Usually, when one thinks of fingerprinting, the most common image to come to mind is that of a criminal being booked and processed, fingertips dabbed in ink and their prints recorded into a database forever. But times have changed. Employers concerned with security have turned to fingerprinting as a necessary function for job applicants to undergo, and the practice is only growing more popular.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, in 2000, the Federal Bureau of Investigation received nearly 6.6 million sets of fingerprints for vetting. Today, the number of prints sent to the FBI could total more than 25 million. The sharp increase can be directly attributed to the post-9/11 tightening of security in nearly every facet of life and employment.
The Sentinel also spoke to a local residents who had undergone fingerprinting when seeking jobs. Kathy Curtin said she had been fingerprinted seven times in the last five years despite doing nothing that would be deemed "arrest-worthy." Instead, her fingerprints being taken was the result of her applying to jobs in healthcare and education. Nancy Lathrop, 64, who was a retired schoolteacher, also underwent fingerprinting and background checks all three times she came out of retirement to teach again.
The trend is also a nationwide one. Michigan recently passed state legislation that OKs the use of fingerprinting for transit providers when vetting prospective job applicants. Supporters in New Jersey have also resurrected a bill that would have emergency medical services volunteers submit to fingerprinting.
Employers and HR managers can never be too safe when it comes to background checks during the hiring process. They also should take notice of trends like fingerprinting to assure the safety of their business, workplace and employees. Trusted background check providers can supply that comprehensive service, while also keeping a business compliant with any new laws and regulations, including fingerprinting.