Background Screening | Job Candidate with a Criminal Record? Pt. 3

Background Screening | Job Candidate with a Criminal Record? Pt. 3

Background Screening | Job Candidate with a Criminal Record? Pt. 3


Background Screening | Also, while serving, recruits are under greater scrutiny.

On the other hand, serving in the armed forces may be very stressful which could promote negative behavior, as could an aversion to authority.

A military setting, in other words, could bring out the worst in an individual with a propensity for crime.

Yet, according to the Harvard-Amherst study, it doesn’t.

The Uphill Battle

Those who have a criminal record know the tremendous obstacles that may block their path. [ Tweet this!]

A conviction for a felony will remain on a person’s record for years (until which point the offender is eligible for, seeks, and is granted an expungement); such a stigma may influence employers to immediately and automatically be suspicious of, afraid of, and intimidated by an individual who has been incarcerated.

Individuals who have served time may have permanently lost the right to vote (10 states restrict some people with a misdemeanor conviction).

An ex-felon may not be able to avail themselves of government benefits including public healthcare programs.

Some regulations expressly prohibit certain types of jobs for persons who have a criminal record.

And a convicted felon may find that even locating a place to live may be fraught with roadblocks, exacerbated by not being able to find a job to earn an income.

It should therefore come as no surprise that, faced with such impediments, two-thirds of released prisoners reoffend and are arrested within three years of release; within five years of release, three-quarters of released prisoners are rearrested.

Although, according to the law, they’ve “paid their debt to society.”

The Future

Each year, more than 630,000 individuals are released from prison, more than the population of many cities. [ Tweet this!]

As many as 100 million Americans have criminal records.

Of course employers should conduct an individualized assessment of each job candidate as recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); those hiring should refer to relevant “Ban-the-Box” requirements (and their associated adjudication practices as applicable), and also acknowledge that legal or regulatory requirements may be in play to prohibit hiring individuals with specific criminal convictions within industries including healthcare, financial services, energy and other fields.

In addition to giving a fair shake to an applicant who has a record, a few incentives and additional facts may be worth considering:

  • Substantial tax credits are available for hiring ex-felons, such as the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Some states even provide partial wage reimbursement, additional tax credits, and other training funds for employers who hire ex-felons.
  • Employers who hire felons can also be eligible to obtain a free fidelity bond funded by the federal government to protect them against employee dishonesty or theft.
  • Ex-felons may be less inclined to quit on you. The harsh reality is they are left with far fewer options than employees with clean records. So many employers that hire former law-breakers have lower turnover than with conventional hires. According to the Partnership for Safety and Justice, “In general, formerly incarcerated people are as reliable as other workers.”

Given the recent studies cited above that indicate individuals who have been convicted of crimes in the past may, going forward, excel given the opportunity – duly considering job applicants solely on their qualifications rather than focusing exclusively on a past transgression may prove to be in a company’s best interests. -HireRight

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Fingerprinting | Job Candidate with a Criminal Record? Pt. 2

Fingerprinting | Job Candidate with a Criminal Record? Pt. 2

Fingerprinting | Job Candidate with a Criminal Record? Pt. 2


Fingerprinting | Results Validated

The Harvard-Amherst study isn’t alone in its assessment.

Canadian Big Data firm Evolv crunched numbers and found that “criminals can make better employees than anyone else.”

The firm calculated that employees with criminal backgrounds are 1 to 1.5 percent more productive on the job than people without criminal records.

Such productivity “could result in tens of millions in profit and loss gain” said the company.

Why the Surprising Results?

Evolv speculated that perhaps employees with records may feel a sense of loyalty and/or gratitude to a business that would see beyond their mistakes and provide them with an opportunity.

Is that enough to persuade prospective employers?

Evolv’s CEO Max Simkoff said, “…I tell them their own data is showing this—if they want to save $10 million a year, they should make the change. But what they do with the data is ultimately up to them.”

Sociologist Jennifer Lundquist, one of the authors of the Harvard-Amherst paper, speculatedthat people with criminal records may want to “go the extra mile” for businesses offering them a chance to get beyond their pasts.

