4 Key Pre-Employee Screening Tips for Small Business Owners

Small Business OwnersSmall business owners are often tasked with doing it all. Some sole proprietors must become the R&D department, the marketing department, accountant and the human resources staff, all rolled into one person. It can be daunting, to say the least; but here are four tips for making at least the human resources and hiring portion of your job easier:

1. Brand Yourself as a Desirable Employer

Many small business owners are already using social media to promote their business and product/service. If you are one of these small business owners, consider working in some posts that showcase the desirability of your business as a place to work. Vignettes of your company culture in the form of essays from current employees or videos showing what you do and how you do it can paint your workplace and business in a positive light. You’ll naturally draw in desirable candidates, making the screening process easier.

2. Small business owners should create a Hiring Process, Document It, and Use It

As your staff grows, you’ll begin to get a sense of which interview questions and training programs yield the most valuable results and effective hiring. Document these practices and refine them over time to systematize your screening, hiring and new staff onboarding as much as possible. Create job-specific interview questions and processes to maximize your hiring success, and put them into practice.

3. Small business owners need to do Background Checks

A quality employment screening service can eliminate the guesswork in candidate variables such as a criminal history and past credit history. Make use of a professional employment screening service to help you eliminate candidates who may be a security risk to your organization. You can also outsource your education and employment verification needs. Be sure to inform applicants that there will be a background check and comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act when looking into their past.

4. Consider Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment testing is another effective way to determine if a candidate will be a fit for the job and for your business. Create an assessment that will assist you in weeding out candidates who are not a fit and help you to determine the most talented and qualified applicants.

Small business owners must often wear many hats, from sparking innovation to keeping tabs on bookkeeping to screening and hiring new talent. Use these four tips to make the human resources portion of your job easier so that you can hire reliable, quality staff for your growing enterprise.

Disclaimer: The information on InstantCriminalChecks.com is governed by our Terms of Use and is never intended as legal advice.

6 Best Practices for Completing an Employment Check

Employment CheckAccording to a survey from the Society of Human Resources as reported from Forbes, 69 percent of companies state that they conduct criminal background checks on all potential candidates. Only 14 percent of companies surveyed do not perform employment background checks at all. A thorough employment check helps to protect companies from liability in the case of issues stemming from individuals that were not properly vetted. There are some important considerations to keep in mind when running an employment check.

Review all of the information.

Look at a candidate’s education, criminal history, employment, driving records, social media when appropriate. Avoid becoming part of an Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) investigation for the exclusion of applicants with criminal records. Employers should note the type of charge and length of time that has lapsed since the charge took place.

Follow the law.

Applicants must sign a legal release form, be informed of their rights and receive a copy of the report and any associated communications.

Stay current on how the laws apply in an area.

Rules can change based on federal, state, local and employer-specific demands. An organization’s legal counsel can offer direction and create a consistent process.

Keep processes consistent.

Applicants for the same job title should have the exact same employment check and investigations run. Prevent any possible charges of discrimination.

Locate patterns.

Look for patterns of behavior. A one-off act of either positive or negative behavior is not indicative of a person’s character or their ability to perform a job. A pattern of actions are a better indicator of an individual’s decision-making process over time. Positives found on an employment check can also help employers choose between well-qualified candidates.

Be familiar with anti-discrimination and privacy laws.

The information that can be easily found on an Internet search may be illegal to use for vetting candidates. Under federal anti-discrimination laws, employment discrimination about an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is prohibited. There are also many other state and local laws including marital status or health conditions that are often prohibited to use.

Review the sources that can be used for employment check as they apply within your organization and area. Stay consistent and objective when reviewing all of the pieces of data available.

Disclaimer: The information on InstantCriminalChecks.com is governed by our Terms of Use and is never intended as legal advice.

Pre-Employment Background Checks May Expose a History of Violence

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA) requires employers to provide a workplace that’s free of identifiable hazards capable of causing physical or psychological harm. This means that employers are obligated under the law to avoid hiring employees with an identifiable history of violence and to take appropriate action to ensure they are hiring people who do not have a history of violent behavior.

