Posts Tagged ‘Hiring Employees’

What to Watch Out For When Interviewing

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

employee screening, background checksIt’s difficult to learn everything you need to know about a candidate from one interview. But learning more about personality types can be very helpful in knowing whom not to hire.

Here are some red flags you should look for. Perhaps they will help you avoid hiring someone who could prove to be troublesome.

  • Low energy: If your interviewee doesn’t have much energy during an interview, he or she might not make much effort to get the work done. Or, they might expect others to take up their slack, which could lead to resentment. Check out their posture, how they speak and speed at which they enter and leave the room.
  • Bragging: Prospective employees who brag about accomplishments, or are completely full of themselves can prove to be a negative influence on your team. Confidence is one thing, but narcissism can be dangerous. These types can be manipulative and caustic. They can also be charming and interview very well, so ask lots of questions about teamwork. If your interviewee focuses only on their own accomplishments or puts down their teammates, let that be a warning sign.
  • Bullying: People with emotional or anger problems are everywhere—but that doesn’t mean you want them in your company. Aggression is not always easy to spot, but listen for clues such as complaining about previous supervisors or peers, and ask interviewees lots of questions about how they handle problems. Challenge them to explain and provide specifics, and you may see frustration or anger come up.
  • Complaining: Candidates who practice their interviewing skills will rarely complain outright about former employers or co-workers, but negative people often find ways to get it into the conversation. They might make their mistakes someone else’s fault, or debate you when you ask clarifying questions. Negativity can be very harmful to your company culture and work environment.

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.

What Does Hiring Look Like for the Rest of 2012?

Friday, August 17th, 2012

employee screening, pre-employment screening, background checksCareerBuilder, the online job-search site, released a report about the state of hiring in the U.S. for the rest of 2012. According to the report, things look good for job seekers—at least, when compared to 2011. Overall, jobs recovery is slower than in previous times of recession, but 44% of private sector employers plan to hire full-time, permanent staff through December 31, 2012. That’s an increase of 9% over the same period last year, and 16% over 2010.

The report’s findings were based on a survey of more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resources professionals across the country, spanning many industries and company sizes. Additional findings from the report include the following:

  • Job listings now show more variety in terms of size of company and region. In 2010, “hiring activity… was driven by large employers in metropolitan areas,” said CareerBuilder’s CEO, Matt Ferguson. Today, jobs are being advertised in all industries and market and company sizes.
  • Employers planning on hiring part-time employees through the end of 2012: 21%, up from 15% in 2011.
  • Employers with 500 or fewer employees who plan on hiring full-time, permanent employees: 34%, up from 27% in 2011.
  • Employers with 50 or fewer employees planning on hiring full-time, permanent employees through the end of 2012: 21%.
  • Full-time, permanent hiring looks promising in all regions, with the West at 47% of employers, up from 35% in 2011; the South, 45%, up from 28%; the Northeast, 44%, up from 34%; and the Midwest, 40%, up from 32% in 2011.
  • 7% of employers expect to downsize staff.

As far as industries go, 24% of new hires will be in customer service, 22% in information technology, 21% in sales, 16% in administrative, 13% in business development, 12% in accounting/finance, and 11% in marketing.

If you’re an employer who expects to hire new personnel in the next few months, be sure to perform due diligence on each new hire. Check references and perform employment screening checks to be sure that the person you hire is who he or she says she is, has the background you’re looking for, and is not hiding any criminal background information you need to know!

Is Hiring Smokers Becoming a Thing of the Past?

Friday, June 29th, 2012

employee screening, employee background checkSmokers cost employers money, there’s no doubt about that. Some estimates say smokers cost about 15% more than nonsmokers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates smoking costs the United States more than $193 billion every year, between medical expenses and losses in productivity.

Some employers are not putting up with it any longer. Last year, nationwide retailer Macy’s started charging employees who smoke $35 per month for health coverage. Smokers can have the cost deferred if they enroll in a free smoking cessation class. After six months, their progress is reviewed and if they’ve quit, great. If not—the surcharge starts again.

