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Tuesday, December 31 2019
Why Volunteer Screening Is Key to the Health of Your Non-Profit

You’ve heard about employment background checks. Chances are you’re familiar with employment verification services as well.

 

But say you work at a non-profit. You likely manage a group of volunteers in addition to your staff. Are you screening everyone to the extent that you should be?

 

Protect Your Organization, Protect the People You Serve

Many organizations view volunteers as entirely different from their employees. These people are donating their time to assist your organization. Clearly they have only the best intentions, right?

 

Not necessarily.

 

No matter the nature of your organization, not-for-profit entities in Texas and across the United States must screen their volunteers. This is particularly critical for non-profits and charities whose volunteers work with children, the elderly, and the disabled.

 

You want to make sure vulnerable populations are protected—and the general public, for that matter. Plus, you’ll want to do your due diligence in order to limit your own liability. Since many volunteers work in the same capacity as employees, they ought to be held to the same standard. This means sufficient screening is key.

 

How Does Volunteer Screening Work?

Volunteer screening is meant to safeguard the client’s reputation. Non-profits should invest in this service to prevent assault, fraud, child abuse, and other criminal exposure.

 

How so? Most volunteer screening programs can be customized to protect your group and the people you serve. At Redstar Backgrounds, our solutions include:

 

  • Direct Portal Entry

Organizations can screen their volunteers directly from their work station, and background checks are conducted through an online portal. This solution is ideal for organizations tasked with screening smaller groups of volunteers. 

 

  • Keyed Applicant Request

By sending the volunteer a link key, organizations can have the user input their own information. The volunteer can then complete the screening on their own time.

 

  • Custom Volunteer Screening Platform

Organizations also have the option to invest in a personalized volunteer screening platform. Our team, for instance, can develop a landing page for your volunteer program. This system is ideal for large organizations screening sizeable groups of volunteers.

 

Compliance with local, state, and federal regulations is critical to your screening environment. Here at Redstar, we ensure complete and total compliance—including with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

 

What Are the Benefits of Volunteer Screening?

Non-profits that rely on federal or state funding are often required to complete background screening on their volunteers. The way you go about this process, however, depends on your needs and the size of your organization.

 

Generally, the right volunteer screening program will dive deep into the individual’s criminal history, driving history, and overall background. Drug testing and verification services are also available to adequately screen volunteers.

 

These services can help to:

 

  • Protect Your Organization

A solid reputation in your community or industry can drive support—both financial support and positive word-of-mouth. As such, volunteer screening can safeguard your standing as an organization that does real, tangible good. The right program will prevent volunteers with a criminal past or faulty driving history from getting involved in the first place.

 

  • Discourage Ill-Intentioned Volunteers

While most prospective volunteers are acting in good faith, there are risks involved in onboarding a new person. Fortunately, volunteer screening is often enough to keep people with questionable motives at bay. 

 

Here at Redstar Backgrounds, we want nothing more than for your volunteers and the people you serve to thrive. This is why it’s so important to perform background screening on your volunteers. If you are interested in exploring volunteer screening for your non-profit or charity organization, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Posted by: Maddie Cohen AT 03:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, December 23 2019
Should Your Texas Company Invest in Employee Drug Testing?

Perhaps your organization uses drug screening during the hiring process. Maybe you administer drug tests for current employees. No matter the nature of your drug screening program (or lack thereof), the right solution can be a real asset to your company.

 

Drug Testing Can Help Protect Your Business

Data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that 10.6% of full-time employees and 13.2% of part-time employees above the age of 18 reported using illicit drugs in the last 30 days. This type of behavior leads to significant liability that can be avoided with the right program.

 

So, here are some key reasons why your Texas company should invest in employee drug testing:

 

  • Promote Employee and Community Safety

A curated drug screening program can protect your staff, your workplace, and the community at large. Drug and alcohol users risk hurting themselves and others on the job—and you wouldn’t want to onboard someone who may well be a safety risk. Potential incidents range from driving under the influence to creating a product while impaired, and the consequences aren’t pretty.

