Background Screening | Considering “Do-It-Yourself” Online Background Checks? Pt. 2


Background Screening | Rather than sacrificing company resources to ensure accuracy, it may be best to leave it to a consumer reporting agency who has a duty of accuracy under the FCRA.

Additionally, a comprehensive background check requires a thorough investigation of multiple sources of information.

Not only are screenings expected to go through many databases, they are expected to search best sources of information including the most relevant repositories for the most pertinent information.

Without the expertise and time, the search for accurate results against a comprehensive set of sources can outweigh the benefits of a DIY background check.

What will I get for my money?

As a perk of all things digital, online background checks are marketed to be cheaper than those from a third-party screening company.

However, the depth and accuracy of such services may not meet the needs of companies requiring a thorough search conducted by an experienced CRA that can be contacted with questions and maintains compliance with the FCRA.

In order to gain access to some official documents, such as criminal records in some states, requestors may be charged upwards of $50 by the official repository of that State’s criminal records.

If a DIY background check company charges anything less, there is valid reason to believe that the report will not yield results on par with those sourced directly with the State by a CRA.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the decision to outsource online background screenings is completely at the discretion of your company.

DIY online background checks may sound appealing due to their quick, cost-effective nature but they pose risks that you, as an employer, will have to contend with.

The FCRA has dictated stringent regulations that demand compliance for Consumer Reporting Agencies. For example, companies should notice whether a service will outright call itself a consumer reporting agency.

If the company is not willing to market itself as a Consumer Reporting Agency, they probably are not in compliance with FCRA.

Some DIY background check sites even state quite clearly that they are not FCRA compliant and that the information they provide should not be used to make hiring decisions.

Third-party firms, specifically Consumer Reporting Agencies, on the other hand, are FCRA-compliant, and offer expertise and resources that can help ensure legitimacy and accuracy in their findings. -HireRight

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