And Macy’s isn’t the only company to charge smokers a fee. PepsiCo and Gannett both charge smokers extra health insurance fees. But some go further. Union Pacific and Scotts Miracle-Gro, for example, will not even consider hiring smokers. The Cleveland Clinic requires all job candidates to have their blood tested for nicotine.

Starting in 2018, health reform legislation will require companies with health plans that significantly exceed the average to pay an additional federal tax. Many companies will have no choice than to do what’s necessary to cut healthcare costs—including reducing the number of smokers on the payroll.

Most employers have smokers on their staffs. And while most workplaces prohibit smoking indoors, smokers who light up only at home can still have a negative effect on a company. Employers may choose to encourage smokers to quit through positive methods, such as quit-smoking classes or cash incentives, or through punitive measures, such as fines and surcharges.

Or, the entire company could shift its entire focus to better health. Helping employees lose weight, increase their fitness levels and quit smoking can increase morale while lowering health insurance costs. By showing that they care about the health and well being of all employees, as well as their families, employers can affect real, lasting change.

The question remains: is it still better to hire the best possible candidate, even if he or she smokes?

When hiring new employees, be sure to conduct proper 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.

State Budget Cuts May Lead to Increase in Ex-Convicts Applying for Jobs

Friday, May 4th, 2012

employee screening, employee credit checkAcross the U.S., the economic downturn has been negatively affecting state and local law enforcement budgets. Police and sheriff’s departments have cut staff; jails are laying off guards and prisons are releasing prisoners early because of overcrowding.

For employers who are hiring workers, an increase in ex-convicts in the local population could mean a different type of job applicant. Perhaps this is a good time to review criminal background check procedures.

A variety of state laws make it difficult for regional and national employers to stay compliant, but smaller businesses need to be concerned only with their local and state laws, as well as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines, before deciding what is appropriate for their situation.

The EEOC’s concern is that criminal background checks have a disparate effect on minorities’ hiring history. According to the EEOC, studies show that “some employers make selection decisions based on names, arrest and conviction records…all of which may disparately impact people of color.”

The important thing is that employers are vigilant about doing pre-employment screening and background checks, and to conduct them fairly, as a higher number of unemployed, former convicted criminals are presumably looking for work. Establishing a justifiable business need is the first step. Obtaining applicants’ approval, per the Fair Credit Reporting Act, prior to conducting employee credit checks is also vital to staying within the letter of the law.

Balance your need to keep your other employees, customers and business safe from harm with the rights of your applicants, and exercise good judgment. Remember, 36 states hold employers liable for the negligent hiring of individuals with violent backgrounds.

You can be assured of compliance when you use a reputable, professional employee screening company, such as Our extensive experience, secure processes and excellent reputation for professional service mean you may screen prospective employees with confidence.

Are Criminal Background Questions on Employment Applications Going Away?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

pre employment screening, employee background checkCivil rights organizations, politicians and others are calling for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to prohibit employers from asking job seekers if they have a criminal record on employment applications.

Last summer, the EEOC held a hearing regarding a possible ban on criminal background checks for screening employees, but has not yet released its opinion. Some states are already eliminating the criminal record question for state job applicants.

Why are supporters calling for the “box ban?” Some say that it prevents applicants from getting a fair chance at a job, because they don’t have an opportunity to explain the circumstances if they don’t ever get an interview. They say that too often, employers automatically eliminate anyone with a criminal history during the application process.

Others say that in most cases, the conviction is not related or relevant to the position being filled. Still others say that the disproportionate number of people of color with criminal records means this is essentially a civil rights issue. Advocates say they are behind the ban in an effort to reduce discrimination and unfair barriers against people with felony and misdemeanor convictions—particularly those that occurred years or decades ago.

Some cities have enacted ordinances prohibiting employers from asking anything about criminal backgrounds until after an applicant’s first interview. In Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Boston, criminal background checks are permitted after an interview, but requiring an applicant to reveal his or her criminal record on a job application is not.

Advocates say that employment is the way to a better life for individuals with criminal records, and that it levels the playing field by allowing everyone to be judged on qualifications and merit. But many employers are understandably hesitant to take that chance.

