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July 12, 2010 Return to News & Events

National Background Net and County Criminal Precision

A common trend in the employment background check screening industry is the use of the instant national criminal background check as a big countrywide net looking for red flags that can then be researched further with precision by conducting a county criminal background check.

A county criminal background check provides a full criminal report that usually goes back seven years and returns all felony convictions and misdemeanor criminal records.  This is known as a precision criminal background check because it is 100% accurate and current as of the day you place your order because it gets pulled from the county court system that day.  If you are an employer, landlord, apartment manager or leasing agent this is the best criminal background check to conduct.  The problem with it is that it only encompasses that one specific county being searched and the knowledge of what county to perform the background check in is not always known.  For instance, unless you know the specific county where the criminal records are kept on the person being investigated, this background check is not always effective.  There are 3,143 counties in the United States so running a county criminal check in all of those counties just isn’t currently feasible as there are costs incurred for each county being searched.

This is where the instant national criminal background check comes into play as it covers almost every state in the United States.  The employment background checking and tenant screening trends are showing that more and more employers, landlords and property management staff are opting to run a national background check first as sort of a countrywide net to discover any criminal activity or red flags that would prompt them to do further research.  The further research would be the county criminal background check.  Once the national background check highlights the state and county where potential criminal records could be, it makes it easy to then conduct an additional county criminal check there.

A primary reason why this method of discovering criminal background history is becoming so popular is because it doesn’t create bottlenecks in the hiring or renting processes.  Since the national criminal background check can be performed instantly it allows employers and renters to get the criminal history reports they need extremely fast and efficiently.  If further research like running a county level criminal background check is needed, they are aware of it instantly and can then place the county check right away.  Usually a county background check takes 1 to 4 business days to complete, so the waiting period is minimal.

Using a national criminal background check as a countrywide criminal record fishing net and then drilling down to a specific county for current and accurate criminal records is a smart way to run an employment background check and a tenant screening background check in transient America.

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