Background Check FAQ
This is the most common question that we get, and rather than give you a lengthy sales pitch, we’ll tell you to simply take a look at our five guarantees on our home page. We will run side-by-side tests on a sample of applicants you have already run and will meet or exceed our guarantees.
No. All criminal records are not the same. Criminal data is maintained by name and DOB only—no social security numbers are associated with criminal data. There are over 5,000 criminal vendors for us to choose from, and the quality depends on how much we are willing to spend on the data. Additionally, every jurisdiction in the country can have records in different formats that need to be properly indexed and formatted to get accurate search results. Once a screening company obtains the data, their system must know how those records prepared and adjust their software accordingly to get the most hits. Since criminals are aware of how records are filed (name and DOB only), they can just transpose part of their name or DOB, and most screening companies will not find the related criminal data. Our ID process will catch all of these errors in the system, plus others.
There have been more changes in criminal data distribution in the past five years than in the fifteen years prior. Many states quit updating their databases and require some other means (usually direct access to their court system) of obtaining the data. As an example, Tennessee has not released criminal reports in database form in over 5 years. VeriScreen is not too large that we can’t be ahead of the curve and have a solution before it happens.
Our founder has been in business for over 30 years in a variety of positions with small companies and Fortune 100 companies. He has yet to see a large company do anything better than a small, agile enterprise. Does Toyota make a higher quality car than Rolls Royce because they make about 2 million a year in North America? No.
We can interface with virtually any system. We currently integrate with all the major systems for a total of over 20 separate interfaces.
Affordable housing is the most difficult and time consuming screening there is with a lot more at stake. Every disqualifying record we don’t find, a criminal is getting government subsidized housing and a well-qualified applicant is getting put on a waiting list. Due to this in-depth research and experience in affordable housing, we are a perfect fit for the employer wanting to find all records of their applicants to make a more informed decision.
The accreditation program was established to provide some standards for employment screening companies that traditionally do not run a lot of credit reports. For companies that run credit reports, there are many more and complex requirements to adhere to. All three credit bureaus conduct onsite system and compliance audits at least annually to ensure that all parts of the FCRA are complied with. Since the small number of screening companies found the accreditation program a differentiator in their selling process, many screening companies that already adhere to the stringent requirements of the credit bureaus are considering becoming accredited by the NAPBS. A lack of accreditation only means they run enough credit reports to require an onsite audit by one or all of the credit bureaus that is much more stringent.
Absolutely—we recommend it. All three credit bureaus have specific products that are to be used for employment screening purposes. These products do not include a score or account numbers, and therefore will only give the employer an insight into the applicant’s behavioral patterns.
We do offer instant criminal database searches. However, our county and state criminal record searches are all conducted by hand searching criminal records directly at the courthouse. By hand searching records, our experienced researchers can ensure that we are providing the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.
Yes. Statewide and county criminal records will include both misdemeanor and felony conviction information.
All criminal record searches will go back at least 7 years. VeriScreen will provide criminal record information as far back as the courthouse allows. Each jurisdiction varies on how long they maintain criminal records on file. The Federal FCRA guidelines allow you to make hiring decisions on criminal information going beyond 7 years. However, many states are overriding that with a limit on how and what we can report. We subscribe to a service run by a law firm that keeps us informed on changes within each jurisdiction throughout the country and worldwide.
Generally speaking, no. There are a select few searches where we require a signed release form in order to complete your request. However, in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you must have your applicant’s express written permission to access any of their background check information when making a hiring decision. You must keep this signed release form on file for at least 3 years if you do not hire the individual. If you do hire the individual, you should keep their signed release form in their personnel file for as long as they remain employed with your organization. From time to time, we may request copies of the documents for audit purposes.
Search requests can be ordered via our website, email or fax. For pre-employment screening, we recommend ordering searches via fax or email so that we are responsible for the information entered in off of the form and can select the counties that we feel best fit your needs to order real-time searches. It also allows us to review the information on the application so that we can provide you with the best screening possible.
No. Our system allows you to add additional searches to a completed profile at any time without having to reenter all of their personal information. For example, some companies perform an annual background check on all of their employees. With our system, they can pull up each employee’s profile and order a new search without having to reenter all of his or her information. This feature saves clients a lot of time and energy.
Your account can be setup to pay by credit card each time you order a search, or we offer a monthly invoicing option. With our online payment option, you will always be able to view your invoice and pay it online at any time.
Yes. Whenever a search is ordered you will be charged for the service requested. Whether a record is found or not, costs have been incurred in order to complete the search request.
Yes. VeriScreen is fully FCRA-compliant. As a consumer reporting agency, we abide by all Federal and State regulations set forth by the FCRA and any and all laws mandated by state and jurisdiction. In addition, VeriScreen’s FCRA experts will help to ensure that your organization remains fully FCRA-compliant. We provide all necessary forms, and furthermore whenever there are any changes to the FCRA, VeriScreen keeps our clients aware of these changes via updates on our webserver. This way our clients can screen their employees with the utmost confidence.
An onsite inspection is a credit bureau required inspection of the location where credit information is being pulled or stored. The credit bureaus have provided an approved vendor list of companies that may perform the inspection by their standards. VeriScreen has selected the best approved inspection company to conduct these inspections for our clients. Our trained VeriScreen team will guide you through the process all the way. Primarily, the inspection will confirm company legitimacy, permissible purpose for the credit information, and that the bureau security requirements are being met. We will notify you that an inspection is needed, and they will contact you directly to schedule this. The length of time onsite is typically very minimal, and results are provided to us within a couple of days. The fee for this service is charged through VeriScreen, and then credit bureau product availability is secured.
We are required by federal law and regulations to establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect consumer data (Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act). A physical inspection of prospective users of consumer information is a mandatory component of our compliance requirements. It is a one-time inspection and charge that you do not have to incur again unless you are running your business from your home. In that case, we have developed a product called “VeriScreen Connect” that will enable you to get a credit report without getting an inspection. See our product details for more information or better yet, call our office and let one of our trained team members walk you through the process. This is a product that we developed jointly with Experian to give our small landlords a better way of getting credit reports.
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Useful Information for Users of Employee and Resident Screening Products: