call(888) 817-8282
Live help: Offline now
leave us a message

Have any questions?

Contact us using this quick form

Please leave this field empty.

Top 3 Reasons Background Checks Fail EmployersAs an employer or HR Representative, this has to be one of your biggest fears.  Hiring an employee, having them clear the background check process, and starting them in their new job, only to later find out awful things about them that you, in good faith, believed should have been identified prior to them being hired.  Worse yet, the new hire causes harm to your company or employees.  We get calls all the time; “how come our current background check company didn’t find out that our employee had (fill in the disqualifying background issue here) in his or her background?  The information they are upset to hear which was not found during their background check can range from frightening criminal records, a bad driving report, multiple prior terminations, bad credit history, multiple evictions, you name it.  These problems persist because of what we have identified as three main areas.

 

  1. The background screening company didn’t properly or thoroughly conduct the searches or used a third-party database to do so.
  2. The applicant intentionally provided bad personally identifying information that misleads the background check company.
  3. The applicant had these issues outside of the jurisdictions where the searches were conducted, or the scope of the investigation was too limited.

 

Improper Searches, Lack of Human Oversight and Third-Party Databases

Here is an easy question to ask your background check provider.  Do you use third-party databases for records or do you search directly with the governmental source of the information?  In almost all cases, the direct governmental source is going to have the very most up to date and complete information available.  This is where records should be searched.  The downside of this process can - in some cases - be turnaround time.  Working with state, county and city government entities can take slightly more time, but wouldn’t you rather wait an extra day for your results to be sure that you have the very best, most complete and up to date information available?  Companies will often sacrifice this accuracy for speed and cost.  The other side to this failure involves the lack human oversight and often times goes hand in hand with third-party database searches.  Companies have found ways to automate much, if not all of the background check process.  This makes for quick turnaround times and exceptionally low pricing.  The reality is that this automation relies heavily on third-party databases and free online searches, using no human oversight to identify records, problems, or weed out false positives.  People with common names can also be affected by this automation with the inclusion of “possible records”.  Imagine if your name is John Smith and you happen to live in a populated area.  Automation may present a number possible records in your name without verifying these records by other identifying personal information.

 

Applicants Providing Bad Information

Thankfully this one is highly preventable, and any reputable background check company will have ways to initially confirm an applicant’s identity as they provide it to their employer (or to the background screening company directly).  Utilizing a number of investigative databases, an applicant’s provided information can be checked against factual data available to licensed Investigators.  Applicants are known to slightly alter their date of birth, social security number or prior address history.  These databases immediately identify these inconsistencies and an investigator can notify the employer of the issue and/or continue the background investigation with the real data.  Bad input equals bad output, so preventing an investigator from utilizing the false information provided by an applicant is why we use such databases.  Often times employers can weed these people out of the process without continuing the entirety of the background check.  Think of it this way, if the company does nothing to pre-screen the data they are using to autonomously enter into sources of background information (direct or third-party), the results will only be as good as the data that was entered.  Second names, hyphenated names, and aliases also fall into this category.  A human eye using the best data available is always the best bet to ensure that each person’s identifying information is searched every way possible.

 

The Scope of the Investigator Was Too Limited

Most companies won’t tell you that searching the entire country is not feasible for most pre-employment background checks.  Don’t be fooled by “Nationwide Criminal History Searches”.  The FBI handles this, and you, as an employer, don’t have access to these files.  Neither does your CRA.  What this means is that searches have to be done at the state, county and city level to create the most thorough scenario available.  Failures happen when background check companies, using automation, will search only where an applicant currently lives or a combination of where they currently live and most recently lived.  Remember that bad input equals bad output.  If an applicant claims to have only lived in one place, most companies will simply search that jurisdiction and call it a day.  Effective background checks are more fluid and the same process used to verify an applicant’s personal information is used to identify where they have lived, even if they didn’t report those locations to the employer.  Knowing each jurisdiction that an applicant and has lived in, and worked in can provide an investigator a better insight into the different areas that should be searched.  The idea is that a proper background check company should provide insight and suggestions on where else the background check should go, including automatically searching jurisdictions that make sense to provide better coverage.  “Investigative Scope” also includes selecting the right level of coverage for your company.  Potential clients often call and ask for a “background check”, which we know means many things to different people.  When we dig deeper, we found out that the client’s real intention is to find any and all criminal convictions.  Do they care about driving records, misdemeanor conviction or just felonies?  Any reputable company can help a buyer sort these issues out and come up with a customized search package that matches exactly what a client is looking for; nothing more and nothing less. This includes the identity verification and continued suggestions for maximum coverage.

