Category Archives: Business Services

Employee background checks – what you should and shouldn’t do

Written by Tenant Screening Services, LLC

Making a wrong hiring decision can cost a firm time, money and unnecessary disruption. Therefore, most employers have hiring procedures that include an employee background check. Here some tips on conducting employee background checks.

You should be broad and thorough – It is vital that hiring personnel get an expansive spectrum of information. Therefore, the information should include a background criminal check, education, employment and driving history, social media details etc. Concentrating only on one area will not give the hiring manager an overall picture of the candidate they have selected.

You shouldn’t ask the candidate if they have a conviction – Instead of asking the applicant to put down their conviction details on a form, once you have shortlisted a candidate, use their employee background check to guide the decision.

You should follow the law – It is legally required for employers to receive consent from the applicants before conducting a background check.

You should follow the rules – There are rules on pre-employment checks and they vary from state to state.

You should be consistent – It is vital that all applicants short-listed should have the same searches and investigations on them. Although different job titles will require different information, the same job title should follow the same searches.

You should maintain good communication – It is a good idea to speak to a candidate about areas that you need clarification on. There could be misconceptions, mistakes, and reporting errors that can be resolved by speaking to the candidate.

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Tenant Screening Services, LLC provides a variety of background checks and services for property owners and employers. Use their employment screening services before your next hire.

Basic IT Setup For Small Businesses

bebetteratbusinessGone are the days when you needed an IT guy or team to run the operations of even a small business. Thanks to advances in technology and the internet the IT setup of a small business is easy and can be done by anyone. Here is a sample approach that a small business can take:

Internet access

The easiest option here is to ask the ISP to install the internet connection and any additional access point if you require access in areas beyond the initial coverage. For most small outfits, the coverage from the router that comes from the ISP will be enough. This is ideal for laptops and if you need to use a desktop, then buy one with a built-in wireless adaptor or place it close to the router for network cable access.


This post has been sponsored  by Cam Electronics.
Cam Electronics offers sound reinforcement products including rock speakers, Bogen amplifiers, music sources, audio mixers, paging equipment and PA systems.


Shared storage

Even small teams need to share documents and access common folders. This used to be where a file server was setup. That is costly and requires someone to maintain it. Services like SharePoint are ideal for cloud-based teams to share files and operate shared workspaces. The benefit here is that in the event of a computer failure, all data that is within these folders is safely on the cloud.

Communication

Mobile phones take care of the telephony component. Other communication within the office can be done using a chat service like Skype for Business or Google Hangouts. These can also be used for video conferencing.

 

Three ideas for cross-promoting your small business

Article Written by : Debt Settlement Online

Cross-promotion is a great way to reach your target market by collaborating on marketing with the right business partners. Here are a few cross promoting possibilities that are perfect for small businesses.

Co-produce a newsletter – Co-producing a newsletter will keep your costs low and help you expand the expertise you offer your clients. For example, a small elementary school can include articles in a school’s newsletter, which will be seen by parents, students, school members and the city council. It is important that the newsletter is related to the business you are in and not solely about a company.

Cross-promote your brands on social media – If you and your partner have established a media presence, then each other’s brands can reach their respective followers. In this case, craft a message that promotes your partner’s product or service and vice versa, make the message authentic and natural so that it does not read like an advertisement. For example, if a company enlists an event managing firm to organize an event, they both can send out a note of thanks to each other.

Co-sponsor a good cause – If partners venture to help sponsor a charitable cause, both parties will benefit from the advertising, reduced sponsorship fees and the ability to connect with like-minded future customers. For example, if a home baker sponsor’s a local soccer team’s training gear, they will be featured on the gear as well as at the event.

Five myths about job references

instantbackgroundchecks3Written by Tenant Screening Services, LLC

If you are planning on interviewing for a new job, it is important to understand what your former boss or references will say about you. Here are 5 myths about job references.

Myth 1 – Companies are not allowed to say negative things about a former employee – Some companies have policies that only give out details like title, dates of employment and eligibility for rehire. However, sometimes employees in HR may violate these policies.

Myth 2 – Most companies direct their employee screening requests to the HR department – In most instances, employee screening requests will be directed to the HR department, but in rare cases, if your direct supervisor is known by the hiring manager, they can speak to them directly.

