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Background Screening

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July 18, 2011 Return to News & Events

Background Screening: A Right Way

In today’s electronic age some people fear background checks because of how the information is gathered or interpreted, or what actually is out there that may or may not cause irreparable harm. Their fears may be viable if a company or potential employer gathers information in an incorrect manner or utilizes data that may not legally be available.  Information is only as good as those that provide it and only legal if provided by those that understand the law.

There is a right way to conduct a background check as part of the pre-employment screening process, one that utilizes legal and correct means of gathering information.  The best way is to partner with a Professional Background Screening company like

Most employers conduct some form of background screening prior to offering an individual a position within their organization.  It starts at the application process and proceeds throughout the vetting procedure until a decision is made to either hire or not.  What is revealed during this period may or may not influence the decision, but a majority of Human Resources professionals believe that background screening is a critical component of hiring.

Background screening has become so ubiquitous with the hiring process that some candidates do not give it any consideration other than it is a step in getting a job.  But where does this information come from and how accurate is it?  And, who exactly is gathering this data? How does it affect pre-employment screening practices?

Information provided in a background check comes from a number of sources.  Most common are:

  1. Public Records – like criminal records
  2. Private Records – like credit reports
  3. Individuals

Public records are held in repositories at the local, state and federal level.  Typical information includes civil and criminal records.  These are publicly held documents that are available for review upon request of a specific court.  Private records are those that require consent of review by an individual for a specific purpose such as employment.  These documents can include social security number trace and credit reports.  The last category of information is provided by individuals who commonly supply reference or employment verification.

The accuracy of any information is dependent on the individual or the repository it resides.  Commonly, the most relevant and current information comes from the County Court.  These repositories are updated on an ongoing basis.  Subsequently, the further information gets from its point of origin i.e. County courts, the less reliable it may be.  Information at the Federal level is dependent on the timely reporting from outlying jurisdictions and may not be updated promptly.

Information retrieved from any source, be it public, private or from an individual, should be pulled by a trained professional, individuals or companies that specifically understand and abide by the rules and regulations of the states they conduct business in.  There are laws that regulate what can and cannot be reported and even if that certain available information is viable for dissemination.

It is crucial in today’s litigious environment that employers team up with a background screening company.  In house screening is no longer a simple task.  With budgets tightening and departments such as Human Resources downsizing, utilizing a background screening company makes sense.  When dealing with sensitive information, specifically criminal records or credit information one must consideration the consequences if that information is misrepresented or misinterpreted.  They can be enormous.

The public at large need not be fearful of background screening if it is conducted by a legitimate and legal organization, one trained and knowledgeable in the variety of laws that regulate that industry.  Ultimately, the employer is responsible for the information provided and the cost of one mistake could be ruinous for an organization.

Visit for criminal background screening information and pre-employment screening services.  To consult with a sales representative about discounted pricing and/or to setup a monthly billing account simply send an email to and a representative with contact you.

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