BCG SmartCheck announces a new monitoring service as part of its BusinessAware Solution.

For those businesses that need to keep ahead of potential changes in partners’ or customers’ financial stability, BusinessAware now offers monthly or quarterly alerts on key business and financial indicators.

As the recent Pandemic painfully showed, the stability of companies can change dramatically and the ripple effect can expand quickly

Even without a once-in-a-century adverse influence, market pressures and internal changes in an organization can erode its ability to continue to sustain its business or to maintain a positive payment pattern with its vendors/partners.

As part of its BusinessAware solution, Brandywine now provides an option to deliver monthly or quarterly monitoring that sends email alerts to BusinessAware clients of customer’s or partners’ changes (both positive and negative) to trade payment trends as well as to significant corporate events such as significant milestone announcements, changes in leadership, lawsuits filed or judgements/liens levied.

For more information about BusinessAware, contact Ben Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group, Inc at 610.696.1905.

BCG SmartCheck BusinessAware… getting to know your partners.

Whether beginning a new business relationship, with a company or individual, as a collaborator or a client, Smart decisions begin with knowing with whom you are dealing.

Deciding who we want to work with in growing our business is a task that is made more effective by gathering meaningful information before getting too far down the road.  Typically, when growing by merger/acquisition discovery becomes a fundamental first-step in the process.  However, discovery during organic growth typically gets much less attention.

Brandywine announces BusinessAware, a new extension of BCG SmartCheck, designed to help businesses grow their business by making informed decisions about the companies and individuals that they add as business partners or clients/customers.

BusinessAware offers a spectrum of investigations customized to fit the nature of the relationship and the magnitude of risk.  These solutions range from the investigation of public domain or established third-party sources and legal filings/judgements to direct collected verifications and references.

Whether deciding on the amount of credit to set for a new business customer or on whether to form a business partnership with another firm, BusinessAware has the expertise to compile and interpret the facts needed to make an informed choice.

For more information about BusinessAware, contact Ben Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group, Inc at 610.696.1905.

BCG SmartCheck eReferences… a better solution

Regardless of the type of position you are trying to fill, finding the person with the best qualifications and the one that will fit in best with your team can be two different challenges.

This photo suggests that everyone in it gets along, but you really don’t know that to be true.  Similarly, a resume documents qualifications but doesn’t adequately tell you “who” the candidate is.  Traditional recruiting approaches rely heavily on the impression that the candidate makes on the interviewer(s) during a short period of time when everyone is finely attuned to the process and the objectives.  Sequential interviews are a great way of broadening the basis for “knowing” who will be joining your team.  But that still leaves gaps.

Prior employment verification is an important way to verify timelines but doesn’t fill the need because prior employers really aren’t at liberty to give much information.  Plus, they can take valuable time.

That’s where professional reference checks can play a key part of the process.

Using personal phone calls works but the biggest limiting factors are the time it takes to make the connection and the willingness of the reference to speak freely.  Most often, employers ultimately forego serious reference checking because it’s just too much work for too little payback.

BCG SmartCheck offers a full suite of tools and approaches, that includes interactive Pre-Employment Assessments, deep background checking, and drug/alcohol testing, and each of those are effective ways to fill in pieces of the puzzle.  BCG SmartCheck eReferences can be the perfect solution to this need.

  • Are professional references that are directly introduced by the candidate (by email or text) and are directly made online at the convenience and privacy of the respondent.
  • Uses questions that are tailored to your needs and interests that can be answered by free-form text, multiple choice answers, or ranking.
  • Presents answers to these questions so they can give insight into behavioral, technical, or functional aspects of the candidate’s potential.
  • Makes everyone more comfortable because responses are kept confidential or shared based on the agreement between you and your candidates.
  • Provides responses summaries that can be reviewed and compared for the insight to nail down those last few questions you might have before delivering the offer.

A Quick and Cost-effective Solution

  • eReferences take the burden of making personal phone reference calls off of Human Resources and other administrative/management personnel
    • this standardizes the quality of the responses.
    • this increases the likelihood that they will get completed.
  • Experience shows that
    • References get completed quickly.  85% of Respondents answer the email or text within 2 days of being asked.
    • Respondents tend to feel more comfortable giving a candid answer because they know the candidate specifically asked them to do so.
    • People tend to be franker when responding online rather than when talking to someone they don’t know personally.
  • eReferences are cost-effective
    • They can be performed as a stand-alone or as part of a more robust screen.
    • They are priced on a sliding cost scale that makes it logical to use professional reference checks as a metric in making sound hiring decisions.

For more information about eReferences, contact Ben Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group, Inc at 610.696.1905.

Drug Positivity in the Workforce Is Rising… Are You Prepared to Adapt?

