Leon Singletary, President & CEO
An HR manager—an apposite advocate of employees—is considered to be a trustworthy, ethical, and credible resource for individuals to call upon in the workplace. However, the shocking case of a freshly-hired HR manager, a criminal who fabricated her credentials to secure a job, was an eye-opener for several companies across various industries. Appointed to hire the HR manager, the partner agency failed to perform the background check (despite mentioning the service on their website explicitly). Having received a call from the unemployment office of the state of Texas, the client’s corporate HR team was surprised to have been asked to provide the details of the newly hired employee who had applied for unemployment. Suspicious, the corporate HR team then conducted her background check through First Contact HR, a company (headquartered in Fort Washington, PA) that conducts nationwide employment background screening, drug testing and HR management consulting services. “Once we obtained the true identity of the HR manager, a full investigation was conducted which unveiled a habitual criminal history of identity theft, fraud and other egregious crimes,” says Leon Singletary, President and CEO, First Contact HR.
Laws and regulations in the HR arena are continually evolving and changing. However, many small-to-medium sized employers fail to stay current on trends due to a lack of resources and an understanding that laws may differ from state to state. For example, under the “ban-the-box” legislation, employers are restricted from asking about a prospective employee’s criminal history during the early stages of the interview process and instead, should conduct a criminal history check after a conditional employment offer has been made. Another growing trend is the legalization of marijuana across various states and municipalities, which restricts employers from requiring new hires to take a drug test for the popular narcotic. “We stay a step ahead of these changes and regulatory requirements and advise our clients appropriately,” says Singletary.
Applicants may lie, but we verify”; “We stay a step ahead of the regulatory updates and advise our clients appropriately
Leading the charge in background check services, First Contact HR leverages its online technology platform, called “HRZoom”, allowing clients to complete background checks in a paperless format. Using the platform, HR professionals can send applicants a secure, private link to complete the screening process, sign a release and transmit all data electronically. It allows the applicants to have a positive onboarding experience that leads to a stronger professional relationship with their employer. Furthermore, those clients with applicant tracking and/or human resource management systems can seamlessly integrate them with the HR Zoom platform.
What sets First Contact HR apart is its commitment to accuracy, superior client service and the turnaround time of 24-48 hours within which background checks are performed, generating a report that is accessible for decision making. In case of delays, the company proactively notifies its clients and keeps them updated, with any information available at that time. “Our clients feel confident about how they administer those background checks relative to dealing with discrepancies, screening out individuals unfit for their culture and inconsistent with the federal, state and local law,” says Singletary.
Unlike its competitors usually operating out of just one location, First Contact HR has strategically established a new office in Center City Philadelphia, PA, where it offers finger printing (Digital, Ink-based and Mobile Finger Printing) services to retrieve criminal records (if any), from the local, state and federal databases. Added to employee background check services, the company also provides HR consulting in terms of training and policy design, Affirmative Action Plan development, among other services.
As an additional added convenience and time saver for local companies, First Contact HR provides a concierge service where it deploys Ink Finger Print technicians to collect the fingerprints (collected on FBI FD-258 fingerprint cards) from high-level executives. With an expansion blueprint under the belt, the company plans to expand its operations to New Jersey and other states.