Myth 3 – If there are issues with a boss or a company, I can omit these details off my reference list. – Although you may omit references off your resume, most companies will conduct an instant online background check to determine where you have worked in the past. Therefore, it is best to be transparent and inform your interviewer if you have had any problems with jobs or managers in the past.

Myth 4 – My references should be listed on my resume – References should be provided only when asked. You can also provide different references depending on the job you are interviewing for. This is especially important if you have to work in a number of industries or fields.

Myth 5 – Once I’m hired, my references don’t matter – Most companies will include a clause in their employee contracts that says that employees are under 90 days probation from the time of hire. During this period the employer can fire you.

 

How to secure your important digital information

bebetteratbusinessProtecting the credentials used by your business is just as if not more important than those of your personal accounts. A compromised email account of a high level executive for example can result in everything from financial losses to trade secret loss. There are some basic steps that can make this harder that should be followed at a absolute minimum:

Passwords

Almost everything is digital these days. As a result, there are going to be passwords for a multitude of services. The first step is to ensure that all users who have access to systems use strong passwords. Some systems can enforce this by policy. Some companies even go so far as to avoid services and banks that allow simple passwords.

Two factor

Online systems and bank accounts also sometimes come with the option to enable two factor authentication. This has to benefits, first is that no system is accessible without the second form of authentication. The second is the notification when the system is accessed from any new browser or computer. Banks also come with their own dongles which generate custom codes based on the time. Whenever possible use those over single password systems.

Vaults

Services like lastpass are used to store credentials etc, but more important they also have secure notes where things like account numbers, codes, pins etc can be stored. They are securely stored even on phones and computers and only decrypted when viewing. This prevents people from writing or storing such details on paper where it can be easily copied or stolen.

Essential things to know when it comes to Credit Card fraud detection

A lot of the times people do not know they have been the victims of credit card fraud until it is either too late or it has some impact on their day to day lives. Most people do not pay attention to the charges on their cards. Either they use the card for everything, and as a result cannot tell most charges from the other, or they don’t use any of the notification features a lot of banks provide. The fact of the matter is that you will always find out about the fraud after it has happened. The sooner you find out and inform the bank, the less hassle and the less effort you will have to go through to resolve the issue. A lot of issues in the recent past have involved accounts opened by fraudsters in the name of other people. Here are some examples of how it can impact you directly:

Your credit card account statement has unusual charges posted. This is when they get your existing card details.
You get a notice that says you have been denied or approved credit even though you haven’t applied. This is a red flag for someone trying to get a credit extension on your behalf.
You get a call from a bill collector on an account you never opened.
You see an account you don’t recognize on your credit report. This and the one above mean that there could be a lot of trouble to undo this damage.
Even worse, you are denied credit because the credit bureaus reported a collection account or past due account you never opened.

How to Properly Anticipate Risk in a Construction Project

construction-project-riskWhen you’re in the construction industry, risk isn’t a matter of possibility it’s one of probability. Even small-scale projects, like a renovation, can run into snags that can delay the work getting finished. When delays occur, they cost money for every stakeholder involved. It’s in your best interest to learn how to perform proper construction claim analysis, and how to anticipate potential problems before they occur.

Always Review

Review documents with outside experts to be sure that everything on your end looks safe to proceed. If you’re ordering materials, for instance, it would be a good idea to have a structural steel expert go over the work order before it’s placed. This additional layer of legal protection will help you in the case of a claim.

It’s very important to choose utilize construction claims consultants to review your documentation before work begins. If your plans don’t pan out by the time a dispute occurs, you’re at fault.

Require Additional Protection

Of course, consultants aren’t the only layer of protection. You can purchase additional insurance to cover certain aspects of the project, which should be baked into the contract. This is a fairly standard practice for stakeholders, and provides a better countermeasure to risk. Also keep in mind that a contractor’s warranty can provide a more competitive estimate to potential clients. That said, any insurance clause must contain a waiver of subrogation, which allows the insurer to step in and collect on a claim. Subrogation is essentially an agreement to transfer risk to the intended parties, and it helps disputes resolve quickly.


For more than 30 years, Lyle Charles has provided risk management solutions to commercial and residential construction projects across the United States.