“Our main argument is that the ‘whole person’ criteria is something we think employers should explore as a possibility.”

Otherwise, employers “may be losing out by just banning ex-felons altogether who turn out to be pretty good employees when given that chance—and when properly screened.”

“The screening process clearly works, there’s no question,” Lundquist noted. “But I also suspect there may be something else going on here, which is the interesting social question.”

She hypothesizes that criminal record holders may do better than those without a record and outperform their peers because they want to pay back an employer – in this case, the military – that offered them a second chance.

Another explanation may lay in the fact that, in serving in the military, they were removed from an environment that may have tempted or influenced them to break the law.

The military also offers a highly-disciplined hierarchy that is so responsibility-focused it may keep individuals from misbehaving. -HireRight 

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Employment Background Check | Behind the Scenes

Employment Background Check | Behind the Scenes

Employment Background Check | Behind the Scenes


Employment Background Check | When a candidate applies for a position, their potential employer may engage a background check company to help them ensure that the candidate is the best person for the job.

Background checks including reference checks will vary from employer to employer, and from one background screening provider to another, so for simplicity’s sake, let’s take a look at background and reference check scenarios that employers commonly request from a full-service background check firm.

Once an employer has requested a background and a reference check from a third-party provider, that agency may begin by initiating verification’s of employment history, education and credentials checks, if requested by the employer, as well as simultaneously contacting references the candidate has provided.

When requested for candidates working in certain positions, the employer may also ask the agency to provide a report detailing the candidate’s credit history.

Employment History Verification

Using phone or email to directly contact the previous employer, or by using the employer’s designated automated verification service, the agency may verify these facts:

  • Start and end dates of employment
  • Position / job title
  • Salary (when requested by the employer and provided by the company)

Usually the firm will confirm as many employers as required per its customers’ package settings and will document the name and title of the person who supplied the employment information.

The researcher who verified the employment may note the verification with a comment.

The background screening provider may utilize a proprietary database as well as online research to contact an employer.

If the candidate has supplied a contact number, the background check company may use this number if it can authenticate it is a valid business line.

Throughout the process, the verifier will attempt to contact the employer at different times each day.

If the agency needs more info, it may reach out to the candidate and may ask for other means of employment validation, including W2’s or paycheck stubs.

Employment information typically is verified for employment history over the last seven years, but the background check company can attempt to verify further back if necessary.

Education and Credential Verification

While the employment check is occurring, a separate team may simultaneously verify the candidate’s education history.

This component is important to employers as it contains the most-commonly falsified information by candidates on resumes and job applications.

Educational institutions high school and above may be contacted to validate:

  • Name of school
  • Dates of attendance
  • Major area of study
  • Diploma, degree or credential awarded
  • Date awarded

The agency may contact the candidate to obtain necessary documentation (usually a copy of their degree or certificate) that will either provide additional information to continue the investigation and be provided to the school for authentication.

Professional Reference Checks

The background check provider may offer a professional reference check service based on the contact information for colleagues and coworkers listed on the application.

Interviewers handling reference check questions can contact individuals to get an assessment of the candidate’s capabilities and work record in accordance with client’s guidelines.

Typical questions may include:

  • What was the working relationship you had with this person? Length of time worked with?
  • How would you describe their interpersonal skills?
  • What would you say motivated the individual most?
  • What would you say are their strongest attributes?
  • Would you rehire/recommend for rehire?

Verification’s are a critical component of the background check process.

Third-party background check providers attempt to deliver speed, and must ensure accuracy to make the experience – for candidate and employer alike – the best experience possible. –HireRight


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Employment Screening | 8 Reasons to Hire a Graduate Pt. 2

Employment Screening | 8 Reasons to Hire a Graduate Pt. 2

Employment Screening | 8 Reasons to Hire a Graduate Pt. 2


Employment Screening | Compare this to a mature-age professional, who was likely at their previous job for five to ten years. They’re comfortable and content in their routine and network of coworkers and clients. They rely on the coworkers they have known and trusted for a significant time and this can be a roadblock to overcome. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with extensive experience, the easy attitude and natural communication handling of a graduate can lead to a smooth transition now and months down the track.

