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Is the Background Screening for Your Company Accurate? How do you know?
This unregulated industry providing background checks to employers and property managers may be reporting inaccurate or outdated information, issues involving legal compliance, and significant risk.
The reality is that “background screening” is big business.
“It is important for consumers to recognize that the background screening industry is not pro-actively regulated,” said Mark B. Small, president of Reading-based Verified Background Services, LLC. “There are no educational or experiential requirements necessary to establish a business specializing in background checks, and there is no formal credentialing process.”
The techniques used by a background screening firm to obtain and verify information have a significant impact on the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in the final report provided. Many background check providers utilize commercially available database products as a primary source of information. However, commercial database products contain information that is inaccurate, incomplete, or out of date. Most concerning is the fact that these so-called “National”
The Society for Human Resources Management reported in 2010 that almost 75 percent of employers preform criminal background checks on job applicants. According to Small, “Some employers are purchasing this information from legitimate background screening firms, but many may be purchasing information from providers who could be just about anyone who can access the internet, has access to a commercial database, and has some research savvy."
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. §1681), a federal law, governing the use of investigative credit reports (a background check), establishes procedures and requirements to protect the rights of job-seekers. Failure to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act has resulted in countless, multi-million dollar law suits filed against both employers and background
According to Small, “At a minimum, employers and property managers should make sure thatthey hire a reputable background screening firm that is compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). In addition, ask how the firm obtains and verifies information, if the firm can obtain copies of official court records, if required, and ask for information about the screening firm’s investigative background, experience, and credentials.”
About Mark Small and Verified Background Services, LLC
Mark B. Small, M.S., is a risk management and investigative services professional with more than 20 years’ experience in law enforcement, background investigation, private investigations, and risk management/control.A former federal law enforcement officer, Small started Verified Background Services in 2012 to offer professional background screening services to employers, property management firms, commercial property owners and Realtors®. Verified Background Services is fully compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Verified Backgrounds Services