Corra Daily Planet » 2007 » August

Corporate Climbing Can Be Your Next Big Hire

Fri, August 31st, 2007 - 10:51 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Ready for the next step in your career?

The best way to be known as a super star in your organization is to assume more responsibility.

This is best done once you have mastered your current position.

Communicate your interest and intention to your managers. No on can read your mind and know your desire for future advancement.

Look at the workload of your direct manager. Are there any projects that you can take on? By taking over your manager’s work, you free your manager to move on to more strategic projects.

By assuming more responsibility and extra work, you gain confidence in your ability to take on challenges and continue to prove your worth and interest in the organization.

In small steps you naturally grow into the next position.

From Tech Exec Partners

Corra knows that for any business to expand you need the go-getters. You need those ambitious types that won’t take no for an answer and thrive on the added responsibility you give them.

You ambitious types should well heed Diane’s advice about moving up the ladder. When Corra conducts employment verification and personal reference checks, we note the candidates the HR people can’t wait to hire are the candidates who take on more responsibility, work well with others, and show up on time.

As part of any preemployment screening program, Corra suggests you run these searches along with the necessary criminal searches. Who knows? You might get yourself a real go-getter.

Check them out before you hire.

Small Business Can Put More Fun in the Work Place

Thu, August 30th, 2007 - 3:11 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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That’s Chief Entertainment Officer

Smaller companies do fun better. We got that straight from the skating matador and dozens of his CEO colleagues.

From: Inc. Magazine, | By: Leigh Buchanan

George Kase’s 2007 new year’s resolution sounded self-indulgent, like giving up dieting for Lent. “I will have more fun with my employees,” pledged Kase, president of CCFC Advertising, a $20 million Chicago company. (That’s him to the left, with the bird, surrounded by some of the people who work for him.)He wasn’t being frivolous. Kase, who co-founded CCFC 20 years ago, assumed the top slot in 2005 when one of his partners moved into strategic planning. The previous leader, who Kase describes as “a very business-by-the-book guy,” had presided over a work-hard-play-hardly culture. Kase worried that employees were keeping late hours, rarely glancing up from their computer screens.First things first: He enlisted freelance help and insisted the overburdened talk to him about getting relief. Second things second: He made serious plans to inject good times into the job. “I thought, we have to put fun on the agenda,” says Kase. “I can’t leave it to happen organically because it won’t.”So Kase brought in some rubber chickens and a bag of plastic dinosaurs. He took the staff to a racetrack, held a winetasting and a potluck with exotic foreign dishes and chili dogs. He started asking everyone: What should we do? Where should we go? “I am thinking we might institute a duty roster where folks get to create and execute the fun on a rotating basis,” says Kase. “Requirements would be that everybody gets to have the fun, it can’t cost a lot, and it cannot impair the senses–too much–or be illegal.”

Kase is not the only leader trying to reverse a fun deficit. Many companies start out fun, but the carefree ethos is tough to sustain through growth, hard times, and the constant flux of personalities. Too often, fun becomes something employees have everywhere but here. When once a year the leader pops out of her office and hollers “Frisbee toss!” the effort feels forced.

For the entire article go to

Corra is a small business. We know small businesses can be fun. But when you have small businesses you need certain types of people–non-corporate types. Who enjoy the fun.

You also need people who are highly competent and versatile, because in a small business each employee has to cover a lot of ground and be responsible for many things. A good employee has a greater impact on a small business. A talent can enhance a small business. On the other hand a problem employee can drag down the business.

You should always be running a criminal search, and the education verification, can help verify certain qualifications. Employment verification is also important.

Check them out before you hire.

It Is Coming Big Time, The Undocumented Worker Crackdown

Wed, August 29th, 2007 - 3:55 pm - By Gordon Basichis

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llegal-immigrant crackdown looms

A plan to make employers fire workers with discrepancies in their records could snare many citizens and legal residents, critics say.

By Nicole Gaouette
Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — With the failure of immigration legislation in Congress this year, federal officials are planning a new crackdown on illegal immigrants that would force businesses to fire them or face stiff penalties. But the effort also could cause serious headaches for millions of U.S. citizens.

In the coming days, the Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue a rule outlining how businesses must respond when they receive notice that there are discrepancies in a worker’s tax records.

Many businesses simply ignore such notices now. Under the new rules, employees would have a limited time to contact the Social Security Administration to correct the information, or face termination.

The rule would transfer more responsibility for enforcement to companies — part of a Homeland Security effort to break through the complacency that some officials say the corporate world has about illegal workers.

The initiative follows warnings by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that his department would toughen enforcement if efforts to overhaul the flawed immigration system failed. The discrepancies detected in Social Security employment records can sometimes flag illegal workers on the job.

However, the planned crackdown has provoked concern because many of the errors are benign: misspellings or incorrect birthdates in records of citizens or legal immigrants. There are errors in the records of an estimated 12.7 million U.S. citizens alone, and workers rushing to correct these discrepancies could swamp Social Security offices, much as new travel regulations have paralyzed government passport facilities this year.

And businesses are complaining about bearing the burden of enforcing a flawed immigration system.

For the entire article go to

Corra has been warning its clients for sometime that a crackdown on undocumented or illegal workers is imminent, and now it looks like its time has come. While Corra takes no stance, one way or the other, on the prickly immigration issue, you can rest assured that hiring undocumented workers is about to get a whole lot more expensive.

Companies of all sizes will whine and groan, but at the end of the day the law is the law and the different agencies will enforce it as they so choose. Stricter enforcement will certainly yield harsher penalties, and businesses who hire undocumented workers will find themselves facing finds, suspensions and even the prospect of having their business licenses revoked.

If you haven’t conducted background searches on your workers, Corra suggests that now is the time to do so. We suggest a Social Security Trace, which will help validate the number and determine if it legally belongs to your candidate. The criminal search is a must, and if they drive for you a Motor vehicle Driver’s report is necessary. Some of Corra’s clients also request a wants and warrants search, for fear your prospect may be picked up the day he shows for work.

So do yourself a favor. You will be saving money in the short and long run by running background checks. Check them out before you hire.

Stealing Sensitive Data–It’s Easy

Tue, August 28th, 2007 - 10:19 am - By Gordon Basichis

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Computer Security Problems Found at IRS

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – IRS employees ignored security rules and turned over sensitive computer information to a caller posing as a technical support person, according to a government study.

Sixty-one of the 102 people who got the test calls, including managers and a contractor, complied with a request that the employee provide his or her user name and temporarily change his or her password to one the caller suggested, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, an office that does oversight of Internal Revenue Service.

The caller asked for assistance to correct a computer problem.

The report said that by failing to question the identity of the caller the employees were putting the IRS at risk of providing unauthorized people access to taxpayer data that could be used for identity theft and other fraudulent schemes.

“This is especially disturbing because the IRS has taken many steps to raise employee awareness of the importance of protecting their computers and passwords,” said Inspector General J. Russell George.

For the entire story go to

Corra has seen enough to say identity theft has become a major problem. Perhaps even that is an understatement. Identity issues permeate many aspects of the work place as well as private life. Too much information has led to information overload, and that has caused the proverbial security dams to overflow.

When hiring someone it is important to make sure that person is who he really says he is. The Social Security Trace will help as will a background check of criminal records. The Drivers License Report will also help in establishing a candidate’s true identity as well as show the candidate’s actual record.

If the IRS can release sensitive information, imagine what a corrupt employee can do to your business. Check them out before you hire.

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