Blog

 
     

Virginia City with Sketchy Hiring History Vows Improved Background Check Policies

By Michael Klazema on 1/31/2014

Richmond, Virginia may be a state capital city, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more immune to unsavory hiring decisions than any other employment entity in the country. Last week, a female employee with Richmond’s Department of Utilities – resigned from her position in city government when it came out that she was being accused of corruption by the United States Attorney’s Office. The indictment came in regards to her former post at the Georgia Department of Defense, where she allegedly accepted bribes and kickbacks to help certain companies land government contracts.

This incident comes just seven months after the former Richmond Finance Director resigned from his government post under similar circumstances. His background check was clean and essentially approved him for the job, but a local news reporter did some digging and found a piece of information the background screening process had missed, like the fact that he had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. His controversial departure was headline news, but it also wasn’t the first time Richmond had hired an employee only to have them depart shortly thereafter when some new piece of information was discovered about their background. In fact, Richmond has become infamous in the background screening industry for these types of sketchy and questionable hires.

After this latest resignation, however, the city has decided to finally delve into the root of the problem: the scope of the background checks themselves. Numerous city council members and management employees have expressed concern about Richmond’s growing reputation for employee turnover and controversy. Right now, the city requires all employees to undergo a basic criminal background check, as well as three reference checks.

However, when speaking to a local CBS affiliate about the woman's departure, councilman Jon Baliles raised the question of whether or not the city might want to start looking beyond simple criminal investigations to form a better portrait of potential employees. For instance, while the latest employee had no criminal record, she did have a few skeletons in her closet – most notably a mandate from the Department of Administrative Services that banned her from doing business in Georgia for an 18-month period. That information didn’t come up in the current pre-employment criminal background check, but might have been uncovered by an Internet search or even by a past employment verification check, such as the one offered through backgroundchecks.com. By looking deeper into an applicant’s resume, the city of Richmond might be able to learn a bit more about where they’ve been and what they might do in the future.

Sources: http://wtvr.com/2014/01/27/city-says-background-checks-have-improved-after-questionable-hires/


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • June 20 Repeat background checks are becoming more common, with companies in India leading the charge. What does this trend look like, and how can employers embrace it now to stay ahead of the curve?
  • June 19

    Every federal job involves a background check of some kind. These background checks and how they are evaluated vary based on job, department, and security clearance level.


  • June 18

  • June 14 Ban the box laws aim to improve opportunities for employment. Could they have the opposite effect instead?
  • June 13 Jacobs Petroleum Products is a regional petroleum company that operates throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Maryland. Apart from their employees carrying much responsibility and have frequent contact with customers, the company’s hiring also tends to be segmented since individual store managers are responsible for hiring talent for their own stores. In this employment landscape, Jacobs Petroleum Products needed a reliable and effective way to screen its new hires for criminal infractions and other red flags.
  • June 12

    The University of Wisconsin System may tweak its hiring and reference check processes. The potential changes come after one of UW’s assistant deans was accused of sexual harassment.


  • June 07 Stories of abuse by coaches in youth sports leagues continue to crop up around the country, but rules and guidelines remain patchy and enforcement is often lacking. The struggle to implement an effective system continues nationwide.
  • June 07 Financial background checks, usually referred to as credit history checks, can be an effective way to find out if a candidate is fit to handle accounts, financial data, and other assets at your business.
  • June 06 The Society for Human Resource Management and the Charles Koch Institute recently commissioned a survey to find out how willing employers were to hire people with criminal records. The study indicates that managers, HR professionals, and employees themselves are becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring and working with ex-offenders.
  • June 04 Are fingerprint background checks the gold standard for employee screening, or are they overhyped? We look at some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding these checks.