The top money management apps

bebetteratbusinessWhen it comes to personal finance there are three types of people. There are those spend without any regard for savings. Then there are those whose primary instinct is to save however they can. They will look for every possible way to eke out a net saving. The final type is somewhere in between. They will save only if the right tools are there to enable that saving. To that end, here are some personal finance management apps that will help anyone:

YNAB – you need a budget

YNAB is an expense tracking app. It will help you keep track of your spending. Budgets are set by category and expenses are entered manually. More than anything this will help you figure out where your money is going. Often people underestimate how much they spend on various things. Eventually you can set budgets for specific categories and try keep your spending within those limits.

Level money

This is another app that tracks your expenses. It allows you keep track of your finances by time period. Primarily by day, week and month. There is unfortunately no support for tracking your spending by category.

Mint bills

The online money management site Mint purchased the an expense tracking app called Check. They have rebranded it to Mint and it supports tracking expenses and even paying for bills through the system. The only downside is that even if you are a Mint user you still have to sign up for Mint bills separately.

Using Previous Landlords As References

As a landlord, you may be concerned about whether or not your tenant is going to pay you on time, or even at all. It’s just part of the anxiety-ridden duties of owning a rental property. After all, this is your prized investment. It’s only right to ensure that your tenants are trustworthy and financially dependable. A background check for tenants will only provide you with objective information like their credit history and current credit. What it won’t do is forecast whether or not that tenant is going to pay his or her rent on time.

Inquire, Inquire, Inquire

The most that you can go based off of in terms of financial reliability is their credit score and their word over yours. Essentially, you’re just making a reasonable guess. However, what you can do is make a relevant inquiry in regards to how the tenant paid his or her rent in the past. By verifying this information through the tenant’s references, you’ll find out how their previous financial relationship was with their past landlord. Unless, their previous landlord is their cousin or close friend, most of them will be relatively unbiased. This will build a sense of trust between you and your tenant, assuming he or she was timely with their payments.

Don’t Skip Out On Details For Landlord References

At times, many landlords will contact the applicant’s prior landlord and ask them general questions without requesting much detail. For instance, instead of asking the previous landlord whether or not the tenant paid the rent or followed the rules of the house, ask if that individual did indeed pay the rent on time and in full. The goal of contacting the previous landlord is to not only give you that peace of mind, but to also verify their responsible behaviors. Honestly speaking, any applicant that’s looking to rent will almost always tell you that they’ll pay their rent on time.

Use a Screening Service In Conjunction With References

When you’re performing a tenant screening background check, you’re getting objective information about the applicant. If everything looks in order, take the extra step to contact their references. Just because their credit is good, doesn’t mean they’re automatically an angel.

On the flip side, if you see that an applicant’s credit score suffered, instead of making assumptions, inquire more about why they couldn’t make their payments on time or what the reasons were for the low score. He or she may have been transitioning from one job to another and fell into financial hardship throughout the process. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t be able to fulfill their obligations. Use your fair judgment.
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Tenant Screening Services, LLC provides landlord credit checks, instant background checks, and other verification services. To find out more about their services, visit them online today.

Why Businesses should avoid low end WIFI equipment

bebetteratbusinesEvery business will have both a wired and wifi network. This network was probably setup by the provider and is broadcast from the router they provided. The coverage tends to be spotty with these devices, so end users end up buying extenders and other wireless routers. Unfortunately there is a lot cheap wifi equipment available in the market. Here is why they should be avoided:

Coverage

Cheaper wireless access points tend to use cheaper chipsets and fewer antennas. This results in less coverage from reduced signal strength. Lower powered signals will not penetrate walls and other obstructions as well.

Performance

Lower end wireless equipment will also not provide the kind of throughput that are promised from the specifications. In tests online, reviewers have found much lower transfer speeds from cheaper wifi equipment.

Lifetime

Most units come with a year of warranty. However due to the cheaper components they might not last as long. While there is no direct data to suggest that there are reduced lifetimes, the devices themselves are replaced more often than higher end equipment.

Stability

Cheaper components will also have less protection built in. For example a common complaint from owners of lower end wifi equipment is a lack of stability. A brownout or power surge will reset the device to default settings, requiring the initial setup process all over again.

When it comes to wireless equipment, or maybe even computing products in general, the old adage that you get what you pay for definitely applies. When it comes to your business, the reliability and performance of higher end equipment will justify the cost.

