All Criminal Background Checks Are Not Created Equal
December 9, 2009
For years now, we have watched competitors tout their annual criminal hit statistics in rather grand style. I have always chuckled a bit when I see them, because the media eats up the information as if it is truly newsworthy. While I never want to knock the work of others, here are some facts to consider. A major payroll company just released that of the 5.5 million background checks they performed, 10% the candidates they screened had some type of criminal record or driving infraction.
10% certainly sounds like an impressive number, right? Now, let me let you in on a little secret. EmployeeScreenIQ finds criminal records or infractions on nearly 19% of all applicants screened, nearly double what is found by the aforementioned organization. And that doesn’t even include driving infractions.
Why the difference? Like all products and services, there are various levels of quality. The fact that someone performs a criminal background check is not in itself a complete description of the service performed. We’ve waxed poetically about the differences between various criminal research methods: national databases, statewide searches, federal district search and the gold standard, county criminal record search (the primary method utilized by EmployeeScreenIQ). I’ll spare you another lecture on the subject, but I will say that the disparity in these statistics validate the effectiveness of our best practice employment screening methods.
So, does this mean that our competitor’s who boast such information are bad companies? Not at all. It just means that employers must get beneath the surface when considering the best company for their needs to make sure they understand what information they are and are not getting.
More on this subject to follow in the near future.