Private Eyes Inc.



In this issue    
Productivity Trick: Pick Your Best Hours
6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers
EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Use of Criminal Records

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We are proud to announce that is now certified through WBENC as a Woman Owned Business.  

We have automated the ordering process on our new website as well as allowed for credit card ordering.


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Announcement: can now be used to not only verify Income but as a way to also verify Employment.  Using this program will allow one to verify sensitive information through our secure site. It is fast and easy!

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May 2012  

Message from Our President, Sandra James   

 Sandra Black and White Standing


April showers bring May flowers!  Everyone has heard it and everyone knows it to be true.  Growth is all around us!  Here at Private Eyes, Inc. we are so grateful to see growth within our business, with an increase of 30% in the first quarter! has also experienced a 100% growth so far this year!  We are also glad to hear that things are steadily growing and improving for our clients as well.  It seems things are moving in a positive direction for ALL!  A sign our economy is recovering!



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Productivity Trick: Pick Your Best Hours

Not all hours are created equal. Some hours produce more net value for you, your customers and your firm, than others. As my old partner liked to say, "Some of my hours are priceless and some of them are worthless."


In looking at the most effective executives, leaders and business owners I know, I notice many of them are very careful with their time. This includes the appointments they set or take, the meetings they have, organizations to which they belong, and the activities they fill their day with.


Look at your appointment calendar from last week. In every day there were probably only two hours of high productivity. Use the following steps to make the most of them.


1. Figure Out Your Time


Rank your activities over the course of the week into three categories: High Value, Low Value and No Value. The value standard is what produces value to the customer. Most of us do not think about our jobs as what we get done, but rather what we do. But highly productive people think in outcomes first and activities second.


2. Decide What Is Valuable


I was recently working with someone whose time literally fell into thirds when measured against those categories. Getting to a place where you spend 100% of your time in the High Value category is probably unrealistic. But what if you could move one hour per day out of No Value into Low Value, and one hour from Low to High Value? You would be trading up the value curve in a very big way over the course of a year.



For the Full Article: click here 



6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers 

In the beginning, there was just you and your partners. You did every job. You coded, you met with investors, you emptied the trash and phoned in the midnight pizza. Now you have others to do all that and it's time for you to "be strategic."  


Whatever that means.


If you find yourself resisting "being strategic," because it sounds like a fast track to irrelevance, or vaguely like an excuse to slack off, you're not alone. Every leader's temptation is to deal with what's directly in front, because it always seems more urgent and concrete. Unfortunately, if you do that, you put your company at risk. While you concentrate on steering around potholes, you'll miss windfall opportunities, not to mention any signals that the road you're on is leading off a cliff.


This is a tough job, make no mistake. "We need strategic leaders!" is a pretty constant refrain at every company, large and small. One reason the job is so tough: no one really understands what it entails. It's hard to be a strategic leader if you don't know what strategic leaders are supposed to do.


After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what's required of you in this role. Adaptive strategic leaders - the kind who thrive in today's uncertain environment - do six things well:


Most of the focus at most companies is on what's directly ahead. The leaders lack "peripheral vision." This can leave your company vulnerable to rivals who detect and act on ambiguous signals. To anticipate well, you must:

  • Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industry
  • Search beyond the current boundaries of your business
  • Build wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better

Think Critically

"Conventional wisdom" opens you to fewer raised eyebrows and second guessing. But if you swallow every management fad, herdlike belief, and safe opinion at face value, your company loses all competitive advantage. Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill you must force yourself to:

  • Reframe problems to get to the bottom of things, in terms of root causes
  • Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own
  • Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions

For the Full Article: click here    


EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Use of Criminal Records 


The anticipated "new" Guidance from the EEOC on criminal records was issued on April 25, 2012 and became generally available on April 27, 2012. In summary, the new Guidance is a refinement of existing restrictions rather than an overhaul of the existing standards. One might say this announcement may be interpreted as an attempt to "get serious" about the existing standards. The original standards were adopted on February 4, 1987. These long standing guidelines are basically: (1) Consider the nature and seriousness of the offense; (2) Consider the length of time since the conviction/release from confinement; and (3) Consider the nature of the job (how does the criminal conduct relate to the job).


The EEOC's actions are in response to a serious social concern. In its report it acknowledged that 1 in 3 African-American males have a criminal record. Some statistics we have reviewed shows that the rate is 3 out of 4 in some inner cities. As a society, such a large group cannot be permanently unemployable. If they cannot obtain employment they have no choice but to continue a life of crime to the detriment of everyone. On the other hand, the EEOC acknowledges the legitimate concerns of employers regarding the potential risk ex-convicts pose.  


Much of the 26 pages of text cover the legal principal of adverse impact. Adverse impact deals with neutral employment policies that have a disproportate impact upon minorities. It is unintentional discrimination. The EEOC discussion closely follows the presentations by Art Cohen and Larry Henry presented at past NAPBS conferences. You may wish to visit those materials again on the NAPBS website.  


The bottom line is that the EEOC wants employers to individually assess each applicant/employee who may be screened out because of a criminal record. This follows the process under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Generally, the EEOC wants to add a pre-adverse action process similar to that currently existing under the FCRA. Thus all employers will have this type of process, although not as formally set forth for information contained in consumer reports under the FCRA. This for CRA customers the process will not be new, however the review period prior to taking adverse action may be longer than provided under the FCRA.[1] This process will first determine if the report is inaccurate or reflects the current status of a record (has the conviction been expunged?). Again, nothing new to CRAs or their customers here. The Guidance does not make databased reports illegal, but the EEOC acknowledges the problems with them and this review period will protect the consumer from inaccurate or outdated records.  


If the record is in fact correct, then the employer must assess the risk that person may pose, not only using the three factors above, but also such things as consideration of evidence of rehabilitation (training, evaluation, professional help); a record of employment showing no harm for the potential risk and/or character references. It seems that the evidence of prior successful employment after a conviction is a very important factor to the EEOC. Frankly, a good work record may be the best evidence of rehabilitation. This consideration presents business opportunities for the consumer reporting agencies to conduct more job verifications. However, these type of reports will be investigative consumer reports because the report must include an evaluation of a person's work. A list of the "new" considerations is attached to this Alert.







For the full article: click here  

Sandra James
President, CEO
Private Eyes, Inc.