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The Impact of a Candidate’s Experience on Your Organization

Three years after the COVID-19 pandemic set job markets ablaze and the “great resignation” in motion, organizations across the globe are still feeling the burn. According to CNBC, it’s still “a favorable environment for many jobseekers,” meaning companies must continue to keep their onboarding tools sharp through 2023 and beyond. After all, the effect applicants have on employers—be it positive or negative—can be felt long after your decision on them has been made.

In this blog, we’ll explore those repercussions and provide actionable steps to keep applicants engaged and your organization top of mind to job seekers.

Word Gets Out

First, according to Starred, a candidate experience analytics platform, applicants are found to often share their experiences with their inner circles—friends, family, and coworkers who may be looking for new jobs themselves. If those interactions are favorable to your organization, you may see an increase in referral candidates as word-of-mouth travels and you enjoy a boost in popularity. Inversely, you may receive fewer referrals if those interactions are poor.

Second, past immediate social circles, many are also found to share their job-hunting experiences through online review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. These sites have the chance to draw much more attention—which can either be a blessing or a curse. If the critiques shared on those sites are found lacking, quality prospects may pass up your company in favor of others with better reviews, increasing the cost of hiring per employee in the long run.

Finally, your talent pool could be on the line. 65% of rejected candidates say they’d re-apply to a company that has a great application experience. Lose out on them and your pool dries up much quicker. Additionally, candidates have a higher likelihood of entirely withdrawing their application if the experience is bad enough, wasting valuable time and resources.

Keep Your Candidates Moving

As reported by Human Resources content platform HRO Today, eight primary factors influence a positive candidate experience through the employment background screening process: An easy online experience, communication options, elimination of redundant data entry, easy-to-follow instructions, reminders for missing information, report access, turnaround time, and proactive communication.

For a straightforward online experience, clear instructions should be included as part of your proactive communication and throughout the remainder of the process as well. You’ll want to ensure your screening platform is accessible and mobile-friendly, allowing e-signature on forms, autofill, and ATS/HRIS integrations to reduce repetitive data entry if possible.

With time of the essence at this step, confirm that the system can send necessary links to candidates through email or text and, if information is missing, daily reminders to prompt them until completion. Reports should then be returned to you within 24-48 hours to maintain the momentum and, as required by the FCRA, sent to applicants who request them within 24 hours.

At One Source, all of the above comes standard with our TotalCheck package, allowing you to provide a first-rate employment screening experience and maintain a strong employer brand.

To improve your applicant experience, contact us for a free consultation.

Customize Your Solution to Meet Your Team’s Needs

One Source recently debuted big changes to our Client Portal that allow us to streamline processes, improve turnaround time, and provide an improved Client and Applicant experience. We have previously discussed new options available to customize the process, but what exactly does that mean?

This article covers five options available to you to customize your screening process.

Client Dashboard & Order Entry

When you first log in, you’ll notice a preset dashboard showing you news, announcements, user guides, FAQs, and more. Every widget you see on this page can be customized by selecting “Edit Page Layout” at the very bottom, giving you the option to move, resize, or swap them according to your preferences. Two important widgets to pay attention to are titled Applicant Quick Invite (AQI) and Checked Individuals.

With AQI, you can easily send a link to Applicants via email or text message by entering their name and contact information and selecting the package you wish to run. The new mobile-friendly system allows them to sign the consent form electronically, eliminating paper waste while taking the onus of order entry off your plate and giving you more time to focus on other important tasks.
The Checked Individuals widget gives you fast access to recent reports and a link to the full list of Applicants whose screenings have been completed or are currently in progress. This page notes their status in two ways: a progress bar that changes from red to orange to green as each component is completed and an ETA for the whole order. That way, you know when to expect your Applicant’s results and can plan accordingly.

