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 Optimal?
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 USA.
Another outstanding benefit that we offer our customers is the fact that at OI there are no sign up fees, no monthly
fees, no hidden costs and no annual contracts! What a novel idea! Our customers only pay for what they use through the
convenience of either a debit or a credit card. The competition will ask you to pay set up fees or monthly usage/subscription
fees or enter into an annual contract in which you agree to buy a minimum number of reports but not at OI! AND, when our
customers order they know how much they will be charged before they order.
We also can provide our customers with drug screening materials at all locations throughout the US with 24-48 hr turn around
on the processing. These materials are provided to the location(s) our customers designate and are used as needed and tracked
by the individual’s name and case number over our secure site. Our procedure insures secure collection and transmittal of the
specimen while keeping cost to the client way down.
If our customer has a credit department at its headquarters this is an area that we can help with too. As you can see from our
listing of products, we offer many business oriented credit information and can make these services available to designated
credit management professionals with our customers.
Yet another area that our customers benefit from is the ease with which your HR Department can track applicant classifications
and accounting for the services that have been ordered. Our input template provides for accounting and position tracking which
can even be broken down by location and the “dash board” of each our customers account provides easy access to invoices billed
and services that are about to be billed as well as aging of applications. All OI accounts are set up on convenient credit card
payment or on pre-approved debit payment arrangements for the benefit of the customer and the resulting reduction in costs to
Optimal Intelligence that is associated with carrying accounts receivable enables us to keep our prices lower than the competition
and the quality of our data high.
Our program is straight forward; easy to understand and very customer friendly which means that “complexities” are nominal.
Our greatest challenge isn’t work product preparation or delivery but rather educating the actual users of our system in how
easy and logical it actually is to use!
Finally, OI 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 toll free number, (877) 700-OIPI (6474)
Who uses Optimal?
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./li>
- We are faithful and diligent in discharging our professional responsibilities.
- We safeguard confidential information and exercise due care to prevent its improper disclosure./li>
- 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!
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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 f
or 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”.