Applicant Criminal Background Checks

Written by Jill Morrison
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When hiring employees, applicant criminal background checks have become a popular option. Access to public records is available to all. But many employers choose screening companies to do the investigating and provide complete reports. With many businesses concerned about lawsuits from employees, former employees, and customers, it pays to be cautious. Background checking helps employers to avoid costly mistakes in the hiring process.

Types of Job Applicant Criminal Background Checks

Background checks may vary according to state regulations. Most include a report of felony and misdemeanor convictions, case numbers, dispositions, sentences, and jurisdictions. It is possible that some convictions will not be listed on the report. Reasons would include being past a specified time limit and records being expunged.

Many background check companies are available for screening job applicants. These companies usually consult the large databases of information brokers that deal with criminal records. The companies must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act which sets national standards. They should be able to guide customers through the process and provide reliable information in a speedy, efficient manner.

Applicant criminal background checks are a valuable tool to small employers. Because they could have a major impact on the hiring process, employers are urged to exercise caution when interpreting results. Mistakes are common, but accuracy is improving rapidly as the industry grows. Transposing numbers in birth dates or social security numbers is the most common error. Because of their effectiveness when used with proper caution, background checks may become increasingly important to our society.

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