Increasing demand for caregivers underscores importance of background checks

America’s aging population is having an effect on the healthcare sector, with more people entering the healthcare field to meet the increasing demand for professional caregivers to aging and ailing parents whose children live an hour or more away.  

According to the National Institute on Aging, about 7 million Americans are long-distance caregivers for their aging parents, and that number will continue to rise, as the number of adults ages 20 – the age group most often faced with caregiving – shrinks while the share of people 65 and older rapidly expands, according to the Associated Press.

With more displaced workers switching careers in order to find a job, the need for quality background checks has never been higher. The healthcare field is a unique one, in which the criminal background of a potential employee is as important as the breadth and depth of their experience in the field. Employers in the healthcare field need to be diligent in their pre-employment screening process, as more workers apply from outside the healthcare sector to fill the growing need for quality care.  

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Problem with Procedures Opens Door for Sex Offender to Work with Kids

In Palm Beach, Florida, it was recently discovered that the county had, unbeknownst to the powers-that-be, put a host of undesirable workers on the payroll.  Not surprisingly, this has caused an uproar inside and outside of the community.

 

Perhaps the most dreadful aspect of this public relations nightmare is that at least one sex offender was given unfettered access to children.  The man, along with many others, has now been charged with sexually assaulting a young, female camper who was in his charge. 

 

The problem?  Not one of these people hired by the county of Palm Beach was required to undergo a background check.  It’s a shocking realization to people who assume that anyone given authority (especially over youngsters) has been thoroughly screened prior to being brought on board.

 

This sad case brings to light the absolute necessity of background checks for every person being considered for a job, even if the employment is only seasonal or temporary.  And it’s especially critical if the position involves having anything to do with kids, the elderly or any other vulnerable population.

 

How Palm Beach county will react in the future is yet to be determined.  Chances are good, however, that officials will see the value in background checking and change the regulations that allow for loopholes the size of a small galaxy to exist.

 

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Have a Safe, Holly Jolly Holiday

If you’re part of an industry that is hiring seasonal workers, it’s time to be particularly vigilant about background checks.  Even though these types of workers will only be working under your auspices for a short time, they’ll still be your first impression as far as the public is concerned… so you want to make a good one!

To make your life easier, though, you should tell any job applicants upfront that they will have to pass certain background checks in order to be put on staff, even for a few weeks or a couple of months.  Make sure they understand what that means, too; some may not have had to go through background checking before.  Be certain to let them ask questions… and be certain you have the answers!

Remember that background checks are not a way of penalizing people; they are a way of making your workplace more secure for everyone, from the receptionist to the soda vendor.

Why We Love Background Screening… and You Should, Too!

Sure, background screening is our business… so of course we love it!  But if you own your own business, you should really love it, too!

Why should you become such a fan of the background screening process?  Check out these reasons:

1.  It Saves You Tons of Money

Have you ever made the wrong hiring choice?  Then you know how tragic that can be for your bottom line!  Performing regular background checks decreases those “oops” decisions.

2.  Background Screening Isn’t Expensive

If you’ve heard people say anything to the contrary, know that they have their facts wrong.  At VerifyProtect, we make sure that our background screening is affordably priced for everyone from the one-person shop to the multi-million dollar company.

3.  You Don’t Have to “Guess” as to an Applicant’s Background

Though there’s nothing wrong with having a “gut” instinct, it’s critical that you don’t rely on it 100% of the time!  And background screening makes it easy for you to find the facts rather than relying on how you feel about someone.

Should You Background Check Your Nanny?

It’s not uncommon for babysitters and nannies to come highly recommended by people you trust.  So why would you consider background checking them, right?

Well, for one, if they have been doing anything untoward, their charges (aka, the little kids) might not know about it or be able to say anything.  Consider a nanny who is stealing loose money or jewelry from her employer during “naptime”… is that an act a child is likely to notice? 

Yes, it can be difficult to tell a prospective nanny or babysitter that you plan on putting them through a background check.  In fact, some of them might be insulted by the mere suggestion.  But if they have nothing to hide and you’re the one paying for the (affordably priced!) background screening, they should have nothing to fear.

Think of it this way — you wouldn’t trust your child or children to someone you KNEW was potentially going to be a negative influence on them.  So why wouldn’t you background check every person with access to your most precious loved ones?

5 Solid Reasons to Background Check Your Employees

Not background checking your employees?  Here are 5 reasons you might want to reconsider your position…

1. Diploma Mills

These are pesky places that allow people to buy degrees.  They aren’t real degrees, but they’ve fooled more than one employer in the past.

