Volume 4, Edition 2, February 2008



New Tools To Weed Out Bogus Academic Credentials

If you’re a hiring manager or human resources professional, chances are you review applications and resumes from people who want to work for your organization or who want to be promoted. Some applicants may list credentials — like a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, or a professional certification — that sound credible, but in fact, were not earned through a legitimate course of study at an accredited institution. Federal officials caution that some people are buying phony credentials from “diploma mills” — companies that sell “degrees” or certificates on the Internet without requiring the buyer to do anything more than pay a fee. Most diploma mills charge a flat fee, require little course work, if any, and award a degree based solely on “work or life experience.” According to officials from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Department of Education, and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) bogus credentials can compromise your credibility — and your organization’s. You could place an unqualified person in a position of responsibility, leaving your organization liable if the employee’s actions harm someone. You could hire a person who is dishonest in other ways, exposing your organization and colleagues to potential damage. And if the bogus degrees are brought to light, you risk embarrassment. The agencies have teamed up, putting new tools in place to help you weed out bogus academic credentials and insure the integrity of your hiring process.

For More Information Go To: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/diplomamills.shtm

Targeting the W/MBE Opportunity: A Formula for Growing Market Share

One of the challenges companies face in establishing W/MBE strategies within the context of their business is that 1) there are a wide range of W/MBE opportunities and 2)W/MBE opportunities are not defined by specific products and services—but by the ownership structure of the business entity that provides the product or service.

Understanding the relevance and significance of this channel to your business requires careful consideration of the primary “targets” that define the overall W/MBE opportunity within the overall U.S. economy. W/MBE “set aside” programs exist within the U.S. Federal Government, within 27 states, and in hundreds of municipal, county, and regional governments. W/MBE “vendor diversity” programs exist within 25% of the Fortune 500 and in thousands of other private enterprises. Altogether, W/MBEs represent up to 7% of U.S. business receipts and are growing at twice the rate of the U.S. economy.

“W/MBEs represent up to 7% of U.S. business receipts and are growing at twice the rate of the U.S. economy”

Supplier Diversity programs suffer from a misconception: that they are a form of “corporate charity,” designed to help disadvantaged persons and businesses get a leg up in the marketplace. This is far from the truth. In fact, while Supplier Diversity programs make good public relations, the policies are designed to capitalize on an expanding pool of consumers. For regulated companies or those that do business with the government, political pressure demands a focus on diversity. For companies that focus on the private sector, especially in consumer products, Supplier Diversity programs are a marketplace expectation; large companies without a such a program may well be at a disadvantage.

For More Information and to Download the Full Report Go To: http://www.franklynn.com/marketing/

Temps: Employers, Vendors Must Share Responsibility

If you think it’s OK to forgo background checks on the overnight cleaning crew or that contract IT guy from the company’s software vendor, think again. Companies increasingly are hiring more temporary, contingent or short-term employees. Screening experts say HR departments need to be just as diligent in ensuring that the backgrounds of those employees are vetted as thoroughly as those of full-time employees. A recent benchmarking survey conducted by screening company HireRight found that while 77% of organizations said they screen all permanent hires, fewer than half (45%) screen temporary labor. Just 30%screen contractors, and only 11 percent screen vendor employees. Some experts contend that there may be even more reason to be concerned about the background of part-time or contingent workers than full-time employees. For example, Todd Owens, Intelius Inc said, industry statistics show that temporary workers are more than 50% more likely than full-time workers to have a felony or drug-related record. “They are more transient workers and it is very well known that for criminals with a tainted past, often the best way to get back into the workforce is to take a temporary assignment through a temporary organization or as an independent contractor,” he said. That means that companies should develop a companywide policy for extended workforce screening. “If [temporary employees] cause a hostile workplace, hurt a member of the public or attack a co-worker, arguably employers are just as liable as they would be if this were a full-time, regular employee,” said Les Rosen.

