For employee screening, no! Not if you want to avoid a lawsuit
Many people ask, "Are there free background checks?". The real answer is, not if you will be using the background check information for hiring purposes. This business model is so frowned upon that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case that deals precisely with companies that provide free or cheap background check services. You can read more about that case here.
Most of the companies that offer free background checks online are not providing what they promise. These companies lure people to their website, knowing consumers will need to sign up for additional, paid services. Once customers are set up, they will only be provided with the vague and basic details free of cost, and then charged for the needed comprehensive report. The information given in a free background check is from resources that anyone can easily find online. However, that information should not be trusted as it is very basic and not reliable. More dangerous than that, most of the time, free information is not legal to use for hiring employees.
Why isn't information from these reports reliable?
Background check companies that do not charge for their services usually use public records to verify the information by matching individuals' names against those that appear on criminal histories. The one immense reliability issue with this is that many people share the same first and last names. Without comparing any further information, it is even more difficult to confirm whether the criminal records provided match the person you are researching.
Reliable criminal record information must be verified at the county courthouse 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. There will be an associated charge based on the county courthouse you are requesting to access information from. If the county courthouse does not confirm a criminal record, then it is not verifiable and can't be used for considering a potential employee.
Why should I pay for an employee background check?
To get more reliable and in-depth results, employers should research with a paid background check services company like HireSafe. Our criminal record searches adhere to regulations set forth by the FCRA and various state agencies. This cooperation makes our reports compliant with regulations that oversee the background check's used for hiring.
This is a better option than a free background check. You can count on us to provide you with reliable and detailed information about your applicant. Our process helps employers make smarter hiring decisions!