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How Long Does A Background Check Take?

The most common question people ask when considering background checks is “How long does a background check take?” Most consumer reporting agencies have similar answers—it depends.

It’s true that the time it takes to complete a background check can vary significantly. But for most clients, Peopletrail boasts a national average of 1.6 days with real-time updates on delays. Our screening specialists turn a three-week waiting period into one hour.  Learn more about what we do during that time.


*THIS SITE CANNOT AND DOES NOT CONTAIN LEGAL ADVICE* This information provided by Peopletrail on our website and blog is for general information purposes only. Peopletrail and their representatives are not lawyers; nothing in this blog or provided by Peopletrail should be deemed as legal guidance or advice. All information on the site is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty or any kind, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, and availability or completeness of any information on our Site. Users are solely responsible for complying with all local, state, and federal laws as they may relate to any information provided in this Blog. Peopletrail recommends utilization of a competent legal representative for any legal issues. Under no circumstance shall we have any liability to you for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of the use of the site or reliance on any information provided on the site. Your use of the site and your reliance on any information on the site is solely at your own risk.
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Trending Discussions in Employment Screening Webinar

Employers conducting employment background screening will need to keep compliance top of mind in 2017. Regulatory oversight, the growing number of class-action lawsuits, and the threat of data breaches all make it a good time to touch base on the trending topics impacting screening programs and practices. With this in mind, Peopletrail released a webinar entitled, Trending Discussions in Employment Screening.

Here are six topics we covered:

1.   The Most Important Background Checks an Employer Can Conduct

Many employers rely on simple criminal background checks when hiring. In many instances, employers ignore the most telling information by only conducting a criminal background check. A simple criminal check does not verify an employee’s most important information.

An estimated 45% of all resumes contain at least one major fabrication. Lies from an employee can potentially mean danger. Employers can’t find danger from an employee’s criminal past alone. In our webinar, we’ll discuss the range and depth of background checks.

2.   The Rise of Post-Hire Screening

Threats such as embezzlement, theft, fraud, and even active workplace violence can spring from employees at all levels. If an employee commits a crime, their employer might not know until it is too late—unless they perform a post-hire screen.

In our webinar, we’ll discuss how post-hire screening helps secure a workplace and reinforces screening policies.

3.   The Limitations of Screening Employees for Prescription Drugs

The fastest growing drug problem in the U.S comes from the abuse of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs often negatively impact workplace safety. Yet the law limits an employer’s ability to question an employee’s medication use. In many cases, the government protects users of prescription medications under the American’s with Disabilities Act and Health Privacy Laws.

Furthermore, the laws around prescription drugs may obscure the results of a simple drug test because the presence of a substance does not constitute an offense. Learn more how employers can still keep the workplace safe from prescription drug abuse in our webinar.

4.   Common Flaws in Employer Drug Testing Programs

Weak drug testing programs can fail to detect illegal drug abuse, and that puts your company at risk. Companies must check their drug screening policies and the programs they use. Not only will this keep your company compliant, it will also strengthen your drug screening process.

A strong drug screening process means that employers need to understand the regulations that could affect a drug screening program. Learn more about how to avoid the pitfalls of drug testing programs in the webinar.

5.   The Most Common 1-9 Compliance Mistakes

The rules of filling out an I-9 form are enough to warrant a how-to manual and training course. In addition to figuring out the details of 1-9, the responsibility lies with employers to collect and maintain correct information. Employers that fail to complete or maintain correct documentation also meet harsh financial penalties.

In our webinar, we’ll discuss how to simplify 1-9 compliance and learn to avoid common mistakes.

6.   The Risks of Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

Nearly one-third of employers have ruled out an applicant based on information they found on social media. Viewing public profiles can provide employers with a lot of relevant insight on candidates. However, this practice puts you at risk for workplace discrimination in certain cases. Some states have even banned employers from requesting access to applicant and employee social media.

When deciding how to use social media screening, the risks versus rewards may cause some confusion. The webinar provides more guidance on social media screening.

To view the webinar, click here

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Post-Hire Screening: Answers to A Safer Workplace

One out of every one-thousand employees are arrested each month, but only a quarter of their employers will know about it. Employers may try to skip post-hire screening, but the potential risks leave your workplace dangerously exposed.

Throughout 2016, the Endera Insider Risk Survey analyzed hundreds of businesses to learn how they use data to respond to internal threats. The most serious blind spot—the absence of monitoring an employee’s behavior after hire.

