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Title: “The Importance Of Criminal Checks For Positions Of All Types”
Guest: Phil Sharkey – The Hire Authority
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (1s):
Well, hello everybody. And welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. And for those who don’t know me, I am Jeffrey Davis. I am the host of Radio Entrepreneurs. I’m also CEO of MAGE, LLC management consulting firm, working with leadership for the development of their organizations and their leadership team. Also president and founder of the family business association. As we see on my logos on my, behind my back, I tad tell you how excited I get to do these reports every week. Phil Sharkey, the Sharkey report, sheriff Sharkey is in the house and we have an important topic in this economy to talk about Phil. Welcome to

Phil (40s):
Thank you, Jeff. It’s great to see you again. It’s the highlight of my week and my month when I get to speak with you, and I want to go over a few things that I’m seeing today in the background screening world and see if it jives with what your thoughts are. And I want to talk about criminal records check and sort of the processes that I see are slipping a little bit with our employers. And it’s so hard to gather people right now with the unemployment rules and coming up COVID but you really still can’t let your professional standards slide and you due diligence slide. It’s going to come back to bite a big time.

Jeffrey (1m 14s):
Well, I couldn’t agree with you more so many times when I’m consulting over the years, especially white color people always assume with white collar professionals that you don’t have. Let’s say like lawyers, accountants, architects, that you don’t have to check their backgrounds, but a lot of them have run a foul and you want

Phil (1m 34s):
It’s true, Jeff, and those ones that are more difficult to, to gather in the interview process and the resume process, everyone seems so perfect and you can’t smell it or see it. And it’s not like someone comes into the interview looking, you know, like they’re on drugs or, or, or drunk, you know, they’re perfectly fine. And they look right at you and shake your hand and say, hi, nice to meet you online too. You know, I’m lying today. And if you check it out, if you pull things, you’re going to find it. But people don’t because they’re just so enamored with the person. And they’re usually very powerful individuals. Like I don’t want to offend them. So I’m going to back off and just take them at their word. I see 30% of the time that it’s not working out for, for clients so that you can’t do.

Jeffrey (2m 13s):
I think you’re being generous when you say they’re powerful people. Yes. I think a lot of these people who were professional wires are quite dynamic and that’s the point on the other side, the recruiting company across our whole region, we’re desperate for anything with a pulse. And so if somebody walks in and gives us a good story, we’re liable to bring us in. And I think that just condition, you know, it takes one rotten, apple to destroy a whole organization.

Phil (2m 41s):
It can, sometimes I have clients who have big clients like casinos locally, and they send us a lot of work. And of course they’re very important to us. And then I have a client only says one or two people a year, but you know what, Jeff, those are actually more important to us because that one or two, because they’re a smaller organization, it’s so vital and maybe a high ranking position for them. It’s, it’s, it’s extremely important to do a thorough background check. And I always tell the clients, maintain your professionalism. Be the best friend. You could be the people in the white hats. And lovey-dovey, I’m the one that drops the hammer. Just tell them, oh, just one more thing. I just, as you understand, I have to have a background check conducted part of our practices here. We’re still good. I’m still your best friend. They sign off. I do the background check. When you know charges, come back about an internal theft and those types of things that falls on me, then you just sort of shrug and say, geez, those bad guys at The Hire Authority have this three page record on you.

Phil (3m 33s):
And now we have a problem. I have a trust issue that I can’t live with. You’re still in good standing with them. And we’re the ones that are your fact-finders for you.

Jeffrey (3m 42s):
You don’t even have to mention that you’ve done what you found out. I think because we’re an economy that is an employee at will. And I think for legal reasons, it’s just best to say you don’t fit.

Phil (3m 54s):
It is. I always tell people that my service works best in the preemployment arena. If you can get the background over to me, we’re very quick, Jeff, two to three business days when you’re in that initial process and our clients can simply move away and go, you know, we had people up for the position, like you said, less is more, we’ve just gone another direction. We’re hiring someone else. I’ve had other clients get angry about it and say, no, I’m going to confront them and go like, and then throw the report down and you don’t need to kick it. Kick a bee’s mass. You don’t need that aggravation. And I, I really constantly against them, or sometimes they’re further down the pike and they’re a person really believes they have the position. And then we have to make the offer contingent on the back.

