Background check sites have become really popular, but their mechanisms are not quite clear to many of us.
It’s rather unfortunate to run a background check and then not know how to interpret the results. This article will outline the screening process’ different steps and explain what steps companies take to obtain the information they need.
By choosing a reputable background check provider, you ensure compliance with the FCRA. Background check sites allow companies to invite multiple applicants to take part at the same time. Then, they generate and store a set of data compiled in a report.
Companies are provided with the forms and disclosures necessary for the applicant to acknowledge, helping them stay compliant with FCRA regulations.
The FCRA prohibits sites from reporting arrests that happened more than seven years ago and didn’t lead to a conviction. In addition to this, some states have their own laws further restricting these sites from reporting crime-related information. Even if criminal history information is available in a mugshot database or from another unvetted source, it might not appear in the employment background check for this reason.
Legitimate screening providers automate reporting in accordance with the laws of each state, so nobody gets access to unreportable information.
On the other hand, a conviction will tend to appear on a criminal record. The date of the conviction is irrelevant. The states of Washington, California, Montana, Maryland, New Mexico, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, and New Hampshire have brought the reporting scope down to seven years.
The applicant will get an email asking them to provide their data and consent to the screening. The applicant enters their personal data securely and signs an authorization, consent, and disclosure form electronically. Usually, it takes an average of 4 days to process the report. Depending on county courthouse operations, the applicant’s location, and the depth of the search, it might take longer than expected.
The majority of screening packages include a few types of checks, from time-consuming searches on the federal level to an almost instant database search. Examples of the latter are most database screenings, including National Criminal Records Checks, Social Security Number Trace, Global Watchlist Records Check, and Sex Offender Registry Check. These take seconds to complete.
In terms of turnaround, criminal checks on the county level are a limiting factor. This is the most extensive search as most crimes are prosecuted on a county level.
After the check is performed, the provider completes the report and makes it available to the ordering party. The party reviews it and determines the applicant’s eligibility on that basis. They will then either engage the applicant or proceed to Adverse Action.
Legitimate services host authorization and other relevant forms securely. They check both public and private databases for records matching the applicant’s name, birthdate, and current and past addresses. Sometimes, this process involves checking government records manually. It is nowhere near instant.
Background Check Sites Help Companies and Their Employees
The services provided by background check sites benefit companies and employees in a variety of practical and legal ways. Job positions with contracts always involve some risk between the business and the employee. By asking current and prospective employees to undergo a background check, one establishes a community of transparency and trust. Background checks help companies maintain workforce quality. The screening process encourages communication and honesty toward the employer and the peace of mind that goes along with that.
This process also helps prevent wrongful termination and negligent hiring lawsuits. Staff litigation costs can be crippling to a business’s resources and capital.
What if a Candidate Disputes a Background Check Report?
Some background check providers will review and verify the data contested to ensure the accuracy of the results. In this process, they set the report to “dispute” status. The ordering party cannot initiate any action before the provider has completed the reinvestigation process. Under FCRA rules, the provider has about one month to do this. Of course, they should try to complete it as quickly as possible.
When this is done, they take the report out of dispute status and send both the ordering party and the applicant an email with the updated report and any data pertinent to the dispute. Then, the ordering party can take action as they see fit.