In fact, less than 25 percent of employers proactively screen employees after hiring. In many instances, employers only conduct post-hire screenings upon discovering a problem. By then it may already be too late.

When to Screen Post-Hire?

It is unlikely that employers will know the instant that an employee becomes a risk without proper attention. This awareness post-hire is especially important because post-hire is when an employee is able to do the most damage.

Many industries expect continuous, post-hire screening to become the new normal in the workforce.

Ultimately, deciding when to conduct post-hire screens depends on an individual business’s needs, resources, and industry regulations. However, most industries choose to screen annually or whenever considering an employee for promotion.

Why Screen Post-Hire?

In addition to ensuring workplace safety, post-hire checks can identify concerns that employers may have missed initially. Often, rescreening employees post-hire can help to uncover possible fabrications in a resume.

Retaining employees who become involved in criminal activity after hiring poses a threat to your company and staff. An employee’s criminal activity can also make a business liable for negligent retention. Even if your employee’s background checks are squeaky-clean, post-hire screening is still a best practice for workplace safety and productivity.

How to Screen Post-Hire?

Remember that employers must always obtain compliant post-hire consent in order to run post-hire checks. Individual business and industry requirements and regulations may direct the specifics of your post-hire screening plan. This means that your business needs to partner with a consumer reporting agency that understands your particular circumstances.

Make sure that the screening service you choose can be customized to ensure compliance and lower the potential risk in the workplace.

 

 

 

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3 Tips for Navigating the Sensitivities of Executive Level Screening

It costs you one-third of a new hire’s salary to replace them, according to the Department of Labor. Those costs only increase the higher up in the organization the turnover occurs. In some cases, it can total in millions of dollars if that person is the CEO. Combine that with the need for increased levels of credibility, reputation, and integrity with C-level executives, it is clear that companies need to be implementing executive level employment screening.

When we see stories like Scott Thompson, Former CEO of Yahoo, caught exaggerating his resume and using a fake computer science degree, and coach Steve Masiello being placed on leave by Manhattan College while his degree status at the University of Kentucky is reviewed, it’s clear to see the importance of an executive onboarding process. The liability to a company’s reputation and the risk to the bottom line are significant, so why don’t all companies take the time to perform a thorough executive level background check?

The answer is simple… C-level executives are often a different breed of animal to recruit and hire. Many executives are “networked-in,” placing the HR team in a sometimes precarious position to potentially alienate new leaders by requesting “onboarding formalities”.

While an experienced candidate often understands the importance of a background check, they may be put off by the request to visit websites and enter personal information or to speak with third-party verifiers. Companies can make this process less precarious for the HR team, and more comfortable for executives by implementing the following tips.

1. Make It Policy

The first step to eliminating any awkwardness from the request is to formalize the procedure for screening executives and board members. Most companies develop an employment background screening program for employees, but many will not have developed a process for screening executives. Create a separate policy specifically for executives that outlines the onboarding and the ongoing screening requirements that the company expects from its executives. A written policy can potentially protect a company’s reputation and its bottom-line.

2. Keep It Professional

Transparency goes a long way to keep the entire process professional. Be sure to clearly communicate the company policy for screening executives and board members. Make sure your candidates always know what to expect from the information they will be asked to provide. Advising executive candidates that the company will be working with an accredited consumer reporting agency that provides highly professional interactions, sensitivity to the executive’s time, and a white glove approach to the handling of sensitive, personal information will help the candidate understand and embrace the process. In addition, let the candidate know they will be screened in areas that might not be on their radar, such as public relations experience and social media persona.

3. Stress Confidentiality

Given the public nature of many executive-level positions, these candidates may be more sensitive to privacy and confidentiality. Make sure your candidate knows their information is in good hands by limiting the staff who can access the results. Ensure this by partnering with an accredited, trusted, and knowledgeable screening provider who can guarantee confidentiality,

In summary, creating a specialized executive level screening program that sets the policies and communication practices related to positions of authority within the organization, can help your organization navigate the sensitivities and ensure that the company’s credibility, reputation, and integrity are maintained.

For more information on implementing an executive level background screening program at your organization, please call us at 866.223.8822, or request a complimentary consultation today.

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Compensating for Fraudulent Applications: Peopletrail’s Experience in Uncovering the Truth

Background checks are usually based on information that is disclosed by the candidate. Basic information such as date of birth and full current name are key tools used to accurately compile a person’s criminal profile. The information provided by a candidate helps the employer to fully understand a candidate’s qualifications. However, applicants with an unsavory past may falsify their most basic information to evade an accurate investigation. Peopletrail’s experience with the fraudulent tactics deceptive job seekers may use combined with our expertise in how to verify a candidate’s information can greatly reduce the likelihood of employers hiring based on false pretenses.

