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Background Checks Archive

Hidden Regulations Trip up Small Business Owners

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
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A continually increasing number of government regulations for businesses makes it harder to keep current on all mandates, especially in relation to screening and hiring.

Even as the only employee of your business, if you decide to hire one or more employees, you must adhere to the same laws that larger companies follow.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse offers an Employer Checklist and Tips section in their Small Business Owner Background Check Guide:

Also, it’s wise to always be aware of the laws within the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) in regards to background checks and screening:

In addition to background and reference checks, it’s recommended you gauge candidates’ abilities related to the job through a range of assessment methods, such as personality profiling tests and handwriting analysis. In doing so, you reduce your risk of an expensive bad hire enormously.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Most Common Things Job Candidates Lie About

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
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The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2010 “Background Checking: Conducting Reference Background Checks” survey includes revealing details about which background topics are most commonly misrepresented by job candidates.

Sample question from the survey:

“How often do you discover information that is inaccurate compared to what job candidates presented during the interview process when conducting reference background checks on job candidates…?”

–60% said they “sometimes” find inaccuracies with dates of previous employment (6% answered “always”)

–51% said they “sometimes” find inaccuracies with past salaries (6% answered “always”)

–46% answered they “sometimes” find inaccuracies with former job responsibilities (4% said “always”)

–39% answered they “sometimes” find inaccuracies with education background (4% said “always”)

–Only 16% said they “sometimes” find inaccuracies with military discharge information (3% said always)

–8% answered that they “always” find inaccuracies related to articles published and speaking

The survey was completed by over 400 hiring professionals.

More information here:

It’s possible to overlook potential red flags while doing background checks. But using multiple forms of assessment, including handwriting analysis, in your screening process will greatly reduce the costly mistake of a bad hire.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Stunning Peak into Background Screening Statistics

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
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By all means, trust your gut and watch for any possible red flags while interacting with new people in the workplace or in your personal life.

But that method isn’t foolproof, and the usual background checking methods aren’t either.

How many times have you heard shocking stories about someone previously thought by almost everyone to be the poster child of congeniality and virtue?

Employment Background Investigations, Inc. lists some shocking background screening statistics on their website, including these below:

–In 2005, there were 389,380 establishments with at least one incident of workplace violence.

–According to the 2006 report from the Bureau of Labor statistics, over 70 percent of United States workplaces did not have a formal program or policy that addressed workplace violence.

–According to the 2007 ADP Annual Screening Index, 41 percent of employment, education and/or credential reference checks revealed a difference of information between what the applicant provided and what the source reported.

–NAPBS industry statistics indicate at least 1 in 4 international credentials are fraudulent.

–Terrorism figures: There have been 25223 incidents, 88478 injuries and 44657 fatalities due to terrorism this decade.

–Drug-using employees are two times more likely to request early dismissal or time off, three times more likely to have absences of eight days or more, three times more likely to be late for work, four times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident and five times more likely to file a workers’ compensation claim.

–An estimated 3.1 percent of employed adults actually used illicit drugs before reporting to work or during work hours at least once in the past year, with about 2.9 percent working while under the influence of an illicit drug.

More information here:

It’s important to clear away the fog surrounding the true intent of the people with whom you interact on a professional and personal level, especially those you don’t know very well.

One of the best ways to do that is through multiple assessment methods, including handwriting analysis, so you can avoid being vulnerable to high risk.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Over 50% of Ex-employees Pilfered Confidential Corporate Data

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
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According to Ponemon Institute’s “Data Loss Risks During Downsizing” January 2009 national study, 59% of U.S. ex-employees stole confidential company data.

The survey covered over 900 participants who were fired, laid-off, or left for another job during 2008.

The type of information made off with included e-mail lists (65%), non-financial business information (45%), and customer information (39%).

79% of those who admitted stealing acknowledged they were disobeying company rules.

“The top reasons given for stealing data include: ‘everyone else is doing it, the information may be useful to me in the future, I was instrumental in creating this information, the company can’t trace the information back to me and the company does not deserve to keep this information.’”