 

This is where we come in. Redstar Backgrounds can put together a custom drug testing program that will allow you to increase workplace safety based on your exact needs. Together, we can work to reduce injury and liability.

 

  • Safeguard Your Reputation and Prevent Lawsuits

Of course you wouldn’t want to incur legal damages due to an employee’s drug or alcohol use. Preventing lawsuits is key here. In this same vein, you should also work hard to protect your business reputation. This means screening applicants for drugs and incorporating periodic employee drug testing into your company policy.

 

Why is this so important? Consider the following: If a claims investigation shows an employee was using drugs on the job, your brand image could suffer. You don’t want to be known for creating defective products, performing subpar services, or failing to meet customer and investor standards. This is where our solutions can help.

 

  • Save Money and Minimize Long-Term Costs

Looking to eliminate medical expenses, overwhelming lawsuits, and accident-related costs within your company? You can avoid expensive injury claims by implementing a drug testing program.

 

By screening for candidates who use drugs, you’ll also save money on health insurance and other benefits. This is because these individuals generally require more care. Even worker’s compensation includes a clause stating that employers who drug test their employees will not be on the hook if drug use ends up being a factor in a staff member’s injury.

 

Start Drug Testing Your Employees and Applicants Today

 

Alcohol and drug abuse can cost Texas companies a great deal of money. Additional consequences include lost productivity, absenteeism, workplace injury, poor decision-making, low employee morale, and extended liabilities.

 

Surely you want to mitigate these risks. Whether you’re looking to have your current drug screening program evaluated or hoping to implement a new one entirely, Redstar Backgrounds is here to help. Our clients enjoy a full spectrum of drug screening services, including:

 

  • Paperless drug screening
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing
  • Random drug and alcohol testing
  • Onsite drug screening
  • Drug screening kits including saliva and urine

 

Drug screening has become increasingly critical to the background check process. Then, once the candidate has been hired, drug testing remains equally important. Current estimates show that roughly 40% of U.S. employees are subjected to drug tests.

 

If this service sounds like something your organization could benefit from, we’ll guide you through the next steps. Redstar Backgrounds works with clients in San Antonio, throughout Texas, and across the country. We take pride in creating custom programs tailored to each company’s needs. Please contact us for details.

Posted by: Ryan J. McClure AT 06:12 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, December 17 2019
The Importance of Employment Verification Services

The candidate you’re considering has passed their criminal background check. They exceeded your expectations during their interview, and it seems like they could be a great fit.

 

Now they are one step closer to becoming your company’s newest hire—but you’ve still got work to do. Your Texas company will want to verify the applicant’s employment, education, licensure, and other details. This will help to ensure the candidate is truthful and well-qualified.

 

What Is Employment Verification?

Employment verification is a service that allows employers to verify the information a candidate has reported with actual information furnished by a background screening company.

 

This service can confirm key employment information such as:

 

  • Job start and end dates
  • Positions and job duties
  • Eligibility for rehire

 

While you may want to spearhead your own company employment verification program, outsourcing this service can save you a great deal of time and stress. At Redstar Backgrounds, we know the ins and outs of the industry, and we can help you navigate the verification process.

 

For instance, it’s important to be aware of the fact that employers must get permission from the candidate before conducting employment verification. Applicants absolutely have the right to deny permission to contact a previous employer, although they may still need to furnish paystubs, W-2 forms, and other tax documents.

 

Similarly, if one of the candidate’s prior employers is no longer in business, background screening companies like Redstar can take over the verification process. Even the more complex parts of this service are within our expertise.

 

Why Are Employment Verification Services Important?

Employment verification services are essential. They can help to identify dishonest candidates, confirm the applicant’s work history, and ensure your Texas company is making a solid hiring decision. Exploring the candidate’s work history can also provide important insights into their career stability.

 

Additional reasons employment verification is so important:

 

  • Employers can be held liable if they don’t use what is known as “reasonable care” in their hiring process. This means the company must do its due diligence in screening candidates for truthfulness, licensure, and other factors. Put simply, without adequately vetting your applicants, your business could run into legal trouble.

