Answer

When running background checks, how do I stay compliant?

It’s important to have a clear and concise written policy, which remains consistent for all candidates who apply. Background checks must remain compliant with the regulations set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and in addition, must also comply with state laws as they vary by state. Before running a background check, the candidate must be notified and give written consent for the employer to proceed with the check. Not all background checks are the same and depending on the industry can vary on what is required. Standard background checks often include criminal history checks, employment and education verification, SSN validity, etc. Some positions require more, such as DOT testing history, state driving records, credit reports, sex offender searches, etc. Once a candidate is hired, employers are required to fulfill an I-9 and E-Verify, which verifies the identity and eligibility to work for all new employees. By following these steps you can help ensure your background process is as safe and effective as possible.

A growing trend with the employment screening industry is the use of commercially compiled databases, also known as instant background checks or “national criminal database searches.” These types of checks are quicker and cheaper but lack accuracy and credibility and put employers at a greater risk of fines and lawsuits from the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

A pre-employment background check is a background check that is ran prior to finalizing a new hire. Pre-employment checks will help verify if the hire is right for the job and a good fit for the workplace. By reducing turnover rates you’re not only lowering costs but improving the workplace morale with a long-term team member and someone that will work well with other employees.

There are two different types of background checks; instant and comprehensive. Instant background checks, also known as “national criminal database searches” provide general information pulled from a commercially available database. These searches aren’t corroborated against any official county court record. Although they are quick, they can often return with error-filled information, since it’s not derived from a verified source. Comprehensive background checks, like DISA’s, involve multiple National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) FCRA certified employees confirming that all information aligns with the person who is being checked. These individuals also must hold a private investigator license in order to legally be able to research and verify information about the applicant. This process verifies that the information is accurate and is not information from an alias with the same name as the applicant being screened.