The following is a reprint of an article written by Ben Ventresca, Managing Partner of Brandywine Consulting Group, published in the May/June 2019 issue of the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce bi-monthly magazine “Chamber Chatter”.

Recently Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, released the results of their most-recent study of workforce drug positivity1 and, based on their analysis of more than ten million workplace drug test results, their findings show:

  • The rate of workforce drug positivity hit a fourteen-year high in 2018, and
  • Increases in marijuana positivity across nearly all employee testing categories (8% for general U.S. and 5% for federally-mandated workforces), and
  • Increases in post-accident positivity in the general U.S. workforce outpace those for all other testing reasons, including pre-employment screening.

The report indicates that marijuana positivity rates in the Greater West Chester area is higher than national averages.

Obviously, with the Commonwealth’s legalization of marijuana for medical use, not all of this is due to the illegal use of marijuana (according to Federal Law marijuana is still a Schedule 1 drug).  Regardless of whether the use is for medicinal or illicit purposes, the challenge for employers is to understand the potential impact of marijuana in the workplace and to develop policies and protocols that protect the workforce and the business while adhering to legal guidelines and best practices.

Employers have the right to establish rules and repercussions for substance use (or abuse) within the workplace.  The degree of productivity loss can vary depending on the type of workplace and can be hard to quantify.  In some environments, where there is exposure to machinery or hot surfaces/liquids, lost productivity pales in comparison to potential workplace injuries.  And in situations where employees are directly interfacing with customers or driving company vehicles, the impact of functional impairment goes beyond productivity.

Now more than ever, for the good of your business and customers, know and protect your workforce!

1 Quest Diagnostics, Secaucus, NJ, April 11, 2019

Benjamin Ventresca is Managing Partner of Brandywine Consulting and a member of the GWCCC Ambassador Committee.  Brandywine offers BCGSmartCheck which is a suite of HR services including Policy Development, Aptitude and Integrity Assessment, Background Screening, Substance Testing, and Occupational Health Services Management.

For more information about, or solutions for, BCGSmartCheck and Smart Hiring Practices,  contact Ben Ventresca at 610.696.1905.

BCG SmartCheck now provides Occupational Health Management Support in conjunction with Concentra Inc.

BCG SmartCheck now provides its clients with direct access to a full range of options and handle the management of personnel and reports throughout the process. 

Nationwide services are provided through the Concentra network of physicians and clinicians. 

Concentra is a national health care company focused on improving the health of America’s workforce, provides occupational medicine, urgent care, physical therapy, and wellness services from more than 520 medical centers in 44 states.

From Pre-Employment Physicals (including DOT compliance) and Fit-for-Duty examinations to occupational medicine, physical therapy, and drug/alcohol counseling services, BCG SmartCheck takes the burden of scheduling, monitoring, and managing these processes from its clients’s human resources team.

Physicians trained in occupational medicine diagnose and treat work-related injuries much more effectively than most primary care physicians. Concentra’s staff is up to date on federal and state regulations for workforce health and safety, including OSHA, DOT, and FAA, so they can make the best treatment plans and perform regulatory examinations.

State Legalization of Marijuana Presents Thorny Issues for HR.

Legalization of marijuana use (either medical or recreational) presents significant policy and practical challenges in the workplace. And the ground rules are VERY fluid to say the least.

This is an excellent article by Joanne Deschenaux, J.D. in SHRM  “HR Today” to get a broad awareness of the problem, and it points to the importance of raising your awareness and planning for the changes in policies and practices for your organization.

For more information about, or solutions for, Smart Hiring Practices and how your state’s regulations on medical or recreational marijuana use could affect your operation, contact Benjamin Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group at 610.696.1905.

Hiring People with Criminal Backgrounds Is Easier Than You Think.

Hiring a qualified candidate with a criminal background can be a smart business move. As with all hiring decisions,

  1. start off with sound HR policies,
  2. know and follow the prevailing regulations and best business practices, and
  3. make your final decision based on facts and not assumptions.

This is an excellent article by Roy Maurer in SHRM  “HR Today” that explores many of the myths and concerns about “second-chance hiring” and opens the door for raising your awareness and considering the changes in mindset and policies for your organization.

For more information about, or solutions for, Smart Hiring Practices and considerations for getting into the practice of “second-chance hiring”, contact Benjamin Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group at 610.696.1905.

E-Verify Expired During Government Shutdown.

The Federal Government shutdown can be having an effect on your procedures and responsibilities as an employer as related to I-9 and e-Verify. Whether you have a full HR department or are a small operation, employment-responsible professionals need to be aware of their exposure during this unusual period.

This is a “must read” article by Roy Maurer in SHRM  “HR Today” that explains the situation as it stands today, and what can be anticipated when the shut-down ends.

