Background Check Best Practices: Help Your Clients Hire the Right Way

Three of every four businesses rely on background check firms for employee screening. The best providers offer customized screening services that can not only help employers but also meet their hiring objectives while adhering to strict compliance requirements.

Depending on the type of employment you are screening for, there are many types of records that can be requested. A typical screening request could include criminal background records, work history, credit history, education, driving records, and professional licenses and certifications.

Provide complete and up to date information

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires background check companies to provide adequate and up to date information. All information searched online should be validated by an official at the court or by utilizing an experienced court researcher in that jurisdiction to do an in person search. Vendors should, therefore, optimize their capacities and capability to gather information from courthouses. File Finders collects data from courts in relevant jurisdictions for complete, verifiable, and accurate reporting.

Focus on state and county records

Data and records found at the state and county level are more reliable than a national background search. Recent surveys show that many state and county courts do not regularly report to the national database. Be aware that some states may still not have accurate and up to date criminal records.

There may be several months of delays between receiving new criminal information and entering that into the database. For instance, while it’s easy to find arrest information, a majority of repositories do not contain final disposition information.

It will be considered discriminatory and unfair if your clients make their hiring decisions based on arrest information. The disposition information is what matters as it indicates the outcomes of the courts. The best background screening companies can verify data by accessing the data directly at the county courthouse themselves or through an agent.

Provide timely information

Time is one of the factors that drive your clients to rely on automated online checks. These checks are often unverifiable, and they inadequately address the safety and compliance needs of an organization. Background screening companies must deliver a timely service that keeps clients from making costly mistakes, without adding exorbitant amounts to the hiring process. 

To achieve that, you need a strategy for working around delayed Nationwide requests. Some jurisdictions require additional paperwork to be filled out to process your requests through the state’s repository system.

Some courts may take months to process a request, and that warrants the use of hands-on research at the local courts. The court search can be a labor-intensive process. At File Finders, we are boots on the ground with expert court researchers on deck in the courthouse everyday.

Provide compliant information

Many companies, including giants like Amazon and Wells Fargo, are now facing a barrage of lawsuits for ‘unfair’ background checks. Improper employment screening practices could land your client on that list.

If the check is irrelevant to a candidate’s position, the screening qualifies as unfair, and both you and your clients could be liable for huge fines.

Strategic wholesale background screening companies such as File Finders work with legal teams to help you deliver quality, timely, and process-proven employment verification that comply with local and state laws.

Provide accurate information

Inaccurate information leads to wrongful job denials and the risk of lawsuits and fines against you and your clients. An increasing number of background checkers are finding themselves in the cross-hairs as they try to deliver expedient services.

CoreLogic National makes a perfect case study –one job candidate directly sued the background check company for negligently reporting that he had been convicted for a felony which cost him the job.

The common costly blunders in the screening process include:

  • Failure to use the date of birth during the search
  • Reporting outdated or discriminatory information
  • Using arrest records

Widen the scope with reliable databases

Broadening the scope of a background check via multi-jurisdictional databases provides your hiring companies with an extra layer of due diligence in the process.

Some leading employment screening companies use database products to uncover additional information in state and national jurisdictions.

But you have to choose wisely when dealing with a criminal database system. Many of the database products in the market can expose your clients to additional risks.

These include database products that do not update their records regularly. You could end up with documents that have recently been adjudicated, expunged, or cleared. Reporting such background information violates Section 613 of the FCRA.

In conclusion, background screening companies are required by law to provide complete, accurate, and up to date information.

This information, relating to arrests and convictions, employment history and qualifications, suits and tax liens, and the like, can hurt a person’s ability to obtain employment. Inadequate or inaccurate reporting, thus, opens you and your client to lawsuits and fines.

At File Finders, we provide comprehensive, and quality assured public record research. Our services include criminal record research as well as other public record research and retrieval. Let us help you deliver quality and timely background reports that accelerate your clients’ time to hire.

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