We’ll keep you posted on these possible changes, so you can make the best hiring decisions for your business.

Have you hired an employee with a criminal conviction? How did it work out?

Hiring? Avoid Making These Types of People Your New Employees

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkIf you’re hiring, you’ll likely see all types of applicants. Some will be a good fit for your company, and some won’t. Some will help you weed them out with big red flags, like lying on their resumes, while others throw out little pink flags that are more difficult to spot. While they look great on paper and interview well, certain types of employees may prove to be more trouble than you expect. The impact can range from simple aggravation to permanent harm to your company, your reputation or your brand.

Three Types of Employees You Don’t Want to Hire

  • The first type to avoid is the employee who performs at the “just enough” level. They do just enough work to get by. They come in exactly on time, and leave just when the clock says their shift is over. They contribute just enough to the company culture, share just enough ideas and give just enough of themselves to help out fellow employees. While one of these types on staff probably won’t hurt your company, can you imagine if you had an entire “just enough” team? Avoid hiring this type of person.
  • Next, you might see the entitled type of employee. You might think you’re doing them a favor by hiring them, but their opinion is quite the opposite. They feel you owe them a job, and you’re the one who’s receiving the favor of them showing up for work. Soon, you’ll hear that they are not being paid enough, or that their job description doesn’t cover the tasks you’re asking them to perform. They may expect special treatment. Some view benefits like paid sick leave as just like vacation, and therefore theirs for the taking—whether they are sick or not.
  • The constant complainer is another potentially burdensome employee. When interviewing, ask lots of questions about why the applicant left his or her previous job, what they liked and did not like about it, the company, their supervisor and fellow employees Look for clues, which might range from negative comments about a previous boss or company, or even “joking” about the dress code. And ask about how much interaction they had with customers. An interviewee who complains about customers has his or her priorities in the wrong order.

While you might not discover these toxic types of employees until after they’ve been hired, if you can avoid them, you’ll be glad you did. And remember, employee pre-screening is a must to uncover any credit issues, an undisclosed criminal background or discrepancies that can indicate a potential problem employee.

Study Focuses on Older Workers at Fortune 500 Companies

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

employee background check, employee screeningA recent report ranked Fortune 500 employers by the percentage of workers they have over age 50. gathered data from public records and surveys of employers and employees, to illustrate for job seekers 50+ which industries tend to employ a disproportionately high or low percentage of mature workers.

The results show that the airline industry employs the most workers over age 50, and that American Airlines was first in the nation, with nearly 40% of its workforce over age 50.  Toward the other end of the scale is Google, Inc., with just 13 % of workers over 50. stated that the study did not provide insight into whether employers are committed to hiring older workers, or whether they do or do not appreciate older workers. They further said that a low percentage of older workers does not imply that the company is a bad place for older people to work—they just have fewer than would be expected and may therefore be less accepting of older workers.

Additional findings from the study:

  • The average among the Fortune 500 is 25.6% of employees age 50+.
  • Companies addressing high turnover rates strategically recruit mature employees, because age 50+ workers turn over at one-third the rate of younger peers.
  • In any given organization, the percentage of employees age 50+ ranges from 6% to 39% on average.

The top Industries for the number of workers over 50 are:

  1. Airlines
  2. Utilities
  3. Insurance
  4. Retail
  5. Chemicals
  6. Aerospace & Defense
  7. Packaging & Containers
  8. Forest & Paper Products
  9. Food Production
  10. Beverages

The Top 10 Fortune 500 Employers Of Older Workers

  1. American Airlines                              39%
  2. Eastman Kodak                                  38%
  3. TravelCenters of America                 38%
  4. Delta Air Lines                                   37%
  5. United Air Lines                                 37%
  6. Weyerhaeuser                                     36%
  7. Edison International                          36%
  8. Northeast Utilities                              36%
  9. United Services Automobile Assn.   35%
  10. KeyCorp                                                35%

The Bottom 10 Fortune 500 Employers For Older Worker

  1. Consol Energy 14%
  2. Nordstrom                                              14%
  3. Chesapeake Energy                                14%
  4. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold   14%
  5. Electronic Arts                                       13%
  6. Google, Inc.                                             12%
  7. C.H. Robinson Worldwide                    12%
  8. Goldman Sachs Group                           11%
  9. Auto-Owners Insurance                          9%
  10. AECOM Technology                                 6%

Also appearing in the bottom 20 are companies such as Target, Whole Foods, Best Buy, Hershey, Polo Ralph Lauren, Amazon and Philip Morris.

