Tag Archives: Trends

Many US States Considering Bills Limiting Use of Credit Reports for Employment Screening Background Checks

While only four U.S. states – Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and most recently Illinois – currently have laws limiting or prohibiting credit checks by employers on job applicants and employees, lawmakers in many U.S. states are currently proposing legislation restricting the use of credit reports for employment screening background checks.

In all, lawmakers in 18 U.S. states are considering bills that limit the use of credit report data for employment screening. These states include: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont. Continue reading

Live Webcast to Reveal Top Background Screening Trends for Institute for Human Resources Quality of Hire Virtual Conference

Lester Rosen, an Attorney and President of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a background screening firm located in the San Francisco Bay area and accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), will present a live webcast titled ‘Top Ten Trends for Background Screening in 2011 – What Every Employer Needs to Know’ for The Institute for Human Resources (IHR), the certification and accreditation process arm of HR.com, the largest social network and online community of Human Resources (HR) executives. The webcast takes place at the IHR Quality of Hire Virtual Workshop on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. For more information, visit: http://www.hr.com. Continue reading

Safe Hiring Expert Lester Rosen Reviews Top Background Check Trends for 2011 Los Angeles HR Star Conference

Attorney and safe hiring expert Lester Rosen, President of San Francisco, California-area background check provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present an educational session – ‘The Top Ten Trends for Background Checks in 2011 – What Every Employer Needs to Know’ – at the 2011 Los Angeles HR Star Conference held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California on March 30, 2011. The session will review the top trends, best practices, and legal developments for background checks. Continue reading

Maryland Legislation Would Limit Credit Checks by Employers on Job Applicants

State lawmakers in Maryland have proposed legislation that would limit the ability of employers to run credit checks using credit reports and credit histories of employees and job applicants for employment purposes in response to complaints from job seekers in the state who said they were denied jobs after their would-be employers learned about their low credit scores, according to an article in The Baltimore Sun. Continue reading

Voice Stress Test for Employment Screening: Science Fiction or Scientific Breakthrough

A recent story from Canada in The Vancouver Sun – ‘Controversial device popular with public, private employers’ – reveals that while tests using a “truth verification” device called a Computerized Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) to screen job applicants in British Columbia are becoming increasingly popular with employers, the accuracy rate is being questioned as some studies have shown the device to do no better than pure chance. Continue reading

Rise in Resume Fraud by Job Applicants in China Demonstrates Need for International Background Screening

The need for international background screening – where firms provide employers with criminal background checks, past employment and education verifications, and reference checks on people who have spent time outside the U.S. – has been demonstrated by a recent report on the rise in fraudulent and dishonest claims in resumes by job applicants in China. Continue reading

EEOC Examines Practice of Employers Excluding Unemployed Job Applicants from Job Vacancies

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 to examine the practice by employers of considering only those currently employed for job vacancies and excluding currently unemployed persons from job applicant pools, including in job announcements, and also to hear from invited panelists on the potential impact on job seekers, according to an EEOC press release titled ‘Out of Work? Out of Luck.’ Continue reading

Survey Reveals More than Half of Consumers Want to Ban Credit Report Checks by Employers

More than half of consumers approve of the idea of banning the use of job applicant credit reports by employers for employment screening, according to a recent survey.

A telephone poll survey conducted for Credit.com by GfK Custom Research North America from January 14, 2011 to January 16, 2011 interviewed 1,004 consumers about:

Employers have the right, with your permission, to check your credit report as part of background screening for employment. A number of lawmakers are interested in banning this practice – do you… Continue reading

Current Unrest in Egypt May Cause Delays with International Background Screening

By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor

The current unrest in Egypt, with hundreds of thousands of protesters crowding the streets of Cairo and calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, will most likely cause delays with international background screening conducted by U.S. companies on job applicants who were born, or who have spent considerable time, in that country.

The most recent reports from CNN state that violent street battles between supporters and foes of the embattled President Mubarak have left hundreds of people injured, and pandemonium reigns over the demonstrations that have lasted more than a week in Egypt’s capital city. Mubarak recently announced he would not seek reelection after nearly 30 years in office.  

A Wall Street Journal article dated 02/01/11 – ‘Multinationals Keep Egypt Offices Shut, Workers Home’ – reported that multinational companies operating in Egypt including Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola had closed offices and facilities for employee safety. None had made any decision on reopening and were following the situation closely.