How to Transition to a Short Term Management Service Efficiently

According to Lyle Charles Consulting, a firm specializing in nearly every kind of commercial or residential construction project, what sinks construction crews is an inability to manage every possible scenario. No matter how much experience you have as a contractor, you’re never prepared for a surprise claim or someone quitting on the spot. With this advice from a trusted name in construction consulting, you’ll be ready to tackle any challenge head on.

Cover for Key Personnel

You’re officially in crisis mode when the project stakeholders aren’t around to finish the work they started. You’ll need interim short term management services to cover for those individuals. Before you hire someone to fill that role, prepare an itemized agenda of what needs to be done. Odds are good that whoever you hire will have a working knowledge of your project, but you should put every effort into bringing this person up to speed.

If Legal Action is Taken

Private mediation can save your business a ton of cash in the event of losing a judgment. If you appear before a judge and jury, their ruling is final and typically one sided. Mediation offers the same finality with a ruling that is more mutually beneficial for everyone involved. If you are facing legal action, try mediation before going to court. If neither of you can agree, seeing a judge is always an option.

Final Tips

Short term management is only meant to fill a void, so begin interviewing qualified candidates as soon as you notice a vacancy (either due to injury or quitting). You can also retain the advice of an industry vet like Lyle Charles if you need assistance finding the right candidate to fit the work you need.

Tips on Becoming an Effective Young Leader

Effective Young LeaderAge shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to the success of a business or company.

If you believe that your age is a setback to becoming a great leader, then you’ve already lost half the battle.

There are numerous young leaders that are finding success way beyond their years. They’re molded into a great leader through their successes and their failures. Every leader must go through these life pains, and only through these events can there be a better sense of clarity. Here are some points that you can emphasize in your workplace to make you stand out.

Promote Communication

“Talented people want to learn,” says Richard Davis, Chief Financial Officer of Rogers & Cowan, “they want to be trained, coached, listened to, and most importantly, they come to work happy and ready to do their very best every day.”

Do more listening than talking. If you maintain a strong social presence with your team, they’ll be more likely, and more willing, to communicate with you on an active basis. This could be something simple as to drop by their desk every now and then and making sure they’re doing alright. You’re their go-to when it comes to the company. If you want your company to succeed, then you’re going to have to create that sense of success in the environment.

Development is Crucial

As a young leader, you may reach a point where certain individuals are flourishing more than others, climbing the ranks to where there’s nothing more that you can teach them. It’s important to not to let your own fear of job security get in the way developing your team. In the long run, it can be detrimental to your company’s success.

The Importance of Screening Potential Candidates

Tenant Screening Services, LLC

As the owner of a newly created business, or company, one of the main components that you’re going to need to take care of is the hiring process. The truth is, as soon as you advertise that you need a qualified team, you’re more than likely going to receive an influx of applicants.

While taking a look at someone’s resume will give you an idea of their former work experience as well as their capabilities, there is another step that you’re going to need to take for security purposes.

Screening

By screening your applicants, you’ll receive a set of information that contains their criminal records, convictions, and their descriptions. In order to keep your company safe from potential frauds or criminals, you’re going to need to make good judgment on whether you believe they will be a valuable asset to your team. There are various ways that you can screen your applicants, one being through an instant criminal background check online.

Reasons Why You Should Use Background Checks

Often times, individuals are apt to hiding certain aspects of their past in order for them to look respectable in the eyes of a recruiter. Many of these traits can be noticed during a face-to-face conversation but other things will only come out through utilizing one of the many employment background check services.

Conducting background checks on your prospects aren’t an option anymore in the recruiting field. It’s become a necessity to find the most qualified candidate that there is, and provide them to that company.

If you’re a recruiter, then you’re familiar with the notion that the prospective candidate that you show to the HR manager is a representative of you. Find the right candidate that has all of all the qualifications. Then screen them to validate all of their experience and credentials listed. Finally, be sure that your candidate doesn’t have a past criminal record – although this lies in a “grey” area as you shouldn’t write them off based on their criminal record alone. By doing these steps, you’ll provide top-notch employees for that company and prove that you can recruit confidently.

So, if you’re looking for a way to verify that all of your candidates are matching up to what they say, then look into the many pre employment checks beforehand to save both time and money in the long run. Your candidate could be the “game changer” to that industry, and it’s all thanks to you.