Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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The Small Business Background Screening Solution

Why Should Small Businesses Perform Background Screening?

By utilizing a professional background screening service, employers of all sizes across all industries can minimize or even avoid the financial and legal nightmares that come from hiring job applicants with unsuitable criminal records, falsified credentials, or some other issue that makes them too dangerous, unqualified, or unfit for the position. Lawsuits for negligent hiring are among the fastest growing areas of litigation in the U.S. and, as a result, employers who fail to demonstrate due diligence can be hit hard by juries. Nationally, the cost of human capital, including salaries, benefits, and hiring, is usually the largest single line-item in the budget of any firm and is responsible for a third of business costs. Given that employees are both the biggest single investment any employer can make and the biggest source of risk, doesn’t it make sense to know who you are hiring?

How Does BackgroundPro’s Cost Compare to Other Screening Companies?

When you compare apples to apples, BackgroundPro is very competitive with pricing. For example, BackgroundPro does not nickle and dime clients with third party fees unless the state imposes a substantial fee. In comparing services, that is an important consideration. For more information, visit our Third Party Fees page.

How Does Screening Help Employers Promote a Safe Workplace?

Employers have become painfully aware of the tremendous consequences of bad hiring decisions. Background screening promotes a safe and profitable workplace. Employment background screening is an effective risk management tool that has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of a bad hire.The use of employment screening background checks can help employers avoid:

  • Negligent Hiring Lawsuits – Employment screening demonstrates due diligence.
  • Workplace Violence – History of criminal acts is a major factor in predicting workplace violence.
  • Unqualified Applicants – Nearly one-third of applications contain falsehoods.
  • Wasted Time – As in the time spent recruiting, training, and hiring the wrong applicants.
  • Wrongful Termination Lawsuits – Yes, even if the applicant lied in the hiring process.
  • Other Workforce Problems — Including theft, financial loss, sexual harassment, etc.

What are the Reasons for Background Screening?

Employers typically engage in employment screening background checks for four reasons:

  • To discourage applicants with something to hide.  Simply having a background screening program discourages job applicants with a criminal background or falsified credentials.
  • To eliminate uncertainty in the hiring process.  Many employers have discovered the hard way that relying on instinct alone is not enough. Hard information is also an important part of the hiring process.
  • To demonstrate Due Diligence.  All employers have a reasonable duty of care in the hiring process. This means an employer must take reasonable steps to determine whether an employee is fit for a particular job. For example, if an employer who hires a bus driver and does not take reasonable efforts to determine whether the bus driver has a criminal record, it could be found liable if that driver assaults a passenger and a reasonable background check would have discovered the prior assaults.
  • To encourage honesty in the application and interview process.  Employers find that just having a background program will encourage applicants to be more forthcoming about their history.

Is Background Screening Foolproof?

Performing background screening is NOT a guarantee that every bad applicant will be discovered. For the prices charged by background screening firms, employers cannot expect an in-depth and exhaustive FBI-type investigation. However, just engaging in a background screening program demonstrates due diligence and provides an employer with a great deal of legal protection. It is also important to understand that a background screening program is aimed at how a person has performed in the public aspect of their lives. Items such as a criminal records or previous job performance reflect how job applicants behaved towards others or discharged their obligations or responsibilities. Also, background screening is not an invasion of privacy, a sign of mistrust, or an act of “Big Brother.”

Who Qualifies for BackgroundPro Screening Services?

Not just anyone can get a background check from BackgroundPro. We only offer services to legitimate businesses. Our vetting possess ensures that under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) there is a permissible purpose and we are only providing services to legitimate employers with a need to know. To qualify for our services:

  • You must be a business (either a partnership, LLC, or corporation) that is on record with the Secretary of State for your state or you have filed a Fictitious Name Statement also known as a DBA in the county where your business is headquartered.
  • You have a business web site that clearly states what kind of business you have in detail.
  • Your email address uses your website name (we cannot accept generic emails such as Google, Yahoo, Mail.com, etc).
  • Your business phone number is listed with directory assistance or information or some online source.
  • You agree to operate under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and all other applicable state and federal rules and regulations including discrimination laws.

How Do We Set Up a Background Screening Program?

A background screening program can be set up very quickly and easily.  Our BackgroundPro screening specialists are here to work with you every step of the way. First, we analyze your risks and needs to come up with a cost-effective program for your business. We assist you with legal compliance, including the necessary forms (although we do not provide legal advice). We can also provide a sample employee manual and internal policy forms.  We will provide all of the training needed, and send employer documentation about the program. The BackgroundPro screening program is integrated seamlessly into the hiring process. After receiving your applicant’s written consent, we search numerous public and private records and contacts schools, licensing authorities, and previous employers. Small businesses can be assured that BackgroundPro is accessing the most accurate source of information for clients. For more details on each type of search, visit our Services page.

Is Background Screening Legal?