Applicant Experience Customization

Many of the changes made in the upgraded portal were done with the Applicant in mind. If you don’t already, consider utilizing our new AQI option, detailed above. Aside from that, your Applicant’s experience can be customized in the following ways:

1. Email & Text Messaging: The subject line and body text can be edited to use your organization’s voice.

2. Applicant Portal: The message under your Applicant’s name on the entry screen can be edited as you see fit.

One Source Applicant Portal Welcome Message

3. Applicant Entry Screen Logo: By default, you’ll see our logo on the top left of the page. This can be replaced with your team’s logo to appear as a continuation of your systems.

One Source Applicant Portal Logo Display

A La Carte Services

We recognize that not all positions at your organization involve the same duties, responsibilities, or access. That’s why we can tailor your screening package to the specific position you’re hiring for. Here are just a few of our 50+ A La Carte solutions available:

  • Motor Vehicle Records: Does the position require driving on company time or using a company vehicle? MVR searches provide driving records, license statuses, and infractions from the past 3-5 years.
  • Social Media Search: Hiring a public-facing position, or trying to avoid a negligent hire? Social Media Searches provide a comprehensive examination of an Applicant’s online presence scouring hundreds of sources to identify racism, intolerance, sexually explicit content, drug or illegal activity, and violence.
  • Professional License Verification: Licenses can vary by occupation, state, or industry. If you are hiring an Applicant that carries a license, like a Registered Nurse, CPA, or Electrician, we can verify their status.
  • Drug Testing: We have access to a nationwide network of over 6,500 clinics that can run drug screening panels for your organization quickly and efficiently.
  • E-Verify & Electronic I-9: Ensure employees are authorized to work in the United States and complete I-9’s easily and electronically, all from within the portal.

Create Your Own Packages

Many industries have specific search requirements and criteria, such as healthcare, education, transportation, construction, and finance to name a few. We provide the option to build custom packages to fit those standards. For an idea of what’s available to you, below are listed several common additional services organizations utilize:

Healthcare

  • Education Verification
  • Professional License Verification
  • Healthcare Exclusions
  • State Abuse Registries

Transportation

  • Motor Vehicle Records
  • FMCSA Clearinghouse
  • DOT Drug Testing

Financial

  • Credit Report
  • Education Verification
  • Professional License Verification

Construction

  • Drug Testing
  • Motor Vehicle Records

If you are interested in adding supplementary services to your account or customizing the experience for you and your Applicants, please let us know. If there is anything we can assist with, reach out to our Client Relations team by phone at (800) 608-3645 option 1 or use our Support page.

The Importance of Continuous Criminal Monitoring

When onboarding new team members, your goal is threefold: keep your organization safe, verify the applicant’s professional history, and catch any criminal offenses they may have committed. Background checks can find discrepancies in the provided information, but they can become outdated quickly depending on the individual’s behavior. Even if you have a self-reporting policy for contact with law enforcement in your policy, applicants often aren’t aware or don’t follow them. For the most up-to-date information on team members, continuous monitoring is your solution.

What Is Continuous Monitoring?

Simply stated, Continuous Criminal Monitoring is a process where a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), such as One Source, automatically rescreens selected individuals each month for criminal activity. This is treated similarly to an initial background check, allowing organizations to view updates to specific components tied to an individual.

Why Is It important?

Organizations may utilize continuous monitoring to ensure that team members continue to meet expectations, uphold company values, and stay out of trouble with the law. You may never be aware of new charges brought against someone if you don’t check up on them on a reoccurring basis.

For example, the U.S. Department of Defense vets their personnel using a version called Trusted Workforce (TW). Established in 2018 and planned to reach full Continuous Vetting (CV) status by October 1, 2023, they have already found success in this program. As reported by the DOD, the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) was alerted to a fugitive arrest warrant the day following an incident, allowing them to apprehend the individual and revoke their security access quickly.

“If we had not had this individual enrolled in continuous vetting, there’s a high potential that we may not have been aware of the situation until the next periodic investigation, which would have been five and a half years later,” Heather Green, Assistant Director of Vetting Risk Operations for the DCSA said.

