All employers that operate in the United States are familiar with the I-9 form. In fact, most employees know how important this document is, too. This is because every employee of every business in the U.S. is legally required to complete this form. As a result, the collection, management and storage of these forms is a big task for large corporations. But an even bigger task is verifying the information provided by employees on the form.
In recent years, electronic completion and processing of I-9’s has been approved. Now, streamlined technology is simplifying this procedure for businesses throughout the U.S.
How to Process the I-9 Form
The I-9 form identifies an individual’s work status. Those who are able to apply for employment include citizens, noncitizen nationals, permanent residents, and lawful aliens permitted to work.
In order for a prospective hire to be considered for a position, he or she needs to offer one or more “documents that establish both identity and employment authorization.” These documents can include a passport, permanent resident card or employment authorization with photograph.
It is the employee’s responsibility to have and present these documents, but it is the employer’s job to make sure the I-9 form is filled out correctly and filed in a way that is easy to access.
The Employer’s Responsibility
People are often surprised to learn that the I-9 form is not submitted directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Instead, it is retained by the employer and needs to be accessible should the USCIS choose to audit the organization or request information on an individual. Therefore, companies are wise to secure accurate information from employees and file these documents efficiently.
Technology Simplifies the Process and Increases Accuracy
Before 2005, it was not permissible for I-9 forms to be completed and stored electronically. With this allowance, technology became a key component in simplifying management and storage of these documents. It also led to increased accuracy in background checks.
Sterling Infosystems uses a streamlined process that enables companies to seamlessly collect, manage and store I-9 forms. The technology organizes and formats information in such a way that these documents can be used for background screenings at the time of filing or in the future.
Tapping into the Sterling network also allows companies to verify individual employment statuses. This gives a company peace of mind as to USCIS compliance. After all, having the information on hand is one thing, but knowing it is accurate is another.
Internally processing I-9 forms and verifying information is a big responsibility. Technology not only simplifies the task, but it can bring about additional benefits as well. It saves money and reduces the real estate needed to house physical filing systems, cutting down on the storage space a company requires. In addition, document errors are caught quickly and can be corrected electronically. Above all, technology makes it simple for job candidates to sign documents.
Sterling Infosystems offers advanced technology that accelerates the hiring process and enables employees to get to work quickly.
The world of medicine is changing. Medical insurance is the latest addition to a long list of evolving trends, but other foundational shifts are occurring as well. For instance, corner store retailers are promoting onsite medical care.
Gone are the days of people having to schedule appointments to get examinations. Today, it is possible to go to a local drug store and receive a medical checkup. This new trend is projected to grow quickly in the coming years. In fact, Forbes reports that Walgreens plans to offer “management of chronic conditions” soon.
Most retailers are currently staffed with nurse practitioners, but this may change as the concept of onsite medical care expands. As a result, the demand for medical practitioners could skyrocket. Are retailers prepared to hire nurses, doctors and medical practitioners?
Retail Stores Prepare to Hire Medical and Nurse Practitioners
Conducting interviews of part-time employees is one thing, but ensuring the safety of patrons by confirming medical examiner certifications is another. In the coming years, retail stores will need to investigate the educations and professional certifications of many staff members, as well as conduct thorough background checks. Is the world of retail medicine ready for this?
Medical Care in High Demand
The long-awaited Baby Boomer retirement era is here. For years, there has been buzz about job security in most medical occupations. It seems that with changes to the world of medicine, there is an even greater push for hiring medical and nurse practitioners. But as the consumer side of medicine changes, is the world of medical education able to keep up? Are certifications and other records being maintained and kept in compliance with changing standards? It is hard to say without conducting in-depth reviews of current education programs, certification paths and records systems.
