Background Screening – 10 FAQ’s

Finding employees, volunteers and tenants has its risks. It’s a very rare thing to have a sure fit, but beyond the risks of not being compatible with your next hire, much greater risks exist. Whether it’s a risk (liability) to your company, your clients, your property or your community, it’s important you take the necessary steps to minimize your risk through background screening.

Fortunately, this process can be completed very quickly and affordably. As such, there are very few good excuses for skipping this step when what’s at stake is so costly to your organization.

Here are 10 of the most commonly asked questions we see when it comes to background screening.

    1. Which search package should I use? We offer many search packages and options. Try to match the package up to the position for which you’re hiring. Don’t spend more money than needed, but make sure you order a package that includes the information needed to make a good hiring decision. For example, if the applicant will be driving for the company, order a package that includes a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). It’s also good to include a County Criminal History search in your search package. For additional information, you may view our Package Comparison Chart or contact us for more information.
    2. How long does it take for me to receive my search results?Many search results are available instantly or within minutes; however, many of our services require hands-on research by one of our court researchers. Even though most county criminal searches are returned within a few days, some jurisdictions may take up to 3 – 4 business days. Please refer to the search details by clicking on the specific link for more information.
    3. How long does it take to get back non-instant search information?There are three common non-instant searches. County Criminal History searches may take up to 3 – 4 business days. Motor Vehicle Reports typically take less than 1 business day except for a few states that take longer. PA, for example, takes 10 business days. Employment Credit Reports are typically available in less than an hour. Please refer to the search details by clicking on the specific search link for more information.
    4. Are Social Security Numbers used when searching for criminal records?No. Typically, criminal record information is located by a Name, Date of Birth (D.O.B.) match. Social Security Numbers (SSN’s) are often required for some of our packages to help validate the SSN and to provide a list of know names or addresses to better help identify the applicant; however, criminal records are typically filed by Name & D.O.B. Because of the sensitive nature of SSN’s, jurisdictions don’t want to make SSN’s public record.
    5. Should I rely strictly on a database search when making an employment decision?No. We provide full service employment screening services. Our instant searches are outstanding screening tools, but are only part of what we’re able to provide. In addition to the multi-state database searches, you should also consider a County Criminal History Search. As an employer, you should also familiarize yourself with FCRA requirements.
    6. How often is your information updated?Our databases are updated frequently. You can view our “Coverage Area” page for details once you create an account and log in to the site.
    7. How long before my completed reports become available on the site?Your completed reports will be available online for at least 6 months, but we will occasionally be required to archive them. To be safe, you may want to save the PDF version of your reports.
    8. Do I have to receive a signed authorization form before running a search?Yes. As an employer, you must follow FCRA rules and you should always have the applicant sign an authorization before running any background search.
    9. How long should I keep my signed authorization forms?We recommend that you keep the forms on file for at least five years.
    10. What do I do if I choose not to hire an applicant based on their search results?Familiarize yourself with the FCRA requirements. A Pre-Adverse Action Letter and/or an Adverse Action Letter may be required. The site will help you generate this information, but you are ultimately responsible for following the FCRA rules and regulations.