2.  Resume Lies 

You might be shocked at how many individuals are taking the liberty of adding to their resumes.  From lying about past positions to past employers, there’s probably nothing we haven’t seen before.

3.  Bad References 

If you don’t background check your employees, do you at least call all their references?  Most employers don’t, so they don’t realize that, sometimes, references are just made-up people with made-up phone numbers.

4.  Liability 

Let’s say you hire Bob and you find out months down the line that Bob is a registered sex offender or a criminal because he does something to one of your employees, customers or vendors?  Guess who is going to bear some of the brunt of the liability or at least be made the “bad guy” by the media?

5.  Safety 

Above all else, background checking employees provides you with a sense of satisfaction in knowing that you’ve made your workplace as safe as possible for everyone within your sphere of influence.

Church Volunteers May Need Background Checks, Too

It’s been called a “nuisance” and an “outrage” by some people and a “godsend” and “good thing” from others.  However, there’s no doubt that performing background checks (even if it’s just handled through fingerprinting) on church volunteers does provide more than a small measure of protection for the members of any house of worship.

Though some folks are quick to assume that background checks keep people from volunteering at religious centers, there’s no hard data to back that fact.  Actually, it seems that having background checked volunteers gives a church an excellent way to encourage members to allow volunteers to watch children, help out with the nursery, etc.

Do church workers need the most comprehensive background checks available?  Perhaps not.  But even a simple one will let the religious institute’s powers-that-be find out quickly if someone should be working with children or others who could be vulnerable. 

In the end, it’s a sign of the times, but it’s also an incredible opportunity for churches to step up to the plate and prove that they are serious about keeping their flocks secure.

“Free” Background Checks are NEVER Free!

NEWSFLASH:  “Free” Background Checks are Anything But!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been the recipient of spam emails suggesting that you can get free background checks.  And while there may be aspects of background checks that you can do at no cost, it’s definitely a misnomer.

See, background checking is more than just Googling someone’s information and calling a few people.  It involves strict procedures and processes to get it down correctly.  There are also some rules and regulations when it comes to disclosing what you’ve uncovered, especially if you’re an employer. 

In the end, it’s a “you’ll pay for it now or pay for it later” type of situation.  Sure, you can do some of the background checks “for free” (and that’s not taking into account your time), but you’ll end up needing to go to a third party for some elements of it regardless.

Don’t fall for all the hype.  Instead of being penny wise and pound foolish, hire a reputable background screening organization and sleep well at night knowing that all the proverbial ”i”s have been dotted and “t”s have been crossed.

It’s Time to Start Background Checking Your Volunteers

Schools are doing it.

Churches are doing it.

Nonprofits are doing it.

They’re all background checking volunteers… and it’s probably high time for your organization to do so, too.

Why the sudden movement to ensure that all volunteers can pass at least a simple (if not a comprehensive) background check?  To be perfectly honest, the answer can be traced back to all the negatie press that’s been fluttering about thanks to problems with sexual predators in after-school programs and pedophiles in religious organizations.

Of course, not all criminals prey on children.  Other headlines regularly explain how volunteers have been able to take money from the nonprofits they are seemingly “helping”.  (In all truth, they are simply “helping” themselves to a portion of the proceeds.) 

To protect yourself and everyone in contact with your volunteers, it’s crucial to have a background checking policy in place starting ASAP.  Be prepared to have some people balk at the idea, especially if you ask them to cover the minimal payment associated with doing so.  But know that those who truly support your agency, firm or institution will gladly help you in your endeavor to make it as safe and secure as possible.

Who Is Background Checking Temporary Workers?

It’s no secret that in today’s cyclical business environment, companies often find themselves hiring temporary workers.  Those types of workers include:

  • Seasonal staff members;
  • Persons hired to fill short-term leave (e.g., maternity leave) absences;
  • Individuals brought on to fulfill a special project (e.g., consultants, outsourced graphic designers);
  • People who can fill a position until a permanent worker is found; and
  • Other temporary personnel as needed.

So the question becomes:  Who is background checking those temporary persons being brought into the organization?

In many cases, the answer is “no one”, which is not only unfortunate, but can result in serious problems.

Consider the case of a temporary clerk who is hired by a company that expects to need some extra hands during October, November and December.  If the clerk never undergoes background checking procedures, should anyone be surprised when she turns out to have a less-than-honorable work ethic when it comes to “helping herself” to the till?

Sadly, this happens frequently across the United States and it’s a relatively inexpensive and fast problem to fix.  Background checks through reputable companies like VerifyProtect are done quickly, affordably and conveniently.  And they take a lot of the risk out of hiring people for short-term needs.

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