Safety is Premier
Big retailers have deep pockets and should be able to come up with hiring procedures and employment policies that remain compliant with healthcare laws. Still, all eyes are on this in-demand hiring market. Whenever there are jobs opportunities, there are opportunities for deception. For instance, false claims and forgery of medical certifications may increase, as this type of fraud is a consequence of any in-demand occupation. At the end of the day, companies need to be mindful of the fact that people are entrusting their well-beings to these practitioners.
Background Checks for the Healthcare Industry
It is critical that companies be prepared to dive into the world of medicine by having trustworthy and capable medical professionals on staff. Complete background checks will be necessary for every employee. Considering the number of people who will need to be hired, and the quality of pre-employment screenings that will have to be conducted, companies would be well-advised to entrust this responsibility to professionals.
Sterling Infosystems is a global background check service provider. Partnering with employers of all sizes, Sterling helps to ensure medical examiner certifications are active, valid and complaint.
Healthy employees are happy employees. Maintaining clean workspaces, encouraging lively work atmospheres and providing complimentary hand-sanitizer (which may lessen the inevitable spread of the office cold) are good practices. Depending on a company’s particular industry of operation, medical testing may be part of maintaining a healthy workspace.
There are a number of positions that require applicants and longstanding employees to pass medical qualification exams. These evaluations reveal whether or not a prospective employee is capable of performing certain job functions without harming themselves or putting others at risk.
Medical qualification exams differ from drug screenings. Not every employee will be asked to complete a medical qualification exam. There are, however, three tests given for some common roles. The tests include:
- Medical examiner certifications
- Fitness-for-duty physicals
- Infectious disease testing
Without the appropriate test, an employee may be considered unfit to fulfil his or her position. And because the tests are often mandated by law, companies that don’t conduct them assume greater risk. To avoid introducing hazard to an otherwise happy workplace, companies need to understand who needs to take these medical qualification exams and why.
Medical Examiner Certifications
Commercial vehicle operators, pilots and merchant mariners need to have certificates completed by registered medical examiners. These particular certificates state that an individual has been evaluated based on the standards of the Department of Transportation (and branches thereof). The physical exam and bill of health clears an individual to continue transporting passengers.
Not every job requires a fitness-for-duty physical prior to employment, but this medical qualification exam can become necessary at any time. This medical exam is often given post-injury, to ensure a person has fully recovered before returning to work. The physical will confirm whether the employee has returned to full health and is able to perform all job functions.
Infectious Disease Testing
In some work environments infectious diseases could easily be spread, and so, by law, they need to be tested for. Employees and potential job candidates may be required to have bodily fluid tests and lab work done before starting a new job or returning to work after injury. This is to protect other individuals within the workplace and the people served by the company.
Some people oppose combining work and health issues. In particular environments, however, proper medical exams are necessary to protect the well-being of colleagues and patrons, in addition to keeping the company in compliance with laws and industry standards. While most employees understand the importance of such tests and are happy to oblige, it is still ideal for companies to have in place a systematic approach to medical qualifications exams. This can ensure compliance and raise a company’s confidence that its workforce is equipped to function. Sterling Infosystems offers pre-employment screenings to a global client base and offers assistance with medical qualifications exams as well.
A number of adults are highly functional despite alcohol misuse and substance abuse. Many of those who are in the grip of addiction do not recognize their need for help. After all, they show up for work each day and accomplish tasks in timely manners. Nevertheless, potential risks of related behaviors may occur at the employer’s expense.
Companies assume risks in a number of ways, but a very real and largely recognized risk is employing people who abuse substances. In a work environment, this may reveal itself in a slower pace of production, increased amount of errors, lower degree of judgement, and filing more workers compensation claims.
Nevertheless, until an individual identifies that he or she is ready to receive help, a company is responsible for containing the behavioral challenges that come with employing a person in need of recovery.
By knowing and understanding the importance of a drug-free workplace (DFWP), a company can enact policies that protect it from being liable under these circumstances. Ultimately, the best way to protect the purpose of these bylaws is to make drug-tests a mandatory part of the hiring process. Also, be equipped to maintain a drug-free workplace once employees are situated in their positions.
