27 May Should a Company Run Their Own Background Checks?
Today, there are many options for firms to run their own job applicant background checks. Some of these sites are put up and run by local or even state governments. The issue an employer needs to be aware of is whether this is really the best approach to obtain accurate information. Some firms run background checks using websites that are questionable at best. In fact, a number of these websites openly state that the background information they provide cannot be used for employment purposes. Based on this declaration, nothing useful has been accomplished. Attempting to use a questionable website of this nature can be a waste of time, money, and leave the employer legally exposed.
Other sites that offer background check services will provide limited, and/or out of date information. To complicate things even further, some websites do not have full identifiers. To be specific, this means that the only information that may be provided is a name only match. To take this further, without the ability to validate a criminal record by social security number, or date of birth, how is an employer to determine if the person who has the criminal record is actually their potential employee? It becomes clear that this is not really possible.
Given the complex and sensitive issues that are involved, a company in this circumstance is placing the firm in a position that could end up with expensive litigation proceedings. There are many cases where companies have been sued for this type of situation. As a result, the firm will not only be coping with litigation that could last for months, but it will most likely create a tremendous amount of negative public relations. This type of situation is something the media will follow closely.
Another situation that we frequently see is when a company locates a local, county, or even state website. On the surface, this sounds like it might be a good source for information. The problem is that information from this type of source is still categorized as an incomplete background check.
You may be wondering how that’s possible. Think about this. What if the person moved to that state since they are unable to work in another state because of their criminal record? How would you know where a person lived other than what they tell you which may be inaccurate? Some people move for legitimate reasons such as downsizing, high taxes, poor schools, etc., while others relocate because they have things to hide.
A professional background check company conducts a criminal record search using tools and access that employers don’t have. This is why most companies use a third party professional background check company. We run the social security number through credit bureau data sources to determine where the person has lived during the last seven years, which is frequently the time you can legally check in accordance with federal and state Fair Credit Reporting Acts. We then directly connect to those courts through special access, or often send a researcher to walk in and check criminal records.
For more information on running accurate background checks, Contact U.S. Information Search