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Peopletrail Named A Top Employee Screening Service in HRO Today’s 2018 Baker’s Dozen

Peopletrail, a leading provider of background checks and screening service, has been recognized by HRO Today for the 4th consecutive year.

DRAPER, UT— Peopletrail has been recognized by HRO Today’s 2018 Baker’s Dozen Awards as a top employment screening provider. In addition, Peopletrail ranked in the top three for quality of service. This is the fourth consecutive year that HRO Today has rated Peopletrail as top employment screening provider.

HRO Today Magazine, a leading publication for human resource professionals, annually recognizes excellence in the top 13 national screening providers. These top background check and screening agencies are identified for the quality of the service and products they provide to their customers.

“This survey is a global undertaking and HRO Today has spent the last several months verifying the results,” said Elliot Clark, CEO of HRO Today Magazine. “We feel confident that through our efforts, the companies we rank are an excellent choice based on your specific need.”

Since its inception, Peopletrail has upheld that providing the best service means implementing ways to include people in the process.

“We are honored to have our efforts recognized year after year,” said Wallace T. Davis, President and CEO of Peopletrail. “This recognition shows Peopletrail’s dedication to provide an unmatched quality of services through efficient processes and superior products.”

The HRO Today Bakers Dozen Customer Satisfaction surveys are the largest pre-employment background screening study in the Human Resource Trade Media. The ratings are based solely on feedback from the consumers of the services that is collected online annually. The results are analyzed to determine the scope of service, deals and quality.

About Peopletrail

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

Oracle Gold Partner. NAPBS accredited. 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.

Read the original press release here.


*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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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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Why You Should Care About Accreditation

An accredited background check is vital to hiring. Less than 2% of the thousands of consumer reporting agencies you could partner with are accredited. That means that 98% of background check companies are under no obligation to provide you with information that is accurate. These companies don’t have certifications that protect your company’s interests or your employee’s rights—Leaving you liable.

Each year, U.S. employers request millions of background checks. And each year, improper background check practices result in thousands of FCRA lawsuits and millions owed by employers.

Accreditation is an important seal of approval to look for because it offers unbiased validation that we are actually doing what we promise. The best way to ensure an accurate and efficient onboarding process is to work with an accredited screening company.

What is NAPBS Accreditation?NAPBS Accreditation Seal

NAPBS Accreditation means consumer protection, a commitment to best practices, and compliance with state and federal laws.

This seal of approval comes from The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). Governed by a strict and thorough set of professional standards and requirements, this program is the widely recognized seal of approval. Having NAPBS accreditation recognizes an employment screening organization’s commitment to achieving excellence through high standards.

To qualify, consumer reporting agencies must pass rigorous onsite audits of their policies and procedures. The accreditation process is a demanding and labor-intensive exercise in patience, perseverance, organizational efficiency, and attention to detail—that is why many background screening companies don’t bother.

If you have compliant practices, then an NAPBS accredited company is for you.

Why is Accreditation Important?

A screening company’s NAPBS accreditation shows more than just organizational integrity. It shows the ongoing commitment to protect the interests of your company and the rights of your employee.

NAPBS Accredited background screeners have proven expertise, a positive compliance history, and systems in place to align with current State and Federal regulations. The background screening company must show a documented understanding of, and compliance with, all federal and state laws that pertain to hiring decisions.

Imagine what could happen if you partnered with a non-accredited screening company to perform a background check on one of your employees. That screening company might give you information connect to a different individual with the same name. This bad information could lead to the loss of a great hire or could even leave your business liable.

How Does It Benefit Your Business?

Employers need to know that while there are many ways to perform a background check, some of these ways are a waste of time and resources—so some companies could take advantage of you.

A quick Internet search for “background check” will produce many companies. Be wary of claims to provide a “free” or “immediate” background check on anyone in the country. Sometimes companies perform searches with limited or incomplete records, using sources that are available to the public. The information that you get from these companies may not be very reliable.

Not all background checks are the same. Working with an NAPBS accredited firm translates into higher quality background checks, better customer service, stronger client education, and less risk for your hiring decisions, as well as supporting your commitment to minimizing risk in the workplace.

How Do You Know If a Company Is Accredited?

Be sure to ask your employment screening partner about their accreditation status. You can also look for the seal on their website.


*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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Incarceration Statistics Illuminate the “Peopletrail Difference”

In December 2015, The Bureau of Justice Statistics came out with its Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999-2013. The data showed that while nationwide jail populations had risen 23% in the mid-2000’s, jail population as surveyed in 2013 had since declined 2.2%, that population did, however, remain higher still than 1999 levels. Jail inmates counted in the census included convicted offenders (sentenced and un-sentenced), those still pending their court date, individuals under house arrest or other types of community supervision, and offenders serving weekend-only sentences. The average jail population at 2013’s year-end was 757,120, but since inmates come and go frequently a whopping 11.9 million people had been admitted accumulatively during that year.[i]

Not every person admitted to jail has a resulting conviction or another relevant outcome in which an HR official would or should (legally) disqualify a job applicant for. The message here is not: look at the 11.9 million dangerous individuals Peopletrail will help keep out of your workplace! Actually, background checks that are conducted responsibly require a high level of industry expertise and often times additional research on top of the mere acquisition of a particular individual’s run in(s) with the law. That being said, in respect to the information obtained from the Census of Jails, the message here is: look at the many millions of records that exist in which Peopletrail scrubs through to produce background checks that are useful for hiring, in every sense of the word.