Getting Started

To ensure your organization is protected and you stay informed on team member activity, consider incorporating continuous monitoring into your background screening program. Make sure expectations are clear and state your policy plainly to allow no room for misinterpretation.

One Source can help set your organization up for success with monthly, automatic checks of the Global Report, Multi-Court Jurisdictional Database, and National Sex Offender Registry. If we find a hit, we’ll conduct a County Criminal/Statewide search to verify accuracy.

For more information on this service, or if you’d like to add it to your screening process, contact us here. We’re here to empower you to make informed decisions.

Clean Slate Laws: What Employers Need to Know

It’s no secret to hiring managers that fair chance hiring laws have gained momentum in recent years. However, confusion remains about how these affect an organization’s onboarding process throughout employment screening. Some, such as the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019, have been enacted at a federal level, while others differ from state to state, such as “Ban the Box” laws. Clean slate laws are another prominent example of the latter, which we will cover here to keep you and your team informed whether these laws have been codified in your state or legislators are considering doing so.

What Are Clean Slate Laws?

A ‘Clean Slate’ law refers to state legislation passed to allow criminal records to be cleared or sealed from individual records if they stay crime-free for a specified duration. This means that those records don’t appear on background reports. However, not all expungements are automatic in all states, occasionally relying on the individual petitioning the court instead.

A notable exception to these laws occurs in states that have legalized the recreational selling of marijuana. Here, provisions may be put in place to seal non-violent cannabis-related convictions automatically.

How Do They Affect Employers?

Limiting information about applicants may worry some organizations from a risk management perspective, but it’s important not to let it deter hiring efforts. It is still possible to provide a safe workplace as many high-level and violent crimes are not eligible to be hidden or removed. Concerns of recidivism, while valid, should be tempered, as studies show that the risk for re-offense of expungement recipients is very low.

By removing that information from the equation, these laws make it easier for employers who find it difficult not to create unconscious bias when they see criminal records that typically would disqualify the individual from employment. This is also helpful in preventing backlash related to negligent hiring, as withheld criminal information can’t be used as an example of why the individual shouldn’t have been hired.

Clean Slate States

As of this writing (February 2023), ten states have passed clean slate laws. Click a state in the table below to view the associated bill:

State Year Signed Into Law
Pennsylvania 2018
Utah 2019
New Jersey
Michigan 2020
Connecticut
Delaware 2021
Virginia
Oklahoma 2022
Colorado
California

Employer’s Responsibility

If your state already has a clean slate law in place, it’s important to stay up to date on any changes and adjust your screening policy accordingly. Pay close attention to the legislation that enacted these regulations and any amendments applied, consulting your legal counsel if issues arise. If your state has not established these laws, keep an eye out for the introduction of such bills as campaigns are being run in Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon, and Texas to further the adoption of programs like these.

Regardless of your company’s state, it’s important to remember that background screening is still crucial to effective onboarding. High-level crimes, those on the federal or international levels, and those linked to the National Sex Offender Registry will continue to be uncovered in any state.

For more information on sealed and expunged records, read Do Expunged Records Show Up on Background Checks?

3 Reasons Why Companies Should Utilize Social Media Checks

The gold standard in background screening has traditionally been the pre-employment background check on a candidate before extending an offer. Times have changed, though, and so has the information available to onboarding managers.

While it’s important to know if your potential hire has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, falsified employment, or education information, etc., you may also want a glimpse at any possible behavioral issues the candidate exhibits that could put your organization, clients, or team members at risk.

A great way to gather this information is through Social Media Screening. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or a scan of media and news outlets, it feels almost natural to pursue someone’s social media for a closer look into their life. Here are three reasons why many of our clients utilize Social Media Screening.

Enhance Safety Within the Organization

It’s crucial, and social media checks can aid in this process during onboarding. These checks offer information on applicants’ social media accounts to provide a more precise picture of their behaviors and personality online and limit the risk of onboarding those who don’t align with the basic code of conduct or your core values. Illegal activity, violence, or sexually explicit material posted on their accounts is flagged, shared on the report, and sent to the onboarding manager to review.