 

Thankfully, a reputable company can help solve these issues and prevent businesses from hiring people who would otherwise fail their background checks.  Background Check Central prides itself in knowing how to get to the bottom of what our clients really want in their background checks.  We provide excellent service by making our clients aware of any identity issues, additional jurisdictions that should be searched, and providing a full explanation of what sources of data were searched during the background check process.  You should feel at ease when your reports are returned to you, not nervous about whether or not the background check was done properly.  If you or anyone you know has any questions on how to properly setup a background check process that is best for your organization, we encourage you to contact our office and speak with one of our licensed professional investigators.

1 week

The Macomb County employee screening experts at BackGroundCheckCentral are growing once again! 2017 provided to be a record year for our business development here in Macomb County and 2018 is off to a great start. Our team of investigative experts, using truly state of the art research tools, have found great interest in our services in the areas employee screening for professional services firms, specialized manufacturing, healthcare related sectors macomb county employee screeningand municipal employee screening. If your business is located in Macomb County, Michigan, chances are very good we provide employee screening services to your friends and customers!

Call one of our Macomb County employee screening experts today! We make it easy, painless, fast and affordable!

BackGroundCheckCentral.com provides sophisticated, automated investigative tools combined with oversight and input from professional private investigators, on each case, every time. Many of Macomb County employee screening clients have used other employee screening companies who have either missed information, provided inconclusive information or simply failed to take good care of the client's needs and time tables. Not only do we offer Macomb County employee screening services at a higher level, we are locally based and ingrained in the community.

Although we offer many of the same types of employee screening services that all employee screening services offer, such as a statewide criminal history search, employee credit report searches and employee driving history reports, we also offer many additional searches to better vet an applicants work history, accomplishments, achievements and character.

Based in Clinton Township, employing investigators from area communities like Warren, Sterling Heights, Shelby Township, Macomb Township and Mt. Clemens, we are an active part of the community and are committed to helping employers in Macomb county from hiring the wrong people and damaging their business, customers or employees. We support Macomb County through participation in professional organizations like Advancing Macomb, local chambers of commerce and civic organizations too.

For information on how our Macomb County employee screening services can add value to your HR systems, please call Jackie Brazen at 888-817-8282.

 

3 weeks

This recent PEW Research Article is a great read for any HR Professional or Business Owner looking to steer clear of issues with the FCRA, EEOC or ADA.  In short, those convicted of crimes, those who were arrested, but never charged and those who have had their records expunged are objecting to the existence of websites such as Mugshots.com, which publish mugshots and arrest data online in an easily accessible and free environment.  They claim that sites like these prevent those depicted from obtained jobs or career opportunities.  Some states have created legislation to regulate these sites, attempting to make it illegal to request fees for removal of images and data.  These laws, in some cases, do not require the sites to remove such images at all and therefore those affected are left with little recourse.  Some individuals have even claimed that these sites have exerted extortion tactics during attempts to have such information removed, including the request for payment of “hundreds or thousands of dollars”.  Mugshots.com contests that these records are public information and given that they are a private entity, are under no obligation to remove any data that they publish.  The issue itself is complex and the number of images that these sites claim to have in their databases is staggering.  Regardless of opinion, these records are public in nature and can be obtained elsewhere, if not from one of these sites.  The last thing we want to do is suppress the availability of publicly available information.  Yet, there should be some protections in place for those who can prove that they were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing.  As Background Check experts, specifically a company that specializes in creating compliant Consumer Reports that are meant to be used for hiring purposes, we see the solution in a different light.  If more companies make the conscious decision to create strict hiring practices, prohibiting the use of websites like Mugshots.com, and create compliant protocols to obtain objective background investigations, sites Mugshots.com could become nothing more than a novelty to use to see what your friends from high school are up to.

