All posts by Les Rosen

ESR To Speak at HR Star San Francisco

Employment Screening Resources,  announces that its president, Lester Rosen, will be presenting at the HR Star  human resources conference in San Francisco on July 15, 2009. 

The conference is held annually in San Francisco and other cities, for the benefit of Human Resources professionals.  See: 

“I am delighted to be associated with the HR Star conferences, given the tremendous value it brings to the Human Resources community,” commented Rosen. “In this economy, it is more critical then ever to avoid unqualified, unsafe or dishonest employees, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to share information with Bay Area employers.” 

Mr. Rosen will be addressing the practical aspects of employment background checks, including the pitfalls of utilizing the internet and social network such as Facebook or MySpace to screen candidates.   

Mr. Rosen, who is also an attorney, is a nationally recognized, writer and speaker on the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), pre-employment screening, and safe hiring issues. In addition, Mr. Rosen is the author of the first comprehensive book on employment screening, The Safe Hiring Manual Complete Guide to Keeping Criminals, Imposters and Terrorists Out of Your Workplace.”  He also wrote, “The Safe Hiring Audit.” 

Mr. Rosen’s speaking appearances have included numerous national and statewide conferences.   He has testified in the California, Florida  and Arkansas Superior Court as an expert witness on issues surrounding safe hiring and due diligence. Mr. Rosen was the chairperson of the steering committee that founded the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), the professional trade organization for the screening industry, and served as the first co-chairman in 2004.

Memorial Day-A Time to Refelct

On this Memorial Day, 2009, the entire team at Employment Screening Resources salutes our veterans, the men and woman currently in uniform and their families for their sacrifices and service to America. 

In the words of our President, “..this is not only a time for celebration. It is also a time to reflect on what this holiday is all about; to pay tribute to our fallen heroes; and to remember the servicemen and women who cannot be with us this year because they are standing post far from home –- in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.”

Beware of snake oil salesmen, fake medical cures and criminal databases on dating sites

There have been web articles recently about dating sits offering so-called “national criminal database” searches on potential matches to weed out criminals, cheats  and predators.

Unfortunately, offering background checks on dating sites may end up doing more harm then good,  Although it may on occasion turn up some useful data, they are like fake medical  cures because people are lulled into believing they provide protection.  By letting people develop a false sense of security, it can put users at even greater risk because they may let their guard down.  As outlined in the recent article ESR wrote for ASIS magazine, these databases are full of holes.  In some states, such as New York or California they are nearly worthless.  For details see: 

Background checks on dating sites are one of those situations where it needs to be done right. Even if daters are told about the limitations of such searches, it is such a technical area that is it is hard to see how a consumer can really digest the information in a meaningful way.   The irony is that to substantially increase the value of a background check by taking greter measures is not very expensive, especially considering the dangers of dating someone who is dishonest or unsafe.

 ESR’s recommendation is for dating sites to offer real background checks. Either a user can pay for it, or a person that wants to register on a quality site can pay for it.   If a user of the dating site does not want to a utilize the service, that is their decision.  However, ESR questions if it is really good idea to offer cheap and oftentimes meaningless background checks that may well create a false sense of security. 


US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald Urges Civic Group to Help Reduce Violence in Chicago by helping Ex-offenders to Re-enter Society

According to an article posted in today’s Chicago Tribune, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald says the business community can help reduce violence in Chicago by hiring ex-convicts, since jobs help ex-offenders stay away from the criminal activity that landed them in jail.,0,4186410.story  

Speaking to a Chicago Civic Club, the Mr. Patrick said that many with criminal records want the chance to do something different with their lives and encouraged interested business leaders to talk to other companies that have hired ex-offenders about their experiences. 

The problem for businesses of course is they have the obligation to exercise due diligence in hiring, and if a perosn with an unsuitable criminal record is hired, it can be a legal and financial nightmares, with a dramatic impact on the live of innocent people. 

On the other hand, employers should also not automatically reject an applicant with a criminal record unless there is a business justification.  ESR take the position that there is a job for everyone, but not everyone is suitable for every job. 

The problem of course is complicated by the fact that our society does not want to create a permanent class of unemployable ex-offenders who can never re-enter society and be productive. Automatic rejection of any applicant with a criminal record makes it very difficult for an ex-offender to get back into the workforce. Given that, on the average, it costs over $30,000 a year to incarcerate a prisoner in the United States, and that without a job it is very difficult for an ex-offender to become a law abiding tax paying citizen, it is critical that society gives everyone an opportunity to work. Unless ex-offenders can get a second chance, our society will spend more time and resources building prisons instead of schools, hospitals and roads. This is a difficult issue facing society.  For more information, see a previous ESR blog at



Employment Screening Resources (ESR) to Present at Recruiting Conference by KennedyInfo

ESR President Lester S. Rosen will be presnting at RECRUITING 2009 by KennedyInfo in Las Vegas on May 21, 2009.  Mr. Rosen will be speaking on: 

Caution! Using the Internet and Social Networking Sites to Screen Applicants
Employers and recruiters have discovered a treasure trove of information on potential job applicants by using social networking sites — such as MySpace™, Facebook, LinkedIn® — and various search engines. However, it is important to remember that using these sites can present many risks, including issues related to privacy, discrimination, authenticity and reliability. If these sites are wrongly used, even if unknowingly or unintentionally, it can do significant damage to your “employment brand,” as well as expose you to litigation and negative publicity. This session advises you on how to stay out of trouble.