Jeffrey (4m 31s):
I always tell people, you know, just let them go. Don’t say anything. You don’t want someone to say who said it? I need to know who said it. What’s the slander. What happened? I want to defend myself. You just say you don’t fit. You know, w you know, we’re going in another direction or you don’t fit what we’re looking for.

Phil (4m 50s):
Attack mode. It is because you know what? A cornered person, it’s like a tiger in the corner. Even when they know they got it, they’re going to lash out at you. They’re going to lash out at you. And the last shot at me, they’re going to say, it’s not true. How dare you, I’m getting a lawyer. You don’t need to get into that verbal back and forth. And again, unfortunately, many of the rockers I see are people you don’t want to argue,

Jeffrey (5m 8s):
And people can get violent and angry. These are people who are used to defending themselves, and they don’t want to getting out about their backgrounds.

Phil (5m 15s):
Like you said, they’re very charming, the very good, but when they’re confronted the whole thing’s changed. As in many times with criminal records, I do see that perfect person, 95% of the time, it’s perfectly great. Cordial, everything it’s that when the buttons switches on them and they become quite scary. And because of what I see and because of who they really are, and that comes out and you don’t, you don’t need that aggravation at all quickly, Jeff, the, the best searches we do Massachusetts, everyone’s heard of the Cory search. That’s the statewide that stands for criminal offender record index. That’s what everyone wants from Massachusetts. It is the best search you can do because it is the entire state. Since the Deval Patrick was governor, you now have to become approved. So even if I do the background check for you or any client, they must become approved to receive Cory.

Phil (5m 59s):
First. It’s a very simple process. Once approved, they can choose us to be their vendor to do it, or they can actually do the searches on their own, but the state wants to get involved and make sure that they’re approved and they’re legitimate company. So they added that stipulation a few years ago, best search for Massachusetts

Jeffrey (6m 16s):
To the penny wise pound foolish philosophy. What about companies that say, well, my HR department is going to do a background check or my accountant’s gonna, you know, going to do the background check. And what do you think about that? I mean, I, I feel the same way about consulting people say to me, well,

Phil (6m 31s):
I know I got a screw. It it’s like fingers on a chalkboard to me. It’s like, you’re asking people to do something that’s outside their level of professionalism. Of course, HR people are very good at interviewing and extracting information, but we’re the experts at it. They don’t know the laws. They don’t know that in California, you can’t do a statewide check or New Hampshire. You need to sign motorized release and do a statewide criminal check. They don’t know that a county takes five to seven days in New Hampshire. Of course I should. It’s my business. They’re doing many things. I have a lot of clients that have a lot of balls juggling in the air. They’re doing so many tasks, doing a thorough background check. It’s not one more area they need to delve into. And we build those strong relationships. We become like a partner with most of our clients know them by first name.

Phil (7m 12s):
They feel they can call me up at any time, Phil, what does this mean? Rhode Island. He pled Nolo contendere rate, which is what everyone does in Rhode Island. It means they’re not entering a plea. They throw it at the judge to make the decision soon so we can help them and counsel them. They don’t need more balls in the air to be juggling. And then also the same with companies. They may use a lot of these large screening companies. They do multiple tasks. They do payroll, they do HR consulting. They do recruiting and oh, by the way, they also do screening. We just do background screening. I think if you focus on that, you’ll, you’ll be the best you can be in that field. So it worked really well for our clients.

Jeffrey (7m 48s):
Very interesting. And do you have any hot tips for us today?