For More Information Go To: http://www.shrm.org/ema/library_published/nonIC/CMS_024438.asp#TopOfPage

Damage Threat From U.S. Extremists May Be Greater Than From Foreign Terrorists

When it comes to fears about a terrorist attack, people in the U.S. usually focus on Osama bin Laden and foreign-based radical groups. Yet researchers say domestic extremists who commit violence in the name of their cause – abortion or the environment, for example – account for most of the damage from such incidents in this country. These homegrown groups are seven times more likely than overseas groups to commit some kind of violence in the United States, a panel reported Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Kelly R. Damphousse, University of Oklahoma noted that researchers have compiled an international Terrorism Knowledge Base – www.tkb.org – listing incidents around the world. The section on the United States lists such organizations as Animal Liberation Front, Environmental Liberation Front, Anti-Castro Cubans and the Black Revolutionary Assault Team among others.

For More Information Go To: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20080217-1124-domesticextremists.html

United States: Spring Rush For Fiscal Year 2009 H-1B Is Approaching

Why The Rush?

The governmental Fiscal Year begins on October 1st and 65,000 + 20,000 H-1B visa numbers become available on October 1 each year. However, due to the high demand for H-1B visa numbers, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now accepts employers’ H-1B applications starting April 1st . Last April, the USCIS received 130,000 H-1B applications for the 65,000 slots on the first date of the Fiscal Year. In other words, all of 65,000 H-1B visa numbers (except for those reserved for nationals of Singapore and Chile) disappeared on DAY ONE of the application period. As of today, the USCIS has not published new policy directives with respect to this year’s H-1B filing. Under the same filing system, it is expected that this year the H-1B competition may be as fierce as, if not worse than, the last year.

Employer’s Action:

If you are a US employer wishing to employ an eligible foreign professional worker in the H-1B visa category, and if it is not a cap exempt organization, it is essential that an H-1B petition be filed with the USCIS on April 1, and no later than April 1. (Otherwise, the next chance to submit an H-1B petition for the individual may not be until April 1, 2009 for H-1B employment starting October 1, 2009.)

For More Information Go To: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=57444&email_access=on

 Welcome to the Legal Challenge Question!

This Month’s Challenge is sponsored by:

The 2008-2009 Background Screening Industry Buyers Guide

Click Here For More Information on the Buyers Guide

As the background screening industry continues to get more competitive the firms that will ultimately succeed will be those that create competitive advantage through their people by offering continuous learning opportunities to heightened their knowledge and capabilities. We believe that having employees that are very knowledgeable about the legal landscape of background screening is essential to continued success.

We are grateful to Pam Devata, Seyfarth Shaw LLP for providing the expertise for this valuable endeavor. For information regarding the answers to the Legal Challenge Questions, please contact Pamela Devata at Seyfarth Shaw LLP at pdevata@seyfarth.com or 312-460-5000 or visit www.seyfarth.com.

Please choose your answer by clicking on it:

Question #2

Before running a consumer report on a consumer for employment purposes, what responsibility do you have as a CRA to ensure that a disclosure and authorization is obtained by an applicant or employee?

a) The CRA must follow the laws of the state whete the report is being generated.
b) I am solely responsible for ensuring it is completed by an applicant.
c) None, as long as the employer cerifies to the CRA that it will follow the law.
d) I share this responsibility with the end-user.


CrimWATCHSM Offers Businesses Comprehensive Risk Prevention

National Background Data (NBD), LLC, the leading provider of criminal history database information announces CrimWATCH, a post-hire criminal screening solution. CrimWATCH regularly scans nationwide criminal databases and notifies organizations when criminal records are found for active employees. By monitoring employees’ post-hire criminal activities, CrimWATCH enhances risk prevention measures which help minimize workplace crimes, create a safer work environment, and improve business performance. Crime in the workplace can endanger employees and cause business performance issues such as legal liability, turnover, financial loss, and unfavorable publicity. The United States Chamber of Commerce reports that $50 billion are lost annually due to employee theft and fraud. And, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that on average 1.7 million violent victimizations were committed per year against people at work or on duty. Pre-employment criminal background screening is one preventative measure organizations use to avoid losses such as these. While pre-employment screening can serve as an effective tool, this practice falls short on identifying criminal misconduct of employees after they are hired. CrimWATCH alleviates this shortcoming by providing on-going post-hire screening that monitors current employees for criminal behavior.