Fraudulent Date of Birth

Peopletrail has encountered the situation on more than one occasion where a criminal record for a serious offense would surface containing many identifiers matching it to the applicant in question. However, one crucial identifier would be slightly mismatching, the date of birth. To cover all of our bases in these situations we utilize the Vehicle Record Information System. This search obtains a motor vehicle report (MVR) from the Department of Motor Vehicles. By adding this search we can obtain an accurate date of birth as driver’s licenses can only be issued when backed by a valid birth certificate.

Peopletrail found in several cases that the date of birth on the criminal record, while it didn’t match the birthdate the applicant provided, did match the date of birth uncovered in the applicant’s MVR. We were then able to confidently report the record as belonging to the candidate.

Because of the strict criteria for obtaining a driver’s license, MVRs are a great tool for date of birth verification as well as uncovering middle names and aliases names. MVRs are also largely timely to obtain. In 47 states, Peopletrail’s interactive MVR results that can be retrieved instantaneously using our online order and delivery website. In three states, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Oregon, motor vehicle records can take 24-48 hours to retrieve.

False Education Claims

In addition to false personal information, false claims of education or certifications are rampant among deceptive applicants. These applicants are aided by organizations known as diploma mills that provide pseudo-diplomas and other illegitimate verifications of degrees. False degree information is especially insidious because these claims are usually made by earnest and believable individuals.

Earlier this year it was reported that a respected police officer in Texas had resigned pending an investigation of the diploma he submitted. Furthermore, the sheriff’s office’s employee who handled the former police officer’s fake degree has since been demoted.

To ensure accuracy when evaluating and verifying degree information that the Better Business Bureau’s suggestions for spotting diploma mills are very helpful. Some include:

  • Addresses of an institution are box numbers or suites
  • Institution name is similar to well-known reputable universities
  • Diploma mills may claim to be accredited—however, their accrediting agencies are illegitimate

Peopletrail knows which higher education institutions are accredited as recognized by the Department of Education. Our tried and tested protocol for obtaining verifications, both verbally or through resources such as The National Student Clearinghouse, has protected our customers from inaccurate verifications.

Background investigations involve many intricate nuances that require careful reasoning backed by industry knowledge to compile complete and accurate information. This is especially true when applicants provide falsified information. The two examples of deceptive tactics above accompany many more that Peopletrail has faced. Although we must give credence to candidates that provide information in order to begin building a background check, and we are not constantly on a witch hunt to discover their potential untruths when inconsistencies or red flags arise we utilize our tools and expertise to compose the most comprehensive, accurate report possible.

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Personal Background Check Reporting Now Available For Individuals

Peopletrail has been servicing businesses and organizations with its customized, trusted background screening solutions and now expands its  offering to individuals. Individuals can generate their own, personal background check report directly from the Peopletrail.com website, providing insight into what is available to any investigative organization to verify their identity and criminal history.

Today more than ever, it is important for individuals to know what information is available about them. From credit reports, motor vehicle records, criminal report history and more, it is imperative that individuals review the information reported about them to know what others could see and to take any steps necessary to respond to their reports and repair inaccuracies. Peopletrail, a respected long-time provider of background screening solutions, expands its services and customized solutions to individuals. Individuals can now generate their own, personal background check report directly and conveniently from the Peopletrail.com website.

Over 92% of companies perform background checks on their employees and candidates for employment. Although companies are required to provide candidates a copy of their report, Individuals may want to get ahead of the game and find out what’s on their background report before their potential employer does. Knowing what is reported may help increase ones competitive advantage where they can make sure they report the same information on their applications and take steps to respond to their reports if needed. Peopletrail has developed online access to these reports that can be generated quickly in just a few steps and with a few details of personal information required.

“Over the last year, Peopletrail has been dedicated to strengthening its operations and expanding services. Providing background screening services beyond our business clientele to individuals shows our commitment to growing the business and being a leader in the background screening industry.” Stated Wallace T. Davis, President and CEO of Peopletrail. “We are excited about this new addition to our expansive product portfolio and the opportunity it provides individuals to conveniently and inexpensively access their own background reports.”

The personal background report service can be accessed from the company website at Peopletrail.com. There are three reporting packages that individuals can select starting at just $19. Peopletrail is also offering a 20% introductory discount for a 2-week period and encourages individuals to get a copy of their own report to have a clear understanding of the information that is reported about them.