This finding suggests it’s a good idea to take extra precautions with disgruntled employees: “It is very interesting to note that employees who do not trust their former employer to act with integrity and fairness are more likely to take the data. 61% of respondents who were negative about the company took data while only 26% of those with a favorable view took data.”

Confidential data loss can easily equate to a loss of competitiveness for any business. Are you actively taking steps to reduce your security risk?

One of the most important things you can do as a business owner, or in your personal life, is to thoroughly understand who you are dealing with through comprehensive background screening before you open yourself up to excessive risk.

Handwriting analysis is one of the most accurate forms of personality assessment. It identifies the real personality, the one behind the persona, to help you avoid nasty surprises in the future.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Four Good Reasons to do Background Screening

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
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According to risk reduction giant Kroll, there are at least four good reasons to do background screening:

“A. Better safeguarding organizational assets. Employees have access to valuable physical assets and company information. Ensuring the honesty and integrity of the staff protects your organization and can minimize the risk from theft.

“B. Hiring the best employees or selecting the ideal applicants. A background check helps confirm that a candidate is qualified for your position through education, professional qualifications and/or employment experience. The check can also help in hiring trustworthy staff by highlighting any discrepancies on CVs or job applications.

“C. Avoiding long-term costs. Recruiting, bringing on board and training can be time-consuming and costly. Ensuring your new hire is qualified can reduce staff turnover. It can also alert you to potential red flags such as absenteeism or poor work performance.

“D. Maintaining your good reputation and building trust within your organization. The act of conducting background checks demonstrates your organization’s commitment to honesty and integrity – important values to you and your staff.”

More information here:

As outlined above, preventing theft, selecting the most qualified and appropriate applicant for the job, avoiding the enormous expense of a bad hire, and maintaining your good reputation and level of trust within your organization make thorough background screening necessary for optimum success.

Besides checking education credentials and professional licenses, employment history, and conducting thorough interviews and background investigations, it’s wise to do these three things to reduce your risk of legal concerns and assure you’re operating honorably:

–Have the applicant sign a release agreeing to background checks before and during employment

–Assess their skills related to the position through multiple evaluation methods such as personality profiling tests and handwriting analysis

–Inform the applicant that the hiring decision is based on all factors combined, including the interview process, references, investigations including examining public records, and assessment methods

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

66% Report Improved Quality-of-Hire Due to Background Checks

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
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HireRight, one of the world’s largest employment screening providers focused entirely on employment screening, surveyed more than 1800 human resources, recruiting, and other hiring professionals in their 2010 Employment Screening Benchmarking Report.

The following statistics from the company’s report stand out:

*10% of background checking results adversely affect candidates. Negatives range from exaggerations of education and experience to serious unreported felonies.

*21% of companies have endured incidents which could have been avoided with a background check or drug test.

*62% of organizations that have experienced difficulties in the last year report poor quality hires.

*66% of those surveyed report improved quality-of-hire as a result of background checking.

More information can be found here:

You can increase your chances of avoiding trouble by using multiple forms of evaluation, including handwriting analysis.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Helpful Review of 9 Background Check Services

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
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You can do a fair amount of basic background checking and security investigations yourself on sites such as Intelius.

Check out this background check services review of 9 of the most established on-line background check services:

These on-line services can greatly help you reduce your risk in your personal life, career, or business, but there are 6 major concerns with their introductory offerings:

  1. Make sure to check multiple state records, or you could potentially miss red flags.
  2. A criminal record or court case notation on such a site could just be something as innocuous as a traffic violation.
  3. You have to sort through all the results yourself.
  4. There is no guarantee that such databases are totally up to date and inclusive.
  5. A conviction from years ago might not show up if the statute of limitations has expired (e.g., seven years in CA after the sentence has been served).
  6. The Fair Credit Reporting Act blocks civil judgments from being reported by background check companies after seven years and bankruptcies after ten years.

