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Advance Background Check Services | What To Look For

Pre employment background checks are becoming more important with each passing year.  With so many different services and requirements out there, finding the right background check franchise can be a difficult task.  If you aren’t familiar with background check services, the struggle becomes even greater. To help make your search a little easier, we’ve put together a list of important factors to keep in mind when hiring an employment screening service.

Compliance

In many industries, background checks are required by law.  Even in industries where they aren’t, any advanced background checks still need to adhere to the FCRA’s compliance guidelines.  Make sure the service you hire is accredited and knows how to work within these guidelines so that you get your information legitimately.

Accuracy

Obviously, having accurate information is a big deal if it’s going to be influencing your hiring decisions.  This is a big knock against many online background screening services that offer instant background check results.  Most of these just pull information from a database and take no measures to verify its reliability. Make sure the employment screening service you hire has proven experience providing accurate results.

Available Services

What types of advanced background checks do you need?  You should know that there are a lot of background check and drug test services available to you. All you have to do is figure out what you need to meet your industry’s requirements.  It’s also not a bad idea to add in other services that might provide useful information as well. Look up background screening companies that offer everything you’re going to need.

Turnaround Time

How long does a background check take?  This is a pretty common question and it’s an important one to ask to help avoid drawing out the hiring process.  Timely background checks can help speed things up so that your potential hires won’t have to wait around for weeks.  After all, you don’t want to miss out on the perfect candidate because they accepted another position while you were waiting to get their results back.

User Interaction

Do you represent a large company that will regularly need different types of advanced background checks?  If so, “user friendliness” may be an important factor for you. Some companies, like ESS, offer an online portal that can be accessed at any time.  This can be useful if you have a lot of employee information to sift through or if you would like to view results as soon as they come in.

Cost

Lastly, it’s important to keep your budget in mind.  Many background check companies will bundle their services together to get clients a more affordable rate.  This is great if you will need a multi level advanced background check but may not seem worth it if you’re only looking for one kind of service.  If that’s the case, you may want to look into companies that offer background checks or drug screenings a-la-carte.

Don’t get bogged down during your search for the right employment screening service.  If you follow these guidelines you should have no trouble finding an advanced background check franchise that will meet your needs.  Contact ESS today for more info on getting started with a top rate employment screening service today.

Understanding Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

It can fly under the radar but drug testing is a crucial part of running a successful business.  Keeping drugs out of the workplace is imperative to maintain steady productivity. If left unchecked, drug abuse on the job sooner or later will cost you money and possibly even damage your company’s reputation.

Most businesses, large and small, are using some sort of pre-employment drug testing.  However, passing these tests won’t guarantee an individual will be “clean” after they are hired.  This is why reasonable suspicion drug testing needs to be something every employer keeps their eye on.

What Is Reasonable Suspicion?

This is the big question that we want to address in our blog today.  It can certainly be a tricky subject in the workplace because nobody wants to be singled out for suspected drug use.  It’s important for employers to have an understanding of what to look for but also how to handle this situation as a whole.

What To Look For

Reasonable suspicion for eliciting a drug test needs to be backed up evidence rather than a gut feeling.  As an employer you should be watching out for suspicious physical and behavioral signs that might indicate drug use.  Dilated/bloodshot eyes, lack of focus, poor performance, attendance issues, and erratic mood swings are a few indicators that point to drug use.  However, it’s important for employers not to jump the gun and make accusations based on these results alone. If these signs become frequent and start affecting the day-to-day of your company,  you are well within your right to ask for a drug test.

What To Do

If you or a supervisor notices any of this unusual behavior, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion.  Cross checking your observations with other supervisors or human resources staff can help avoid the possibility of your actions appearing discriminatory.  As far as taking action goes, you should follow all the protocols in your drug-free workplace policy that your employees agreed to when hired. You should inform the employee in private that you’ve decided to have them tested and then set it up with your drug screening company.

Where To Go

Once you’ve reached the point of conducting a reasonable suspicion drug test, ESS can step in and take it from there.  We offer all types of screening including hair follicle drug tests and urinalysis testing. Though we’re an employment screening service based out of Buffalo NY, we handle drug screen and background checks for companies all around the U.S.

Give us a call or fill out a contact form on our website so that we can help get your reasonable suspicion drug testing underway.  We look forward to working with you!

How Long Does A Background Check Take? | Employment Screening Services

If you own a business, large or small, you should be aware of how important it is to conduct employment screens.  In today’s business environment advanced background checks are not only a good idea, they’re often required by law in many industries.

