Can I use a free background check for screening employees?
Many people ask, “Are there free background checks?” The simple answer is, NO! Especially not if you intend to use the information for hiring purposes
Companies that offer free background checks online often aren’t providing what they promise. Deceptive ads lure people to websites to sign up then when it’s time to view the information they tell you it’s time to pay! Free information they provide is only vague basic details that may or may not match the person you’re researching. This very basic information is just what they could dig up online and should not be trusted.
Most of the time, information from free background checks is very basic and not reliable. Worse than that this free information is not legal to use for hiring employees. Federal regulations under the FCRA require that records used for employment background checks are both authorized by the potential hire and that the records are verified using local court resources among other items.
Any background check that doesn’t charge for its services usually uses public records to match individual’s names against criminal histories. The one huge issue with this is many people have the same name! Other issues include inability to confirm that the criminal records provided match the person you are researching. With employment background checks provided from a reputable source like HireSafe information gets verified at the county court level, and other identifiers are used to cross check the record with the applicant’s information.
In fact reliable criminal record information must be verified at the county court house level. That means contacting the actual county courthouse where the criminal record is housed and confirming specific items like full name, address and date of birth.
Unfortunately, county courthouses do not operate for free. Each county court house has different charges for accessing their information. Without that information, a criminal record is not verifiable and can’t be used for considering a potential employee.
To get more reliable and in-depth results, employers should research potential employees with a paid background check service company like HireSafe. Our criminal record searches adhere to regulations set forth by the FCRA and various state agencies. This makes our reports compliant with regulations that oversee background checks used for hiring. In addition, our reports include valuable information you won’t find in free background check reports. Things like national sex offender research, employment and credential verification are necessary for employment screening but not found in free versions.
So whatever you do, don’t use a free background check to screen employees! HireSafe is celebrating its 20th year in employment background screening, so you know you can trust HireSafe for all your employment screening needs. Check out our background check packages here!