 

A few things about this issue that most folks might not be aware of.  When it comes to conducting a formal Background Check for employment, or in Mr. Anderson’s case, an internship; most states only allow conviction data (usually within a prescribed number of years) to be disclosed, so regardless of what someone was initially arrested for, or what a mugshot website may contain, an employer should only take into account what that applicant was actually convicted of as reported by a reputable Background Check Company.

 

Check out some of the legal Issues involved with conducting proper background checks for employment here:

BackgroundCheckCentral-Legal Issues

 

It is true that these convictions are a matter of public record, as are the originating arrest records and in most cases the mugshots, taken either at the time of the arrest or by the corrections facility that a person was committed to.  Mugshots.com and other sites that collect, store, and disseminate these records are not government entities and are not Consumer Reporting Agencies; therefore they are being improperly utilized during the course of a Background Investigation for Employment purposes.  Most employers, particularly those with smart hiring practices would agree that it is dangerous to conduct background searches and “Google Research” on an applicant due to the possibility of discrimination.  You can’t “un-see” what someone looks like on social media or if you discover information as to their religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, ethnicity, political leanings or age; and those factors are what can lead to hiring bias and discrimination.  The same can be said about unverified arrest data or mugshots that Google may produce when searching someone’s name.

 

 It is best to incorporate an impartial Background Investigation into your hiring protocols to ensure unbiased employment practices that safeguard your company from discrimination issues and guarantee compliance with the FCRA and other applicable hiring laws.

 

It is worth noting that the same challenges facing individuals with records on Mugshots.com await anyone who has ever been arrested and either not charged, found not-guilty or had records expunged.  Third party, non-government websites scour the web and purchase public record data that is not up to date and which does not contain the final dispositions of cases.  These same websites contain misleading information that employers and unqualified background check companies may find and use to make hiring decisions.  For more information on the issues facing applicants with expunged records, check out our blog from earlier this year at https://www.backgroundcheckcentral.com/criminal-record-expungement

 

A few final thoughts on the Mugshots.com website itself that we noted:

  • The homepage contains two disclaimers in large text, one of which specifically states that Mugshots.com does not provide consumer reports (i.e., should not be used for employee screening and that they are not FCRA compliant)

 

  • A giant national background check software company (Beenverified.com) advertises on the site.
    • Like Mugshots.com, Beenverified does not define themselves as a consumer reporting agency under the FCRA and therefore should not be used for employee screening purposes. These are their own wordsThey tell you up front that they should not be used for employee screening purposes.
    • Read their “permitted and prohibited” uses here: https://www.beenverified.com/about/dos-donts/

 

  • com FAQ covers questions related to the deletion of mugshots should someone claim that their record was expunged or that they were not convicted.
  • They simply state: As you may be aware Expungement and pardon only apply to certain government agencies' databases, and not all of them. Certainly not to the private sector.”
  • They continue within a 2013 Blog Post by directing readers to their unpublishing link, which at the time of my writing this is not functioning.

 

If you are concerned that your hiring practices include records from a website that is not meant to be used for pre-employment screening or if you would like to speak with one of our investigations on how to ensure that you are compliant in your hiring practices, we implore you to give us a call or chat with us online.

 

Referenced article: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2017/12/11/fight-against-mugshot-sites-brings-little-success

2 months

Background Check Employee Screening is Usually Done by a Machine.

We understand that you likely don't want to hear that, but it is the unfortunate way that the industry has developed. If you take the time to think about this, it's rather scary! For the average employer who relies on background check employee screening services, somewhere in cyberspace, a machine is background check employee screening servicesmindlessly chugging away. The machine is backed up by a legal  document called an agreement which is full of disclaimers exonerating the machine for missing things or falsely reporting them to the client. No one reviews the report you bought. No one actually knows what the machine did. No judgement on accuracy is ever rendered. In short, the machine is driving the bus and it doesn't matter if it crashes with you on it or not.

At BackgroundCheckCentral.com, ALL of our background check employee screening services are conducted by A REAL INVESTIGATOR! An expert conducts your search, reviews the search and ensures that, with the help of those machines, the search was conducted in the correct places using the correct information. If a question should arise, anytime, about the background check employee screening services we provided, an actual investigator who is knowledgeable about that exact matter is available to answer questions and provide explanations. Don't settle for a cheap, web based, machine created background check. Go with the pros who can keep you from "settling" in court when a bad hire slips past the others!