Prevents Potential Discrimination Accusations

Outsource. Outsource. Outsource. Outsourcing your social media screening can help diminish potential workplace discrimination during the onboarding process. Scrolling through an applicant’s account can put you in a sticky situation if you try to do the screenings yourself. You want to make sure you have an unbiased view so you don’t encounter compliance issues.

It can also go the other way. Suppose an applicant’s account shows potential issues involving race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, or age discrimination. Social Media checks will flag the content for review, so you don’t risk onboarding that individual.

Prevents Reputation Risks

Your team members are the face of your company and what you stand for. When they aren’t at work, anything they do or say can reflect on your company, good or bad. There is a lot of pressure for companies to be consistent with their policies and values with an online presence. Social media checks can show how an individual presents themselves to the internet – meaning you can see a report of any flagged content that might not align with your company’s values and could make your company look bad.

To learn more about Social Media Screening, check out Should social media checks be included in screenings or contact our Client Relations Team.

Should I Screen My Furloughed or Laid off Employees if They Come Back?

Furlough. Layoffs. Remote employees. The arrival of COVID-19 created a tidal wave of change for businesses of all sizes. As retail and office spaces begin to reopen, HR departments and leadership will be working together to establish return-to-work plans focused on safety, operational efficiency, and government-mandated protocols. Depending on whether employees were furloughed, laid off or able to work from home, businesses will need to take a close look at their new employee processes. Businesses need to determine whether it is necessary for them to be screening furloughed employees. 

Were your employees furloughed or laid off?

In most cases, it’s not necessary to implement the hiring process for furloughed employees. Legally, they remained an employee. So while you may not need to go through an application process,  reviewing contracts, salary, and benefits may be necessary. This could also be a good time to conduct a new screening of furloughed employees.

Lay-offs terminate existing contracts. If a business would like to re-employ an individual, it’s in their best interest to treat it as a new hire. It may be possible to relax some procedures, but weigh the risks before you change anything. Consider each layer of your process and carefully determine why or why not it’s necessary to follow each step. This should include everything from application forms to background checks. Furthermore, be prepared to explain to your re-hires that these screenings are in the best interest of the company moving forward.

Is this a good time to review state and local laws?

As leaders discuss plans for reopening, in addition to reviewing policies and employee handbooks, it is just as important to review current federal, state and local laws. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, if a former employee is rehired within three years of the origination date of the original Form I-9, employers have the option to either use the same form or complete a new one. Electing to utilize the previously completed form could help streamline the hiring and onboarding processes. This will allow you time to screen re-hires.

Businesses considering bringing employees back can also consider a solution that isn’t simply keeping all processes or eliminating others. When it comes to background screening, our team can work with yours to build a customized background screening program. We can help minimizes risk and supports your hiring process and goals. You may not yet know if you’ll re-screen returning members, but our services can give you confidence in your decision.

Protesting and Background Screenings: Is Your Business Prepared?

Over 10,000 arrests in the last three weeks are from protests. These arrests vary widely and can be tricky for HR departments. When it comes to business policy, protesting and background screenings: What impact could an arrest due to protesting have on a prospective or current employee?

How arrests can impact a person’s record

Some arrests made this month are due to violent behavior. However, most are less serious crimes or petty infractions. These arrests include things like obstructing traffic and being out past curfew. A majority of protest-related arrests will be released without charges. But if an applicant is charged with a crime, then the arrest could rise to the surface during a pre-employment background check. One Source does not report arrest records—they cannot be considered in the hiring process. Other credit reporting agencies may report arrest records, but you will be unable to use them in hiring.

Each state handles cases like these differently. So people might not know whether their arrest will be removed from their record. Complex court systems and tedious administrative processes just add to the challenge. All of these challenges encourage businesses of all sizes and industries to take a closer look at their policies. 

