Articles & Blog

Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 20:37

7 EEOC Best Practice Tips

In the past few years, we have seen an unprecedented amount of legislation dealing with the background check industry at every level of government. No matter if it is looking at the health industry or a retail job, the layers of laws dealing with background checks for criminal history has seen itself clouded in mystery, and blurred lines have developed. No longer is it black or white in this industry, and we are here to help you straighten out the lines in terms of background checks, and especially in terms of criminal background checks.

Federal, State or local law needs to follow one important law, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in terms of the use of background and criminality checks by companies or governments. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been tasked to enforce the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The EEOC has released guidance on the best practices dealing with background checks, and it shows where and how background and criminality checks should be used by private employers as well as by federal, state, and local governments.

The EEOC standard states “Individualized Assessment should be used, which would encourage employers to allow applicants a chance to explain themselves when a report of past criminal misconduct is brought to light in the employment screening process”. With that in mind, here is the list of best practices from the EEOC.

1)

Treat applicants with similar criminal records consistently. For example, do not refuse to consider ethnic applicants who have criminal records if you consider applicants of other national origins who have the same or similar criminal records.

2)

Avoid using an employment policy or practice that excludes people with certain criminal records if the policy or practice significantly disadvantages individuals of a particular race or national origin, and does not accurately predict who will be a responsible, reliable or safe employee.

3)

If you ask applicants for criminal history information, consider waiting until later in the hiring process to do so. That way, you'll have the opportunity to consider applicants' qualifications for the job before you assess the relevance, if any, of applicants' criminal history. However, in some circumstances, you may need to request criminal history information early in the hiring process to comply with certain laws or regulations.

4)

Determine how the applicant's criminal history relates to the risks and responsibilities of the job. Among other things, consider the nature of the crime; the time that has passed since the criminal conduct occurred; and the nature of the job.

5)

Treat arrest records differently than conviction records. The fact that someone has been arrested is not proof that they committed a crime. Arrest records may be inaccurate or incomplete. For example, they may not indicate whether charges were filed or dismissed. However, an arrest may trigger an inquiry into whether the conduct underlying the arrest justifies a negative employment decision.

6)

Consider reviewing the accuracy and relevance of a conviction record before basing an employment decision on that record. Conviction records are usually proof that a person participated in criminal activity. However, in certain circumstances, you may decide not to rely on a conviction record when making an employment decision. For example, you may conclude that the record is inaccurate or outdated.

7)

Give applicants an opportunity to explain their criminal history. Inform applicants if they may be excluded from consideration because of prior criminal conduct. Provide them with an opportunity to respond, and consider reevaluating them based on their explanation.

As a company, we have worked with thousands of businesses in completing their background checks for criminality, and we have followed the EEOC guidelines to prevent issues of discrimination for our clients. The EEOC does amazing work, and as a background check company, we have been supportive of their guidelines, and thus we are encouraging our clients to know the best practices that they are promoting.

Monday, 24 April 2017 17:23

UX Doesn’t Stop with the Product

You’ve done it. You had a product vision and now the vision is reality. Hours, weeks, months of work are finally realized and you’ve delivered a product that considered the user experience every step of the way. It’s time to celebrate! There’s only one problem. However well-planned and thoughtful your product is, IT product relies on technology and we all know technology can be squirrely. What happens now? Is your support desk up to the task of world-class support with the user’s experience in focus? Can they clearly articulate the value and vision of the product and inform your users of the usability or design choices made along the way? How do you get there?

Testing

Your work begins long before the client ever sees the product. Bring the developers, UX/UI designers, and the support staff together for product testing. Hand the support team the beta and give them license to go crazy trying to break it. They will love it! And probably break it, if they know their users. The end result will be a support team that knows the product inside and out, its strengths and its limitations far before beta testing begins in the wild, much less your soft launch. They can begin creating documentation, cementing that knowledge and preparing training resources for the end client well ahead of beta release.

Onboarding

Look at where you are most successful in the onboarding process and why. What part(s) of onboarding new clients makes them feel Yes! We’re ready to go. Is it webinars? Personalized demos? Self-help or guided online help? Think about if it makes sense to utilize some or all of these methods to encourage product adoption.