 

  • 86% of HireRight Benchmarking Report respondents revealed that employment verification uncovered candidates who lied on or embellished their resumes and applications. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor stated the average cost of a poor hiring decision is up to 30% of the candidate’s first-year earnings. Why not invest in a service that can protect your company?

 

  • Third-party employment verification services are secure and generally include software that will protect the candidate’s personal information. This brings peace of mind to both the hiring organization and the applicant.

 

These are just some of factors that make employment verification appealing. Some clients choose to verify five years of their candidates’ employment history, while others only vet the last two years. Your company can decide what’s best for you, and we’ll take care of the rest.

 

What Other Verification Services Should You Consider?

Employment verification isn’t the only type of verification service your business should consider using. When screening candidates, you may also want to look into education verification, professional license verification, and even reference verification.

 

Hiring is one of the most critical decisions you can make, and failure to carefully vet applicants can lead to a number of challenges down the road. Regardless of the verification services you choose, screening your potential employees can do your organization a world of good.

 

Are you interested in learning more about the verification services at Redstar Backgrounds? Please contact us for details.

Posted by: Maddie Cohen AT 01:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, December 08 2019
What Should Employers Look for When Conducting Background Checks?

So your Texas company is looking to fill a position. You’re excited about some of the people who have applied to your organization, but you also recognize these candidates present various risks. At this early stage of the hiring process, you must absolutely do your due diligence.

This is why background checks are so important. Pre-employment screening should play a central role in your on-boarding process—and you should know exactly what to look for when conducting background checks.

Background Checks in South Central Texas

Redstar Backgrounds completes background checks and related services for organizations in San Antonio, south central Texas, and nationwide. Our expert staff have over three decades’ industry experience, and we consistently put customer satisfaction at the forefront of what we do.

With that, here are several categories to focus on when conducting pre-employment background checks:

·     Criminal Records

When completing a background check on a potential employee, criminal records are likely the first thing that come to mind. By completing a criminal records check, you can scour state, county, and even national or international databases for the applicant’s criminal history. You can easily determine whether they have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, and you can confirm they aren’t wanted for any crimes.

The benefits of criminal records checks are extensive. Employers will know exactly what they’re getting into, helping to reduce workplace hazards and overall liability as a result. Criminal records checks, some might argue, are an ideal place to start when completing pre-employment screening.

·     Motor Vehicle Records

Driver’s license and motor vehicle records checks are also essential to the pre-employment screening process. Specifically, they bring safety and transparency to the workplace.

These checks are especially important for candidates who would be driving on the job, including those entrusted with a company vehicle and those receiving a company allowance on a vehicle. This group of individuals also includes chauffeurs, limousine drivers, taxi drivers, and commercial drivers.

Ultimately, any applicant who would be driving as part of their role should have a motor vehicle records check run. These records checks review information such as the applicant’s license type and class, any restrictions or expiration dates that might be relevant, and other information. Suspensions, revocations, citations, and accidents will come up as well. As an employer, you’ll almost certainly want to look into this for your peace of mind.

·     Employment, Education, Licensure, and Reference Verification

In addition to reviewing the candidate’s criminal and driving history, you’ll want to incorporate verification screening into your background checks. This will allow your company to focus on only the most truthful, qualified applicants.

What do verification services entail? You can mitigate the risk of on-boarding the wrong staff by verifying each applicant’s employment history, references, salary, and eligibility for rehire. Educationally speaking, you might verify the candidate’s academic background and highest degree completed.

Personal and professional references, meanwhile, can be verified to confirm the applicant’s character, abilities, and general skillset.

Then there are professional license verification services, which involve reaching out to the board or institution that issued a specific license. This will help to ensure the candidate is well-qualified and current on the credentials they need to excel on the job.

The Verdict on Pre-Employment Background Screening

Whether you are located in San Antonio, elsewhere in Texas, or out of state, background checks will help your company hire the best possible employees for your needs. Screening for the above items can save your organization time, money, and hassle in the long term.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to learn more about how Redstar Backgrounds can oversee your pre-employment screening needs. 

Posted by: Ryan J. McClure AT 04:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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