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Employment Background Check FAQs

How do I provide the information about my applicant to you?

After your account is established, we provide you with all of the necessary forms that you’ll need to insure complete compliance with state and federal laws. Background Search requests are submitted on our secure web site.

How do we setup an account to run background checks?

You will need to provide basic background and contact information for your company. In addition, you will have to provide information to verify the validity of your business (Federal Tax ID number, Business License number, and a bank reference). Data Research Network, Inc. (dba: HireSafe) is governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires that we only release applicant’s personal information for use in pre-employment screening by employers and leasing agents for tenant screening – therefore, we must verify the validity of all employers with which we conduct business. If you are applying for a credit account with Data Research Network, Inc., we collect some additional credit information, such as trade credit references.

How fast can our company be set up and ready to run a background check?

Usually, less than 24 hours, and possibly the same day if you contact us early (except in the case where Employment Credit Reports are requested).

How will I receive the results of the search?

That's up to you - employee background check reports can be E-mailed directly to you, viewed online at, faxed to you, or a combination of these. HireSafe is very user-friendly, so you can adjust your preferences to what suits you best.

I don't have anything to hide. Why should I worry about a background check?

It’s true that a spotless personal background can only enhance a job candidate’s chances of landing a job. However, as in any field, there are those report providers who cut corners and don’t follow the federal and state laws, which create bad reports for an otherwise clear background. Sometimes irrelevant or outdated information is used to produce the report, not respecting the responsibility of the provider to use accurate and up-to-date sources. A further concern is that the report might include information that is illegal to use for hiring purposes or which comes from questionable sources.

Is this practice legal?

Every aspect of the research performed by HireSafe is fully compliant with all Federal and State laws and applicable legal standards. By using HireSafe, employers legally protect themselves and ensure that the rights of their applicants are also being upheld. Although we cannot provide legal or hiring advice to our clients, our legal advisors ensure that HireSafe procedures comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other Federal and State laws concerning privacy, discrimination and equal opportunity. These laws dictate what records can be reported, how they can be utilized, and who can use them. All records are subject to Equal Opportunity laws, which prohibit the unfair use of the data.

What about those inexpensive database [national criminal record] searches?

As noted previously. There is no national criminal record database that is recognized by the Federal government as a legal primary source of information for employment-related decisions. These databases, by their very format of being stored data, violate the FCRA if used as the sole basis of employment decision making. See the Federal Trade Commission staff opinion letter about stored data..

You don't want to be in violation of Federal or State Employment Laws!

The information reported by state repositories, where they exist, is not consistent or thorough. Not every state and/or court participates, which leaves huge gaps in the reporting process. Stored data vendors purchase and update their tapes or CD-ROMs about every 90 days, or sometimes every 6 months. During these intervals, a lot of criminal activity can and will occur, never to be revealed until the next update. An employer simply cannot afford to have such gaps in the reporting of a candidate’s past, wondering if the applicant has been arrested and convicted since your vendor's database was long ago updated.

That being said, stored data does help in a secondary and back-up role when the counties from the “address of record” have also been searched. Stored database criminal records from jurisdictions beyond the primarily recorded counties could point to convictions that would not have otherwise been known.

What factors determine whether an environment is 'hostile?'
The EEOC has established the following factors to determine whether a hostile work environment has been created:
Whether the conduct was unwelcome or unwanted; whether the conduct was verbal or physical, or both; whether the conduct was a one-time occurrence or was repeated (e.g., continuous period of harassment); whether the conduct was hostile and offensive; whether others joined in perpetrating the harassment; and whether the harassment was directed at more than one individual.
What if my candidate has lived in other states?

HireSafe can retrieve criminal reports from anywhere in the USA, Canada and 250 foreign countries. 

What if someone has changed their name, been married, etc?

If you know the alternate name, you can include it in your background check search request. If an additional name is disclosed during the background check - by the Address History/Social Security Trace for example - then you might want to ask the applicant about it first, and then include it in your searches. A complete and legal background check will always include all aliases, maiden names or AKA’s. Not doing so invalidates the report, and the expenditure is wasted.

What if there is a mistake on someone's credit history?

The applicant or employer can make inquiries regarding the information in question, and it will be investigated. The applicant has specific rights outlined in the Summary of Rights, which must be provided to the subject of the background check as specified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

Will I alienate my staff if I request background checks?

The procedure for Employment Background Screening is nonintrusive and respects your applicant’s privacy rights. The information is handled on a “need-to-know” basis with all due respect to the individual job applicant. When a company has a background screening program, it is for the protection of everyone who works there. A legal background check policy does not violate anyone’s rights or single out an individual applicant.

Will I encounter any surcharges when ordering a background check report?

In some regions, governmental agencies, schools or employers that provide us information charge a small fee for releasing this information. Rather than increasing our prices for all services, we add these fees to a customer’s order as a surcharge (at no additional markup), only when such a fee applies. These fees, when applicable, average approximately $6. (However, the New York state Office of Court Administration imposes a whopping $95.00 per name fee!)

Background Check FAQ