Transparency

It’s been said that each time you interrupt a developer, it takes them 15 minutes to get back on task so our desk tries to be respectful of their time. Something that works very well in our organization for new product launches is dedicated channels in the company messaging application. Everyone in the organization has access to the channel, anyone can report issues, feedback, learn about bugs and fixes, big wins, and stay up to date. Our developers are wonderfully giving of their time and don’t hesitate to respond at any hour if support needs them urgently. Giving the support desk a view into their challenges (and vice versa) reinforces the interconnectedness that produces confident, knowledgeable, experienced agents. Before you’ve even rolled out the beta.

Experience

It goes without saying (well actually we say it a lot!) that the user’s experience is at the forefront of everything we do. Whether it’s designing an interface from the user’s perspective, to development decisions that will shape how the product performs, to how we prepare our support team to understand the new product well before soft launch. Our mission is to create a hiring experience that doesn’t suck. We can’t stand behind that if we’ve not constantly striving to create a support experience that doesn’t suck either.

Quality Assurance can be a painstaking process, but it doesn’t have to be. Efficient QA can help you deliver outstanding results and maintain a high level of accuracy in your work product. Even the best-designed processes can lose traction with poor-quality inputs and execution. With a thoughtful and integrated QA approach, you can ensure high-quality and accurate outcomes without sacrificing a lot of time, energy, and resources.

Streamline it.

QA is often a brute-force manual effort to ensure the best outcomes. Auditing your documents and other work product can take hours of time and human resources to guarantee high-quality production out of your team. It’s not something you can ignore, either.

Whether it’s legal, financial, or other corporate responsibilities, costly errors and omissions can impact your bottom line. By streamlining your QA workflow, you get better results with fewer errors and less time invested in the process.

Be Efficient

An efficient QA process means that your employees can complete critical tasks with higher quality and fewer errors. It pays to invest some time into your QA systems up front to design a system that requires a minimum of human intervention.

Incorporate integrations into the process wherever possible. Follow-up reporting should be automated. Overall accuracy and fast return time shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. With efficient QA flow, you’ll get faster results with the highest degree of accuracy through automation and better process design.

Automate

If your QA process is complicated and burdensome, it can be very frustrating for your team. Double-checking and following up to correct errors can interrupt the flow of work product through your organization. These mistakes cost you time and money! A better approach is a QA process designed to take advantage of process automation and advanced reporting tools to ensure quality without sacrificing time and effort.

Deliver on Promises

QA isn’t a “nice to have” – it’s a “must-have” for anyone in a position of responsibility. Even the best-designed processes need audits and verification to ensure accurate and effective workflow. QA can derail your progress and slow down the production rate of your team.

Whether you are an HR professional or a software designer, you need efficient and effective QA processes to deliver on your promises to your clients, external and internal.

Generate Better Outcomes

MSPs, ie., applicant tracking systems, almost always have an integration with one or many background check companies. Because of their position in the hiring process, they are primarily the front-end for the hiring manager’s workflow. They are responsible for gathering the necessary information, providing statuses, and delivering results. But they rely on the background check company and have the same problem as the applicant in that the information goes in a black hole with almost no transparency around the process.

Frequently, the background check is delayed, needs more information, or comes back with results that are not understood, which leaves the MSP with the responsibility of reviewing, untangling, and explaining the problems.

This is a real challenge since typically they normally know very little about the process themselves. Using a background check company puts the satisfaction of their customer out of their control.

The Background Check Company

If you don’t implement efficient QA processes, there are only two possible outcomes: you can continue to let poor-quality products and services pass through your production line, or you can devote a lot of time and energy to audit and correct errors in the process.

Why waste time and resources on a problem without any guarantees of success? Even the most heroic efforts from your team won’t catch every mistake and omission. Efficient QA processes give you the best of both worlds: better outcomes with less human resource investment. Those savings go directly to your bottom line.

Whether you work in a highly regulated industry or not, you can’t afford the cost of errors and fraud within your organization. With efficient QA, you can ensure good quality work product without the need for intense human effort and a slower rate of workflow.

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