Creating policies regarding criminal records

One Source tailors the pre-employment screening to the specific needs and concerns of your business. Flexibility is especially useful in the instance of protesting. For arrests made for non-violent infractions, businesses can omit these records from the screening. One Source offers these arrest reports, but they cannot be used for hiring purposes. Sharing your business’s policies with our team and discussing any additional requirements you have allows us to develop an appropriate, and thorough, screening to support your policies.

Consider your approach to social media checks, too

In addition to criminal records as they relate to protesting, it may be necessary to discuss your approach to any social media screening your business does as part of its hiring process. Outline your expectations and policies specific to social media can save your internal team time. This also helps inform potential (and existing) employees. One Source offers Fair Credit Reporting Act compliant social media checks, should you choose to screen social media.

As our world continues to evolve, take time to review and create policies to reflect what’s currently happening. This can help your business plan and prepare for what’s next. Develop policies to guide your HR processes and minimize hiring bias, improve screenings and enhance communications with prospective and current employees. Rely on the specialized expertise of your business partners, like us, to offer recommendations and opportunities that support your needs.

If you currently don’t have a policy in place regarding arrests due to protesting—for applicants and employees—this could be the right time to start an internal conversation.

Managing the Challenges and Changes of Remote Hiring

Remote recruiting is tricky. It’s relatively new territory for recruiters and job seekers and it comes with different expectations, restrictions and rules. While not every company is hiring right now, those who are must adjust their processes.

But sometimes in hiring, adaptability is the name of the game. Meeting applicants where they are and adjusting accordingly can help bring out the best candidates, no matter how strange the hiring circumstances. The being said, remote hiring isn’t easy—here are a few challenges you may encounter and how One Source can help.

Hiring without meeting in person

Face to face interaction with candidates has been an essential part of the hiring process. By getting an applicant in your work environment and seeing how they interact with your team, you can tell a lot about how they’ll fit in to your staff. However, remote recruiting and hiring does not offer the luxury of in-person interviews. So how do we adapt?

One way to customize the hiring process for an online space is to lean on the technologies that you’re already using. Zoom, Google Meet and other video conferencing services are an easy way to connect face to face at any time. Generally through the hiring process, you may only speak with candidates a few times before you make a decision. These video chat apps make it easy to have more frequent conversations with applicants. You can invite them to chat with your whole team and develop a sense of their personality through shorter, more frequent conversations.

You can also lean on other hiring resources like background checks and work samples to better understand what a candidate is like. One Source’s online portal makes it easy to keep reports in one place and refer to them whenever necessary. So, despite the lack of in-person communication, online resources allow you to compile a relatively complete picture of who you’re interviewing.

Notice and address gaps in your hiring process

While unconventional, turning your hiring process on its head by moving it online can be a good way to identify gaps and issues in your typical hiring process. Remote hiring may intensify underlying inefficiencies and frustrations. Do you need to revise your application review process? Should you ask different questions and measure different skills? Does your screening process align with your objectives? You may find yourself asking any of these questions and more as you continue remote hiring.

Don’t be afraid to think on your feet as you navigate new hiring methods. While your team should always be aligned and intentional, there has never been a better time to try new things and solve problems in creative ways. Patching up inefficiencies in your hiring will make your staff stronger in the long run.

If you feel like your background check process isn’t working toward your goals, contact us at One Source and we’ll help you build a screening process tailored to your needs. Everyone is managing change right now, so we’re here to make your hiring that much easier.

How Employers Can Safely Bring Employees Back to the Office

As offices slowly start to reopen and employees begin to return, employers are likely busy planning how to keep everyone safe once they’re back under one roof. Not only are employers tasked with safely bringing employees back, but also creating a secure environment for customers and clients.

You might be trying to find the right way to screen your employees for illness as you start bringing employees back to the office. In issues of health, however, there are several compliance laws and regulations you must follow to protect their privacy. Screening your employees is possible. Though there is a lot of planning and considerations you need to take into account first.

