Accu-Screen obtains criminal conviction records by County and State (where available) in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Our analysis reveals that over 3% of the individuals we check have a felony record and over 7% have a misdemeanor. With Accu-Screen, you receive criminal dispositions that are clear and easy to read, enabling you to make the right hiring decision.
NOTE. Only law enforcement agencies with a need to know (probable cause) have access to the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC). Beware of any company or individual claiming to provide this type of search, as they are either providing the report illegally, and if so, bring the possibility of legal action against your company, or they are making a false claim.
Accu-Screen will provide you with the Criminal Record Checks that you need. Contact one of our Customer Service Representatives at 800-689-2228 to find out how to order today.
Should You Hire a Person With a Criminal Background?
In these difficult economic times, more and more people are looking for a job. How about job-seekers who have criminal records? How can they expect to fare in the hiring process? For many individuals with this type of life history, this can be a daunting task. Likewise, for employers, it can be a risky undertaking, but Accu-Screen can help. Do you make a decision to hire someone based on their past crimes or for the person they are today?
First, let’s look at the job seeker. People with a criminal past can expect to find a double-edged sword in many cases. Employers ask about criminal records on job applications but if applicants withhold the information, they risk being fired later for being dishonest. If they are honest about their past, they risk not getting the job. The answer to whether or not an applicant should be upfront is a complicated one. The best answer seems to be: know the rights of both the individual and the company in this situation.
Keeping these rights in mind may be helpful for employers and potential employees alike. First, know that some crimes committed are not required to be reported on job applications (some states vary on this policy, so check your own state employment board for further information). One of these circumstances would be where there was an arrest but no conviction as well as none pending. Another situation would be if the offense has gone to trial but no decision has yet been made by the court. Next, in California, for example, if there was a minor drug offense (such as recreational use of the drug) that occurred more than 2 years prior, the individual is not required to report that on a job application. Another type of “excused crime” would be a misdemeanor (using California as an example again) and the person received a certificate from the court that they have been rehabilitated.
Next, let’s look at this from the employer’s point of view. Employers in the past have been prosecuted for not doing background checks on employees who later harmed others at the company. It is every employer’s responsibility to do their full investigative work on an applicant before hiring them. However, if someone is found to have a criminal record, do you automatically decline their application? This can be dangerous because in certain states, it is illegal to automatically reject a person’s application solely for past crimes. The key to successfully navigating this situation is to consider the type of business you run versus the type of crime that was reported on the person’s application.
If someone has been convicted of a violent crime, for example, it may not be in your best interest to hire them for a position where they would have face-to-face contact with customers. Be aware of what your job applicant has done in their past by using Accu-Screen and then weigh that carefully against your specific business model and see if it could be a fit. If it isn’t, then legally you can decline them employment if you can establish that there is a business-related reason for not hiring them. The bottom line is that whenever possible, give people a chance to shine even those who have criminal records, but don’t do it at the expense of your customers, employees, or your company’s well-being. At Accu-Screen, we can provide you with accurate screening information about an applicant’s past and we can help you make the best possible hiring decisions.
The Importance of Doing Criminal Background Searches
It is critical for many businesses to check the background of potential employees. Why? Not surprisingly, in certain industries, such as health care, a patient’s very life depends upon an employer doing their due diligence. At Accu-Screen, we can help you protect your patients against individuals who might do harm while on the job. It is shocking to know that the national average for past felony convictions is 4% of the population and 7% of our citizens have been convicted of misdemeanors. Can these individuals provide the level of care needed in a safe and trustworthy manner?
Criminal background searches serve to filter out persons who are applying for work in fields where they will not be best-suited to serve your clientele. Whether your clientele are investors, eatery patrons, students, patients, or the elderly, one’s background serves as a biography of sorts. It identifies the footprint this person has made as a working individual. You need to know who you are allowing into your place of business. In most cases, a simple questionnaire as a part of their application is not enough. How do you know if they are being honest about their past?