History of Violence

Of course knowing that hiring people with a history of violence is a risk for any business is one thing. Determining that history of violence can be a little bit tricky.

Laws also exist to protect job applicants with an arrest on their records. There are many reasons for this. Not the least of which is the fact that an arrest is not the same thing as a conviction. Then there’s the added problem that it’s hard to rehabilitate some offenders if they are never given a second chance to become gainfully employed.

Employers Should be Concerned if a History of Violence is Exposed in an Employment Background Check

So, how do employers walk the tightrope between protecting their business interests, customers, and employees from potentially violent offenders or dangerous employees, and protecting their businesses from lawsuits and the potential legal, reputation, and financial fallout that is possible if a criminal report is used improperly?

The best way, by far, is to conduct a thorough criminal and background investigation on all candidates they are considering for employment. Not only are background investigations excellent tools for verifying references and education and work histories, but criminal background checks are also great for identifying a history of violent crimes as well.

That isn’t to say that every candidate with violence in his or her history is a bad candidate or even likely to bring violence into the workplace today. Avoid focusing on one single act or even acts that took place decades ago and look at the whole history of the candidate instead. This is what using a quality firm to handle the employment screening for all potential employees helps businesses to do – look at the big picture and assess the risks.

Using a reputable service to conduct criminal background checks on all candidates in consideration for employment can help businesses avoid a great deal of aggravation as well as the risks associated with hiring potentially violent employees who have had a history of violence.

Disclaimer: The information on InstantCriminalChecks.com is governed by our Terms of Use and is never intended as legal advice.

5 Stark Realities of Freelancing Jobs

Freelancing JobsIt’s a safe bet that just about everyone, at one time or another has dreamed about being their own boss. Most people envision working from home in sweats and tees, setting their own hours, choosing their own assignments, blissfully free of long commutes and traffic jams, irritating co-workers, unreasonable bosses, and tiny cubicles. And it’s true that freelancing jobs can offer all of those perks, and then some. With constantly evolving technologies and mobile devices, millions of workers every year, often fed up with trying to find a job, turn to freelancing as an ever more viable alternative, and employers are welcoming them with open arms. Most employers will still require pre-employment background checks which may include criminal background checks. Freelancing can be a very rewarding career option, but it requires a considerable change of lifestyle, and should be carefully considered before one takes the leap.

Here are five hard realities of freelancing jobs:

  1. Freelancing is a whole new ballgame. It requires a completely different approach to work. Transitioning from a 9 to 5 job to being self-employed can be quite a culture shock. It’s possible to develop the self-discipline necessary to meet deadlines and complete assignments without supervision, but many will find it difficult at first. On the other hand, for some it just comes naturally. And unlike having a regular salary or hourly paycheck, if the freelancer isn’t working, they aren’t earning.
  2. Freelancers work more hours. Unless they hire extra help, freelancers have to do everything themselves, administrative chores, bookkeeping and billing, marketing and acquiring new clients. And none of this pays anything for the time spent on it. In general, a freelancer will work more than 40 hours a week. But their hours are arguably more pleasant, spent for the benefit of one’s own advancement.
  3. Freelancing jobs are a lonely profession. Social isolation is an occupational hazard of most freelancing jobs. Pets, plants, and talk radio are poor replacements for interaction with real human beings. There are many ways to counter the lonely hours spent working, but it takes an effort, which can be a lot of fun.
  4. Freelancing jobs has ups and downs. As in, availability of work. Sometimes the workload will seem overwhelming, other times the phone just isn’t ringing. Good money management skills are a must to weather lean times.
  5. Freelancers have real jobs. Many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around freelancing jobs. If a person isn’t commuting to a brick and mortar structure, they can’t have a real job now, can they? It’s an attitude that freelancers just get used to, and one that will change as freelancing jobs becomes more common.

