Seven Questions About Background Screening

July 17, 2018
The Society For Human Resource Management published an article with questions about background screening. We’re joining the fun with our own Q&A.
Backgrounds Online | July 17, 2018

The Society For Human Resource Management published an article with questions about background screening. We’re joining the fun with our own Q&A.

Why Should I Run Background Checks?

This is one of the most simple, yet essential questions about background screening. Run them to:

· Create a safe workplace. Your business likely has several employees in a shared space. These people count on you to maintain a safe working environment. Background checks show you if someone has a conviction for violence, identity theft or other crimes. Use them to find out if an applicant or current employee has a serious criminal conviction.
· Due diligence. Your customers and the public also expect you to take steps to protect them. This is especially true if your employees will have access their personal data, homes or other vulnerable parts of their lives. Running background checks on applicants and annual screenings on employees confirms you are performing due diligence.
· Make informed decisions. In addition to showing criminal convictions, background checks help you confirm an individual’s work and education history, licenses and credentials. Use them verify a person is qualified to handle the expected job duties.
· Reduce turnover. If you don’t confirm an applicant is qualified to perform the job duties, you may spend time, energy and resources onboarding a person just to realize they will not work out and you’ll have to start over.

How Long Does It Take To Process A Background Check?

In most cases, a background check takes 2 – 3 business days to complete. The team at Backgrounds Online works diligently to process orders as quickly as possible so we can provide the information our clients need to make important business decisions.

Why Do Some Background Checks Take Longer?

There are several reasons why a report might take longer:

· We obtain records directly from county courthouses. Sometimes those records must be pulled by a county clerk. When courts have a backlog of work, closures or limited resources; that can cause delays.
· We contact individuals who provide employment, educational or professional verifications. An individual might not be available, a school could be closed for a break or a former employer may have destroyed old records.
· If we find a criminal record in a county where a person did not live, we go to the source to get the best and most accurate information. This can also delay a report.

If a report is delayed, we will explain why. You can login to your account and see the status of your orders in real time and notes from us about delays with courthouses, verifications, etc.

How Are Background Checks Regulated?

Consumer reports, such as background checks, are regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). This is a federal document that is designed to protect consumers and their privacy. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also provides guidance on how convictions can be used to make employment-related decisions.

Many state laws also contain regulations for hiring and background screening. Keeping up with all these laws can be difficult. Consumer Reporting Agencies, like Backgrounds Online, strive to keep up with relevant laws and provide educational resources, compliant documents and expertise that greatly benefits clients.

Are Public Records Databases With Criminal Data Reliable?

No - public records databases often aggregate as much information as possible from numerous sources. They do not typically have the checks and balances in place to ensure that data is correct, current and reportable. If you rely on these databases, you could make a decision based on inaccurate or outdated information. That, in turn, could lead to a lawsuit and other liabilities.

Why Can’t I Conduct My Own Background Investigation?

A background check contains information that can legally be used for business purposes. If you run your own investigations, you put your business at risk of violating privacy and discrimination laws. Doing something like an in-house social media check could result in an applicant claiming that you took adverse action against them based on their gender, color, religious beliefs or another protected characteristic.

Much like using public databases, running your own search could also lead to you relying on outdated or irrelevant records that cannot legally for making business decisions.

How Do I Find A Consumer Reporting Agency?

Best practice is to use a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) that is accredited by the National Association of Public Background Screeners (NAPBS). CRAs must demonstrate a deep and ongoing commitment to client education, compliance, data security, research/verification standards and other key principles to be eligible for accreditation.

Backgrounds Online is proud to be an accredited CRA that has been helping customers make educated choices, promote safe workplaces and meet expectations of their customers and the public for 20 years. If you have questions about how we can help you with your background check needs, please contact us for assistance.