1 in 4

criminal background checksDid you know that 1 in 4 adults have a criminal record? That’s according to the National Employment Law Project. What that means for employers is that 25% of your job applicants could have something shady in their past that you should know about.

This is why a good background check is essential.  There are good background checks and not so good checks.  Here is an example of a poor background check.

Company A:

They perform a simple database search more commonly know as a National Criminal Search.  The company will use this search thinking they are searching all the criminal records in the county or they think it is good enough.  Any database search has holes because not every county, state or city reports all their criminal records to databases.   These databases are composed of criminal records purchased from private data sources and other criminal record sources. Although it is often sold as a “nationwide” search, it is not. This search is only useful for identifying potential cases related to the applicant.   This an example of a poor background check.  This search should be used as a “safety net” search, possibly identifying criminal records in jurisdictions not researched because they were not associated with the applicant’s residential history.

Company B:

This is an example of a good criminal background check.  Start with the National Criminal Search which is described above.  A 7 year 3 County specific searches based off of the address history should be run to verify any cases at the county level.  Also If records are found within this database, you should verify the case at the county level to confirm the details of those records, as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  National Sexual Offender Registry Search will Include all offenders currently registered with the National Sex Offender Registry.  SSN Search – Using the Social Security Number of your applicant, we provide a history of previous addresses, date of birth, and names for every person associated with that SSN.  Alias Search – You should search any alias names that come back on the SSN Search through the National Criminal database.

Quite honestly a lot of companies do the first search out of ignorance, cutting corners or to save money either way they are not doing a good search and will at some point miss a criminal record they could have otherwise found.



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