Since VeriScreen’s beginning over 20 years ago, we have seen a lot of changes in our industry. Long ago, things were done manually and as technology improved, background screening became more automated. We’re now able to search over a billion records in less than 10 seconds with ultra high speed web servers and speed hungry programming. However, criminal data and reporting has gone backwards to some extent. Many states and jurisdictions have stopped selling their data in bulk and require quality oriented screening companies to go to the courthouses and retrieve the records, manually. One example is the state of Tennessee. They have not released criminal records in database form in 4 years. VeriScreen has hired over 50 researches in Tennessee alone to retrieve data.
A lot of the emphasis with the current trend is to give criminals another chance at a job or apartment after having a clean record for a certain amount of time. Indiana among several other states, have passed laws termed Second Chance Laws that limit the data that can be reported. The idea behind this law makes sense but also makes our job more complicated. With the billions of dollars that have been spent on technology in our industry, a lot of the data now has to be retrieved manually to ensure accuracy and that expunged records are not reported. VeriScreen performs thousands of searches a week but still maintains quality hands-on screening that gives us a distinct advantage over our competitors.
Because of the many changes in our industry, a lot of employers and property managers have become fearful of getting too much information to make well-informed hiring or leasing decisions. Veriscreen has been committed to providing the best and most comprehensive background checks for over 18 years and will continue to do so. We firmly believe that getting the most information available about an applicant is good business sense. We find that quality employers and property managers still want as much information as they can get even if that means going out to the courthouses to get it manually.
Our biggest competitor is uninformed decision makers with the misconception that criminal reports are the same regardless of who delivers them. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite all of the achievements in technology in the past 18 years, finding all records on an applicant has become more of an art than a science especially when criminal data is only recorded by name and date of birth.