When it comes to pre-employment screening, businesses place their trust in their background check providers to supply them with thorough and accurate background reports on their applicants. After all, the information these companies provide is crucial to the decision-making process—verifying the track records of qualified applicants and helping to weed out those less fit for the position at hand.
Unfortunately, though, background screening companies often engage in practices that put your security on the line. Here, we reveal the two unsettling secrets your current screening provider may be keeping from you and how to tell which companies truly value your business and not just their bottom line.
1. They outsource your applicants' sensitive personal information to overseas vendors.
All too often background screening giants opt to outsource their screening duties to overseas suppliers in a bid to cut costs. That means that your applicant’s social security number and highly sensitive financial data may be sent outside the U.S. for processing. This poses a serious privacy concern because not all countries uphold strict data and privacy protections as is required in the United States.
What’s more, these companies are not required to disclose their offshoring practices to their clients, so there’s a good chance your screening providers are putting your applicants’ personal information at risk without you even knowing it.
Your business and your applicants’ security should be of top priority to your screening provider. If your current screening company is offshoring data, you should switch immediately to a member of Concerned CRAs—an organization of professional background screeners dedicated to consumer protection. Tracepoint proudly holds the Concerned CRA certification as a token of our commitment to our clients’ and consumers’ best interests.
2. They fail to verify criminal records before reporting them to you.
Criminal records searches are the cornerstone of most background reports. They provide employers with vital information on an applicant’s criminal history and are a key consideration in hiring decisions. Many screening companies generate their background reports electronically, performing instant database searches and reporting any hits that are returned. This method—of reporting criminal charges without verifying them through the reporting jurisdiction—has proven time and time again to be a serious risk to employers and consumers alike, as it opens the door to erroneous reports and violations of the Fair Credit Reporting act.
As we have discussed in our previous blog post, FCRA violations have become a hotbed for class action lawsuits. Section 607(b) of the FCRA states that a consumer reporting agency (the background screening company) must maintain “procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy of the information concerning the individual about whom the report relates.”
The most reliable way of ensuring this level of accuracy? Verifying records through the court. This is precisely the way we at Tracepoint handle every report we process. We take tremendous care in ensuring that the information we report is accurate, up-to-date, and FCRA compliant. In fact, every member of the Tracepoint team holds the FCRA Basic Certification from the National Association of Background Screeners.
Now that you are armed with this insider knowledge, it’s time to ask your current screening company the tough questions. If they’re choosing to cut corners by offshoring data and failing to verify criminal records, they are putting your business at tremendous risk. Quite frankly, any company that carries out such practices does not care about you or your applicants’ wellbeing. Give them the boot, and partner with a provider who commits to compliance, security, and accuracy.