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Considering “Do-It-Yourself” Online Background Checks?

Gallery 06While seemingly simple and affordable, such services present potential risks that could pose a threat to a businesses’ brand.

Here’s a brief list of considerations that could serve as a litmus test as to whether a DIY background check service or a more-conventional Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) is the best choice for you.

Will the search be wide and deep?

As with any type of research upon which your business may depend, background checks require thorough scrutiny of data sources.

Such research expends large amounts of both time and personnel resources. Take, for example, legal records used for criminal background checks.

In the United States, available data differs between federal, state, and municipal levels; for example, there are thousands of jurisdictions where pubic records can be obtained, and the manner for obtaining these records can vary from court to court.

So, depending on how many locations the candidate attended school, lived and worked, researchers may be faced with combing through records maintained in numerous locations.

CRAs typically enlist the aid of court runners since many jurisdictions require in-person representation to access their records.

How will the DIY service you’re considering deal with this complex and often inconsistent process?

Also, DIY services may merely aggregate information on a candidate based on readily-available online data, to include publicly available information contained in news stories and social media accounts.

Ask if that is the case because solely using and relying upon such information presents potential legal risks to an employer; the information may be on the wrong person, incorrect or out of date.

And making a hiring decision based on a candidate’s public online persona without ensuring the data is accurate and complete may be deemed prejudicial.


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