For more information about, or solutions for, Smart Hiring Practices and using the E-Verify system, contact Benjamin Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group at 610.696.1905.

Why Background Screening Makes Sense; and what you need to consider when getting started.

Whether your organization is a Fortune 500 company, a small corporation, a sole proprietorship, or a nonprofit entity, trusting an employee means giving them access to the lifeblood of your business, and entrusting volunteers with your constituents places your mission in their hands.

The people who make up your workforce have a vital impact on your reputation as well as on your financial security and, increasingly, interns, part-time and seasonal workers, contractors, and volunteers do the work of full-time employees and are the face of your organization to customers and constituents.  The importance of successful hiring to sustained growth is greater than ever.

While there are very real benefits to background screening that involve personal safety and company reputation, the truth is that the expense of background checks pays off in dollars and cents.  Here are some basic facts that support conducting pre-employment Background Screening (including Credential Verifications, Criminal/Civil Checks, and Drug Screening) on your entire workforce:

  • Nearly 50% of job applications misrepresent the facts, and over 33% contain outright lies.
  • The mobility of the workforce makes the verification process more challenging and time-consuming.
  • 37% of all employees have stolen from an employer more than once.
  • More than 30% of all business failures are caused by employee theft.
  • More than 79% of all negligent hiring cases are settled against the employer.
  • 1 in 14 employees in the US use illegal drugs.
  • The effect of drug use in the workplace costs employers $81 billion annually, and the impact of legal use of medical and recreational marijuana use complicates writing and enforcing drug policies for the workplace.

Much like the reality that you wouldn’t hire someone without an interview; the most prudent approach to hiring includes effective background screening during the onboarding process.

Successful businesses secure their future by integrating safe hiring practices in every phase of their operation (in fact over 90% of major corporations employ safe hiring protocols; and emerging businesses and nonprofits increasingly do so either because of “best practices” or regulatory mandates).  Safe Hiring Practices that incorporate background screening on the entire workforce benefit the bottom line; here are a few specific reasons to employ screens:

  • Increase hiring effectiveness.
  • Discourage applicants who intend to mislead.
  • Reduce the risk of theft and embezzlement.
  • Increase workplace harmony and decrease abusiveness or malevolence.
  • Identify potential management or discipline situations that can be managed with advance notice.
  • Decrease insurance costs.
  • Limit legal (and EEOC) exposure for negligent hiring and retention.

Background screening and drug testing protocols make sense and don’t need to be a burden to your operation or your finances.  While it is imperative that the screening/testing process be equitable and reasonable, you have the ability, both legally and morally, to tailor a program that specifically meets the values and needs of your organization, your staff, and your customers/constituents.  Experience shows that, when properly implemented, these programs are well-received by your staff and appreciated by your customers/constituents.

For more information about, or solutions for, Smart Hiring Practices, Background Screening, and Drug Testing, contact Benjamin Ventresca, Managing Partner – Brandywine Consulting Group, Inc at 610.696.1905.

BCGSmartCheck is now Available in conjunction with Primepoint, LLC Payroll Services and eHR Platform

MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA (March 30, 2015)  –  Brandywine Consulting Group, Inc  and Primepoint, LLC have joined services and products to provide employment background screening integrated within the human resources and payroll management processes.

Predatory actions in the workplace, losses from stolen intellectual property or other assets, and the potential dangers from misrepresented skills, experience, or educational achievements are increasingly becoming common topics for senior managers and executives as well as board directors.

The cost for businesses or nonprofits to recover from illegal, improper, or violent actions of an employee (whether full-time, part-time, or contract) or of a volunteer/intern can critically damage their operations, finances, and reputation.  Even more than the products or services it provides, the trust and harmony of an organization’s workforce and the reputation and trust that it has with its clients and investors are the assets that are the most difficult to replace or rebuild.

From a risk management perspective, the cost of defending against (or recovering from) harmful incidents is significant.  At the same time, the staying on top of the ongoing introduction of new regulations at the federal, state, and local level to protect individuals from discrimination or negligence has become a fact of doing business.  This raises the bar for businesses to properly recruit and acquire talent as well as to defend themselves against discrimination or non-compliance claims, the cost of which can be both operationally distracting and financially draining.

Safe Hiring Practices (which incorporate credible background screening and verification as part of a comprehensive safe hiring program) should be a standard practice for building workforces in organizations of all types, sizes, and life-stages.  BCGSmartCheck provides the full spectrum of employment-related assessment, screening and verification, as well as employment drug testing.

Through this partnership, Primepoint, now offers customers the ability to efficiently initiate, report, and manage the background screening process from within its payroll and human resource management system.