Here are some steps that potential clients go through when they search for a background check company to handle their pre-employement screening. This list should provide you with a good outline of things to prepare and be aware of before you go shopping for a pre-employment screening vendor.

Set a Budget

What do you expect to spend per applicant?

Determine Your Screening Needs

  • As you will find, there are a lot of search options out there.
  • Are there any industry requirements that you have to comply with?
  • What is important to your company to know about your applicants?
  • You may not know what is important, this is okay; at ASG, our investigators will take the time to go through all of the available searches we offer.

Call BackgroundCheckCentral Today at 888-817-8282

4 months

https://youtu.be/BhRnLvkWcWU

Pre-Employing Screening Criminal Records Database Verification

It can often be confusing with the number of online instant background check services to know where “real” records actually come from. Licensed Professional Investigators use data that comes directly from the state, county or local municipality, ensuring accuracy and completeness of what we report to our clients. We are also acutely aware that each state, city or county may maintain records differently, or only chose to make some parts of those records available as public record. We work to ensure that no matter what the scenario is, that our clients get the best records available wherever their applicant is from.

6 months

Criminal Record Expungement Still Causing Background Check Issues?

Licensed Michigan Background Check Investigators Explain Why that Might be Happening

Criminal Record ExpungementIn Michigan, like most states, there are ways for prior criminal offenders to have specific records expunged from their backgrounds.  This creates a delicate and tricky situation for everyone involved; the offender, the lawyer they hired to expunge the records, background check companies and employers.  The reason for this is that once records of an arrest, criminal proceeding, conviction and sentencing are created, they are very difficult to completely erase so that they cannot be located during a background check.  There are really three controlling issues at play when it comes to expunged records still showing up on an applicant’s background check:

  • Not all of the records with official government entities are taken out of public view once an expungement has taken place
  • Background check companies do not have a way of knowing that the records they find are not supposed to be reported because of an expungement
  • Third party data brokers have already purchased the records and are selling them to data vendors and non-government search databases

Records with Government Entities

These are databases maintained by government entities (state, federal and local) that we consider the most accurate sources of information.  They are sometimes referred to as “direct from source data” or “first source data”.  Any competent background check agency will only utilize these types of records.  The downside can be cost and turnaround time, but not doing so sacrifices accuracy and completeness and in pre-employment screening, these records are the only ones that should be utilized when making a hiring decision based on an applicant’s background.

The issue with expunged records is that there are multiple places where these records get created and stored, all available to a diligent investigator with good intentions of thoroughly searching someone’s background.  Below is a rough breakdown of the various places a background investigator can locate criminal records in Michigan.  Most states are very similar in their processes and therefore have similar locations where records can be located.

Police reports -> Intake/Booking Information -> Jail Records -> District Court Records -> Circuit Court Records -> Michigan State Police Arrest and Conviction Abstract -> Michigan Department of Corrections Database -> Michigan Secretary of State.

Expunging records from all of these sources is nearly impossible and most attorney’s do so at the court level and/or with the Michigan State Police.  That leaves a number of other locations still open for discovery of these records that can still effect an applicant going through the background check process.

This takes us into the second issue; when background check company discovers a record, but has no way to know if it has been expunged or not.  This one is self-explanatory, but no company wants to disclose records that otherwise should not be divulged to an employer.  The best-case scenario is that the investigator notes that parts of the record are not where they should be and reaches out to the applicant for documentation of a possible expungement.  Unfortunately, even the best “.Gov” databases can be incomplete and missing information at times, so it is not uncommon to have a piece of the puzzle missing and have to locate records elsewhere, not immediately thinking that it could be because the record was expunged.

Third Party Data Brokers

The real issues for those with properly expunged records is when third party data brokers are involved with purchasing large sets of criminal data from various government entities.  These records are usually bought in bulk and then stored internally with the individual private data broker companies.  From there, they sell access to their data or re-sell the data altogether to other companies that either utilize the data as part of a large access point or sell the ability to search large quantities of records from multiple jurisdictions at one time, sometimes as part of what they market as a “national criminal history” database. (for information on the dangers of these types of insta-searches, click here).  Once criminal records are purchased by these third parties, they are essentially “out there” and become far more difficult to have redacted.  Some of these companies do allow some means to delete records from their databases with proper documentation, but getting to each of these vendors is difficult.  The majority of applicants we work with who have legitimate expungements, but are still losing out on jobs because of the background check process are a direct result of the background check company utilizing one of these types of databases.  A key problem being that even if an applicant can prove to an employer that a record was expunged, the employer has already seen the original conviction and can be biased by that improper data.