The Peopletrail difference is a set of practices we have implemented as standard that adds value to our background check reports. Unlike many other screening agencies, we are not just a transporter of already publicly available information. Our files are personally reviewed by a Dedicated Account Manager who is an industry expert and who

  • Removes inaccurate data
  • Researches incomplete data to find more information
  • Applies applicable federal and state requirements
  • Eliminates false positives
  • Eliminates unusable data, i.e. records not allowed by federal or state law
  • Uses client’s policies to further scrub what we report

With our extra layer of human touch, we eliminate approximately 56% of inaccurate or unusable data. The resulting report is one that can be confidently used by a company to make a hiring decision.

Similarly to the aforementioned jail stats, recent discussion of the prison population has some interesting background screening implications. Since the 1970’s the prison population has increased some 400% and the U.S. Justice Action Network alongside President Barrack Obama has initiated reform to certain mandatory minimum sentences and is starting to craft options for non-violent offenders to get out of prison.[ii]

Additionally, the editorial Bloomberg View describes a “re-entry provision offering more assistance and incentives for employers to hire ex-convicts.”[ii] Peopletrail suspects that “assistance” and “incentives” will in some form turn into laws and regulations putting a burden on employers to navigate additional legalese when hiring. This is already happening with Ban the Box. Fortunately, the Peopletrail difference can help alleviate if not eliminate that burden on employers. For more information on the Peopletrail difference please view our new whiteboard video.

 

References

[i] “Census of Jails: Population Changes, 1999-2013” Bureau of Justice Statistics, http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cjpc9913_sum.pdf, (12/2015)

[ii] Albert R. Hunt, “The Unlikely Alliance for Prison Reform” Bloomberg View, http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-12-06/the-unlikely-alliance-for-prison-reform, (12/06/2015)

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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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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.

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3 Things to Know When Selecting Your Pre-Employment Screening Partner

Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Fraud committed by employees cost American companies approximately $20 billion annually, and workplace theft tops out at more than $50 billion.1

Conducting a thorough investigation into the backgrounds of potential employees is the first step in building relationships with trustworthy individuals. Whether it is discovering a criminal past or verifying professional licenses, accurate and timely response is essential. Finding a background screening company that verifies the references and credentials, criminal records, and other areas of an individual’s background can save your company both time and money.

The key to your success, and ultimately the safety and security of your organization, is treating the background screening firm selection process as a hiring process. Apply a high amount of due diligence with selecting the best screening partner for your organization. Here are 3 key aspects to look for in a screening partner.

Accreditation Matters in A Screening Partner

Less than 2% of the thousands of consumer reporting agencies you could partner with have accreditation.That means that 98% of background check companies are under no obligation to provide you with information that is accurate. These companies don’t have certifications that protect your company’s interests—Leaving you liable.

To become accredited, consumer reporting agencies must pass a rigorous onsite audit, conducted by an independent inspector, of their policies and procedures as they relate to the following critical areas:

  • Legal Compliance
  • Consumer Protection
  • Information Security
  • Organizational Integrity and Ethics
  • Ability to Train and Educate Clients
  • Accuracy and Depth of Products
  • Quality and Accuracy of Public Record Researchers and Background Specialists
  • Employee Background Check Expertise

An accredited background check from a reliable company makes a difference. Peopletrail has successfully achieved compliance with the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) accreditation program and is formally recognized as Background Screening Credentialing Council (BSCC) Accredited.

Not All Background Checks Are the Same

There is a difference between due diligence and data dumping. Low-quality searches carry high risks for employers. Negligent hiring cases have had verdicts of up to $40 million.3

While some consumer reporting agencies report exceptionally high criminal hit rates, these numbers can be skewed when the right tools aren’t used. Tools like national databases have their place in background screening. However, records from many national databases are often inaccurate and because of this, it is in many cases illegal to make hiring decisions based solely on the results of a national database. It’s important to check the sources of criminal reports. A multi-level check matters and should always be part of the due diligence process for vetting new hires.

Peopletrail uses due diligence when utilizing national databases. Any information uncovered from the National Criminal Database is verified at the state or county level using official court records to confirm accuracy. This cross-referencing human touch leads to increased accuracy with the added layer of a personal review and data scrub.

Compliance Matters

ICE has audited more than 6,000 employers suspected of hiring illegal labor, debarred more than 400 companies and individuals, and imposed more than $76 million in financial sanctions.4

While all background screening firms are required to have a service agreement with their clients that address issues related to FCRA compliance, this information can be confusing and challenging to comply with unless it is clearly understood by the end users.

Peopletrail not only provides training tutorials, sample forms, and ongoing updates to clients to help them comply with the FCRA, EEOC, and state and local laws, we were the first to create a centralized compliance knowledge base that other consumer reporting agency’s pay to access. Our clients are the first to benefit from our compliance expertise.

Peopletrail provides Actionable Insight You Trust. If you would like to learn more, please give us a call at 866-223-8822 or schedule a Complimentary Consultation today.

 

References
1. U.S. Department of Labor, 2012
2. NAPBS, 2013
3. Gurtin vs. Nurse Connection, et. al., 2002
4. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Testimony of Secretary Janet Napolitano, October 26, 2011