Instant Background Screening: It's Hard to be Fast AND Accurate

  • By Mark Ridgeway
  • 01 Dec, 2017
instant background checks
We live in an impatient world. We want everything quickly. Think about it – we’ve made it so that we don’t even have to get out of our cars to eat a meal or leave the house to handle our banking.

On top of these services, a wealth of information is constantly at our fingertips. An iphone, tablet or laptop is always within an arm’s reach! While this continuous influx of instant data can be wonderful, it can also be dangerous. Thanks to our impatience, we often neglect to critically evaluate information and identify when something is “too good to be true.” This impacts both our personal lives and our professional lives.

Consider Instant Background Screening .  These background checks draw upon information from nationwide databases. These “nationwide” or “super searches” appear to be great screening solutions, but in reality turn out reports that are outdated, incomplete, and even inaccurate.

Part of the reason for this is that the data – because it’s turned around instantly – is never validated at the source. It cannot be trusted.

What exactly is missing from instant background checks?

That’s the big problem – you can’t be sure what is missing from an instant background check. You may be shocked to hear that the stale nationwide databases that are utilized for instant checks do not include information for entire states and many counties .

The check provided is often based off data that is 120 or 365 days old . Results are also often missing any number of felony charges, misdemeanors, or other information that would make a potential employee a risk to your organization. What’s more, since nationwide databases are run instantly, they are never validated  at the county or state level.

These databases match to personal information, so without this validation piece, results can inadvertently pull from the records of someone with a similar name and date of birth, meaning that the information you see might not even pertain to the individual in question!

What could happen if I continue using instant volunteer background checks? 

HR managers that use outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete instant background checks risk losing potentially great employees by incorrectly screening them out of the recruitment process, or even worse, risk letting a potentially dangerous individual into the organization.

The choice to use instant nationwide databases in order to save a few dollars can result in a poor pre-employment screening program, a damaged reputation and even legal action.

How do I find the right fit for my organization?

Finding the right screening process for your organization is simple: ask the tough questions when evaluating potential screening partners:

• Why do my results come back so quickly?

• What jurisdictions does the database cover in my region, county and state?

• What sources are actually being used? 

• Is this provider accredited?

If a process is too simple, too fast, or “too good to be true,” it probably is.

Strictly speaking, stale nationwide database searches do little to ensure compliance and limit liability. Invest in a program from a reputable provider.

The CHC Blog

By Mark Ridgeway 15 Jan, 2018
The following is an excerpt from CNN published published January 15, 2018:
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