Category Archives: Background Checks

Think Employee Lawsuits Can’t Happen to You?

Think again.

Discrimination in hiring can be costly when employees sue.When dealing with hiring issues, “I didn’t know” and “I didn’t mean to do that” are excuses that don’t get too much sympathy in court. Discrimination in hiring and firing are serious issues that can be very costly for your business. When cases go to trial awards can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars because punitive awards are often tacked onto actual damage amounts. Fortunately, most cases are settled out of court somewhere in the middle of what a claimant asks for and what and employer believes is fair. The real winners are, you guessed it, the lawyers.

 So…what kinds of discrimination are common?

 Discrimination comes in many forms.
  • Age discrimination laws are designed to protect workers over the age of 40.
  • Race and ethnicity discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodation in the workplace of disabled workers if the disability is known to the employer.
  • Several States have passed legislation that prohibits practice of excluding unemployed individuals in advertisements for job vacancies.
  • According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), A blanket refusal to hire workers based on criminal records or credit problems can be illegal if it has a undue impact on racial minorities,

 OK….How do I protect my company from discrimination actions?

Avoiding lawsuits, penalties and fines in employment related matters requires a framework of compliance measures put in place at your business and constant monitoring of your company’s compliance. That is one of the key benefits provided by human resource (HR) professionals.

You can employee in-house HR professionals or you can outsource that function. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) provide the HR functions on an “as needed” basis. PEOs can help establish the proper framework including employee handbooks, sensitivity training as well as procedures to deal with discrimination issues as they may develop.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is an excellent resource for HR professionals to stay abreast of the laws and regulations surrounding the employer/employee relationship. They also have HR certification programs that result in Professional Human Resource (PHR) and Senior Professional Human Resource (SPHR) certificates.


Even in the best of circumstances, recruiting, hiring and onboarding, the right person can be a challenge. Consider how much worse it would be if after all that, you hire the wrong person.

The cost of a lousy hire is nothing short of incredible!

You may not even be aware of exactly how much a bad hire will set your business back. Here are only a few of the bottom-line costs:

  • Hiring costs (both for a lousy hire and their replacement)
  • Total compensation
  • Employee support costs
  • Lost Productivity
  • Money missing due to neglected sales or business opportunities
  • Loss of clients and reputation

When deciding on a recruiting method for locating and selecting candidates, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. In recruitment, failure is never an option since making a poor hiring decision will surely cost your company time and money.

Maybe you are thinking, “How bad could it be?” Consider this; hiring the wrong person could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In some cases, the price tag of a poor hire can skyrocket into the millions of dollars!

That is money right off your bottom line.

For example, a second-level manager earning $62,000 per year could cost your business, after 2.5 years, more than $840,000 in associated costs.  The numbers might vary, but the math can apply to employees at every level of an organization.

If lost money and profits aren’t serious enough; add the potential negative impact a unsatisfactory employee can have on your company’s reputation, morale, and productivity. One lousy hire and your business could spend years to recover from the damage!

There is a way to reduce your chances of suffering with a bad hire. Ovation Technologies have all the tools your business needs to engage, screen and hire the best, most-qualified talent. From creating effective and accurate job descriptions to developing a reliable supply of candidates with the right experience, Ovation helps you hire the right person for any type of job.

Ovation even provides pre-hire criminal background checks, as well as driver’s license checks for jobs requiring drivers, truckers and heavy equipment operators.

In a new infographic from Resoomay, a terrible hire doesn’t just cost you time and money. Employees have to work harder to make up the difference, so a lousy hire might just cost your best employees, as well!

The cost of a bad hire far exceeds the cost of a new hire. So, recruit wisely. Use hiring tools such as to rank applicants, perform background screens, and electronically onboard.

Onboarding New Hires in the Hospitality Industry

Onboarding new hires involves performing background checks and delivering new hire paperwork like W-4, I-9, Direct Deposit forms, employee handbooks and other information, restaurant workers, new hiresIf you are in the restaurant, nightclub, bar or hotel/resort business, you are in the hospitality business. It is an exciting, people-centric and time-demanding business that is not for the faint of heart. It can also be one of the most “fun-centric” industries as well, since your customer is usually in the leisure mode when you see them, either eating, drinking, traveling or kicking back.