Phil (7m 52s):
I do. The one thing about a criminal check is I tell people is, and I get this a lot. We do something called a verification of identity. It confirms their social, it confirms who they are. But for me as an investigator, it gives me address history. I can’t tell you the amount of times, I just had a local food chain use us. And they were like, we’re all set. We’re just doing a mass Cory. And the first three people I ran for them. I said, please let me do this trace report. It showed that the Bo all the applicants were in Massachusetts for six months or less. And like, you’re, you’re shooting your gun in the wrong area. Well, that’s probably a bad example today. Mervyn’s I go, you’re searching the wrong area. Two of them were from Rhode Island for 10 years. One from Connecticut and Jeff, guess what we did the criminal checks in those states, two of the three had records.

Phil (8m 36s):
Most people that with records, relocate get away from those bad records. It’s not me. It’s that spouse of mine. That’s why I beat everybody up. I had to get away from Connecticut, which is where I’m originally from. So to me, a good trace, a good address. History is vital for doing a thorough check and some people just, again, assume that the person’s to be honest, guess what, Jeff, most criminals, aren’t honest. And I’m going to tell you that they just moved here.

Jeffrey (9m 1s):
What an interesting most criminals are not honest

Phil (9m 4s):
The most. And again, these searches are not expensive. A verification could cost you a $10 search and the criminal check is somewhere in the neighborhood of $50. So for $60 you have peace of mind. And again, 30 to 40% of the time, you’ll find out that the person is someone who could be dangerous. And that great interview that just went so well, just don’t get them angry because they have a whole different side to them that comes out quite often. Some people might,

Jeffrey (9m 29s):
I have told my wife before we got married, that she should have done a background check on me.

Phil (9m 35s):
I’m sure it would be crystal clear. It’d be pretty clear. I do have, I know you like to wrap up with the celebrity bad person of the month. And this one is Richard Lee. L I is the last name. He was the chairman of Pacific century. Cyber works unlimited, and he was the big boss there. And he claimed he had graduated from Stanford university with a degree in computer engineering, which worked well for his field. Unfortunately, after years of being on the job and marketing, they actually found out that he left the school three years without graduating. He attended for three years only, and it hurt them quite a bit on their marketing and their integrity. So again, as we mentioned, sometimes it’s not always a lower level person.

Phil (10m 16s):
It could be someone very high up in the food chain. And it doesn’t mean that they’re not dishonest.

Jeffrey (10m 21s):
Well, I mean, I think every time I don’t even read resumes anymore because you know, between the professional resume Raiders and the coaches who coach them, how to interview every time I have an interview with someone, they go, no one’s ever asked me questions like this before I go. Right. Yeah.

Phil (10m 38s):
Yes. And we always, like I said, please give me a job application. So many people don’t. And to me, a resume is just a, like a fireworks display. It’s like, I want an application. I want exact information and not the boast, but it’s harder. So many people just want to work off a resume today, but you’re, you’re right there. Usually quite a bit of fabrication on those. Okay.

Jeffrey (10m 57s):
Well, Phil, I know I’m always interested in your services. It’s critical to good organizational consistency, culture and recruiting. I know mark Z feels the same way as well. And John Friedman does as well. Who’s all associated with the show and mark Furman. We all agree. But if other people who want to know you and talk to you wanted to find out about you, how would they do that?

Phil (11m 18s):
The website Jeff is higher That’s H I R E a U T There’s a link on there, right? To email me or someone on the staff and also sort of old-fashioned way you can still call the number. You actually get a human being, answering the volume to punch letters in or anything like that. Get a person. A customer services is very important for us as well as ease of service. And our number here is 5 0 8 2 3 0 5 9 0 1 1.

Jeffrey (11m 41s):
Last question will never ask you to do background checks on vendors.

Phil (11m 47s):
They do. They do. It comes up quite a bit, as well as

Jeffrey (11m 50s):
Like home contractors,

Phil (11m 52s):
Exactly business, the business relationships. A lot of our clients that the brand, we ended up doing nannies and babysitter background checks for them. And a lot of professional B2B where one business is getting sort of in bed with the other business. And it’s quite necessary as well. Just like an individual can lie. Usually a vendor management is made up of individuals. So yeah, we, we did quite a bit of that work as well. Right. Well, Phil, I want to thank you for being on the show in the forward to talking to you again next week. This is great. This is Radio Entrepreneurs.

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