Compliance with medical regulations

You can ask your employees whether they have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 and if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, once you gather any medical information from your employees, it’s your responsibility to keep that information confidential. If any of your employees test positive for COVID-19, you can alert the rest of your staff, but you must not disclose the identity of the sick employee.

If you’re hiring new employees or re-screening current employees, some background screenings may include medical information including drug testing, physicals and more. First, you need to receive consent to screen anyone. This can easily be done with One Source’s contact-free release forms. As always, the content of a screening report is between you, the employee and the reporting agency. Essentially, do everything in your power to keep your team informed about the health of your company while protecting the privacy of individual employees.

Planning for a healthy work environment

Part of your plan for reopening your office should focus on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) guidelines. This will allow you to provide a risk-free work place. This may require you to move desks apart, enforce social distancing measures and more. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers a comprehensive guide to maintaining a safe work environment as the pandemic continues.

Your strategy for returning to the office may include some new hires. You may feel the need to screen new employees or applicants for COVID-19 before they can enter the office. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released guidelines on how to fairly screen new hires. You can request that new hires get screened for COVID-19 after you make a conditional job offer and before they start working. If you want to screen all qualified applicants for COVID-19, you must also screen all new employees in the same role.

You can also require temperature checks as employees enter the office. Some thermometers simply say whether or not you have a fever, keeping the exact temperature of your employees private.

Many employers right now are juggling their plans to return to the office safely while managing screenings and information privacy. One Source can help you manage screenings efficiently and let you focus on keeping your team safe. Learn more by contacting our Client Relations team today.

Volunteer Screening Best Practices

As the COVID-19 pandemic alters our lives every day, nonprofits and other volunteer organizations are using their volunteer base to bring community support. Some volunteers fill essential needs like food delivery and medical care—and the demand for quality volunteers continues to rise. Volunteers bring valuable care and necessary resources to communities through this pandemic. This means it’s extremely important for volunteer organizations to make sure they’re recruiting the best volunteers. The way your organization’s volunteers act through the pandemic will reflect on your organization for years to come. One of the best ways to ensure you recruit excellent helpers is to run volunteer screenings for each applicant. It may take some time to screen each applicant, but the clarity and security of a screening report is well worth it.

If you’re considering volunteer screenings for the first time or increasing your screening measures, you can follow these best practices to create an efficient screening process. With a strong background check procedure, you can get your volunteers out to serve others quickly and safely.

Find a screening partner you trust.

Your time is best spent running your organization and selecting volunteers. It should not be spent digging up background information on volunteer applicants. Regardless of how many background checks your organization may need to run, you will save time and resources by outsourcing your background checks.

Quality screening agencies like One Source are well-versed in volunteer screenings and can assist you in deciphering what screening reports really mean. When you partner with a screening agency, you  get the most accurate and complete reports. Furthermore, you get help clarifying what the screenings truly represent. At One Source, we can turn around screenings in 48 hours. Then, the results are presented on a user friendly platform. You can save valuable time and focus on finding the best volunteers to fulfill your mission.

Know when to screen potential volunteers.

Background checks are one of many tools you can use to build a strong, dedicated volunteer base. It doesn’t always make sense to base all of your volunteer decisions on screening reports alone, but they should be an important point of consideration. To create an efficient screening process, time background checks strategically in your vetting process.

You can start your vetting process with a thorough application followed by reference checks. After evaluating applications and references, you can determine which applicants would be good volunteer fits for your organization. Those applicants can then move on to the next round of vetting: background checks and interviews. Interview your applicants to get a deeper insight into their personality and strengths. Then, you can run background checks on your top candidates. Pair the background report with the information you gained from the references and interview to decide whether someone should volunteer for your cause.

Volunteers are providing essential services to thousands of people throughout our communities and their impact cannot be understated. If your organization is sending volunteers out into the world right now, it is in your best interest to be certain they are the best representatives of your mission. Contact One Sources’ Client Relations team today to learn how we can make your volunteer screening process thorough, streamlined and effective.