Background Checks and Technology

How critical is technology when an employer is looking to employ a background service provider?  During the dot.com boom many background screening firms touted all sorts of internet features to the employers.  Nowadays when selecting a provider technology is a given.  From the smallest company to the larger firms both have access to the same databank providers to obtain their information.  With the evolution of HR=XML standard, ATS (applicant tracking system) and the ASP (application service provider) software, all firms have the use of the technology that is every bit as good as the largest firms.  The providers all customize the sites for their clients with different “Bells and Whistles”, but when it comes down to the end product the resulting information is generated from the same...

Criminal Records and Job Interviews

Can an employer ask if I've ever been arrested in an interview?

While most states ban the use of arrest history that did not lead to conviction in hiring decisions, most states do not ban employers from asking about arrests in interviews. Most states allow most or all potential employers to ask about arrests as well as convictions during a job interview. If you live in a state that does not prohibit employers from asking about arrests, it is important that you answer this question truthfully.

What should I say in an interview or on an employment form if my criminal record has been expunged?

If your record is expunged, you can answer "No, I do not have a criminal record." By law, an employer is not...

Background Checks

Most companies now conduct backgrounds prior to hiring. Some even require the applicant to pay for it and normally reimburse them after they are hired. The check however must be authorized by the applicant and if based on the result the applicant is not hired, the employer is required to tell them why. The average cost of a check ranges from $15 to $ 50.

The applicant should be honest and advise the interviewed what might be disclosed. Especially when the offense was committed many years ago and was not relative to the type of position ones applying for. Being honest and straightforward will go far to establish a better opinion of the applicant by the interviewer.

What to expect from a Background Search:

1. Criminal History
Counties and States provide public...

Does FACRA apply to employers performing their own background searches?

Normally it does not.  Many large firms will use the resources of their own in house security departments to do various backgrounds searches such as pre employment inquiries.  However the firm may inadvertently trigger the FACRA compliance rules unaware that they have done so.

Example is that some firms rely on the services of a Court Researcher to access court records. According to the FTC in an opinion letter if this Court Retrieval Service is also a Consumer Reporting Agency then the employer instead of an in house report has just obtained a Consumer Report, and that means FACRA rules now apply to this search.   Should the applicant be denied access to this information or has not given written consent or any other facet of FACRA come into play, there is the possibility of a...

The Different Levels of Pre-Employment Screening

Business administrators should designate which positions shall be screened for and at what level. Some positions require more in depth searching than others based on responsibility, duties, security issues and importance to the firm.  The following levels may be considered and utilized:

  • Individual - For casual or temporary labor.  Recommended search: A County criminal in county of residence along with a motor vehicle and social security check.
  • Basic - For entry level fulltime employees, retail or manufacturing or positions where employer has checked references and education. Recommended search: A full seven year criminal records search for felonies and misdemeanors, credit report, driver’s license check and identity...

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