Are Employers Holding Off on Hiring the Perfect Employee?

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkAhead of tomorrow’s Bureau of Labor Statistics April jobs report, private staffing firm ADP released their National Employment Report for April, which indicates that U.S employment continues to improve—but slowly. Employers added 179,000 jobs in April, bringing total employment to a level 1.35% above April 2010.

While April’s figure was down from 207,000 added jobs in March, and lower than the increase of 198,000 predicted by the Bloomberg survey, it appears that the bottom has been reached, and the trend is toward recovery. Small to mid-sized service providers are growing the most jobs, adding 138,000 in April, while goods-producing jobs remain stagnant with just 41,000 additional jobs.

But are employers themselves the reason for slow job recovery? Are they holding off on filling open positions? Some studies seem to indicate exactly that. Employers are not cutting jobs at the same rates they did in 2010, but they’re not in any hurry to fill job openings. According to the Conference Board, a research organization, the number of job openings advertised online has grown to 4.2 million, continuing a trend that began in the spring of 2009.

4.2 million jobs waiting to be filled, and only 179,000 jobs added in April? The problem seems to be a hesitation on the part of employers to commit to hiring. Recruiters say it takes longer to find qualified candidates, and even longer to get them hired. Hiring cycles that used to last two months are now stretching into six or even eight months.

One recruiter said that hiring managers are not only taking longer to hire; they are holding out for better candidates. Companies are bringing in between five and six candidates for second-round interviews—twice as many as in 2007. And once they identify the perfect hire, they start over. The thinking is that if there is one great candidate, there must be 10 more even better.

The frustrations for job seekers must be incredible. Plenty of companies have good jobs open and ready to fill, but they are taking 180 days instead of the 60 to make a commitment. They want each hire to be the perfect hire. And when there are plenty of candidates to choose from, what’s the hurry?

If you’ve found the perfect candidate, don’t overlook proper 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.

Look For These Red Flags When You’re Hiring

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

employee screening, employee background checkMany employers are cautious when it comes to hiring employees. Is it better to choose from word-of-mouth candidates? Or should you just place an ad online and see what comes in? What about your friend’s kid who’s looking for a job?

No matter how you get prospects in the door, the interview is the most important step in choosing the best new employees. Even now, with so many good workers clamoring for a job, you could easily make a bad hire—wasting your time, the employee’s time and your company’s money.

Red Flags That Might Eliminate a Job Candidate

  • Unorganized: Was he on time? Does she have her resume ready to hand you in case you don’t have a copy handy? Are they well put-together? Matching shoes are always a good sign! During the interview, listen for thorough answers to your questions. Candidates who avoid questions, answer questions other than the ones you ask, or offer incomplete answers reveal their lack of preparation.
  • Don’t know what the company does: It’s a given that a prospect should have done some research on your company; even better is that they know something about the position they’re interviewing for. If a candidate asks no questions when given the opportunity, consider the reasons behind it. Whether he’s nervous or just lacks creativity, no questions asked means no go.
  • No common courtesy: Did the prospective employee send a thank-you note after the interview? While this practice is not as common as it used to be, when a job candidate thanks you for your time, it’s a sign that they are not only polite, but good at following up. Also, observe how they treat other staff, from the building maintenance person to the president.
  • Blame others for their failures: Candidates who won’t take responsibility for their mistakes or lack of success will likely continue this pattern. We’ve all heard employees complain about their co-workers, bosses, or lack of resources—but rarely do we hear an employee complain about themselves! Everyone makes mistakes—and those who admit it and learn from them make great team players.
Hiring? 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.