Why Perform Background Checks?
“Human Resource, Risk Management and Labor Law Experts agree that employers that protect themselves by performing pre-employment background screening save costs and substantially reduce their legal and financial risks. Screening demonstrates due diligence.”
Why use Optima?
The most outstanding benefit we offer our customers is our flexibility. We can set up the ordering process in almost any manner that is convenient for you. That is, if you prefer a central ordering point and even an Internet based automated applicant tracking system, Optimal Intelligence, Inc can provide this for you. We can also offer batch processing in the event that you anticipate sending applications to us in increments of 1,000 or more a month. But if you prefer to set up local or regional ordering points we can do that too at any or all of your local or regional offices throughout the MEXICO Another outstanding benefit that we offer our customers is the fact that we offer monthly fees, and annual contracts! What a novel idea! Our customers can pay through the convenience of either a debit or a credit card. The competition will ask you to pay set up fees but not OGI! AND, when our customers order they know how much they will be charged before they order.
Finally, OGI has considerable experience in solving internal loss; security; shrinkage; and employee theft issues and locating assets to assist in the collection of delinquent accounts for companies such as yours and we are in a position to offer qualified consulting and investigation for any of your offices anywhere in the world on very short notice. Feel free to call upon us for a free consultation at our number: (521) 455-1639 or (422) 317-3918.
Who uses Optima?
We normally respond to this question by saying that any company or individual who wishes to improve the quality, honesty, and integrity of their work force will use OI to screen undesirable applicants. But to be more specific the following industry verticals suggest how individual industries use our services:
- Markets and Industries
- Property Management
- Transportation Industry
- Manufacturing Companies
- Healthcare Industry
- Retail Sales Organizations
Our Core Values:
We know that the quality of professional background screening ultimately depends upon the willingness of practitioners to observe special standards of conduct and to manifest good faith in professional relationships.
In our dealings with customers and applicants we observe the principles of truth, honesty, integrity & compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
We perform our professional duties in accordance with the law and the highest moral principles.
We are faithful and diligent in discharging our professional responsibilities.
We safeguard confidential information and exercise due care to prevent its improper disclosure.
We pledge to preserve and maintain the trust that our clients and applicants have placed in us.
10 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMPANY’S BACKGROUND SCREENING STRATEGY AND PROCEDURES!
- What an employer is legally required to do – While anyone may search public records on anyone they want, the use of a professional screening or investigating company with a trained, experienced staff that knows where to look assures greater thoroughness and accuracy. In addition, background checking is highly regulated. Organizations face many federal and state requirements, and consumers have a full array of mandated rights and remedies. Screening firms can help organizations assure compliance with these requirements. O I does not provide legal advice but does provide legal compliance with all federal and state laws in its reporting practices and procedures.
- Preventive measures to consider – Background checking can supplant an organization’s loss prevention efforts by helping provide a safer environment for employees, volunteers, and others.
- Doctrine of negligent hiring - The tort claim of negligent hiring first appeared nearly a century ago, as an outgrowth of the common law fellow servant rule.1 The fellow servant rule originally shielded an employer from liability when an employee was injured by the negligence or intentional acts of another employee. Eventually, the expansion of tort law led to a redefinition of the fellow servant rule to recognize that employers had an affirmative duty to provide a safe workplace, which included hiring and retaining safe employees.
- Change the application to be specific to the position the employee is applying for - It is important to remember that if your company conducts different background checks for different candidates, the type of background checks conducted should be based on the job position and/or title, not on the basis of any candidate’s individual characteristics. Subjecting applicants for the same job to varying levels of background investigation may give rise to an EEOC complaint, or, even worse, an employment discrimination lawsuit.
- The need for the employer to have a background provider that has access to up-to-date information – A growing trend in screening is the use of commercially compiled databases to supplement the traditional hands-on court research. Known for providing more of a shotgun approach to screening, many of these databases are inexpensive ways to provide a look at an individual’s background. Information provided by commercial databases should not be used as the sole source of information because of potential gaps in data, and the less than timely updates in some jurisdictions. However, they still can give a greater sense of protection to an organization by throwing a broader net across the country’s criminal records. Optimal Intelligence gives you both that are FCRA Compliant.
- The scope of a proper background check - Ask a Human Resources department manager what is on the top of their list of “Things to Avoid;” the likely answer will include negligent hiring charges. Increasingly common (and expensive), this cause of action is generally accepted nationwide. The rationale supporting negligent hiring cases is that an employer is responsible for unlawful or improper acts of its employees when the employer should have known better. As an example, should you hire a convicted child molester to work on the HVAC system in a school, your company could be held liable if that employee – granted access to school children – were to commit a repeat or similar offense. How courts determine that employers “should have known better” is whether a reasonable employer in a similar situation would, or would not, have hired the employee who caused the injury/damage. The “standards” of due diligence vary by industry and by the responsibilities, duties and exposure of a given position. Where no clear rules exist, successful companies should strive to maintain background screening practices that are at least as thorough as other companies in their industry and/or of their size.
- To be aware of state and federal regulations and the changes there to - While emerging industry trends are helpful, there are no definitive legal definitions, nor guidelines relative to how employers should go about investigating their employment applicants’ backgrounds. Most experts merely advise employers to be consistent… and to do a little bit more than their competition does. However, just what is “a little bit more?” Even as employers are conducting more, and more in-depth, background investigations, there are, unfortunately, no “standard” or “basic” background checks. In lieu of formal regulations or recommendations, many employers use an ever-expanding collection of case law to mold their companies’ background checking policies.
- The due diligence standard - Most industry analysts suggest requiring, at a minimum, a Social Security number verification and a criminal record check. Most experts agree that employers should also confirm/verify an applicant’s: 1) identity, 2) education, 3) professional licenses and 4) relevant industry certifications. The issue arises, then, how in-depth should the criminal background check be? As evidenced by recent well publicized cases, an investigation limited to a single county, or even a single state, is usually not enough. It is important to remember that if your company conducts different background checks for different candidates, the type of background checks conducted should be based on the job position and/or title, not on the basis of any candidate’s individual characteristics. Subjecting applicants for the same job to varying levels of background investigation may give rise to an EEOC complaint, or, even worse, an employment discrimination lawsuit.
- The employer’s reasonable investigation duty - Smart employers aim to strike a balance between investigations that are thorough enough to avoid a negligent hiring lawsuit, and those that are timely enough to retain the best candidates. Most industry analysts suggest requiring, at a minimum, a Social Security number verification and a criminal record check. Most experts agree that employers should also confirm/verify an applicant’s: 1) identity, 2) education, 3) professional licenses and 4) relevant industry certifications. The issue arises, then, how in-depth should the criminal background check be? As evidenced by recent well publicized cases, an investigation limited to a single county, or even a single state, is usually not enough.
- What to do after the employee is hired - Keep records of all background check information in the employee’s permanent personnel file. Optimal Intelligence, Inc maintains its customers background reviews in its archives indefinitely for their immediate access. Maintain the confidentiality of all information obtained through background checks. Many employers who are concerned about maintaining the quality of their work force will conduct periodic background updates on their employees to insure that nothing has changed and the employees continue to be “fit for duty”.