It is very easy to say that the cost of background checks forms a part of doing business for employers. How many are aware that the total cost of such checks across the USA comes to nearly 2 billion dollars and being offered for information which is actually available on digitized public databases across the country? It is this pot at the end of the rainbow that is making private operators get into the business of providing such background checks for a fee. This is why there is no reliability in the kind of information obtained as most databases do not get updated and there is a possibility of information being kept alive beyond its permissible limit – which is 7 years for most records. This state of affairs makes it even more difficult for employers to avoid charges of discrimination.
A survey by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) indicated that 82% of corporate America is currently doing background checks, up from 50% in 1996. This comes as no surprise when we look at what some reports about falseness of records and criminal background say:
Caution with D-I-Y methods:
Nowadays, companies are running their own verifications without ordering any investigation through an external agency. To illustrate, a reverse telephone search using Google (or a look up directory) shows who the registered owner of the telephone line, listed by the candidate, is and their full name and address. Check the person out, free, on the local county recorder’s office website – to trace public records and registrations – home purchase, marriage, divorce or other legal issues – involving the individual.
Setting the background check process with attention to a few of the following policies could help to contain the overall cost of background checks without vitiating any of its quality standards.
When staffing company candidates work for several clients, each of who follows a different background checking criteria, they must be managed consistently the various placements if the staffing company itself is to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Finally, keeping track of who was checked, what was checked, when they were checked and if the latest check is still valid poses a record-keeping and logistical challenge – which must be taken up and handled effectively to keep costs contained.
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