It’s All In The Details …1,2,3

1.  Candidate Identity

Legal name spelling is the cornerstone to a complete and correct background check result.  Without a firm understanding of the identity of the candidate you are considering, the background result cannot be relied upon.

2. Omitted Location(s)

When a candidate provides residential locations a simple omission may be all that is necessary to pass a background for a person which has criminal record.  A SSN cross-check is necessary to find locations not listed by the candidate, and those locations should be added to criminal search locations to ensure a thorough check has been conducted.

3.  The Right Searches

The USA has different types of decentralized data to research.  There are five main categories of criminal searches: state sourced (court based and/or police based), county level felony & misdemeanor, federal district courts, national criminal stored database search (third party gathered data for sale as “instant”), and Global & Terrorist watch lists searches (multi-source/Patriot Act compliance sources.)  Several of these searches can be used as “overlapping”; however national criminal stored database and global/terrorist watch list searches should not be used by themselves because the data quality is low and each jurisdiction (even if clearly defined) may be filtered with only partial records or updated infrequently.  If cases are found with national criminal stored database searches or a person is found as listing on the global/terrorist watch lists, further research is required to ensure proper reporting standards are met ensuring candidates are treated fairly.

Other types of searches should be added to a criminal background such as credential verifications, driver license, and/or drug testing appropriate for the level of risk by position.  A minimum of background should be conducted to show an employer is diligence about keeping a workplace free of violence and/or drug free.  More comprehensive backgrounds may be required for management and higher paid jobs or positions with access to client data, identities or other financial information, which placed in the wrong hands, would be detrimental to a company or the owner of the sensitive information.


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