Being proactive in regulating a drug-free work environment lessens the chances a company will have to pay for an employee’s poor judgement.
The Importance of a Drug-Free Environment
Hiring employees who abuse substances or use recreational drugs increases the amount of risk a company assumes. It is vital that an employer protect its best interests by establishing and maintaining a drug-free environment. Sterling Infosystems reports that “according to industry figures, more than 3 in 4 substance abusers are employed.” This means the majority of companies are prone to high levels of risk.
Substance abusers may hinder a company’s pace of production, make more errors than sober employees, cause accidents (some which may result in workers compensation claims), and increasingly threaten a company’s safety.
A popular approach to establishing a drug-free work environment is to make drug tests a prerequisite of employment. To ensure these tests produce trustworthy information, they need to be conducting by a reputable third party.
Maintaining a Drug-Free Environment
Even when putting forth preventative efforts, it is still important that a company develop a policy pertaining to this matter. Random testing is one way to enforce policies. In addition, it is important to educate employees and raise awareness of signs and symptoms involved with substance abuse and alcohol misuse.
A safe work environment is a drug-free work environment. Ensuring this type setting is a high priority among businesses. Considering the many components of establishing and maintaining a drug-free environment can be a full time job. But securing workplaces is what Sterling Infosystems does best. Trust the global background check service provider to assist with quick and convenient drug testing and ensure a company has complaint DFWP management. With Sterling Infosystems, a company can get the help they need and help employees stay clean.
Pre-employment screenings can lessen a company’s risk when hiring drivers.
Transportation is a large part of both product-based companies and services. A company’s best interests are protected when an employee has a full background screening before getting behind the wheel. In this scenario, it is crucial to have a trustworthy motor vehicle search conducted.
The Importance of a Motor Vehicle Records Search
The Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) search is an intricate process. There are many aspects of driving that need to be reviewed thoroughly. Also, driving laws are different in every state. This adds complexity to the review process.
Companies that hire vehicle operators need to ensure pre-employment screenings are aboveboard with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Department of Transportation (DOT).
A MVR search conducted by Sterling Infosystems is compliant in its retrieval of information that proves the status of an operator’s driving privileges. Reviewing civilian and commercial driving records can confirm a driver’s background and raise a company’s confidence about its hiring decisions.
Motor Vehicle Records Search Points of Review
- Driving Restrictions
Judge rulings or administrative hearings can result in restricted driving privileges. There are many reasons why this occurs. It may be because of a driving violation; use of medication that hinders safe driving; a diagnosis of temporary blindness or more.
- Expiration Date
A driver’s license needs to be renewed every few years, depending on the state where it is issued. It is the responsibility of a civilian driver to update his or her license and commercial driving license on time.
- License Type and Class
There are different classifications of driver’s licenses. It is likely that employees who drive company vehicles need to have up-to-date commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). In a pre-employment screening, a CDL with an A, B, or C class may be considered.
Some drivers have been responsible for transporting groups of passengers. If this is the case, a driver should obtain a valid license endorsement.
- Suspensions or Revocations
When a person experiences a revocation, his or her license can only be reinstated after reapplying to the appropriate state department. There is no guarantee that a person will regain driving privileges after making this request. All the while, a suspension results in the license being reissued upon payment of reinstatement fees.
There are many types of driving violations. A pre-employment screening may reveal arrests, tickets, and warnings that were issued on the road.
- Accidents and DUIs
If ever a job candidate has been in an accident or pulled over for a DUI, this information may be brought up in a background check.
Understanding the breadth of the Motor Vehicle Records check reinforces the seriousness of its accuracy. This type of screening includes important areas of research that are not accessible elsewhere.
In some cases, companies require Motor Vehicle Records screenings regardless of driving obligations. This is because DUI and other criminal convictions are not always listed in state files, but may be brought to light through MVR searches.
