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Personal Background Checks

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Valuable Background Checks

When seeking an employment background screening provider, many factors are brought to the table that contribute to making a decision. These could include services, criminal hit rate, accuracy, turnaround time, and of course, cost.

In any given purchase, not only background checks, you aim to pay the lowest price possible and still hope for the best product. In some cases, this might work-you can buy a quality product at a lower price and not worry. On the other hand, there are many purchases that are worth spending a little extra.

The same standard should be true for your criminal background checks. You find background checks for the awesomely low price of $9.95 and sign up without hesitation, believing the company is reputable and safe. But what if a couple months later, your background check “breaks”? Your background screening provider missed a criminal record in the search and you hire someone with a criminal record. While a criminal record alone should not be a disqualifier for a candidate, employers should still know who they’re hiring. You can’t ask for a refund, like some purchases, so what can you do?

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Comprehensive Criminal Background Check

What components are required for a comprehensive criminal background check? It’s no longer enough to simply say that you’ve done a background check. Employers need to consider elements such as accuracy, criminal hit rate, an address history search, alias names, county criminal searches and how far back the record is found. Is your background screening provider conducting a comprehensive background check? Our expert panelists discuss the components that can make or break your criminal background checks.

Perhaps conducting a background check is just another item on your to-do list and you’re not concerned about the level of accuracy. However, if you want to learn how you can make the best hiring decisions based on all information available, this video is for you. Our expert panelists discuss the intricacies of forming a comprehensive criminal background check.

The components to consider for a comprehensive criminal background check include:

  • Address history search
  • Alias names
  • County criminal search
  • Maximum possible accuracy philosophy
  • Research & test the tools that provide the best results

To learn more about the elements of a thorough criminal background check, download EmployeeScreenIQ’s article, Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security?









Related EmployeeScreenIQ Content

Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security? (Article)
Less Records Are Now More Valuable: The Ins & Outs of the National Database Search (Blog post)

5 Criminal Searches Every HR Professional Should Know (Blog Post)

Quick Takes is a video series blending together bits of experience and expertise from EmployeeScreenIQ’s background screening experts. With a newsroom feel, discussions surround the latest issues in the background screening industry. All of the videos were filmed unscripted-giving you the opportunity to hear genuine responses from the professionals. Topics range from social media background checks to conducting a thorough criminal records search. We’re releasing a new video every month, so stay tuned.

 

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Criminal Records Search

How much do you really know about criminal background checks? Whether you know a little or a lot, the best place to start the conversation is by defining the different types of criminal records searches available. And while there are some criminal record searches that are more revealing than others, they all play an important role developing a comprehensive background check.  So the question is, where do you start? While the screening package might vary by job candidate, there are some fundamentals to know for any criminal background check.

A county criminal record search is the most tried and true source for finding criminal records. And in our experience, national or statewide criminal record checks are not a full compilation of all criminal records that could exist, nor can they guarantee that you have found what you’re looking for. However, a county search goes directly to the source of the criminal record. Before a county criminal records search has even commenced, the Social Security Number Trace (often referred to as an “Address History Search”) will determine:

1. If there are additional alias names associated with the candidate.

2. Addresses and therefore, counties where the person has lived.

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Criminal Background Checks

Do you worry that your criminal background checks aren’t as accurate or thorough as you assume?

As a background screening company, the key to a thorough criminal background check is gathering information that helps employers make smarter hiring decisions. This includes knowing the different types of criminal background checks, how far back to search for records, and how accuracy plays an important role when searching for criminal records. Whether you’re already knowledgeable in criminal background checks and would like a refresher or if you know very little, this guide is for you.

Download EmployeeScreenIQ’s latest article, “Time for a Wake Up Call: Are Your Criminal Background Checks Giving You a False Sense of Security?,” and you’ll receive a five-step guide to help you determine whether your background checks are truly giving you all of the information and protection you need.

This guide provides you with critical insights into:

  • The truth about social security number traces and address history searches.
  • The reasons all criminal record searches aren’t the same.
  • Why the National Database Search is valuable when used with other tools.
  • How criminal records should be verified.
  • Often-overlooked options for your employment background checks.