Customers can access the personal background report services from Peopletrail

About Peopletrail

Peopletrail is a leading provider of custom employment screening, criminal background checks, tenant screening, drug screening, ATS integrations, and corporate security solutions.

As part of the accredited elite, only Peopletrail combines superior customer service through dedicated account managers with efficient, state-of-the-art technology integration to deliver on-demand, accurate and timely consumer reporting results. Trusted and respected by government agencies and Fortune 500 to small up-and-coming businesses, Peopletrail provides actionable insight you trust.

Interested customers in Peopletrail’s background check and screening services can contact the company at 888.223.6623. Or by visiting the company website at Peopletrail.com.

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Background Checks Are Not All The Same

The vast majority of employers run pre-employment background checks.  Even companies that don’t screen regularly agree that they are a helpful way to build a successful workforce.  The news is filled with stories that show malpractice in the workplace when it could have been prevented with a simple background check.

As an employer, it would be convenient if you could hire any company to conduct pre-employment background checks and be confident that the safety net will provide you with all the tools to make an informed hiring decision. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

The problem is that not every background check is the same.   There is not one source or mystical database where all background screening professionals go to for consistent, up to date criminal record information. In fact, the concept of “background checks” is incredibly ambiguous and doesn’t speak at all to the quality or accuracy of the information produced by conducting one. A hiring official’s due diligence cannot reach its full potential unless the background checks he or she orders utilizes the most foolproof techniques and channels to find and verify criminal records.

Below is an example of trustworthy background investigation tools that employers can count on for most standard background check needs.  Also included are tools that have a place, but should be used cautiously.  Employers should ensure their background screening provider can strategically implement these tools.

1.  Developing the Subject’s Profile/Identity

To begin an accurate, cost-effective criminal record search, a background screening company must find out where an applicant has lived, worked, or gone to school in the past 7-10 years, which is the standard industry timeframe.  Employers can request this information from job applicants on an application, but to ensure no information is falsified they can request their social security trace search.  A social security trace search is an excellent preliminary tool for background checks.  It not only verifies the identity of the individual, and any alias names, but it also reports past residences of the applicant, this is crucial for step number two.

2.  Retrieving Criminal Records

After the application process, the background screening company requests records from the counties of applicant’s past residences. County records are the most detailed, accurate, and up-to-date searches available.

Studies show that, on average, most people person only live in two or three counties during a seven-year period.  For most companies, it is more efficient to verify information of all counties lived in by the applicant and possibly all nearby “touch” counties during the past seven years.  Any additional information usually outweighs the cost.

3. Gaining More Coverage with State Repositories

Statewide repository searches are also fairly reliable.  A Statewide search offers greater geographical coverage than county searches.  However, state repositories receive their information from local law enforcement agencies and the local courts. This means that a middleman distributes the data in state searches, whereas counties are the direct source.  State repository records might be incomplete due to manpower shortages, transmission delays, local privacy laws, and lack of enforcement authority.

As official records, county searches and state repository searches are the most reliable background check tools.

4. Strategically Using Database Searches to Keep Compliance

Another tool for locating criminal records is a database search. While employers can search nationwide for an applicant’s criminal record, use caution.

Database reports may not be accurate and are not as reliable as the direct source. Because criminal databases have multiple source contributors, there is no regulation or responsibility to update these records.  Some jurisdictions don’t even report information to public databases and they may contain incomplete records.

Never use database searches as the only source for locating criminal records. Always confirm every database record directly with the jurisdiction or county where the record was found. This is the only compliant way to utilize database information. The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits employers from making a hiring decision based solely on a database search. Be wary of companies that offer instant database criminal records as reliable pre-employment screening.

3.  Verifying Criminal Records

Employers should know that false positives, including undiscovered records, can populate in background checks if a background screening provider has no review process.  Criminal record matching is typically achieved by matching the applicant’s name and date of birth to the record.  Those are the identifiers most commonly found on court records.  However, knowledgeable applicants with a criminal past may supply fraudulent information such as an incorrect date of birth to hide an offense.  Credit headers and social security traces can confirm a date of birth, but may not be free from error.  Driving records are a very reliable source for date of birth confirmation.  Background screening agencies may find other verification tools necessary on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks are important but are only as useful as the tools used to obtain information.

Different industries and unique situations mean the investigation process varies, but with any circumstance, there is a “right” or “best” method to search for an applicant’s criminal history.  Seek out a screening company that understands the complexities of background screening tools.  Together, you can formulate the most accurate and efficient background check process to build a successful workforce.