Sterling offers reassurance to companies that are liable for vehicle operators. The global background check service provider understands the intricacies of complete background checks. With reliable MVR searches, Sterling strives to protect companies and keep the roads safe.
Borrowing money is a privilege. It implies a person is disciplined and responsible. In recent years, it seems this concept has been misconstrued. Consequences have resulted in many people assuming large amounts of debt. Also, some individuals have gone to great lengths to secure money by manipulating company insurance policies. This is why, when it is possible, companies consider reviewing job candidate credit reports and compensation claims.
Sterling Infosystems wants to help companies maintain high levels of integrity. This involves hiring employees who have honest intentions. The global background check service provider fulfills this mission by being FCRA compliant when reviewing credit reports and workers compensation claims.
Fair Credit Reporting
There is a debate going around about the use of credit reports in the hiring process. Sterling Infosystems believes this is an excellent resource to use when seeking responsible, diligent, ethical employees.
Personal spending habits ought to be weighted heavily when an individual is being considered for a position where he or she handles money. Even if money does not exchange hands, a company’s confidence is raised just by knowing its workers know the value of a dollar.
Conducting credit reports as part of background checks is more than an assessment. It is a thorough approach to pre-employment screenings. These types of evaluations also reveal if a job candidate has records under alternative names (like maiden names, nick names, or aliases). Ultimately, this information improves the quality of criminal conviction reports and sex offender searches.
Once this valuable material is in a company’s possession they can decide how to move forward appropriately. Sterling Infosystems continues to remain part of the process as they guide clients in making decisions that are compliant with FCRA standards.
Workers Compensation History
Another area of financial concern is workers compensation history. Insurance premiums are expensive right now. An employee who takes advantage of workers compensation can cost a company a lot of money down the road. Even though there is no way to foresee this happening, past behaviors may be telling.
The sole purpose of these reports is to evaluate patterns of abuse concerning workers compensation claims. Laws are put in place to protect these background checks from being used for discrimination. When available, these records must uphold the Americans with Disabilities act. This is why it is critical for companies to team up with the most trusted name in global background checks. Sterling Infosystems ensures all policies are reviewed before workers compensation history is considered.
Separating personal affairs and work is ideal but not practical. An individual’s habits, both good and bad, seep into his or her work environment. When it comes to money management, it is important to be protected from a job candidate’s bad habits. If credit history and workers compensation records are available, a company is wise to incorporate this review into a complete background check report. Sterling guides companies through this process, ensuring the use of sensitive, yet pertinent information, is ethical and effective.
Why is honesty hard to come by in the age of transparency? People publish a lot of details about themselves online, but much of this is thought to be falsified information. Still, there are many honest people in the world. These are the individuals who companies want to employ. In order to find ideal workers, Sterling Infosystems offers extensive employment verification options.
Teaming up with the most trusted name in global background checks can increase chances of hiring trustworthy employees. Sterling combines state-of-the-art technology and personal interviews to inspect and evaluate a job candidate’s claims and references.
Time is everything when confirming the validity of an applicant’s résumé. To provide quick turn-around, Sterling uses Screening Direct. This is an exclusive online program that allows the background check service provider to securely access pertinent information. Ethical retrieval and commitments to compliance are high priorities for Sterling Infosystems
Personal Interviews with Unique Questions
In addition to advanced technology, Sterling trusts the cooperation of unique, personal interviews. Rather than employers taking time to follow up with references, Sterling offers to take the lead with this effort. Thorough assessments are based on a hiring company’s distinct questions or picked from a variety of prompts programmed by Sterling.
Often times, these interviews are in addition to verifying other claims like military employment, driving history, and achievements in education.
Military Employment Verification
It is important to hold claims of military employment with high regard. Using the Military Record Repository, Sterling confirms what branch of military the job candidate served with and his or her dates of service. Furthermore, Sterling goes the extra mile to connect directly with a VA hospital or request a DD214 form. All verification requests are respectfully pursued when confirming military employment and other credentials.