Download a copy today to learn valuable information for your organization’s employment background screening program.









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Background Checks Compliance

Nearly a month has passed since U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus slammed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), dismissing the agency’s discrimination case against Freeman Cos. (Md., No: 8:09-cv-02573, 8/9/13). The EEOC sued Freeman in Maryland District Court for discriminating against workers with a criminal or credit history in 2009, and those of us who have followed the case have eagerly awaited the final decision. We also wrote about the decision when it was first released–if you missed that article you can find it here. Now that the situation has had time to sink in, I wanted to share some thoughts on the implications for employers.

By way of background, Freeman, an international provider of trade show and exhibit services, employs over 4,100 full time employees and 25,000 part time workers in the US and the UK.  In the case, the EEOC claimed that Freeman’s use of credit and criminal background checks had a “disparate impact” on protected classes—namely male minority job applicants—who were more likely to be denied job opportunities due to a disproportionate impact on black males.

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What do you get when you buy $320,000 worth of televisions, a hot tubs and gazebos and electronics, pornographic videos, handcuffs, chains and whips?  Some might call that a great night. But when the $320,000 used to buy these items was embezzled by an employee from her employer, in this case, the state of California, the answer is that she gets another job with the state.

Such is the case of Carey Renee Moore, a California civil service worker who was, in fact convicted on felony embezzlement charges and served time in prison for her transgressions. When she was released from prison, naturally she applied for another civil service job with the state. I know what you’re thinking, there’s no way she’s getting that job.

Well guess what? You’re wrong. Why, you might ask?

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California

A background check is a background check, right? Regardless of city or state? One could argue, yes, aside from a few variations, the basics are the same from one location to another. However, due to the fact that there are both State and Federal screening laws, employers must comply with both sets of laws when conducting employment background checks. Specifically, several states have laws and considerations for background checks, and employers should be aware of these.

One example is the state of California, where there are some unique laws and guidelines that employers should know in relation to background screening.

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I’ve spent a great deal of time over the last few months thinking about where the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission went awry with their stance on employers’ use of criminal background checks and how the very real concern of discrimination could be addressed. There certainly has been no shortage of events over the summer which have helped to shape my viewpoints from the Trayvon Martin case (where I think race caused prosecutors to lose because they overcharged based on public sentiment), to a Maryland judge’s embarrassing dismissal of the EEOC’s case against Freeman Companies, to Eric Holder’s recent policy change on sentencing guidelines.

I always ask our employees to bring me solutions not problems, so I decided to take my own advice and focus on what I think can be done to remedy the real issue of eliminating race discrimination in the criminal justice system (not in the employer community) and getting those with criminal records back to work. Here are my solutions:

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Background Screening for In-Home Workers

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) issued a press release on Tuesday, supporting the Today Show’s recent report that emphasized the critically important role background screening plays in today’s environment.

If you missed the piece, you can read more about the Today Show story here, as well as Nick’s take on why background checks for in-home workers are critical. NAPBS voiced its support of the Today Show story, and shared this message:

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Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There’s a certain vulnerability we all feel when letting a stranger into our home, but sometimes you have no choice. If you’re like me, you can barely change a light bulb, so when the wash machine breaks or the air conditioning goes out in the middle of the summer, you’re likely to call a company to come fix it.  And don’t forget things like cable outages and furniture deliveries. Chances are, you aren’t going to have the first clue who these service workers are.  You basically have to trust that the company you hired conducted thorough employment background checks before allowing these people to enter your home.

Unfortunately, as Today Show reporter Jeff Rossen explains in the video above, that doesn’t always happen.  And the results can be devastating as our good friend Lucia Bone (included in Rossen’s story) knows all too well. Her sister, Sue Weaver was brutally raped and murdered by an air conditioner repairman in her Florida home in 2001. The department store that sent the repairman didn’t bother to perform a criminal background check or they would have known that he had an extensive criminal record.

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