If your versatile worker can take some of your hats away, you might have more time to look at the big picture (which is really the business owner’s job).
  • The Big Mouth: It might not be pleasant to have a nay-sayer on staff, but there are times when they come in handy. For example, pointing out flaws in a strategy or mistakes in processes can save your company time and money in the long run. It’s always good to have a devil’s advocate around.
  • Sages: You need people who have the experience and knowledge to bring along newer employees and act as mentors for more established staff. They can save you tons of time and money by helping to train new employees and develop new leaders.
When you’re recruiting the perfect team, don’t neglect employee background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.