What can an applicant with an expungement do?

If you had a record expunged, but are nervous that an employer may still find the record or parts of the records due to any of the reasons mentioned above, you do have some options.

MichiganLegalHelp.Org has some excellent pages related to this topic.  You can also consult your attorney to determine where he or she had the records expunged from to confirm that the main locations (the court system and the Michigan State Police) are covered.  Have your expungement paperwork available for any issues and ask your potential employer for access to the background screening company before the searches take place.  A reputable company will know how to handle this situation, look at your paperwork to ensure that the conviction you had expunged is not disclosed to the employer if it happens to be located during the course of the background check.  If you are still unsure of what records are going to show up, Advanced Surveillance Group can conduct a background investigation on you to help you determine what records are still available and where those records are located so that you can target those entities for further removal.

9 months

blurry-eyes

TOP 4 MISREPRESENTATIONS APPLICANTS USE TO HIDE THE TRUTH

DATA DISTORTION WITH THE PURPOSE OF HIDING NEGATIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Applicants providing false personal information is nothing new to our industry.  Those applicants entering the background check phase of the hiring process, who know that they have a history that may lead to the denial of employment, often provide false personal information that is meant to be sent to the background check company working with their prospective employer.  The majority of the time, this is done by simply providing an incorrect social security number, date of birth or residential history.  Often times, employers don’t or cannot double check this information against physical personal identification and therefore the information gets submitted to a background check company as is.  Bad information used in this process often equates to bad data results, depending on how the background screener operates.  Some of the most common types of data distortion we see are below.

  • Wrong day, month or year of birth
  • Incorrect social security number (often numbers are intentionally transposed)
  • Incorrect middle name or middle initial
  • Not reporting a full residential history or leaving off cities/states they have lived in

How does an incorrect date of birth affect a background check?   Applicants providing a false date of birth, whether it is off by a day, a month, a year or completely incorrect are counting on a background screening company not taking that information and verifying it prior to conducting criminal record searches.  We have also seen that an incorrect date of birth on a background authorization form may not be verifiable with any other applicant information, as most employers are not in the habit of asking for dates of birth on other application material due to EEOC concerns.  Given that the only place an applicant’s date of birth is likely to be given is on the background authorization form, there is often no secondary location that an employer can use to compare data.  When done without prior verification, records that are found on your John Doe applicant are compared by date of birth, with those records not matching what was provided being discarded as not applying to the applicant at hand.  This is especially concerning when working with applicants who have more common names, as the only way to discern if a record applies to an applicant is to narrow the search down based on the month, day and year of birth as there may be numerous records found based on name alone, many applying to different individuals.

An incorrect social security number may be given for a few reasons.  Sometimes applicants simply do not have a legal right to work in the United States and when asked, provide either a made up social security number or one that is known to them to belong to someone else.  The most common searches affected by an improper social security number are; credit check, E-Verify (I-9 Eligibility), residential history and prior employment verification.  Often trying to muddy the water, applicants believe that if their background check doesn’t return information, the lack of verification may work in their favor rather than a screening company finding negative information.  As for an applicant’s residential history, which is often searched by using their social security number, applicant’s are usually trying to hide someplace they previously resided where records may exist; records that could deny them an employment opportunity.   Credit history searches without a proper social security number can result in a “no credit information found”, which the applicant can then explain as them not having a credit history for any number of reasons.  This is far better then what is likely their negative credit history that could include multiple creditors, bankruptcies, liens, judgments and collection issues.

