Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a leading global background screening firm – has released an updated version of its white paper entitled “21 Shortcuts and Traps that Can Lead to Inaccurate Criminal Records” that summarizes ways screening firms could potentially take shortcuts that may undermine the accuracy of criminal records. The complimentary white paper can be viewed at http://www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/Whitepaper-Library/21-Shortcuts-Lead-To-Inaccurate-Criminal-Records/.
“At the core of our foundation is an unwavering commitment to quality and service which translates to an absolute refusal to engage in practices that are inferior or cut corners,” says ESR Vice President of Strategic Growth Dawn Standerwick. “We believe the relationship many employers have with their screening partner is under-served. We see a troubling trend where quality is impacted by sub-standard practices and a scarcity of compliance support as evidenced by the alarming increase in class action lawsuits. Our business model takes into account that what we do is as important as how we do it and who it affects.”
The white paper explains how background checks can vary in quality because there are many moving parts when searching for criminal records and also numerous ways a screening firm can cut corners. A screening firm may appear to be doing a complete job and yet take shortcuts under the hood that may allow them to advertise faster turnaround times or lower internal costs and increase profits. But the real question is whether employers and job applicants are well served. Some of these shortcuts include:
* Using a so-called “national” criminal database: So-called “national” criminal databases offered by private screening firms can be a source of confusion and potential mistakes since the depth, breadth, and accuracy of information varies widely.
* Using incomplete statewide system: Some screening firms may try to save time and money by using statewide databases to avoid the cost and trouble of performing county court searches.
* Instant searches: The words “instant” and “criminal checks” simply do not belong together in the same sentence and employers are advised to avoid any screening service that advertises itself in that way.
* Failure to have an internal process or procedure to analyze if a criminal record is reportable: A screening firm should have internal processes, procedures, and training materials in order to fully understand what criminal records are reportable.
* Ignoring consumer complaints that can lead to discovering errors in a screening firm’s process: Another warning sign that a screening firm may not have processes in place to promote accuracy is the failure to examine complaints from consumers to determine if there is a pattern or practice that is leading to errors in reporting criminal records.
* Failure to advise employers about Ban the Box or Individualized Assessment rules: Another area of potential liability for employers and screening firms is providing criminal record information without considering the limits on using criminal records under applicable “Ban the Box” rules and discrimination rules.
* Reporting arrests or non-convictions: This is an area that can get employers and background screening firms sued since reporting records that have been expunged or judicially set aside, or arrests not resulting in convictions, can be forbidden under state law.
The white paper “21 Shortcuts and Traps that Can Lead to Inaccurate Criminal Records” also concludes with “21 Suggested Questions for a Background Screening Provider” that employers may want to ask their screening partners to avoid receiving criminal record information that is incomplete, incorrect, or not actionable. The complimentary white paper from ESR is available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/Whitepaper-Library/21-Shortcuts-Lead-To-Inaccurate-Criminal-Records/.
About Employment Screening Resources (ESR)
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a global background screening firm headquartered in the San Francisco, California area. ESR is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), undergoes annual SSAE 18 SOC 2 audits, adheres to the Privacy Shield Framework, is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, and won the 2018 TekTonic Award from HRO Today Magazine for innovation and disruption in background screening technology. To learn more about ESR, please visit http://www.esrcheck.com/.