Take the example of a caregiver in a nursing home or assisted-living facility who is responsible for gently and kindly caring for an elderly patient who can no longer care for themselves. Such a high number of incidents of neglect and abuse have surfaced in recent years that many states have now passed laws so that both facilities and common folks alike can check a person’s background. In doing so, it has been found that an alarmingly high number of workers have committed serious crimes. For the formal care facility, knowing this information is vital to their business staying afloat. For the everyday person, it is a matter of knowing whether your parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, perhaps even your sibling will be safe at home in someone else’s care. Doing criminal background searches are especially crucial in this type of situation because most caregivers are spending large amounts of time alone with their frail and sick patients.
The matter of knowing someone’s criminal past becomes even more critical as the number of Baby Boomers grows and the number of qualified caregivers shrinks. Laws about FBI fingerprinting have surfaced in New Jersey, for example, and out of the population of caregivers, over 400 had to be let go due to having committed crimes that disqualified them from working as caregivers. More states should pass laws like New Jersey to ensure that our senior population, as well as others who require caregivers, are safe. At Accu-Screen, no matter what laws are passed, we provide employers with an uncompromised, thorough, and accurate report about a person’s criminal history.
If crimes are found to be in a person’s past, it will be vital for an employer to determine which crimes would be acceptable for the job that person is applying for. Since there is such a shortage of caregivers, employers can no longer afford to over-scrutinize about a person’s past and say that “anyone who has committed a crime will be disqualified.” Disturbingly, in some states, after 7 years a person’s record is “cleared”, meaning that they are no longer obligated to tell their prospective employer about that part of their past. That’s why doing criminal background searches must be the first step of the hiring process. It is critical to know who’s caring for the sector of our population who can no longer care for themselves.
Are Outstanding Warrants a Deal Breaker?
For many hiring managers, it may come as a surprise to discover an arrest warrant that’s outstanding on someone you were considering for the job. More than ever, a criminal record search is becoming an essential part of the employment verification process. With services like Accu-Screen, your company can receive detailed and accurate information about an applicant’s criminal record as well as their complete employment history, SSN verification, degree earned, driving records, license and credential verification, credit profile information, and drug test results. When your job depends on hiring qualified and trusted individuals, we’re here to help you find the very best people your industry has to offer.
So what do you do when someone is verifiably qualified to fill the job but their criminal record comes back unclean? The first instinct may be to say you’re sorry and show them the door. But what if it’s something minor such as an unpaid driving violation or some other such issue? If the person is someone you planned to hire, you may choose to contact the authorities and give the person a couple of weeks to straighten their legal woes. Or, you may choose to ask the person about the issue and let them know that they are the best-suited for your open position and ask them to resolve the matter prior to employment. However, it is never a good idea to confront someone with a criminal record containing outstanding warrants for violent crimes or drug offenses. Please contact the authorities in these cases and do not divulge to the applicant what you’ve discovered.
Whether people will be caring for children, conducting business in a vehicle, or keeping company finance records it is equally important to check their background. The ideal nanny should have a clear driving record, a clean drug test, good references, and the absence of a criminal record. An on-site insurance adjuster, for example, would likely need to have an excellent driving record, prior job experience, and professional references confirming that they can compile honest and thorough reports. Finally, you might check on an accounting professional to be sure they have the proper CPA degree you require, that they have a good credit profile, and that they do not have a criminal record for embezzlement offenses. These are just a few of the many examples of types of professions and the subsequent background information you might look for.
In conclusion, if you do find questionable information about a person, the final decision of whether or not to hire them is up to you and in accordance with your company’s policies. Some businesses have more lenient rules than others, but the bottom line is that if someone has an outstanding warrant it should be reported to the authorities. At Accu-Screen, our customer service professionals will get information from you about the type of position you need to fill and then advise you on what background screening services would be ideal. Armed with this information, you will be able to make the very best decision for your company.