Have you ever worried about employment screening bogging down your hiring process?  Maybe you’ve even found yourself asking “How long does a background check take?” A uniform answer to this question can be elusive because the amount of investigation required will vary from case to case.  To try and answer this question thoroughly we’ll discuss the obstacles and processes involved in 5 of the most common types of advanced background checks.

Pre Employment Drug Test

A urinalysis test is most common but there are several other types that can be used to screen for any illegal substances.  On average it will take between 24 and 48 hours for one of these samples to be tested and the result returned to the employer.  If it comes back negative, the process ends there but positive results are more complicated. In this case, additional pre employment drug tests may be required for confirmation so you should expect a longer turnaround time.

Criminal Records Search

Results from criminal conviction checks are highly dependent on geography.  Different states have all kinds of different requirements and obstacles that can slow down a criminal records search.  In most cases it should still take only 1 to 2 business days if all goes smoothly. Expect a much longer delay for any international records searches though.  These have even more red tape and can take up to a month to get results. You should expect delays and plan accordingly with any potential international hires.

Education Verification

For any highly technical positions it’s imperative to be able to verify a candidate’s credentials.  Education verification can help you sift out a lot of unqualified applicants during the employment screening process.  Luckily this quick and easy check only requires contacting a university administrator to get all the details.  You should bear in mind that obtaining this information is dependent on university availability. It may take more time than expected during holidays and breaks when campuses may be shutdown or short on staff.

E-Verify and Employment Verification

The E-verify system is a government platform used to determine if an individual is legally able to work in the United States.  An E-verify check can be done almost instantly with a simple database search. However, you should be wary as the results aren’t 100 percent accurate.  It is a good idea to conduct a more thorough employment verification as well to keep your company safe during the hiring process.  This may take a little longer as your background screening company digs deeper and contacts past employers but the added security is well worth your time.

 

A lot of background screening companies only do online searches for their background checks.  This will yield quick results but there are a lot of flaws in this system. At ESS we do deeper investigations to get you the most reliable results possible.  The members of our research team all have prior experience in law enforcement or criminal justice at some capacity. We can find the background records that other companies would let slip through the cracks.

If you’re looking for a background check company that will provide you with accurate results, look to ESS.  Rather than fitting you into a predetermined background check package, we’ll work with you to get you exactly what you need for your business.  If you need more information on advanced background checks or if you’d like to speak with a representative about partnering with ESS don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

Understanding Pre Employment Drug Testing

Any successful company in today’s business environment needs to be looking for ways to improve efficiency.  The best way to boost productivity is to be sure you are hiring the right workers who will be able to get the job done.  One of the easiest ways to do this is through pre employment drug testing.

What is Pre Employment Drug Testing?

Sometimes employers don’t have the whole picture about the people they are looking to hire.  Simply put, pre employment screening services help identify potential hires that are likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.  This information is of paramount importance in many industries. Whether your employees will be in contact with patients and children or if the safety of other employees is at stake, you need to be sure they’ll be in a fit condition.

Pre employment drug testing can be done on any kinds of drugs including major players like opiates, THC, and amphetamines.  Additionally there are various methods for drug testing. Hair, blood, saliva and urinalysis tests are the most common. Different tests can be used to identify if drugs have been in the system anywhere from the last 30 days up to the last 6 months.

Why is Drug Testing Important?

Advanced background checks can help eliminate the unfruitful hires that only wind up costing you more money.  Every employer is aware of the hassle and cost of hiring new employees and should look to reduce mistaken hires.  Identifying candidates that are struggling with drug addiction before employment can help keep the day-to-day of your company running smoothly.  The bottom line is, pre employment screening services give you the information to make an educated decision rather than hiring blindly.

Is Pre Employment Drug Testing Even Legal?

Since the Drug Free Workplace Act was passed in 1988, pre employment drug screening has been legal.  This legislation gives the employer the right to know if potential employees are abusers without having to give any further explanation.  There are however, certain state specific guidelines that you may be required to follow.

Generally speaking, even if not required by law, it’s a good idea to follow these three practices.

  • Make sure the candidate understands that drug testing is required for the position
  • Test all potential hires for a position in the same way; avoid discrimination
  • Run all drug tests through a state certified lab

Our team at ESS wants to help your company rest a little easier during the hiring process.  Our mission is to get you all the information you need to know exactly who it is you’re hiring.  Before you make any more hiring decisions make sure you’re set up with pre employment drug testing.  Call us today if you have any questions about the employment screening process!