Disclaimer: The information on InstantCriminalChecks.com is governed by our Terms of Use and is never intended as legal advice.

Providing Leadership for Working Millennials

As the workforce gets younger, the amount of Millennials comprising your team is growing. It is important to understand how they think in order to be a good leader and manager for them. Providing leadership for working millennials means changing your own patterns of thinking and stepping into their shoes. Here are some tips to get you started.

Working Millennials

Be Ethical

Working millennials are looking for ethics and honesty in their leaders above and beyond any other values. To build trust with them, you need to exhibit ethical behavior in how you manage your team and in general work situations according to a recent survey by IBM. IBM studied employees in 12 countries to achieve the results from this survey.

Be Transparent

Since they have grown up in a world where you can look up anything you want on the Internet, working millennials value transparency. They are information collectors, and hiding information from them will not help you curry favor. Instead, acting in a transparent manner in your leadership role will gain their trust, help you build a loyal team, and lead to employee happiness.

Be Dependable and Consistent

Working millennials are looking for a leader that they can rely on. Following through on your commitments to them will hold you in good stead as a manager. By being dependable in a consistent manner, you will prove your reliability and give them a reason to trust and rely on you. Consistent dependability is a characteristic that they can see through your actions as a leader.

Be Open to New Ideas

Working millennials want a team leader who is open and accepting of new opportunities and ideas. They don’t need to be appreciated as much as heard when they offer their opinions and suggestions for the workplace. By listening to what they have to say, and considering their point-of-view seriously, you can build a solid working relationship with your team.

Clearly Define Expectations

As someone leading a team, having clearly defined expectations is always helpful. In the spectrum of behaviors valued by millennials in the workplace, this one comes in as number five. While not as important as the previous four values, clearly defined expectations are still important to Millennials. By defining your expectations, you are giving them clear indicators of what they need to do to do well and advance. As information seekers, they can put this information in their “vault” to keep in mind as they work.

Disclaimer: The information on InstantCriminalChecks.com is governed by our Terms of Use and is never intended as legal advice.

How Human Resources Professionals Use HR Tech

HR tech obviously plays an important role when it comes to hiring of potential new employees. When was the last time you handed in a paper application? And LinkedIn is a social network dedicated entirely to professionals, including companies that are hiring and people who are looking for new jobs.

How HR Professionals use HR Tech

But the way that human resources departments use HR tech extended beyond just the hiring process. Consider the role that social media now plays in the process. HR scours Facebook and Twitter for any sign that a prospective might not be a good fit with the company — from photos of them partying hard to posts that don’t mesh with the company motto. This has led many people to lock down their profiles, at least the smart ones.

People who pass the hiring tests will certainly find themselves in front of a computer for at least part of their training. Even retail giant Wal-mart uses what the company calls “Computer Based Learning” (CBL) modules to teach new employees about general policies and skills required for their specific roles at the company. For yearly training, CBLs come in handy once more, and Wal-mart knows that CBLs provide the same lessons to thousands of employees across the country.

Still, technology has been a boon for human resources professionals, who have to save data about potentially thousands of employees. With virtualization leading to the cloud, companies are now able to use HR tech tools that can be accessed from any computer or even mobile device without having to be on the premises. Furthermore, employees can log in to company portals to update their information and see earnings reports without needing HR to complete those tasks as an intermediary.

HR tech has been long used for accounting software to track hours worked and ensure everyone is paid fully and on time. From Excel spreadsheets to Quicken files, companies have worked with a variety of software from every developer under the sun. However, technology is only useful if it can grow with the company, which is why many companies look for scalable solutions. In computing, scalable simply means that a program works well with a variety of sizes. While a company may only have 10 employees now, it may have tens of thousands eventually. Software that isn’t able to grow with that company will only cause headaches in the long run. Choosing a scalable employment screening solution that can grow with the company is very important.

Disclaimer: The information on InstantCriminalChecks.com is governed by our Terms of Use and is never intended as legal advice.