For More Information Go to: www.NationalBackgroundData.com or contact Bill Bollinger at wjb@NationalBackgroundData.com or (866) 234-4455

Accurate Background, Inc. Announces Record Breaking Growth

Accurate Background, Inc., a leader in the background screening industry, recently announced that nationwide sales continue to exceed expectations; 2007 numbers show sales increased by over 150% from 2006. The company has also already experienced record-breaking sales in January 2008, generating more new clients in the single month, surpassing the entire first quarter of 2007. Vice President of Sales & Marketing Aaron Charbonnet commented that, True to form, we are beginning 2008 at an amazing, almost unbelievable pace showing nearly a 300% increase in closed sales over the same period last year.”

For more information about Accurate Background, Inc. and its products, call (800) 784-3911 or visit the Company's web site at www.accuratebackground.com.

Sterling Testing Systems, Inc. Integrates Background Screening Services With Taleo’s Industry Leading Talent Management Platform

Sterling Testing Systems, Inc., the leading provider of pre-employment screening services, announced today that it has entered into an alliance with Taleo (NASDAQ: TLEO), the leading provider of talent management solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, Sterling’s background screening services will be integrated with Taleo’s leading on demand recruiting solution, Taleo Enterprise Edition. Sterling’s certified integration with Taleo Enterprise Edition 7.5 will allow customers to quickly and more efficiently initiate background screens from the Taleo talent management platform. With this integration, applicant data can be securely and automatically transferred to Sterling, eliminating the need for faxing or redundant data entry. The result is a more efficient, accurate and timely screening and on-boarding process.

For More Information Go To: http://www.sterlingtesting.com/News/Press.aspx?prId=50


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Would Anyone Care or Even Notice If You Went Out of Business?

How would your company fare in the harsh glare of self-examination?

· Do you provide such a unique product or service that customers would be saddened to see you go?
· Have you forged an emotional connection with your customers that another company couldn't duplicate?
· Could your employees find an employer that treated them as well as your company?

The Po!nt: "How does your company rank?" asks Moore. "Can you answer YES with conviction? Or, do you have to concede by answering NO?" If the latter, it's time to work on drumming up support.

Source: Source: John Moore, Brand Autopsy, http://www.brandautopsy.com/ John can be reached at john@brandautopsy.com


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Disgruntled employee deletes 7-years worth of architectural drawings

As businesses worry about natural disasters and act of terrorism, they should also be mindful, and prepared for, spiteful, angry, and vengeful employees. Marie Cooley of Jacksonville, Florida, came across a job announcement in the classified section of a local paper -- a job which looked like hers. She admits she was certain she was about to be fired. So police say that late Sunday night she crept into the Mandarin office where she worked at Steven E. Hutchins Architects. "She decided to go and mess up everything for everybody," said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesman Ken Jefferson. Jefferson says Cooley accessed the company's server with her own account, and with a handful of mouse clicks and keystrokes she deleted seven years' worth of architectural drawings. Seven years of work were gone in but a few seconds. The company put the value of the deleted files at $2.5 million.

For More Information Go To: http://hsdailywire.com/single.php?id=5419

Are You Protected Against Misconduct By Your Network Administrator?

