Pre-Employ Blog

Using a DIY Background Check in the Hiring Process Could Put Your Company at Risk

Posted by Stacy Prewitt on October 10, 2016

Do-it-yourself (DIY) background checks can appear to be faster and less expensive, but the quick and-easy approach may not serve even a small company’s best interests and could actually put your company at significant risk.

According to an article in Business News Daily, “The vast majority of these DIY websites specifically say they are not to be used as part of the employment screening process because the websites are not compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).” Non-compliance with FCRA guidelines when doing a background check for employment have resulted in multi-million dollar lawsuits against employers.

Man holding umbrella with question marks floating in the skyDIY background check companies often provide incomplete or error-filled results and don't include education or employment verification services. When making your hiring decision of a candidate on information received from a DIY background check, it may result in bringing persons who have lied about his or her past experiences, qualifications or education. Non-compliance with FCRA guidelines and inaccuracies can increase chances of fraud, dishonesty and potential lawsuits.

Companies like Pre-Employ offer the experience and resources to provide extensive information on a candidate and quality-control in the process to ensure accuracy as well as FCRA compliance.
When considering using a background check company, it pays off to do some research. Ask the right questions. Here are some questions you should be asking a background screening company before committing:

1. Are you FCRA compliant? 

If the answer is “no”, keep looking. Companies that do not follow the FCRA guidelines leave you and your company at significant risks for multi-million dollar lawsuits.

2. What is the total amount I will pay, and what is the length of my commitment?

Pay for only the services you need. Options for custom packages with the ability to purchase additional searches as needed can often give you the best value.

3. What experience do you have in my specific field?

Higher education, healthcare, staffing providers and other industries are heavily regulated and require specific qualifications from job seekers and place specific obligations on employers. Having a background company that is experienced and FCRA-compliant can offer peace of mind and reduce your risk factors

4. May I check your references?

As with other services you hire, make sure their references are excellent.

5. What is your accuracy rate, and how do you ensure the information you provide is accurate?

Avoid companies that simply gather available online data without discretion and any discernable quality control. Getting false, unsubstantiated information could be worse than not running a background check at all, because using this information as part of your hiring process and or decision could put your company at significant risk if the FCRA guidelines, federal and state laws are not followed strictly.

6. How long does the process take?

Our research and experience indicates that a shorter turnaround time is not always best practice. If the background check company merely obtains available online information without verifying its accuracy, that information may be and could be false or misleading. Court records including criminal checks, for example, most of the time require a visit to the courthouse to conduct a physical research. We find that information that is obtained at the source is the most accurate and up to date information. As many electronic data bases are not updated regularly and do not contain current information.

Pre-employ is committed to helping you and your organization stay FCRA-compliant while reducing the factors that have contributed to the rapid increase in multi-million dollar lawsuits. Download the guide on 5 Tips to Avoid FCRA Non-Compliance.

Download the Guide

Topics: Human Resources, Background Checks, Hiring Compliance, Criminal Record, Applicant, Lawsuit, FTC, FCRA, Disclosure & Authorization Form, Adverse Action