CareerBuilder Employment Screening | Why You Choose a Partner You Can Talk To

There’s an endless amount of employment screening companies around the country. Careerbuilder, the popular service comparable to indeed.com or ziprecruiter.com has even launched their own version. CareerBuilder Employment Screening promises things like “dedicated account management,” “fast turnaround times,” and “unmatched”compliance. Careerbuilder employment screening even boasts that “their” system can be integrated into any ATS or HRIS workflow. Hmm. Sounds familiar..

The reality is, Careerbuilder employment screening may not be a scam per-se, but it is in a sense, a MacDonald’s version of what Employment Screening Services has been providing for almost three decades.

Think of it this way. No matter how you dress it up, if you’re looking for an employment screening company, are you partnering with a company that prides itself on helping people? Or are you partnering with a company just feasting on an opportunity that slides in perfectly with what they already do?

Let’s take a deeper look into some of what Careerbuilder employment screening boasts as being a differentiator.

Unmatched Compliance

This statement just screams overspeak. How can compliance, something that requires one to be compliant with given regulations, be “unmatched.” Here at ESS, we have prided ourselves in providing the most seamless and helpful partnership possible, with compliance clearly holding weight in any background investigation. It’s just a part of the job.

Fast Turnaround Times

With as many employees and dedicated staff, along with being compliant unlike any other, one should hope turnaround time shouldn’t be an issue. Because we’ve been in this game for so long, we know the in’s and out’s of the court system, and how to work smarter not harder. You don’t just walk in to the bar and know everyone in the place. Unless of course, you’ve been going to that bar and meeting people there for 20-some years! We’ve built relationships all over the country to ensure fast results. Plus, with our integrated online login system, you can have results in 24-48 hours.

Integrate into ANY ATS or HRIS Workflow

Careerbuilder employment screening talks about how their system, that they developed, will integrate into any Applicant Tracking System (ATS), or Human Resources Information System. Well, hate to say it, but they’re behind the 8 ball. ESS has been capable of integration with existing systems for years, and we’re even in the process of improving that user experience for our clients. In the upcoming months, we will be unveiling a seamless backend update that will only improve our existing system. Stay tuned for more!

Dedicated Account Management

Once again, this is a little bit like MacDonald’s telling you that your hamburger was made by a special hamburger maker, specifically just for you. The fact of the matter is you’re not getting anything anyone else isn’t getting from Careerbuilder. You’ll be a number assigned to a temp. Just look at their online reviews if you don’t believe us.

Dedicated account management means human interaction. It means trust. Dedicated account management means knowing you feel comfortable with that person you work with. You know that they are out for YOUR best interest. Our team at ESS, led by Bob Wright, has dug our heels in and worked for years to help build that image in the minds of our clients. When they think about ESS, when they see that logo, when they pick up that phone to call, they know the unrivaled dedication to providing efficient results for every single client.

For more information on partnering with a company who truly cares about the client, and cares about the benefit that background screening provides, just give us a call! We’re more than willing to answer any questions that you may have, and we can have a conversation about what we can do to help.

Remember, if you want delivery, don’t buy a Digiorno.

The Dos and Dont’s of Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing

Drug testing in the workplace can lead to some awkward encounters. Employees can feel like the work environment is against them or that they are targeted if the topic of drug use is brought up. So how does an employer balance a somewhat touchy topic? Reasonable suspicion drug testing is how. This clause in any work contract lets the employee know that if there is any cause for suspicion, they will be tested.

What actually is Reasonable Suspicion?

The employer has a legitimate reason, based on sound judgement and hard evidence, to believe that the employee has been taking drugs. There is no guessing, speculating, listening to hearsay or discriminating against them.There also are exceptions to this criteria. Examples of reasonable suspicion might include but are not limited to:

* Direct observation of drug use and/or physical symptoms of drug use

* Abnormal behaviors

* Evidence that the employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs while working or at work

At Employment Screening Services, we are here to help you run a safer, more effective workplace. So here are some dos and dont’s when implementing a reasonable suspicion drug testing policy;

Dos

Let employees know up front that they are subject to being tested if there is a reasonable question of their sobriety. This question should be brought to light by 2 concurring supervisors.

Train management a minimum of two hours of on reasonable suspicion signs, symptoms and documentation. Retraining those individuals on a yearly basis is highly recommended.

Be specific! If filing a reasonable suspicion action against an employee, keep the language concise and specific as possible.

Dont’s

Do not based any action on a prior incident. Reasonable suspicion is only for events that you have directly seen!

Do not over exaggerate or use anecdotes. When creating the claim be specific as possible.

Employee Screening Services wants to help you decrease turnover, accidents, and theft from your workplace. If you’d like to talk about employment drug testing, just give us a call and we can start working together asap!