It's everyone's worst nightmare: You arrive at the office on a Monday morning, and your network administrator has vanished. Maybe she took off for Tahiti, got hit by a bus, or got a better offer. Worse yet, maybe he was not managing at a level that was expected of him, and walked off in a huff when called to the carpet. No one wants to believe that, upon leaving, a network administrator would ever do anything to negatively impact your firm. Far too many firms reject the notion of a written employment agreement, arguing that they never had one in the past, and nothing bad has happened. "It won't happen to us." At some time in the life cycle of every firm you will replace your network administrator — whether due to performance issues, retirement, illness, or other unforeseen circumstances. And keep in mind that your network administrator maintains the "keys to the kingdom." Your network is the heart of your legal organization — it contains essential data about your firm and your clients. Anticipate these departures with adequate planning and procedures. In fact, your organization should have departure protocols in place for every key IT staff member — as well as outside consultants and programmers. Here are tips on how to protect your firm:

For More Information Go To: http://www.lawtechnews.com/r5/showkiosk.asp?listing_id=1766310&category_id=27902

Medical ID Theft Spreading The Pain
Stolen patient data can threaten lives, ruin credit and assault health insurers with bogus claims

Possibly the fastest-growing and least-understood form of identity theft: medical identity theft. Up to 500,000 Americans have been victimized and may not know it, says the World Privacy Forum, which published the definitive review of the subject in 2006. Individuals made nearly 19,500 complaints of medical ID theft with the Federal Trade Commission from January 1992 to April 2006. “We’re seeing a larger volume of theft reports, and those reports are coming in more frequently,” says Byron Hollis, national anti-fraud director for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which represents the 39 Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans.

For More Information Go To: http://www.insurancefraud.org/fraudFocus.htm

Important Reminder for New York Employers: Focus on Employee Privacy and Data Security

Identity theft has become one of the fastest growing crimes in America. To combat identity theft, many state legislatures have been enacting legislation focused on privacy and data security of personal information. The New York legislature has been in the forefront in this effort. The scope of state legislation impacts all New York businesses in their capacity as employers, among others. The privacy and data security laws enacted in New York in the past few years prescribe the manner in which New York business must handle personal information, including employee information. We summarize three (3) enactments that all New York employers should know and comply with: Social Security Number Protection, Data Destruction and Data Breach Notification. Compliance with these requirements involves various levels of management and legal counsel. Multi-state employers may have to address separate laws in different jurisdictions. These issues, with their potential for class action claims, negative publicity and significant liability, should be at the top of any chief executive's corporate compliance agenda.

For More Information Go To: http://www.jacksonlewis.com/legalupdates/article.cfm?aid=1293

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 SAMHSA Survey Shows Illicit Drug Users
Are in the Workplace

One in 12 fulltime workers in the US has used illegal drugs some time within the past month, according to the Worker Substance Use and Workplace Policies and Programs Study.

NAPBS Webcast Series:

Find out more about webinars by going to ttp://www.napbs.com/content.php?id=289

Courses are open to members and non members.

March 26, 2008
NAPBS - Purpose, Function Committees, Accreditation
Mary Poquette

Register Here: http://www.napbs.com/content.php?id=289


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Canada: Drug and Alcohol Policies vs. Human Rights: The Latest Chapter

Safety policies in Alberta have been in constant friction with human rights legislation ever since drug and alcohol testing was implemented. Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of workers. To minimise harm caused by impairment at the worksite, owners and contractors in Alberta, particularly in the oil sands, have been incorporating drug and alcohol policies into their safety programs. While it is a laudable goal to have a safe worksite, owners and contractors have faced numerous legal challenges to drug and alcohol policies brought pursuant to the Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturism Act. The December 28, 2007 decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal in Alberta (Human Rights and Citizenship Commission) v. Kellogg Root & Brown (Canada) Company1 is the latest chapter in understanding the fine balance between drug and alcohol policies and human rights. The Court of Appeal stated that there was no evidence that Mr. Chiasson was addicted to marijuana or that his termination by KBR was based on a perception that he was addicted to marijuana. Given these findings, the Court of Appeal determined that the KBR policy could only be discriminatory if the effect of it was that anyone testing positive was perceived as addicted and therefore disabled. As to the purpose of the KBR policy, the Court of Appeal said:

