March 16th, 2016 | Sterling

Confident Hiring Decisions: Complete Criminal Locator

At this point, HR professionals are well aware of the perils of hiring employees without conducting criminal background checks. Failure to do so puts your employees, customers, financial health and your brand at significant risk.

And, with over 90% of employers now conducting employment background checks, that message has sunk in.

However, now that our collective acceptance of this practice has been secured, its every bit as important to validate that our background screening services are as comprehensive, thorough and accurate as we think they are.

Let’s dig a bit deeper and analyze a few important practices you can leverage to ensure you’re getting the most out of your criminal background checks.

The key to a successful criminal background check is to identify every address where the candidate has lived and any names that are associated with their social security number (i.e. a person’s married and maiden name). The best method for obtaining this message is through a Social Security Number Trace, sometimes referred to as an Address History Search.

The primary method for conducting a criminal background check should always be performing a court record search in each county where a candidate has lived and under each name they have used as an adult (maiden and married names for example).

And that’s a great start but remember that you’ll only find a criminal record if the person lived and committed the crime in that specific county.

What if they were convicted elsewhere?

Perhaps they worked or traveled in counties they had not lived. The next step you can take is to run a National Criminal Database Search. This screening tool is used to identify any criminal activity that might have taken place outside the scope of our primary county search. While it is not guaranteed that you will find everything, this search will give you a chance to find additional records.

The final step includes using Locator Select, our proprietary technology that integrates with over 2,000 booking and incarceration sites, covering over 70% of the US incarcerated population to identify more counties where a crime may have been committed. So if your candidate was incarcerated in a county other than one they lived in or one not included in the National Database, Locator Select would likely find it and add it to the search. This adds an even deeper level of detection to help uncover criminal records that may have otherwise been missed that are then validated at the county court level.

How do we know these methods work?

Over the last several months we’ve been busy validating our methods by conducting an internal study of 400,000 candidates. The results show how combining these three methods together will give you the best opportunity to hire with the highest level of confidence. Check out our infographic below to reveal the whole story.

Click on the infographic below to see a larger version

Confident Hiring Decisions: Complete Criminal Locator

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.