Most jobs below owner/management level are semi-skilled, typically low paid, tip-dependent and attract a younger worker. Oh, by the way, the work is hard. A big challenge in the hospitality business is the revolving door of workers. It is logical that turnover is great because of the age and demographics of the workforce. Young people change directions with the wind and hospitality workers generally aren’t in for a career. In fact, your training model becomes a key indicator of your company’s success since it is constantly in use.

A company’s culture is perhaps the most under emphasized component of small to medium sized businesses. A company’s culture is the assumptions and behaviors that the people in an organization use in engaging with each other and with the customer. The culture typically evolves on its own in a small business from the top down, for good or for bad. Large companies invest heavily in their culture since a good culture makes a business operate smoothly and affects the customer’s perception of the business.

The Four Seasons chain of hotels and the Nordstrom department stores are often used as examples of companies with culture built around an excellent customer experience. That is a great premise for an industry that must please a lot of people with different levels of satisfaction. Part of the instilling of a culture in an employee is providing a good experience when they join the organization. This experience is called the onboarding of a new employee and can set the tone for the relationship; again for good or for bad.

The key to a good onboarding experience is completeness, friendliness and consistency. In small business, onboarding begins with the delivery of new hire paperwork and the general instructions and expectations to the new hire. Believe it or not, businesses have a difficult time delivering complete and timely new hire paperwork since most have a rather harried environment and operate with a sense of urgency.

Every employee must fill out certain paperwork to comply with the law and to set up for payroll. This includes completing an I-9, a W-4 as well as various forms like basic employee data forms, and direct deposit forms. All this, plus the time an employee handbook is delivered, benefits information is made available to the employee and perhaps a welcome letter from the owner rounds out the batch of paperwork the new hire receives.

The job of collecting the information usually falls on the operations manager or human resources department if one exists. In the hospitality industry, people aren’t usually hired until they are needed so, the sooner they can be put to work, the better.

The proper completion of some forms requires verification of identification documents or submission of banking info for direct deposit. Inevitably,  new employees arrive without identification or some other documentation. This often results in starting the employee off without a complete enrollment and often the follow-up falls short. Not a smooth transition for either the employee or the employer.

Providing new hire paperwork electronically to the employee before they show up for work through either an email or a link to the documents can take some of the strain off of the first day and allow the employee to complete the paperwork in a more leisurely manner. The employee simply shows up with the forms completed and identification in hand for verification.

Ovation provides such an electronic new hire onboarding tool with its hiring and background screening tools in an affordable, easy to use, and effective one stop platform. The platform was designed specifically with the small business in mind and is a great resource for the hospitality industry where, time and first impressions are all important.

Cinco razones por las que debe revisar sus antecedentes

h ¿Ha buscado su propio nombre en Google? ¿Le sorprendió de lo que encontró?

Lo mismo puede decirse de las revisiones de antecedentes; es esencial saber lo que otros dicen acerca de usted— antes de que un posible empleador lo encuentre.

Aproximadamente un 70 por ciento de los empleadores realizan revisiones de antecedentes a los nuevos empleados. Además, rutinariamente se hacen revisiones de antecedentes a voluntarios de casi todo tipo de organización. “No hay problema”, dirá usted.  Si no hay nada que ocultar, ¿por qué revisar sus propios antecedentes?

Considere esto…

National Consumer Law Center reporta que miles de personas pierden oportunidades debido a información incorrecta usada para tomar decisiones importantes, como emplear a alguien. Más de la mitad de los tribunales de justicia de EE.UU. publican antecedentes penales en sus sitios de internet. Esto significa que las actividades delictivas—válidas o no—posiblemente aparezcan en una búsqueda sencilla, como una básica con el buscador Google. Los errores pueden propagarse rápidamente por toda la red informática, mucho antes de que usted se entere.

Los cinco errores más comunes encontrados en revisiones de antecedentes:

1. Usurpación de Identidad

Con más y más personas conectadas a la internet, la usurpación de identidad es una preocupación creciente. Según el Departamento de Justicia de EE.UU., más de 8.5 millones de personas fueron víctimas de usurpación de identidad en 2010. Las identidades usurpadas son frecuentemente usadas para cometer delitos. Al ser arrestados, los usurpadores de identidad a menudo continúan su farsa ante las autoridades. ¿En los antecedentes de quién cree usted que aparece registrado el delito?  Eso es, ¡en los de la víctima de usurpación de identidad!