For More Information Go To: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=57236&email_access=on


United States and European Union Negotiating Personal-Data Sharing Treaty

The United States and the European Union (EU) are negotiating a personal-data sharing treaty to make it easier to share such information across borders. A “high-level contact group”—composed of senior officials who hold the rank of at least assistant secretary—to reach a formal agreement on cross-border data sharing, DHS Chief Privacy Officer Hugo Teufel told the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement. The discussions are to facilitate a “smoother process” for the sharing of that data, he said, adding, “There’s going to be a treaty.” Because more information will be flowing across EU and U.S. borders, “we will have to find ways to harmonize and work together,” Teufel said. Any treaty will have to work out the different approaches to personal-data management that Europeans and Americans have, Teufel said. The Europeans have a more comprehensive approach, encompassing government and private enterprise, he noted, while the American approach is usually more pragmatic, more targeted, more ad hoc and more specific to particular areas. But while the Europeans’ approach is different, “they aren’t any better than the Americans” when it comes to managing personal data and privacy issues, Teufel said.

For More Information go To: http://www.shrm.org/global/news_p


BPO Rape Case Ruling: Supreme Court Says Onus On Som Mittal

NNEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has allowed the prosecution of Som Mittal for his liability in the rape and murder of a HP software employee Pratibha Srikant Murthy by a cab driver contracted by the company. The court on Thursday said he was responsible for her safety and protection. Som Mittal is currently the Chairman of The National Association of Software and Service Companies.

For More Information Go To:
rape_case_ruli ng_SC_says_onus_on_Som_Mittal/

BPOs To Prepare Employee Database To Counter Attrition

New Delhi/Gurgaon: Facing huge productive manpower crunch in a labour-intensive industry, BPO companies are now pinning their hope on the education system which could produce productive manpower. Nevertheless, considering the fact that attrition in the industry has been worsening and hitting the sector adversely, key players have chalked out a plan to get the background investigations done of all employees and thereby creating a data bank for reference for the employers. Giving details of the initiative, Business Process Industry Association of India (BPIAI) president Samir Chopra said that they are going to hire an investigation’s company to carry out this task. "It’s unacceptable to the industry that people who join companies desert them within few weeks. Then the companies, which have invested so much into the training, lose the man and also the investment for no fault of theirs. We intend to stop this by initiating this step," Chopra added.

For More Information Go To: http://www.Timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Business/India_Business/


Solicitors Fined Under Data Protection Act

Two London law firms must pay £815 each after the Information Commissioner sued them for not fulfilling their duties under the Data Protection Act. The firms had failed to register as processors of personal information. The Data Protection Act (DPA) demands that organisations who deal with personal information must register with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Grier Olubi of Adejobi Solicitors and Robert Bentley of Bentley's Solicitors were fined £300 each and ordered to pay £500 in costs and a victims' surcharge of £15 by Stratford Magistrates' Court. The ICO said it had told both the lawyers a number of times that they must register, but that the warnings were ignored.

For More Information Go To: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/22/lawyers_fined_4_data_breach/

United Kingdom: Top Data Protection Issues For HR Managers

Gone are the days when data protection was just to do with maintaining employee confidentiality and updating contact details from time to time. As busy HR managers are finding, employees now have a much better awareness of their rights (though not necessarily their responsibilities): they have the right to know what information is being processed about them and why, they have the right of access to most of that information and they have the right to expect it to be held securely and not passed on to others who have no legitimate right to see it. Employees also need to understand their responsibilities towards other "data subjects" (ie., those whose personal information is processed by the employer), so as to ensure that they do not (unwittingly or otherwise) trample on those other people’s rights. The following checklist is meant to provide a practical guide to the key data protection issues facing HR managers on a daily basis, and covers the following four areas: Recruitment; Employee Monitoring; Disputes; and Overseas data transfers and business disposals.

