Monthly Archives: January 2008

Use background checks, but follow the rules

There's an excellent article at In-House Counsel titled: Conducting Employee Background Checks: Navigating Current Rule. Here's the lead. In recent years, an ever-increasing number of employers are conducting some form of background checks on job applicants and employees. In fact, in a 2004 study, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that 96 percent of human resource professionals indicated that their companies conduct some form of reference checks on prospective hires. That number nearly doubled from 51 percent less than a decade ago. This is an excellent article and one that you should follow the link and read. It's the [...]

By |January 30th, 2008|Categories: Employment screening, FCRA, Legal|0 Comments

Start with the basics

The Christian Science Monitor says that "More companies are using sophisticated background checks to root out lies on résumés." What does that mean? Well, it depends on what you mean by "sophisticated." Most of the checking is pretty basic stuff. Here's a quick review of some things you can do. Start with a pre-interview phone screening. I like these because they're a very time-efficient way to clarify facts, identify issues for the interview and get a "gut sense" of the applicant. Not every company does it this way, but I think you should do some basic credential checking before you [...]

By |January 29th, 2008|Categories: Background checks, Employment screening|0 Comments

How much do applicants fib?

Your mother may have told you not to lie, but evidently some of the people sending out resumes never got that good advice. Several surveys indicate that lots of people lie when they apply for a job. One screening service used by employers reports that in 2006, 41 percent of their background checks turned up a discrepancy between what the applicant provided and what the reference reported. Another report, by a different company, found "major misstatements" on 42 percent of the resumes. More than half the hiring managers polled by CareerBuilder said they found a lie on an application. Of [...]

By |January 22nd, 2008|Categories: Criminal checks, Employment screening|0 Comments

One more way your rental property can get trashed

After telling the story of Jason Winterholler, the Austin American-Statesman offers up the following: "Police said homeowners should do credit and criminal background checks on prospective tenants. They also warned owners to be skeptical of overly favorable deals and resist the urge to skip background checks just because the prospective renters seem nice." That advice will seem pretty straightforward to most landlords, even if sometimes it takes a lot of discipline to follow it. There are two things different here from the usual story of this kind. First, this advice is aimed at homeowners who attempt to rent out a [...]

By |January 18th, 2008|Categories: Credit checks, Criminal checks, Tenant screening|0 Comments

Stopping financial misconduct with a multi-layered program

The Columbia (MO) Tribune has a story about how the University of Missouri is working to stop fiscal misconduct with a multi-layered program that even involves the public. The story focuses on the new fraud reporting hotline as well as other techniques like increased background checks. Let's review what's going on and how you can learn from it. The University is trying to curb and catch "financial misconduct." That phrase covers a number of offenses. They include theft and fraud, of course, but also statements or actions that violate internal financial policies, unlawful gifts, bribes, misuse of funds under grants [...]

By |January 16th, 2008|Categories: Background checks|0 Comments

Sometimes all you can do is chuckle: Wikipedia

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that purports to know about almost everything, seems to have missed important information about one of its own. The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit arm of Wikipedia. The Foundation's now-former COO, Carolyn Bothwell Doran was originally hired after being sent over as a part-time bookkeeper by a temp agency. It's not clear how she rose to the COO position. As COO, Doran was responsible for personnel management, with access to sensitive personal information. She was responsible for financial management with access to financial records. She prepared and filed the foundation's tax return. That's the kind of [...]

By |January 14th, 2008|Categories: Criminal checks|0 Comments
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