All BackgroundPro screening procedures comply fully with the  federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and all applicable federal and state legal standards. BackgroundPro also handles all the legally required procedures for employers, such as providing applicants with copies of reports and notices of consumer rights. By using BackgroundPro, small businesses legally protect themselves and ensure that the rights of their job applicants are being respected. We keep clients current and compliant. Although BackgroundPro does not provide legal advice to its clients, our legal staff ensures that our procedures comply with the FCRA and other federal and state laws concerning privacy and discrimination.

Important Legal Notice:  Although BackgroundPro takes steps to ensure all of its procedures are in compliance with all state and federal rules, BackgroundPro does not provide any legal services/opinions. BackgroundPro recommends that client consult their legal counsel regarding their specific legal responsibilities. Furthermore, employers understands that there are legal requirements imposed by the federal FCRA and, in some instances, state consumer reporting laws, regarding taking adverse action against a consumer based on a consumer report and BackgroundPro recommends that client consult with their legal counsel to develop a legally compliant adverse action policy. In addition, BackgroundPro recommends that client consult with their legal counsel to develop an employment screening program specific to their needs to ensure that client’s policies and procedures related to the use of information provided by BackgroundPro are in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.

How Long Does Background Screening Take?

BackgroundPro online background checks are normally provided in three working days in an easy-to-understand written format. BackgroundPro is not an information broker that simply provides raw data or computer printouts. BackgroundPro reports highlight and summarize important information. We will give our client a breakdown of the important facts and highlight items that employers may be concerned about. In addition, where there is negative information, BackgroundPro will provide human resources policy notes on accepted industry standards for the use of that information.

At the end of the third full business day, BackgroundPro suggests an employer check the status of an order. If any item is incomplete, check the reason and determine if there is enough information to make the hiring decision. There are several reasons why information may not available. However, there may be enough information to make the hiring decision. The reasons for delays in background checks can include:

  • Criminal records can be delayed if the court clerk needs to obtain a file. No one has control over how long a court clerk takes to provide information. BackgroundPro maintains a list of courts currently experiencing delays.
  • An employer will not return calls despite repeated attempts or a past employer cannot be located, has no records, has moved, or is no longer in business. BackgroundPro will make three solid attempts to contact an employer. Background has found that after three attempts it is unlikely an employer will respond.
  • In the case of school records where the school is closed or on break.  Or in cases where verification can only be done by mail or a check is required.
  • The date of birth is required to obtain or verify some information has not been provided. BackgroundPro will contact you when that occurs.

How Much Does Background Screening Cost?

A screening by BackgroundPro is typically equal to the cost of a new employee on just the first day of employment.  An employer has a great deal of flexibility on its employment screening packages.   The cost is minor compared to the damages a bad hire can cause. In addition, BackgroundPro offers real background checks.  Employers should not be confused by firms that appear to offer screening but take dangerous short-cuts that leave employers exposed. All services include training, support, and consultations for Human Resources and Security Departments.

Please note that in some instances, courts, governmental entities, schools or employers charge a fee to provide records.  For example, many states charge a state fee to access driving record information.  Many counties or states charge for criminal records.  Some employers and schools utilize third party database services.  All such “third party fees”  are passed on to BackgroundPro clients at the actual cost imposed by the third party.  These additional fees are out of our control and in are in addition to the fees charged by a screening firm for services. We only pass them on when we are charged and do not mark them up in any way. For more information, visit our Third Party Fees page.

Does Background Screening Risk Alienating Job Applicants?

The BackgroundPro screening procedure is non-intrusive and respects every applicant’s privacy rights. Good applicants are also eager to work with qualified co-workers in a safe workplace. A background check is not only for the benefit of the company as a sound business practice, but also for the benefit of all employees. It is no reflection on an applicant. Background screening can help both bosses and job applicants.

What If We Need the Background Screening Information Right Away?

BackgroundPro obtains information as quickly as it is physically possible. Our philosophy is that all orders are a “rush.”  However, “speed comes in a close second to accuracy” since accuracy is the most important factor in background screening. With the BackgroundPro online system, requests for information are transmitted instantly and all data is available in real-time, 24/7 and 365 days a year.  To contact BackgroundPro Customer Service, please Submit A Ticket.

Why Not Just Do the Background Screening Ourselves?

Employment screening is a time consuming and detailed task that requires highly specialized knowledge and resources. It is also subject to numerous legal regulations. Many firms have found that it is an inefficient use of their time and resources to attempt to perform a service that a specialist can do efficiently and cost-effectively. Even firms with fully staffed Human Resources or Security departments have found that outsourcing this service is more efficient and allows them to focus on tasks that can only be performed inside the company. Many HR and Security professionals also prefer that a new employee’s first contact with their department not be a background check. Also, outsourcing this service does not leave a new employee feeling that confidential information about them is being obtained by others in the firm.

 

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