What You Need to Know about “Instant” Background Checks

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Instant background checks

Let’s face it – we live in a microwave world. In a time when your meals, entertainment, communications and banking are all available to you at the push of a button, you would think that an “instant” pre-employment background check would be a great idea, too. However, if you are looking into an instant background check solution, there are potential risks and gaps that you need to consider.

Are there issues with database gaps and latency?
The truth is that there is no centralized, real-time database that contains criminal, employment, and motor vehicle record history. Another common misconception is that all criminal records in the U.S. are centralized.

Providers that are compiling home-grown databases may present you with dated information, and a complete, comprehensive criminal database for nationwide U.S. criminal records does not exist. Either situation could leave you with incomplete or erroneous information that may negatively affect your hiring decisions.

What impact will an instant background check have on me?
Many recruiters and HR professionals do not consider the additional work that could be added to their plate when it comes to an instant background check. For instance, what if you are running a criminal database check on a candidate with a common name?

An instant check will most likely send back hits for your candidate and anyone else with that common name. It then becomes your job to weed through all of the information and determine which hits are legitimate, and which ones aren’t, or you risk being non-compliant with FCRA guidelines.

Is an instant background check really instant?
While there are companies that tout an instant pre-employment background check, complete results may not be instant. Most likely, turnaround time will be based on the packages that you order for your check. If you read the fine print, you will discover that many of the common searches, such as county criminal, will not return results instantly.

So, what should you consider when evaluating pre-employment background screening solutions?

Speed – While instant background checks may not be your best bet, it does not mean you need to resort to a slow process. A solution provider that merges innovative technology and parallel processing of your screening packages can get you an accurate and compliant result with a quick turnaround time—even just a day or so.

Quality – Not all background checks are created equal. A world-class solution will combine great technology, quality research and excellent customer service. This combination minimizes issues and presents you with the best information possible to make your hiring decision.

Reduced Administration – A great solution will minimize the work you need to do in the background checking process. Integration with your applicant tracking system, real-time reports and status updates, easy-to-read screening summaries and processes that keep your company compliant are all important factors to consider.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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