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t  Background Checks     Pre Employment & Employment Screening  Background & Due Diligence Investigations



●  Free Background Search? Myths: Background Checks | Pre Employment Screening



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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 them, 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. More below.


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 errors.


Fair Credit Reporting Act Requirements

Did you know...?

   FCRA 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 checks

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  National Services                                        Information & Security Professionals                                          


Click for Home:  Search First Information Services, Inc.

Toll-free:  1-888-807-3272

Click for info National Assoc. of Professional Background Screeners 


                         Mon-Fri, 8 AM-5:30 PM EST  Live chat by Boldchat

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