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How may Search First help you?
Start with the facts about background searches
Yes, the finest things in life are free. A solid, accurate, researched, and reliable background search is not among
while certainly a great value. True also is this: "You get what you pay for." The on-line
operations that promise much often deliver little. While the price
offered is often low to very low, so is the quality, unless you want to
rely upon incomplete, old (not current, not updated), or partial
information. Price is one thing. Cost another. Value, and value
should be at the center of the service and the transaction. An educated
user is one that will not be easily taken in. If you don't
receive the value that is expected and needed, what is the point? What
is the real cost? Read on. Here's an example of one big myth;
maybe two or three... and you certainly would want to avoid a lawsuit.
A new type of pre-employment background check called the
National Criminal File (NCF) is touted as available and useful. There
are 38 to 50 states included, and the number of records in these three NCF databases ranges from 60 million to as many as 133 million. While
those numbers sound impressive, any company that utilizes the National
Criminal File as their primary means of checking for criminal records
should read the fine print.
There are serious problems with the NCF -- much of the data
is stale. For example, some versions of the NCF include a "Florida
Courts database from all 67 counties." The problem is the database is
only updated every six months, or even less frequently. Fact.
An additional serious problem exists. Most of the records in the NCF databases do not include identifiers,
such as Social Security numbers or dates of birth. Therefore, if you run
a NCF search on someone with a common name, you will receive many
records that have absolutely nothing to do with your applicant. You will
have to request county criminal checks where records are reported to
determine whether the NCF records are relevant.
The NCF does throw out a geographically "wider net" than a
county criminal check. While that is wide, there are many "holes" in
which errors can occur. There is no substitute for a tightly focused
county criminal search conducted at the locations where the individual
has resided, been employed, and schooled. If an NCF search is requested,
it should be in conjunction with a county criminal and social security
search. This "net" is smaller, but is tightly woven and has no holes for
Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirements
Did you know...?
requires "the best possible source" be utilized when
conducting a pre-employment background check.
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If you decide not to hire an individual based upon
information reported in the NCF, you are compelled under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to give the applicant a copy of the report, a summary of their rights
under the law, and what is called an "adverse action letter." The
applicant is then given the right to dispute the accuracy of the
information. You are then required to verify the information. If you do
not comply with these provisions of FCRA, you subject yourself to a
lawsuit by the applicant.
You also should be aware that FCRA requires "the best
possible source" be utilized when conducting a pre-employment background
check. Given the holes in the NCF that have been discussed, a strong
argument could be made that the NCF does not meet the criteria of the
"best possible source." Some industry experts have taken the position
that the NCF does comply with FCRA when used simply as a pre-screening
tool to "generate leads." Our company does not offer the NCF as a
stand-alone product, but only in conjunction with a county or state
criminal records search, as we do not want our clients to have a false
sense of security based upon a flawed criminal search.
The Bottom Line
NCIC is a
computerized index of criminal justice information (i.e.- criminal
record history information, fugitives, stolen properties, missing
persons). It is only available to Federal, state, and local law
enforcement and other criminal justice agencies and is operational 24
hours a day, 365 days a year. Data contained in NCIC is provided by the
FBI, federal, state, local and foreign criminal justice agencies, and
authorized courts. The purpose for maintaining the NCIC system is to
provide a computerized database for ready access by a criminal justice
agency making an inquiry, and for prompt disclosure of information in
the system from other criminal justice agencies about crimes and
criminals. This information assists authorized agencies in criminal
justice and related law enforcement objectives, such as apprehending
fugitives, locating missing persons, locating and returning stolen
property, as well as in the protection of the law enforcement officers
encountering the individuals described in the system.
SERVICE SUMMARY for Backgrounds and Pre
Employment: background checks, pre employment screening,
employment screening, pre employment background checks, employment
background checks, employment verification, background
investigations, due diligence investigations, criminal record
checks, criminal background checks, background screening, credit
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