In 2011, a woman in Arizona was denied a job based on a conviction for dangerous-drug possession in her background check. Except, that wasn’t her background! The background check confused her record with someone who had the same first name. This mistake cost the background check company and the employer when the woman decided to sue.
Of course, businesses need to run background checks on potential hires. Employers rightfully expect those reports to be accurate. But, if a background check company gives you inaccurate information, be careful. Any decisions you make using them can result in serious legal problems. How can you protect your business?
In this article, we’ll examine how you could get an inaccurate report and why that’s a problem. Then, we’ll teach you how to tell if your background check provider is accurate.
There are many reasons a background check could be inaccurate. The problem could be with the source of the information or the information itself.
Some background check providers give inaccurate results because they don’t use the right sources. They may leave out databases and court records that reveal criminal convictions. They might rely on old data that doesn’t show recent convictions. They could even use a database that does not have enough information. For example, an audit of a state database used for background checks found that a third of the dispositions for criminal charges were missing. Using incomplete sources results in an incomplete background check.
Some reports are inaccurate because the information in them is not verified. These results may also include false information. They could have information from a different person with a similar name, birthday, or social security number. Any information that is incomplete or has mistakes can lead to a false background check.
Background checks can be inaccurate for many reasons. Why is this a problem?
Using inaccurate background checks to make hiring decisions is not just a problem. It’s a huge problem.
If you get an incomplete report, you might hire someone with a criminal conviction that makes them unsafe to be around. That could put your existing employees and clients in danger. Approximately two million workers in the United States are victims of workplace violence every year.
On the other hand, you could decide not to hire someone based on a criminal record they don’t have. This false report could cost your business a great employee. Your company could also face legal consequences if the applicant decides to sue.
You could avoid these negative outcomes with an accurate background check. So, how can you tell if your background check provider is accurate?
You can ensure your background check provider is accurate by asking some questions. We’ve made a list of six questions to ask. Many background check providers are willing to answer these questions themselves. If they’re not, it may be a sign that they are not accurate.
1. Do you follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission guidelines?
2. Do you follow all federal and state laws that regulate running background checks?
3. Do you educate your clients on how to legally run background checks on new hires?
4. Are you a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners?
5. Do you verify that the information you provide is accurate?
6. Do you use up-to-date and comprehensive sources for your reports?
After these questions, you may find that your background check provider is inaccurate. If you can’t trust your current background check provider, it’s time to find a new one.
Businesses rely on background check providers for accurate information. After all, an incomplete or false report can cause big problems. You don’t want to be responsible for hiring a dangerous employee or denying employment to qualified applicants. Ask questions to ensure the background check provider you choose gives accurate results.
At Trusted Employees, we welcome your questions! We offer accurate background checks that follow all federal and state laws. We are also accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners. Contact us today to learn more about our customizable background check packages.