A middle name is really that important?  The answer can often be yes.  This is especially true when working with applicants with common surnames.  Record results are often returned on first and last name with middle name or middle initials being an optional field that an investigator would later use to sort data to determine which records may apply or require additional research.  Applicants with such common names, who also have records in their background that may result in negative job determinations, will often provide different middle names or middle initials in an attempt to camouflage their records within the many that are likely to be found based on first and last name alone.  Imagine conducting a criminal records search on John Smith in a major metropolitan area.  The resulting records (depending on the municipality) could be sorted by year of birth, full date of birth, middle name or age of the records themselves.  As investigators, we utilize whatever other pieces of information we have available regarding an applicant, which frequently includes the applicant’s middle name.  Having a false middle name may cause an investigator to miss records that should be included for ultimate dissemination.

How complete of a residential history should be included?  Typically, we ask for applicants and employers to provide a full ten-year residential history for comparison.  The reason for this is that in most cases, we are asked to conduct ten year record searches and/or that is a reasonable retention timeframe for many municipalities.  What applicants will do, is to conveniently skip over cities, counties and even states that they have lived in, knowing that there is negative information to be found there.  Residential history often goes hand in hand with an applicant’s social security number, as those addresses are often uniquely tied to an applicant’s SSN and can be verified as such.  This piece of information is even more important in those states/cities that do not have universal linked data sources.  In these scenarios, investigators must search individual municipalities for records, based on an applicant’s residential history.

The issues of prospective employees misrepresenting and distorting their personal information is common and in no way new to our industry.  Thankfully, responsible background check companies can go beyond simply imputing the exact data they receive from an employer/applicant.  Information can be pre-verified, allowing a screening company to alert an employer client of any differences in what data was provided and what was ultimately found out about an applicant, giving the employer the opportunity to either dismiss the applicant from the process immediately or give the applicant a chance to correct any issues.  By verifying all personal information beforehand, a background check can be conducted with the utmost confidence that the correct data input information is being used, ensuring the most accurate data searches possible.  Offering this verification service is the best way for a background check company to provide the optimal service experience to their clients,  while discouraging applicants from distorting their personal information for the purpose of hiding negative background information.

1 year

digiAccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in September of 2014, the United States had a 25.3% volunteer rate. That’s an outstanding number of people willing to contribute to their communities! However, like employees, volunteers should be properly screened depending on the tasks they will be involved with.

Volunteers that deal with people with disabilities, children, and the elderly should certainly have a more extensive background check than someone organizing food for a food pantry or doing simple administrative tasks. Although volunteers help non-profits thrive, you want to make sure you weed out any potential danger to protect your organizations reputation. It is important for volunteers to understand that screening is done to protect those the organization is out to serve.

Background Check Central understands that non-profits rely on volunteers to make their organization successful. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

2 years

trackingAt Background Check Central, we understand that the hiring process is multifaceted and countless man hours can be wasted reviewing forms and ensuring proper compliance when making a decision.  One of our goals is to eliminate the added stress of conducting a pre-employment screening and we have partnered with over 100 ATS to streamline the hiring and tracking process.

Applicant Tracking Systems are more important now than ever before.  Recruiting technology is not only important to success, but a critical element.  Simply put ATS integration means faster results.  By integrating with already existing tracking systems we have managed to forge a method that provides our services with no additional administrative time by our clients.  While this is particularly useful for high volume businesses, we have no limits or monthly requirements.  Our ATS integration is just as useful to a landlord who runs five tenant screenings per month as it is to a large corporation conducting hundreds of pre-employment screening searches.

If you have any questions about how to best implement an integration do not hesitate to contact our office.

2 years

apply_nowIn today's Go to Greg column in the New York Post, a reader asked Greg if they have to submit to a background check as part of applying for a new job. The writer felt that a background check constituted an invasion of privacy. Greg had the correct answer to this often asked question: Yes, you have to submit to a background check as part of applying for a new job if you want that job.

The reality is the neither the employer nor the background check provider furnish any information about you to anyone else and all the employer is really trying to do is to verify that information that you have provided to them. If you state that you graduated from State with a degree in Biology, all they will do is check to see that this is true. Being honest with the employer is crucial and the company will always ask about anything they note in the background check that you did not report ahead of time. If you forgot something or they did not ask originally, just like at every other step in the process, tell the truth. As to the information the the background screening company finds, they always have to provide the source they obtained that information from, if it is erroneous, you can go straight to the source and get that information removed.

2 years

Connect with Background Check Central:

What we find

web dev by pistonbroke