Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I run a background check?
Employee background screening is essential for employers who want to maintain a safe workplace and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits. Applicants may attempt to conceal prior criminal activity or falsify claims on their résumés. The cost of purchasing a thorough background check on a potential employee is very low compared to the cost of hiring an employee who commits fraud, steals from you, or causes harm to another employee resulting in a negligent hiring lawsuit against you.
What is negligent hiring?
An employer can be charged with negligent hiring if an employee harms someone on the job and a court finds that the employer knew or should have known that the employee was dangerous. More than 70% of employers involved in negligent hiring lawsuits are found liable by the court.
How can I prevent negligent hiring lawsuits?
Having a well-defined background screening policy in place that is applied fairly and consistently is the best way employers can show that they practice due diligence when hiring new employees. A professional background screening firm like Certified Hire can help you review your current practices and identify opportunities to reduce risk, increase efficiency and maintain compliance with FCRA regulations and EEOC guidelines.
What types of background screening services are available at Certified Hire?
Certified Hire's variety of pre-employment screening products allow you to take care of all of your screening needs in one place. Our Certified Hire Screening Package is designed to designate your service employees as Certified Hires – employees you can feel confident about sending into client's homes. This package includes:
Nationwide Criminal SuperSearch
An instant criminal record database search of over 4,000,000 records from thousands of local, state and national data sources.
Federal Criminal Search for each state of residency
A statewide federal search is a search of the federal district within each state of residency.
The results found in a federal search do not appear in state or county court record searches.
Federal crimes include: kidnapping, embezzlement, bank robbery, counterfeiting, and offenses that occur on federal property.
County Level Criminal Search for each county of residency
National Criminal Searches can often return incomplete or inaccurate information, but county level searches provide the fullest detail
possible of criminal charges and are verified by our professional researchers.
Most Wanted Search
The Most Wanted Search is an exact first and last name match search that includes middle name/middle initial. This includes the name entered on the report and AKAs.
This product checks your applicant against various most wanted lists (FBI, DEA, Homeland Security, etc.).
OFAC / Global Terrorist Search
A Global Alert Database (OFAC) instant search identifies individuals who represent a potential threat to United States National Security. According to the U.S.A. Patriot Act (10/26/01),
certain businesses must be in compliance with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or be subjected to serious penalties.
Nationwide Sex Offender Registry Search
Performs a search of criminals against a national database that all 50 states and the District of Columbia report offenders to.
Social Security Number Verification
SSN verification is among the most basic and effective ways to perform a background search on a new employee. Once an applicant has received and accepted a job offer,
employers must ensure his/her records by conducting an SSN search.
Employers also have the option of adding additional products based on their unique hiring needs. Certified Hire is proud to offer:
Questions that guide an employment background check interview fall into basic categories, including:
- Position(s) held by applicant
- Ending salary earned by applicant
- Date(s) and duration of employment
- Whether or not an applicant is eligible for rehire
An educational background search reveals the highest degree obtained by a given applicant, as well as his/her graduation date(s), institution(s) of attendance and major course(s) of study.
Recent national recruitment statistics show that approximately 30% of applicants submit false, inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information to prospective employers. Since applicants tend to overstate their educational background more than anything else, verification is a must.
Motor Vehicle Record Search
If your employees have access to a company vehicle or require them to drive their own vehicle for business purposes,
you may want to check their driving record. Find out what violations are on their official record before you hire.
Employee Drug Screening
We provide a variety of drug testing products to serve your needs:
- 5 Panel Urinalysis
- 9 Panel Urinalysis
- 5 Panel Oral Drug Test
- And more!
What do I need to conduct a background check?
Once you have completed and signed the Certified Hire new account paperwork and Certified Hire staff has performed a client verification check, you are able to order background checks directly from Certified Hire's website. Employers must abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act as well as some state consumer reporting laws. These requirements are covered throughout this FAQ page.
What are the criteria for failing a Certified Hire background check?
There are ten criteria a Certified Hire service worker must meet:
- No felony convictions or pending charges for a minimum of seven (7) years*
- No property crime convictions or pending charges (misdemeanor or higher) for a minimum of seven (7) years*
- No violent crime convictions or pending charges (misdemeanor or higher) for a minimum of seven (7) years*
- No fraud crime convictions or pending charges (misdemeanor or higher) for a minimum of seven (7) years*
- No drug crime convictions or pending charges (misdemeanor or higher) for a minimum of seven (7) years*
- No sex crime convictions or pending charges for a minimum of seven (7) years*
- Not listed on the national sex offender registry
- Not listed on the OFAC (terrorist and drug trafficker) database
- Not listed on the United States' Most Wanted list
- Has a valid Social Security Number
Each Certified Hire service worker is re-screened annually to ensure that he or she still meets these criteria.
* Certified Hire strictly adheres to state and federal Fair Credit Reporting Act laws, which may limit how and when certain criminal records may be reported. Reportable criminal convictions in any of the above categories will render a decision of "FAIL" regardless of how many years have elapsed.
Do I need an applicant's consent to run a background check?
Yes! You not only need an applicant's signed consent prior to performing a background check, but you also need to disclose to the applicant in writing that a background check will be performed. Certified Hire can provide you with sample authorization and disclosure documents as well as help you customize them with your organization's logo.
Can't I just use my own release form?
Certified Hire can help you customize a release form to fit your organization's needs while still complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Certified Hire must be listed on the release form as the agency authorized to perform the background check.
How far back do your criminal record searches go?
Certified Hire reports criminal records for as many years as are available from each jurisdiction and allowed to be reported by state and federal laws. In nearly all cases, criminal convictions are reportable for at least seven years. One notable exception is the reporting of certain misdemeanor crimes related to marijuana in California. California law prohibits reporting these types of cases after two years.
How long does a background check usually take?
Most information is reported within 1-2 business days. County-level criminal searches take longer in some jurisdictions and factors such as a lack of identifiers (such as full birth date, social security number, etc.), legal holidays, and government-ordered furloughs for courthouse employees can all impact turnaround time.
What if I decide not to hire someone based on the Certified Hire results of the background check?
If you decide to reject an application for employment based on a background check, you are legally obligated to provide your applicant with a pre-adverse action letter, a copy of the entire background report, and the notice "A Summary of Your Rights Under the FCRA." Certified Hire makes the pre-adverse action letter process quick and easy by allowing you to generate all of the required documents at once directly from the online background report.
A pre-adverse action letter notifies the applicant of negative information in his background and allows him/her to review the information for inaccuracies. If the applicant does not notify the employer within a set time frame (usually 5 business days) that there are inaccuracies on the report, the employer can then send a final notice of adverse action to inform the applicant that his application for employment is no longer under consideration based on the results of the background check.