In The World Of Background Checks, Enough Is Never Enough

by Wayne J. Jung

When I started in the background check business, one of the first things I learned was that no “silver bullet” reporting solution exists.

Which I understood to mean, despite the use of an overused analogy, that there wasn’t one single report that provided all of the necessary data to properly assess an applicant’s candidacy with near certain accuracy, especially as it related to criminal background checks.

And that is part of the reason why at SELECTiON.COM® we offer more than 35 unique reports, a solid half-dozen of which are specifically criminal background check-related.

Why so many, you ask?

Criminal records and sex offender registries are not reported across state lines. In many cases, they aren’t reported up to the state level either.

State background check reports, including fingerprint-based state reports, oftentimes don’t include criminal records from the counties within their own state. This happens because the crimes are tried at the county level, and depending upon the type of offense, the counties are not required to report all records.

In the case of fingerprint background checks, some records, such as misdemeanor drug offenses, public intoxication and disorderly conduct, can be missed simply because the crime is a ticketed offense in that area and doesn’t require being fingerprinted in the first place.

As I mentioned last week, there is no universal reporting methodology and the FBI database is reliant solely upon what state and local agencies choose to report.

The best solution is to not depend solely on one source expecting to return a 100 percent accurate and thorough criminal background report.

We recommend utilizing a Social Security Trace Report to create a residency history, from which our national network of researchers scour the available records in the specific counties in which the applicant has lived.

From there, Search America® provides a snapshot in order to fill in the gaps by pulling data from more than 1500 sources in the United States and abroad.

The Search America® database aggregates information from Administrative Office of the Courts, Departments of Correction, Sex Offender Registries, as well as county court record information from cooperating jurisdictions.

This search also pulls from a large list of national security and international sources, including INTERPOL’s Most Wanted List and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) terrorist watchlist.

The combination of a SELECTiON.COM® proprietary Search America® database report and our nationwide network of criminal researchers equals the most comprehensive applicant criminal check in the industry.

Almost as important as providing thorough reporting in an expeditious fashion, is returning accurate data allowing our clients to make the most informed decisions possible.

Our experienced Quality Assurance team of knowledgeable researchers helps ensure you aren’t overwhelmed with false hits, or forced to make decisions based upon faulty data.

The FBI doesn’t have a method allowing applicants to challenge the results, unlike FCRA-regulated consumer reports such as those provided by SELECTiON.COM®, a process that is designed to protect job applicants from unfair employment actions.

And that’s important, because as we have all learned from the recent Robins v. Spokeo, Inc. ruling, consumers may be able to bring FCRA claims in federal court whenever their reports contain inaccurate information, unless that information is truly insignificant.

At SELECTiON.COM® we pride ourselves in being thorough, timely, and above all, accurate.

See for yourself, please call me today at (800) 325-3609, extension 3024.

 

SOURCE:  Robins v. Spokeo, Inc., 867 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2017)

Article by SELECTiON.COM®

Founded in 1991, SELECTiON.COM® is one of the Nation’s leading providers of pre-employment background screening services. We offer the largest network of in-house researchers, the fastest turnaround on criminal background checks and drug screening, and unsurpassed customer service. Our web application, FASTRAX Select™, allows employers to verify an applicant’s background check information quickly and accurately from the convenience of a personal computer. Average turnaround time on criminal background searches is 2 business days. Thousands of employers nationwide rely on SELECTiON.COM® to help them make smart hiring decisions.