Reasonable Suspicion | Signs of Drug Use in an Employee

Regardless of if you implemented a pre employment drug screening, an employee using drugs is a high risk to your company. You simply can’t afford to risk ignoring a person who is using drugs frequently, or under the influence of drugs while on the clock. This person is not only putting themselves in danger under your figurative wing, but putting their teammates in jeopardy, and could end up costing the company money.

Drug testing all prospective employees prior to their hiring is a good way to avoid letting drug users into the workplace from the get go, but what if you suspect someone currently employed is under the influence? This makes for a time to request a reasonable suspicion drug test. There are many signs that a person may be using illegal drugs, or abusing prescription drugs. Here are a few signs.

  • Frequent Absences With Lack of Notice
  • Flimsy Excuses/Lack of Documentation for Sick Days
  • Frequent Lengthy Trips to Bathroom/Car/Other
  • Irregular Work Performance Fluctuation
  • Evidence of Lack of Attention, Poor Judgement, or Bad Decision Making
  • Typical Issues Causing Serious Explosive Outbursts
  • Memory Loss, Confusion, Difficulty Concentrating
  • Refusal to Take Responsibility
  • Lack of Typical Appearance/Hygiene
  • Intense Personality Changes
  • Fellow Employees Noticing Any Signals

As an employer, the responsibility falls on you to do your due diligence to maintain a staff that is working at the highest of their ability. Without a drug free staff, that task is impossible. Beyond the responsibility associated in ensuring the business runs safely and efficiently, consider the ethical and moral responsibility. If you recognize this person is showing significant signs of drug abuse or addiction, you can intervene and help them fix their situation before it’s too late.

With so much abuse turning into life-altering overdose and in some cases, death, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who appears to be struggling. That being said, legality is in question when drug use is signified. As an American, you have a legal responsibility to ensure everyone in your circle is not breaking the law. Drug users can cause an accident in the workplace, but when left untreated, they can also cause harm to themselves and their family.

If you are considering implementing a new drug testing policy at your company, turn to a background screening company that takes this seriously. When it comes to employment screening companies, you can find a lot of different salesman, but turn to someone you trust. With years of experience working in this industry, following our leader, Bob Wright, ESS can help you today with any background screening or drug testing needs. Just simply give us a call!

4 Things To Keep In Mind For Pre-Employment Background Checks

If you’ve found this page, we have a pretty decent feeling you already know there are countless advantages that running comprehensive criminal background checks can offer your business or organization. Ensuring something you’ve given years, or even decades of blood, sweat and tears building is protected against a prospective employee that may not have your best interests at heart is one of, if not the most valuable safe guards you can in invest in.

But outside of carefully considering what questions to ask candidates, hiring managers should also be focusing on when to conduct an advanced background check, what type to run and what sorts of issues will eliminate a prospect from consideration. Today we’re touching on four things to remember when vetting possible employees – to ensure your business has the resources needed to cultivate a positive and successful environment.

Know your fair chance law

A noticeable trend in the last several years has been the fair chance (ban-the-box) movement. These polices require the removal of specific questions on an application that pertain to criminal history. These laws can exist on state, county or city levels and lay out when in the hiring process you can run a background check. It’s important to research the specific laws in your area to know if you’re required to follow the protocol.

Consistency

What type of issues and checks are you going to run on potential employees? Are you concerned about driving history? A credit check? Drug usage? Whatever red flags you identify, make sure you stay consistent throughout your entire roster of applicants. If you run a credit check on one applicant, you have to run the same check on all the other applicants, otherwise you risk being accused of discrimination.

Focus On Relevance

Be mindful not to simply turn away any and all applicants who may have a criminal history, or else you could be face a lawsuit for discrimination. Instead, focus on if an individual’s criminal conviction(s) relate directly to the person’s ability to perform the requisite duties of the job at hand. For example, a misdemeanor for trespassing shouldn’t impact an employee’s ability to perform customer service. On the other hand, if a check turns up a chronic history of violent offenses, they could post a legitimate risk to clients or coworkers.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the age of the offense. If an applicant has a conviction or arrest for a petty or non-violent offence that is fifteen or twenty years old, you can typically consider that information as out of date or irrelevant – just as long as the individual hasn’t been convicted of similar repeat issues since. Naturally, more recent issues should be given increased weight.

FCRA and EEOC Guidelines

Both the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lay out guidelines on how businesses and/or organizations can conduct background checks to make hiring decisions. Some of the information they provide is similar to what we’ve discussed in this post, but there are additional guidelines that every hiring manager should be familiar with.