When a company requires its employees to operate vehicles on the job, it is important for an applicant to prove he or she has the proper license and classification. This person can also expect a full background review of driving records. In addition, an interview may be useful in getting to know personal measures of vehicle safety. If applicable, past accidents and substance abuse history may be considered as well. These questions are compliant with Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines and Sterling’s ethical standards.
The most common questions companies ask pertain to education. When a candidate lists high school and university accomplishments, as well as advanced study programs, Sterling Infosystems can be trusted to verify the information. The global background check service provider will produce specific details like dates of attendance, areas of concentration, degrees earned, and additional credentials or awards.
Personal and Professional Reference Check
Most companies request that applicants submit personal and professional references. Sterling connects with these contacts and uses standard and circumstantial interview questions to retrieve valuable information. Viewing the volunteered reports through subjective lenses makes it possible to gain accurate details.
In an ideal world, every person would claim true information on applications and résumés. Unfortunately, this dream belongs to those who see the world through rose colored lenses. Instead, team up with Sterling Infosystems to verify the credentials of all job candidates. Hire honest employees and make it possible to maintain a transparent workforce.
Perhaps your company has its sights set on global expansion as a growth strategy. Or perhaps you find yourself hiring an increasing number of foreign nationals to work in the U.S. Either way, you’re part a growing segment of HR professionals who must hire foreign nationals.
Beyond the challenge of identifying the right candidates, you also have to ensure that your background screening program is up to the “global” challenge. A good place to start is by understanding some best practices in international background checking.
Every international background check is unique, because, of course, every country has distinct laws, cultures, political climates, established governments and regulations. While many Western countries can provide records on candidates, their restrictions on data privacy and data collection can hamper information sharing. In other parts of the world, poor data collection, inconsistent reporting, fragile infrastructures and geopolitical instability can make it extremely difficult to find reliable information.
So where do you begin? And how can you build a screening program that consistently supports your hiring standards?
Here’s a good start: Terry Corley, Director, Global Background Screening for Sterling Infosystems, will present a 60 minute Webinar: Myths and Mayhems of Global Background Screening. You’ll hear about some key topics, including:
- The potential challenges in implementing global background screening programs
- The most common types of international background checks
- The type and scope of background checks to conduct on overseas candidates
- Seven key steps for implementing a culturally adapted, legally compliant background check program
When you are trying to hire the best candidates and protect your organization and its brand, it’s critical to screen all applicants, regardless of where the search is conducted.
For more information about the webcast, Myths or Mayhems of Global Background Screening, click here.
The hourly workforce is rapidly growing and is now 60 percent of the American workforce. According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 13.1 million employees in the restaurant industry alone – and that comprises just a small segment of the hourly population. The math is staggering. Considering that only 1 out of 10 people who apply for a job are hired, managers must sift through 739 million applications each year to find the best-fit candidates and to keep up with triple-digit turnover.
And if those numbers aren’t impressive enough, part-time hourly jobs are on the rise with the onset of the Affordable Care Act. The employer mandate requires that employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees offer insurance or pay fines for employees who work 30+ hours per week. This is driving employers to increase their hourly part-time staff. According to the Wall Street Journal, part-time workers hired per month grew from 31,000 in 2012 to 93,000 in 2013.
What does this mean? For most businesses, it means you are likely to hire more hourly workers than in previous years. Here are a few tips to help you stay compliant and competitive in the market for top hourly talent.
1. Know your responsibilities for I-9 compliance. I-9 E-Verification is required on all Federal contract work. Also, 17 states require it for some or all types of employment. E-Verify policies change regularly and for each and every new hire, you must meet your I-9 requirements. To help you stay compliant, some HR solutions are connected to the government’s E-Verify site as certified partners and can help automate the process.
2. Expect high turnover rates. Be prepared to hire frequently due to high employee turnover. Being able to quickly hire and onboard new employees is a must. Consider screening employees using tools like personality assessments to help drive down turnover by finding the right person for the job the first time.
