Dave Jordan, the background check veteran lays out general FCRA guidelines and reveals which employment background check service helps you stay compliant while delivering the most comprehensive records available.
These days, an employment background check seems to be standard operating procedure regardless of what type of job a person is applying to. This is even true with most volunteer work, especially that which requires interaction with minors or older people. I realize paying for an background check for a volunteer can be somewhat of a difficult proposition to grasp. However, Be assured I have read countless articles of repeat sex offenders volunteering for, and obtaining, positions that allowed them to work directly with minors or near prior victims.
Employment background checks are a vital step that shouldn’t be left out regardless of whether you are vetting a volunteer or a CEO. They help safeguard organizations, customers, and businesses from unscrupulous people who’s intentions are far from honorable. However, with employment background checks, you have issues as well, which brings me to the next issue of inaccurate information.
Sometimes an employer decides to obtain a record check through a consumer service that doesn’t require a social security number or other validating information. When doing this, there is a good chance they will run into criminal or other records that do not belong to the person they are checking on.
You as an employer need to go through the proper channels when conducting an employment check, to ensure the information you pull is correct. There are procedures that must be followed and some limitations on how you use the information. However, for the most part, obtaining professional employment services is far simpler than most would have you believe, and I’ll help point you in the right direction.
Below are some general pointers you should know about. However, if you already have a good understanding of the process, proceed directly to our partner program with BackgroundChecks.com.
Start with an overview, discount pricing, FAQ, and registration. Plus, you will always have access to industry professionals who can help you stay FCRA compliant or answer any other questions you may have.
An Employment Background Check and The FCRA…
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is the central driving force concerning the dissemination of background check information. Many people confuse the reference to credit reports as meaning that it has to do with consumer credit reports. It may all have begun as such, but the FCRA has evolved into the guiding force that is partly responsible for helping protect people’s data privacy from identity thieves and the like.
This shift is generally due to rapidly advancing technology and the digitizing of records by many state law enforcement agencies. The past decade or so has seen the formation of markets that weren’t previously in existence…such as online background check services aimed at consumers instead of just employers.
Recent corruption coupled with a massive information infrastructure has also greatly increased the public’s and employers attentiveness to the need to make sure people are who they say they are. Of course, the demand for employment background checks has increased exponentially along with retail background checks for consumers. Information technology has improved access to a more extensive set of information for the general consumer. This in turn has also lead to a tightening of rules and regulations within the FCRA. Today, all records pertaining to an individual made available by third parties are considered a “consumer report”.
If a business would like to carry out an employment background check, there are basically two routes they can take. The first one is to pay for the “consumer report” from a background check company. This is by far the simplest and involved the least amount of hassle. There is also the option of conducting a background check using in-house personnel. This is usually out of the question due to the cost and complexity.
You should be aware that businesses who do conduct an employment background check probe with their own resources are usually faced with fewer legal concerns. This is largely due to the fact that the FCRA applies mainly to information being provided by a third party to someone else. Plus, it also requires that any employers who would like to carry out a background check must first obtain written and signed permission from the individual they want to check on. This approval must also remain on file once the background check is complete.
While a business that conducts private, in-house background checks usually doesn’t have to notify the subject of their search, there are a growing number of states adopting legislation to the contrary. California is a leader in this, and has eliminated FCRA technicalities that allow for such through its own legislation.
In California, any type of employment background check activity, regardless of how and where it’s done requires the written consent of the individual being investigated. Check your own state for specific rules on this.
One thing for all employers to keep in mind: You are far better off letting the prospective employee know of your intentions to run an employment background check even if you are not required to do so. Should they find out, it can signal mistrust to them and degrade the relationship even before they have even received the job.
Employers should also be aware that the FCRA provides requirements on the correct procedures to be carried out, should an individual be denied employment based on the background check. Once again, states have also passed their own legislation on this, so make sure you know the requirements in your individual state. The person must be informed in writing that a background check may result in negating their chances of being hired.
The legal terminology for this is a “pre-adverse action disclosure”, and it also has to include a copy of the background check (consumer report) in addition to their notice of rights. These basically spell out that the individual is allowed to challenge any records they believe are inaccurate, and who they should contact if that is what they would like to do. An “adverse action notice” is required if the employment background check does result in the individual not being hired.
While all these requirements may have your head spinning, you should know that any employment background check service worth considering will have integrated support to ensure you stay FCRA compliant. The service I recommend is BackgroundChecks.com because of ease of use, FCRA support, nationwide use by Fortune500 companies and small businesses, and great customer support when you need it. I have also teamed up with BackgroundChecks.com to offer a 10% discount on all their employment related services.
What It Can Include…
Employment background checks are a very different animal from consumer background checks, mostly because they are far more thorough. What records are or are not included depend on different variables such who’s doing the check and in what capacity.
A basic nationwide criminal search using the 10% discount from BackgroundChecks.com will cost $12.56, while a complete name and address search will cost $3.16. You have complete access to a set of investigative products that are unrivaled in the industry, that allow you to narrow your search all the way down to the county level if need be.
Employment background checks from BackgroundChecks.com include the following depending on which product you choose:
- County criminal records
- State criminal records
- Federal criminal records
- Name and address history records
- Nationwide sex offender records
- Education, employment, and reference verification
- Ongoing criminal monitoring
There are certain types of employment that require a more thorough investigation by law. Individuals working in the medical field and also those who take care of the elderly or young are usually required to undergo an FBI, national criminal background check with fingerprint verification.
You may want to conduct this type of background check for all your employees, but law also dictates who is allowed to access an FBI background check. Plus, it is not the be all and end all because you still need to check references, qualifications, or even a name and address history. A reputable background check company can also point you in the right direction should you need FBI criminal background checks.
BackgroundChecks.com is currently my preferred choice because they provide all the above service as part of a comprehensive employment solution to both Fortune500 companies and smaller businesses. A long standing professional relationship has also lead to the joint offering of their employment services at 10% off the regular price.
If you are ready to proceed with a state-of-the-art solution that is simple to set up, manage and offers live FCRA compliance help, proceed to the employment background check services page to get started.
All the best,
Sign up with our partner BackgroundChecks.com and fast track your employee background check program. You’ll receive dedicated support through phone and email whenever you have a question. You can manage your background checks and usage history from anywhere in the world through an online account that is secured by class leading state-of-the-art encryption technology.