Updated: Oct 22, 2020
It is no secret that employee background checks have become a very important aspect today when companies want to hire new staff.
If you are an employer and perform a Google search on employee background checks, you will end up seeing plenty of options. Interestingly, some websites claim that they offer free background checks.
According to the information we found, however, free background checks are not as accurate as they claim due to following reasons:
1. Incomplete information
In general, a free background check is carried out using limited sources of information. They always tend to acquire information from digital sources that are easily accessible. In other words, they don’t acquire information manually from other sources. In fact, accessing non-digital sources takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Free background checks don’t involve manual searches, because no one pays for the time they spend and the efforts they put.
2. They are completely automated
Free background checks are carried out in an automated manner. A smart algorithm is used to search through the available databases and generate the report. There is no human involved with the process before the report reaches the person who requested it. In fact, background checks are performed within seconds and that explains how deep the algorithm has dug to search for data.
3. There is no verification
The truth is that there is no verification or vetting done with automated background checking. This is particularly because the vetting process demands to search for various sources of information and comparing all that information to verify them.
Moreover, background check demands some investigation work as well. All in all, the process takes time and money. As a result, free background checks don’t entertain such an extensive process. Interestingly, even some paid services don’t vet their information. So, it is important to choose a reliable service provider who performs background checks genuinely and delivers reliable results.
4. There is hardly any accountability
In certain cases, things may go wrong with the process of background checks. For example, an applicant can have a dispute with the results returned. In that case, the person or the organization who conducted the respective check must be able to take the responsibility and back their data. However, when it comes to free background checks, there is no one to take accountability. Whenever an applicant refuses the generated report, the client (employer) will have to handle the consequences which may result in hefty lawsuits.
5. No legal compliance
Even the slightest error found in a background check report can end up causing a very expensive lawsuit. Reliable background check companies like Global Background Screening LLC know this situation so they adhere to all the relevant legislations during such checks. In simplest terms, they act according to laws such as FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). However, with a free background check, you cannot expect such legal compliance.
So, as a responsible employer, you should rely on a professional vendor who offers background checks while adhering to all local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
About the Author
Tracy Shatus, a pioneer in the background screening business, has over 20 years experience in the industry. She was the founder and CEO of Global Information Source which was acquired by a larger background screening company in 2017. Tracy is now back in the game as the CEO of Global Background Screening (GBS) and excited to take GBS to the next level.
Tracy holds an advanced FCRA Certification through the Professional Background Screening Association. She is an active member of several local SHRM chapters, keeping up with all the current legislation relating to background screening and is also a member of the Marietta Kiwanis club where she volunteers her time for different outreach programs. In February 2020, GBS moved their headquarters to Johnson City, TN.