3. Go social. In today’s technology-driven world, employees and job applicants expect to interact with your company online. A recent Bullhorn Reach report shows 97 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn while only 22 percent use Facebook. Considering that LinkedIn’s primary market is the white-collar workforce, such as IT, Finance and Healthcare, you are more likely to find and engage the hourly workforce on Facebook. Use creative content, Facebook apps and well-timed posts to reach your audience. Some talent management software providers offer a Facebook app to lead applicants directly into the online application.
4. Take advantage of tax credits. Are you collecting all your government-sponsored tax credits? With 20 percent of hourly workers qualifying for a tax credit value of up to $9,600 per new hire — and an average tax credit of $1,200 — the savings can add up quickly. In return, you can put the money saved back into other resources you need.
5. Pay attention to the schedule. With the hourly workforce, schedules rarely go as planned. No-shows, sick employees and last-minute shift changes can wreak havoc on well-prepared schedules. Remaining compliant with ACA regulations and thresholds relies heavily on the amount of hours an employee works weekly. Using an online scheduling system can help you easily monitor hours, manage schedule changes and stay within regulations.
By: Ginny Drinker, Director of Strategic Alliances for PeopleMatter
Ginny joined PeopleMatter in 2012. She has more than 10 years of experience in strategic business development and 5 years experience in the Human Resources SaaS industry. She is responsible for strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions and works closely with the Senior Management Team to drive the success of corporate goals and initiatives.
5 Ways to Host Productive Workplace Conversations
Colleagues and employees host purposeful conversations, but are these exchanges always productive? Sometimes meetings lack a sense of productivity that the workplace depends on. In conducting difficult workplace conversations, productivity is required.
When approaching these talks, there are five ways to ensure a conversation is productive. While every discussion should have a purpose, an ideal end-in-mind, and action steps to close, there are some additional guidelines that can increase the success of difficult workplace conversations.
1. Establish Trust by Remaining Professional
A unique benefit derived from difficult workplace conversations is trust. By going into the conversation with competence, integrity, deliberate intent, and thoughtfulness for the other person, a platform can be established on which trust can grow. Even if a sense of trust does not exist before an exchange, it has a strong chance of growing after the fact.
2. Make the Employee Part of the Solution
Making an employee part of the solution encourages him or her to take ownership of future actions. Let the individual know that his or her input increases the value of the solution. To act on this, be sure the person has freedom to generate and capture ideas. This is possible by allowing a few days for the individual to think on the assignment. Shortly thereafter, check in again and offer immediate feedback on his or her ideas.
3. Encourage Honesty
When confronted with a difficult conversation, many people are tempted to be dishonest. But if an individual acts on this urge it may be near impossible to reach a solution. Promote honesty by making the employee feel comfortable. Let him or her know that working through a situation is probable when both parties are upfront and honest. Dishonesty, on the other hand, is unacceptable and an inhibitor of building trust.
4. Stick to the Facts
With the facts at hand, both parties can begin a conversation on the same page. This is an objective approach to discussing sensitive issues. It involves the immediate facts that result from incident reports, company rulebooks, and (at appropriate times) witness accounts. Sticking to the facts keeps unproductive emotions at bay and accelerates the progress of conversation.
5. Avoid Threats
When approaching the resolve, it may be tempting to speed up the conversation by closing with an ultimatum. But does fear-based leadership ever work? Threats may have good results at start, but they quickly lose momentum. An employee will not remain motivated by threats. For longstanding results and consistent improvement, offer incentives instead.
While it is impossible to predict the outcome of a conversation, utilizing healthy communication skills can help to ensure a positive resolve. Before heading into these types of discussions, be equipped with tools to ensure both parties leave feeling encouraged and knowledgeable about next steps. Being prepared in these ways may increase the chances of conducting productive workplace conversations. It may also bring about surprising outcomes that surpass expectations.