6. New perspective

A new approach is probably what kick-started your business, so it only makes sense that to stay afloat you’ll need a fresh perspective. Luckily, graduates aren’t in the mold just yet. They form their individual opinions based on academic experience and knowledge, not the principles ingrained by the industry. They also have a habit of looking at decade-long systems and asking the question, why?

This outside perspective is an invaluable asset no matter your company size. Reinventing efficiency, communications and management is a crucial step in projecting your business growth. The professional world is changing, be ready to lead these changes.

7. No office politics

Nobody enjoys drama in the office. Okay, maybe some of you do. But for most of us, it’s stressful, upsetting and just plain annoying. Unfortunately, it can seem to be inevitable. The great thing about hiring a new professional is that they’re not caught up in conversations by the water cooler – they never been. Graduates won’t respond to the office politics in your business and remain untainted by rumors or peer pressure. Essentially, they’re hired without any problematic excess baggage.

Hiring an experienced professional does have its benefits. They know how office politics work and understand how to deal with them, but is it in a way that reflects the values of your business? When a stellar industry reputation faces ruin, it can become a different ball game altogether. Taking on a graduate can eliminate the risk of clashes and negative competition – they aren’t looking to step on any toes.

8. Great with technology

When four out of every five millennials own a smartphone, it isn’t hard to work out which age group is likely to be the most comfortable with new technology and digital communication. The younger generation is eager to get their hands on the latest gadget, trial the newest software and understand the trending applications. This can make them a potentially highly valued member of your team in the bigger picture.

Millennials may be, in part, more responsive to these advancements because they have grown up with them. Technology directly affects their standard and style of living. If they aren’t able to pick up a new piece of technology and have it down pat in minutes then they’ll fall behind. This isn’t a scenario unique to graduates, it applies to businesses as well. A young professionals’ natural affinity with technology could be the only thing standing between you and success in the fast-paced digital world. -Recruit Loop 


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Fingerprinting | 9 Reasons Not To Ignore Active Job Seekers Pt. 2

Fingerprinting | 9 Reasons Not To Ignore Active Job Seekers Pt. 2

Fingerprinting | 9 Reasons Not To Ignore Active Job Seekers Pt. 2


Fingerprinting | Judging a person by the small amount of information available on their LinkedIn profile is to unnecessarily narrow the options.

6. Passive job seekers tend to have outdated profiles

When a person is happy in their current role, they usually do not maintain an updated profile on LinkedIn or any of the job search sites.  Approaching someone with outdated information about their job history can waste time and resources.

 Passive job seekers are in control – because YOU called THEM

Negotiating a package with a passive job seeker starts with you, the employer or recruiter, on the back foot.  You called them so they know they have the upper hand. Landing a qualified person for the role who was recruited passively may cost more than landing a qualified person for the role who was recruited actively.  Same result, more money spent.

7. Active job seekers are ready to go – now!

When you’ve got a time-sensitive recruitment job, passive candidates are not your best friend.  You’ll destroy your reputation or hurt your business in the process of attempting to only recruit people who are currently happy in their roles and who may have lengthy notice periods.  If you need to open a new office in a new city and staff it with 20 employees, you should be prepared to consider active employees or you’ll never get it off the ground.

8. Passive does not necessarily equal ‘talented’

Theoretically, if someone searching for a job means they are untalented, someone who is not searching for a job must be talented – right? This is completely untrue and quite ridiculous.  There are plenty of deadbeat, uninspired and quite simply average employees quite happily sucking their current employer dry and getting through their regular 9-5.

9. Why does it matter how they got to you?

A great candidate is a great candidate.

Judge their ability to do the job not by how they arrived at your door but by how they have evidenced their ability to perform in the past, what that says about their future ability and how they respond in your interviews and questioning. These are greater predictors of their future success at your company than how their resume got into your inbox. -Recruit Loop

Learn what ESA can do for you! Call 866-830-3724 to discuss fingerprinting services or complete the form on now!