Hiring the right employee(s) is one of the most integral parts of stocking your business with the requisite assets for success and Employment Screening Services has you covered. Whether it’s reasonable suspicion drug testing, an advanced background check or NYS licence verification in Buffalo NY, we’ve empowered companies all over the Buffalo-Niagara region to identify the type of employees that ultimately facilitate success.

Negligent Hiring | What Does it Mean To Business Owners?

Job candidates that misrepresent his or her employment credentials can potentially expose employers to serious legal liabilities if and when the person or another employee are harmed. Conducting thorough background checks and drug testing potential and current employees are important to help maintain the safety, effectiveness and morale of the organization, and we know that. But it’s also important for employers to understand the magnitude of the liability associated with hiring a job candidate who misrepresented themselves throughout the hiring process.

What is Negligent Hiring?

By definition, negligent hiring is a legal claim made against an employer by a damaged employee/client or third party who claims that the employer either knew about or should have known about a situation in the employee’s past that indicates they may be violent, untrustworthy or under qualified. Generally, in order for a plaintiff to prove negligent hiring claims, they must demonstrate 2 things.

  1. The Employer knew or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known of the employee’s unfitness at the time of hiring
  2. The negligently hired employee proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury

Essentially, a plaintiff could be another employee who was injured or harmed, or a family member or friend of another employee. So if someone is hurt or harmed because of someone who was hired based off falsified information, and you didn’t catch it, your company is liable.

Real Life Scenario

In the case of Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems, Inc., a plaintiff made a negligent hiring claim against an authorized security services dealer for ADT Security, Inc. The security services dealer, we will call “Company S” warranted in several of its contracts with ADT that all employees performing services under these agreements had passed a drug screen and a criminal background check. Despite the claim that Company S screened and checked all of their employees, it was found that Company S had not done so with all of their employees, including the employee who sexually assaulted the daughter of the plaintiff.

Company S hired an employee without checking to see if they had a criminal record. A 14 year old girl was sexually assaulted. Her father sued ADT and Company S for negligent hiring because they failed to do a background check on the employee. This is a sad, yet true story, that can all be found in the case of Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems, Inc.

Employment Screening Services prides ourselves on providing comprehensive, tactile background checks for employers because it is important to us. We aim to prevent the wrong people from entering your organization, because it could not only harm your company’s bottom line, it could result in harm to a human being. For information about background screening or drug testing for employment, please don’t hesitate to reach out and give us a call to see what we can do for you moving forward.

 

Data Shows Increase in Employee Cocaine, Marijuana and Amphetamine Usage

According to a recent report out of the New York Times, Employers across the country are experiencing increased difficulty in hiring protocol as job seekers and current human resources alike both refuse to take and/or are unable to successfully complete required drug tests.  The problem speaks to growing drug use in adult demographics as businesses increase efforts to cultivate safe workplace environments for staff.

While finding qualified and committed employees can be a considerable challenge, the reality is that drug use is a legitimate and expanding factor in filling open jobs in an economy that has stabilized since the 2008 recession.  The number of employees yielding positive results for illicit drug use increased for the second consecutive year in 2014 after having declined from 1988 to 2012.  In fact workplace urine tests that tested positive for illegal substances has risen a shocking 9 percent, according to Quest Diagnostics, a testing services and health care company.

Naturally, increasing drug usage is seen in some sectors more than others, putting a dent in the available labor pool for fields that typically experience higher levels of turnover and increased risks to employee safety — such as transportation and/or construction.

Even in the modern era of changing state marijuana laws — legalization of medical grade or, in some cases, general legalization, positive results increased in other drugs as we’ve recently covered.  Albeit Marijuana held onto its place atop commonly found drug usage.  Experts say there has been an undeniable increase in the number of people using Marijuana daily as usage has doubled from 2004 to 2014 alone and increased by nearly 8 time since 1992.  Interestingly enough, positive marijuana tests in states that have legalized the drug (Colorado and Washington) haven’t seen a significant increase compared the rest of the country.

Related: Positive Employment Drug Test Results Increase For 2nd Consecutive Year

With the alarming data pointing to increased drug usage, it remains integral for employers to screen efficiently, and perhaps more important, intelligently to ensure the quality employee base required to accomplish mutually beneficial goals.  Employment drug testing will save money, time and resources to ensure your first hire is the correct hire.  Whether your business’s unique demands require a hair follicle drug test, a urinalysis test or even NY license verification, it always benefits an employer to weed out any suspected substance abuse in both current or prospective employees.

For more information on how to set up any drug analysis your business requires, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (716) 332-2274