The current – and historic – turmoil in Egypt serves as a reminder that the international background screening process is subject to delays in foreign countries that are beyond anyone’s control and may affect both Americans who spent time in a foreign country or people in the U.S. on visas. Employers should not discriminate based on national origin.

Employers in the United States should be aware that every country is different when it comes to international background screening. The general availability of public records that is taken for granted in this country is often times not the case outside of the U.S., where there may be very limited access to the types of information needed for employment background screening.

Since each country has its own laws, customs, and procedures for background screenings, employers face a number of the special challenges and practical difficulties when performing background screening outside of the United States, including:

  • Differences in courts and legal systems.
  • Language barriers.
  • Name variations including transliteration into English and Phonetic transcription or “transcribing.”
  • Time differences.
  • Means and cost of communications.
  • Differing calendars and holidays.
  • Inherent risk of fraud.
  • Costs more expensive compared to background screening in U.S.
  • Payments must be made in another country’s currency.

However, although international background screening can be challenging, it is not impossible. U.S. employers can find themselves in hot water if they assume that international background screening is too difficult or expensive and simply bypass the process.

International background screening has become more necessary in recent years due to the mobility of workers across international borders in a global economy that make it no longer adequate to conduct background screening on workers only in the United States. The need for international background screening can occur in several situations:

  • Job Applicant Born Abroad: An American company is considering a job applicant who was born abroad and is either coming directly to the U.S. from another country or has not been in the United States long enough to rely solely upon checking American references and criminal records.
  • Job Applicant Spent Time Abroad: An American company is considering a job applicant who spent considerable time abroad in another country and the employer wants to obtain data for that time period.
  • Job Applicant from Another Country Will Work in that Country: An American company is hiring an individual from another country to work in that country, such as an outside sales representative.

Recent government statistics show that U.S. residents who were born, or have spent significant time, abroad make up a large amount of the current U.S. population:

International background screening becoming more necessary due to mobility of workers in global economy is Trend #5 in a list of top background screening trends compiled by Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading background check provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®). ESR’s Fourth Annual ‘Top Ten Trends in Pre-Employment Background Screening for 2011′ is available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.

Besides Egypt, Employment Screening Resources performs background checks internationally in countries that include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Kingdom (U.K.).

For information about International Background Screening from Employment Screening Resources – including criminal background checks and employment and education verifications – visit http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-International-Resources.php.

An A to Z List of countries served by ESR International Background Screening Services is available at: http://www.esrcheck.com/ESR-International-Background-Screening-Countries/index.php.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.


Bill Limiting Credit Checks of Job Applicants for Employment Screening Reintroduced in Congress

A bill that would limit the use of credit checks of job applicants in employment screening has been reintroduced into Congress by U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).

As originally written, the ‘Equal Employment for All Act’ would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to prohibit the use of consumer credit checks against prospective employees and existing employees as a means of making adverse employment decisions, with an exception for employers seeking applicants in national security or positions with major financial responsibilities.

Congressman Cohen – who wrote the same bill in the last Congress but it was never voted on – noted in a news report that the recession has led some job applicants into debt and credit checks can keep them unemployed. He also noted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has suggested such use of credit checks may affect women and minorities disproportionately.

A 2010 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) on the use of credit reports for employment screening revealed that:

  • 13 percent of employers surveyed conducted credit checks on all job candidates.
  • 40 percent of employers did not conduct any credit checks on job candidates.
  • 47 percent of employers considered credit checks for candidates of selected jobs.
  • 60 percent of employers overall ran credit checks on at least some applicants.

Credit checks for employment purposes have become a very controversial subject. Job applicants looking for work in a tough economy are caught in a classic “Catch-22” situation where they have bad credit because they cannot get a job but cannot get a job because they have bad credit.

Employment Screening Resources (ESR), a leading provider of background checks accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), believes credit checks are just one of many factors – including education, experience, references, and past criminal history – that employers use to find qualified job applicants, employers should approach with caution when using them for employment screening, and articulate a clear rationale as to why a credit check is related to a particular job. Employers should also be aware of the potential for errors in credit reports.

The question of whether use of credit checks in employment screening is discriminatory is so controversial that the use of credit reports for employment screening is the number one background screening trend for 2011 as chosen by Employment Screening Resources founder and President Lester Rosen. For a list of all trends in ESR’s ‘Top Ten Trends in Employment Screening’ for 2011, visit: http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Trends-In-Background-Screening-2011.php.

For more information about credit background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) at http://www.ESRcheck.com.

Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.