2. Cargos Desestimados

Los cargos desestimados no deben aparecer en una revisión de antecedentes penales legítima. Sin embargo, no todas las autoridades usan el mismo método para suprimir los casos desestimados; muchos se escurren por las grietas del sistema, y aparecen una y otra vez en las revisiones de antecedentes.

3. Nombres Comunes o Similares

Muchas personas tienen nombres similares o exactamente iguales a otras personas. Si una empresa obtiene los antecedentes de otra persona por error, nadie sabe lo que pueden encontrar.

4. Clasificación Errónea de Delitos Menores como Delitos Mayores

La diferencia entre los delitos menores y los delitos mayores puede ser considerablemente pequeña, especialmente en cuanto a cargos de posesión y tráfico de estupefacientes.

5. Antecedentes Se Suponían Cerrados–Pero No Lo Estaban

El procedimiento para cerrar los antecedentes penales varía en las diferentes jurisdicciones. Una vez que un registro sea cerrado, se supone que es como si nunca hubiera existido. No obstante, si el proceso para cerrar el registro se hiciera de manera incorrecta o incompleta, aún puede aparecer en una revisión de antecedentes.

¿Cómo puede estar seguro de qué muestran sus antecedentes?

La manera más fácil es realizar una revisión de antecedentes usted mismo. Esto es útil no sólo para saber lo que una tercera persona —como un posible empleador—encontrará, sino también que le proveerá la información para corregir los errores. ¿Qué hacer si en verdad encontrara errores en su revisión de antecedentes?  Inmediátamente notifique a las autoridades federales, estatales, y a las autoridades judiciales de su localidad; y haga una petición formal para la corrección de los registros. Además, si un empleador —u otra persona que necesite una revisión de sus antecedentes—le notifica que se realizará una revisión, pida que le entreguen un duplicado del informe. Usted tiene derecho legal a recibir copias o duplicados de cualquier informe de antecedentes usado para tomar una decisión de empleo, precísamente para corregir cualquier información errónea.


English Version

One Bad Hire Can Cost a Company over $25,000

personal background check, Background check, bad hires, Employment, hiring, Human resources, hr, recruiting, staffing, A recent survey by revealed that it is expensive to make a bad hire. One in four of the companies responding to the survey claimed a single bad hire cost in excess of $25,000.

OK, first of all what is a bad hire? A bad hire, obviously, is one that did not work out for the company and required termination. The major characteristic identified in the survey was that the individual didn’t produce the proper quality of work. Also, negative attitude and the inability to work well with other employees was cited. Negative effect on customers and legal issues were other problems.

How does a bad hire ring up the costs? Lost productivity and lost time taken to train an individual combined with the costs to locate and hire a replacement are expensive. A bad hire or bad apple can infect the morale of a team and bring down productivity in others as well. Often, a company’s culture will quickly identify someone who isn’t going to work out. That is if the company has a positive culture.

Very well, what can a company do to prevent bad hires? Sometimes a candidate is an excellent actor and can fake their way into a company. The CareerBuilder survey revealed these reasons that a bad hire is made:

  • The company is in a hurry to hire (42% of survey respondents)
  • Not sure why (25% of survey respondents)
  • Information about the candidate was insufficient (22% of survey respondents)
  • Bad recruiting system (13% of survey respondents)
  • Failure to get a background check (9% of survey respondents)

Sometimes, a bad hire is made – face it. Here’s how tools like Ovation can help to minimize bad hires. When a company adopts a hiring tool, they can start recruiting (not necessarily hiring) year round. Use the hiring tool to create effective job descriptions. Outline specific expectations and responsibilities in the job post.

  • Use the hiring tool to create effective job descriptions. Outline specific expectations and responsibilities in the job post.
  • Keep job opportunities posted year round to have a continual pipeline of people who want to work for your company. Post the opportunities on your company website as well as job boards and social networks.
  • Get input from others in the company about what a position requires and what kind of person will most likely fit.
  • Have others, including line staff, participate in the interview process. Use the tool’s scheduling and internal workflow features to thoroughly vet a candidate.
  • Get a background check on all candidates and check their references.
  • Establish an orientation and training (O&T) period (say 90 days) for all new employees. After or during the O&T period, if the employee doesn’t work out for performance or ability to do the job, terminate them. All employees should be aware of the O&T policy to allow the company’s culture to accept or reject new hires.

“Whether it’s a negative attitude, lack of follow through or other concerns, the impact of a bad hire is significant,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Not only can it create productivity and morale issues, it can also affect the bottom line.”   Good advice.