An additional, very real concern is that if a scoundrel is very good at covering their tracks, they could have a clean record because they’ve never been caught.

It’s recommended that you conduct thorough investigations of anyone put in a position of trust, using multiple forms of assessment, including handwriting analysis and comprehensive astrology and numerology.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Perform a Background Check on Yourself

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010
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Worried about your potential or current employer possibly obtaining erroneous data about your background?

Similar to checking your credit score, is a service that allows you to check public records to make sure your reputation isn’t marred unjustly.

Their basic package includes identity verification (to make sure nobody is using your social security number), past addresses (used to determine which state, county, and city records will be searched), a national criminal records search, and more.

Alternatively, you could run a standard background check on yourself through one of the more common background check services:

Also, you can rest easy because that arrest for streaking at midnight on Halloween over a decade ago won’t show up on the background check databases since the statute of limitations expires for most arrests after ten years.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Employment Screening and Background Check Didn’t Catch Murderer

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
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Standard employment screening and background checks routinely miss vital details, such as in the case of Dr. Amy Bishop, who allegedly went on a shooting massacre at the University of Alabama:

The Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act dictates that an arrest or dismissal (as in Dr. Bishop’s case—she escaped prosecution for killing her brother over seventeen years ago, and for an attempted pipe bombing after that), can’t be reported after seven years, unless the person makes more than $70,000 a year.

Ostensibly, her former employers, who knew about her attempted pipe bombing, were concerned about legal issues if they informed her prospective employer (U. of Alabama) about the issue. This is very common, where the former employer is afraid to say anything that could have legal consequences, so divulges only the bare minimum about the former employee, such as dates of employment.

Not surprisingly, her supervisor at University of Alabama found no red flags in her background check and employment screening.

Even if she had been convicted of a crime, many states’ (such as CA) statute of limitations runs out seven years or so after a sentence is served, for example, then it can’t be reported.

What do you do in the above situation, or when the person has a  spotless history, such as in this case where a teacher was arrested on suspicion of child cruelty for allegedly physically abusing one of her students?:

You’ve got to cover all the bases in your personal life, in your business if you’re a business owner, and in your career if you’re a hiring supervisor.

To do that, I recommend thorough background checks and employment screening, including a range of evaluations, such as handwriting analysis, in conjunction with other psychological testing methods, along with thorough interviews by multiple staff members (or at least get feedback from friends and acquaintances about personal, non-professional connections).

Incidentally, example red flags that would likely show up in a thorough assessment involving comprehensive astrology, numerology, and handwriting analysis of the alleged shooter mentioned above (if she consented to such an analysis and, or it was warranted based on feedback from a former associate, for example) include deep resentment, obsessive behavior, sensitivity to criticism, lack of impulse control, as well as other psychological problems. In such a case, the analyst would advise the hiring supervisor to investigate further the applicant’s personality. Please note that such clinical terms wouldn’t necessarily be utilized by the analyst due to legal concerns, and that the analyst’s main responsibility is to identify whether or not the subject is a match for the demanded job skills.

Considering the possible consequences, it pays to make an effort to reduce your risk through thorough appraisals.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo

Background Checks are Advised Under Appropriate Circumstances

Saturday, February 13th, 2010
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It’s recommended you take a cautious approach with everyone you interact extensively or do business with, and even if you don’t have any doubts about their integrity, avoid opening yourself up to excessive risk.

Reduce the risk in your personal life or in your business through background checks. You can do part of it yourself through newspaper and industry specific databases, or through basic on-line background check sites like

Just be aware of the fact that no matter how thoroughly you check someone’s background, if they are sneaky enough, you’ll miss key red flags. Therefore, I recommend alternative methods such as handwriting analysis and comprehensive astrology and numerology in conjunction with conventional methods.

It’s commonly known that many government and law enforcement jobs demand background checks as a prerequisite for hire, but there exist many other situations where thorough background checks are appropriate, as outlined in this article:

Stay safe with thorough background checks.

Copyright © 2010 Scott Petullo