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Pre-Interview Background Checks

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November 08, 2011 Return to News & Events


Get Background Checked Before You Get Background Checked

In 2011 a variety of trends have emerged in the background screening industry.  From the use of credit history and the potential of such a check being a potentially discriminatory act to the validity and, in some states, the legality of using criminal records as a form of pre-employment screening is threatening to change the industry.  Also, since 9/11 the size of firms conducting a pre-employment screening has gone from primarily large corporations to mid-size and small companies.  Further, background screening has grown significantly as an industry, both in scope, presentation via the Internet and breadth of companies.  Simply put, background screening has become a mainstream vocation that can have a tremendous impact in a number of ways on individuals and organizations.

With widespread acceptance of background screening for pre-employment a number of companies have appeared that utilize databases as a primary and, frequently, only source of information.  Companies that use these background check providers run the risk of getting data that is antiquated and/or incorrect.  Unfortunately people lose out on job opportunities because the information gathered on an applicant and vetted through a company that does not utilize researchers, county courthouse access and a wide range of information can be erroneous, faulty or flat out wrong.  Data can be incorrect.

In today’s job market the individual looking for work must be aware of the process of pre-employment screening.  Rather than blindly signing off on a background check during the interview process, a candidate must know what personal information is available to be collected and what that information will show.  It is a critical and often overlooked step in the job search.

Every day there are articles and news reports about candidates that do not get a job due to a background.  This may have nothing to do with credit checks or criminal records checks and everything to do with erroneous information.  It is the right of a candidate to request a copy of their background check as utilized in the employment vetting process, as outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).   However, wouldn’t it better to know what is in an individual’s background information before it becomes a detriment to getting a job offer?

One may know their credit is strong and would obviously know their criminal history; however errors occur every day, even to the most qualified individual. 

Errors can occur with name mix-ups, misspellings, transposition of numbers and in any number of ways.  Running a background check prior to the interview will provide an opportunity to correct any errors.  Issues that arise from this form of review must be addressed and corrected by any data base provider, but it is up to the individual to discover these problems and seek resolution.

Candidates conducting their own pre-interview background checks should request the following:

  1. Credit History – Errors on a credit report can be resolved relatively easy by contacting the reporting credit bureau.  Even if one lives in a state where credit reports are no longer allowed as part of the vetting process, one should know what is reported.
  2. Social Security Number Trace – This is the easiest way to discover if anyone has connected their name to someone’s SSN illegally.  Tracing a Social Security Number may prevent significant fiscal exposure.
  3. DMV Check – Even if an individual has never received a citation in any form, errors happen, especially if one has a common first and last name.
  4. County Criminal and Civil Records Check – These two reports are the most common and most frequently utilized court documents in background screening.  Again, one must keep in mind that errors happen. is a professional background screening company and a member of the NAPBS – National Association of Professional Background Screeners and can provide detailed and comprehensive background information commonly utilized by employees to an individual.  Utilizing a variety of county court researchers and the most up-to-date information, will help the candidate understand their personal background information before the interview process.  It’s a tough market out there; don’t make it any more difficult.  Go to today to get started.

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