Through case studies and viewing different Internet sites, attendees will learn exactly how to screen candidates online. In addition, the group will evaluate the pros and cons of using Internet sites, learn associated privacy and discrimination laws and attain invaluable strategies for navigating legal and practical roadblocks when using search engines or social networking sites.

Do You Know Where Your Personal Information is Going? Your PII may be going Offshore When Some Employers Perform Background Checks

Many job applicants in the US may not realize it, but when you fill out a job application you may be sending your personal data including date of birth and/or social security number offshore beyond U.S.  privacy laws.  How?  There are some background screening firms that routinely send their data to India or other destinations for processing, including calling past employers and schools.  The information sent could well be the basis for identity theft.  A recent sting operation by the BBC showed that confidential data  can be purchased from  Indian call centers for as little  as $10 each. See: 

 Of course, identity theft can happen in the US, but at least here there are resources and recourses.  Try calling the Mumbai or Bangalore police and filing a complaint.  Nor does it help if the foreign call center is owned by a US firm.  The same issues still apply.

The best advice for job seekers; Do NOT consent to a background check if the employment screening firm used by your prospective employer does not guarantee that they do all of their work in the USA. ESR does NOT offshore.

"The Safe Hiring Audit" book Reviewed by ASIS

ASIS, the worlds leading secrity orgqanization, reviewed the book by ESR President Lester Rosen, The Safe Hiring Audit.   The book  provides a blueprint to evaluate and improve a company’s hiring procedures. Companies of all sizes can identify potential problems and insure compliant hiring practices.  This guide provides a step-by-step action plan to evaluate current hiring practices and make changes to strengthen their businesses and avoid potential problems.  It is done by means of a 25 point audit.

The ASIS review noted that:

“The book is conveniently written in an “audit” format. Each chapter begins with questions for the reader to answer to determine how the company measures up in terms of legal compliance. At the end of each chapter, each audit question is presented again, the information from the chapter is summarized, and “best practices” are discussed to ensure that the reader understands the material and how to apply it.”

“By the end of the book, the reader will understand why safe hiring is a critical basic business practice. The book’s appendices include a summary of rights under FCRA, information on U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notices, an application process checklist and worksheet, and descriptions of preemployment tools to aid the hiring process. These resources will undoubtedly be used again and again as readers maintain their own worksheets and checklists.

“This work is an excellent reference for professionals with hiring authority.”


The book is available at: , a web site that contians books, training DVD’s and coures on employment screening and background checks.

Security Management Magazine by ASIS features article on Employment Screening Background Checks by ESR President Lester Rosen

 Security Management, the publication of ASIS, the leading international security organization, featured an article on Background Checks by Lester Rosen, President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) in the May, 2009 edition.

The article is entitled: “How to Avoid Hiring Mishaps,” and covers recent cases, trends, new developments and best practices when it comes to pre-employment background screening checks.  Areas covered include the proper use of criminal databases, criminal records and discrimination under Title VII, the use of credit reports, new laws in New York on the employer’s use of criminal information, education verification and the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The article is at: 

ASIS also reviewed the newest book by Les Rosen, “The Safe Hiring Audit.” 

ESR to Present at SHRM National in New Orleans

Employment Screening Resources president Lester Rosen will be speaking at the SHRM Annual Conference on Wednesday, July 1. In addition, the ESR  book – Safe Hiring – will be at the SHRMStore and is currently available on the SHRMStore’s Web site.

See the SHRM blog entry for the SHRM annual at   
The following is from the SHRM blog:
“Before filling up with Gumbo, Jambalaya and  Red Beans and Rice, you may want to stop my presentation:  “Negligent Hiring Mock Trial Demonstration: HR in the Hot Seat,”  It is set for Wednesday morning, July 1,2009 at 10 to 11:15 am. You will be stepping into a courtroom to witness a re-enactment of a jury trial for negligent hiring where a firm hired the “employee from hell,” resulting in a customer being severely injured.   You will act as the jury as you hear opening statements, testimony from the HR manager who hired the dangerous worker, testimony from  an expert witness, closing arguments  and legal instructions  from the judge.  You will even see a taped “re-enactment” of the attack by the dangerous worker as caught on a “surveillance camera.” 

Of course, a real trial would take  several day, but we can condensed the good parts into our session, leaving plenty of time for audience  “deliberation” on what is due diligence, as well as what HR professional should be thinking about in order to avoid having to testify for real.   

In fact, you can catch a glimpse of what you would see at

Looking forward to seeing eveyone in New Orleans.

New Delay in Red Flag Rules May Not Apply to Background Checks

According to a press release issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on 04/30/2009, the FTC, “will delay enforcement of the new “Red Flags Rule” until August 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions more time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs.” 

Employers and background screening firms that belive this gives them more breathing room before compliance should proceed with caution.  The FTC noted that the issues dealt with certain firms that were uncertain of their status.  The duties of employers when it comes to screening are clear.  In addition, ESR has received legal advice suggesting it is not at all clear the delay would affect background screening  reports that contains an employment credit reports.

In order to fully protect employers and job applicants from the harms associated with identity theft, ESR has determined that the best practice is to continue to operate as though the Red Flag rules continue to apply. The effort needed for compliance is minimal compared to the risks of non-compliance. 

ESR will continue to “Red Flag” credit reports where there is a substantial address discrepancy and will continue client education on the mater.

For more on the Red Flag rules, see the ESR newsletter at:

ESR provides training and sample Red Flag policies for its clients.