Proper Employment Background Checks:
Patience Now Means
Accuracy and Completeness Later
by Glenn Hammer
Federal and state law and good business practice expect employers to use up-to-date and accurate information when screening applicants. (FCRA section 606(d)(3), 607(b) and CA Civil Code section 1786.18(a) are examples. See Background Check Related Laws.)
Thorough Employee Criminal Background Checks Require PatienceThere does not exist in the United States a true National Criminal Record Database or repository. Consequently, time and effort are required: first, to determine which county and federal district courts may have possible cases for a particular applicant; second, to query those courts for possible cases by visiting the local courthouses to physically access the records. For more information, see County Criminal Record Checks.
Criminal databases are valuable as research tools. Because they are notoriously incomplete or outdated, they should not solely be relied upon to meet an employer’s need for up-to-date and accurate information. For more information, see 'Statewide' Criminal Records Check or 'Nationwide' Criminal Database Check.
Work History and Credential Verification Background Checks Require PatienceMore discrepancies are found in Employment, Education, and License Verification searches than any other types of searches in a Background Check. In addition, fraudulent claims by the applicant in these areas can have a significant impact on an employer.
It takes time and effort to identify, locate, and contact the correct employer, school, or licensing agency. Many organizations are difficult to contact or are slow to respond. For more information, see Employment History Check and Work History Verification and Education Verifications.
Bad Hires are ExpensiveStudies have shown that the cost of a bad hire can easily be 100 percent to 500 percent of an employee’s annual salary. (See Background Check Statistics | Statistics of Interest from Industry Sources.) This is easy to understand when one considers all the costs: the direct and indirect cost of recruiting and hiring; the direct and indirect training costs; and the wasted wages and benefits. The management, administrative, and legal costs of a bad hire can be staggering. In addition to these many concerns, also consider the direct and indirect cost of damaged or stolen funds, materials, equipment, work environment, customer goodwill, and employer reputation.
Patience when doing employment background checks can significantly reduce the risk of a bad hire!
The AuthorGlenn Hammer is a consultant and speaker on Employment Background Checks. He is founder and President of A Matter of Fact, a California-based employment background check firm. www.amof.info
Note: This information is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal advice.