For further information, visit:
www.ico.gov.uk (Information Commissioner’s Office)
www.crb.gov.uk (Criminal Records Bureau)
www.disclosurescotland.co.uk (Disclosure Scotland)
Source: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?articleid=57448&email_access=on

International Workplace Survey Shows Honesty Is The Best Policy

A new international workplace survey by Kelly Services, one of the UK’s leading recruitment agencies, has revealed the UK is one of the most honest nations when it comes to the job seeking process. Only 8% of the UK admit to being untruthful on their CV or in an interview situation. The most common lies were revealed to be inflating previous salaries and omitting negative details from past employment. Crossing the gender divide, the results reveal UK women are marginally more honest than men, with only 1.8% of females omitting negative details from past employment and 3% inflating their salary. Of the men surveyed, 3% omitted negative details from their past and 3.3% inflated their salary. “Telling a deliberate untruth on your CV or in an interview situation is illegal and counter productive,” according to Steve Girdler, Director of Marketing for Kelly Services, “ as subsequent checks by an employer will reveal the truth and result in the candidate going no further. Even worse, you could end up facing disciplinary action should an untruth on your CV be uncovered once you get the job.

For More Information Go To: http://www.kellyservices.co.uk/res/content/uk/services/en/docs/honesty_press_release.doc


Top 10 Overseas Security Trends for the U.S. Private Sector in 2007

Theft of trade secrets, cyber attacks, insider threats, “home-grown” political radicalism, terrorism and political conflict were among the top security challenges of 2007 confronting U.S. businesses, nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions operating overseas, according to a year-end analysis of trends reported during the past year by the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). “These growing threats are among the many consequences — some good, and some bad — of increased globalization,” said Todd Brown, a Special Agent with the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and Executive Director of OSAC. “As an increasing number of U.S. businesses, academic institutions, and nonprofits expand the scope of their international operations, they must learn to safeguard their facilities and personnel by incorporating security and risk management into their core business practices,” he said. Brown added, “Those U.S. entities that take proactive security postures, manage their risks, and develop an internal culture of resiliency often are better able to survive and even thrive in riskier environments or in the aftermath of disasters.”

For More Information Go To: https://www.osac.gov/Reports/report.cfm?contentID=77971


We have greatly enhanced our International Resource Center to be a valuable resource for anyone looking for information on doing international background verifications, vetting or verifications. It includes information on international data protection and other laws, terrorist searches and much more. Also included is very practical information on time zones, locating cities, holidays in different countries, etc.

New Information Added:

- United Kingdom’s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
- The Fit and Proper test for Approved Persons

International Training Resources

We have added International Training Resources to the International Resource Center. We will update this section as we identify new training and educational opportunities.

Bookmark this valuable resource so you can use it over and over.

To view the International Section go to www.PreemploymentDirectory.com and look under the gray line like below in the middle of the page:


Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Strong Hiring Outlook for the First Quarter of 2008 in India, France, Italy and Netherlands; Slight Softening Trend in the U.S.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today revealed that employer optimism in the global labor market is varied, with employers in 16 of 27 countries and territories indicating softer hiring plans compared to one year ago, but improved job prospects quarter-over-quarter in 12 countries and territories. In the U.S., the outlook is relatively stable from the fourth quarter, but slightly softer than one year ago, reflecting the economic concerns that continue to weigh on the minds of employers. German and Indian employers anticipate a continued positive hiring pace, although slightly slower than three months ago.

The strongest first quarter hiring prospects reported globally were in Peru, Singapore, India, Argentina, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, South Africa, Australia, Japan and Norway. Meanwhile, Irish employers reported the weakest hiring plans globally. The quarterly survey by Manpower Inc. is the world's most extensive forward-looking employment survey, with interviews of nearly 52,000 employers worldwide. All reports are based on seasonally adjusted data, where available.

For More Information Go To: http://investor.right.com/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=**RHT&script=410&layout=0&item_id=1085993


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2008 Events (Click Here to View full list of 2008 Events)


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