Accurate Background Check Reports: What Employers Can Do to Ensure Reliable Results

Oct 6, 2017

You screen all your candidates or employees and you expect to receive reliable and accurate background checks from your screening provider. You do it because you want to ensure the safety and security of your business, employees and clients. You do your homework in choosing an FCRA Compliant, dependable Consumer Reporting Agency and trust that you can rely on the results they provide. As you should!

A legitimate screening company will use all available resources and tools to research and verify data pertaining to the employee. They will not rely on database information, and will use it only as a supplementary tool for locating additional records.

CRAs conduct their research at the County Court level and follow FCRA guidance in verifying identity and validity of possible cases before returning the reportable records to the employer.

However, no amount of due diligence and care will make a difference if they are researching the wrong individual.

But why would the CRA research the wrong individual you ask?

To understand how this can happen first one must know how court research works. Court records are searched by name and date of birth only. In my experience I have found that few employers are aware that criminal records are not found by running a Social Security Number. Most courts have redacted personally identifying information from their public records in order to ensure consumer privacy; the SSN was the first to go. Addresses and Driver’s license numbers are also quickly disappearing.

This is not to say that you should neglect to provide the CRA with addresses, SSN and DL number of the applicant! Those items will be crucial for verifying identity on possible cases; specially when the applicant has a common name. The primary research, however, to locate these possible records, is done using the first name, last name and date of birth.

The first and most important thing the employer or authorized user who orders a background check can do to ensure accurate background check results, is to provide the CRA with the correct applicant data.

You may think is a given, but I can tell you that about 30% of orders come in with data entry errors.

We at Diligent Screening are adept at looking for these errors and contacting the requester for clarification when things don’t add up. But this takes time and effort that not many CRAs are willing to invest, since all they are required to do is search the information as you provide.

So please, pay special attention when ordering background checks. Make sure name and DOB information contain no typos or misspellings and are entered in the appropriate fields.

You cannot control what happens after the information leaves your hands, but knowing the importance of ordering background checks correctly and making sure all authorized users are careful and diligent in their data entry is the foundation for an accurate background check report.

Read about other fatal mistakes employers make when running background checks and how to ensure you are promoting accurate results.

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