If there is one piece of advise we can share with any organization thinking about running background checks it’s this; “Beware of Ultra-CHEAP background checks!!!
WE see these advertised most often on TV & through Google ads titled, “Cheap Background Checks or Check Anybody, Anywhere, Anytime“. While attractive for price (usually less than $10) and often advertised as “Instant”, these checks are a lawsuits waiting to happen from an employment perspective because they are illegal for employment, volunteer, or business purposes. The reason is because the companies offering them are not CRA’s (Consumer Reporting Agencies) that must adhere to the FCRA; they are entertainment companies without a lawful purpose to provide employment screening records. If you read the fine print on these sites you’ll see the cold hard truth… that you are wasting your money… & potentially setting your organization up for a costly lawsuit.
(i.e. from a large TV & Google advertised firm’s Terms of Service page- Aug2015: XYZ Company DOES NOT PROVIDE PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR SERVICES, AND IS NOT A CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCY AS DEFINED BY THE FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT (“FCRA”) BECAUSE THE INFORMATION PROVIDED BY ________________IS NOT COLLECTED OR PROVIDED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, FOR THE PURPOSE OF SERVING AS A FACTOR IN ESTABLISHING A PERSON’S ELIGIBILITY FOR (a) CREDIT OR INSURANCE TO BE USED PRIMARILY FOR PERSONAL, FAMILY, OR HOUSEHOLD PURPOSES; (b) EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES; OR (c) IN CONNECTION WITH A BUSINESS TRANSACTION INITIATED BY AN INDIVIDUAL CONSUMER FOR PERSONAL, FAMILY, OR HOUSEHOLD PURPOSES.)”
Another problem we see is to make a quick buck, some firms sell subscriptions to public records that are nothing more than database search results by name only, with no other identifiers available to confirm the identity in a “Hit” record matches your applicant. Now you have a mess to sort through, because how many John Smith’s do you think there are in the United States?
This type of check is a waste of your money and not a true background check! Using this type of information for a pre-employment background check can set your organization up for serious legal and potentially dangerous situations because the identity of the offender has not been confirmed; nor has the FCRA been followed by establishing final disposition from the originating source to ensure the information is accurate, timely, and confirmed before being reported to you the end-user.
A reputable background screening firm is a full-fledged CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) and has a responsibility to their clients, applicants, the public, and regulating agencies to do their jobs well. Therefore, they are not going to provide background check information that hasn’t been put through stringent quality control process and made ready for client to use. And should a dispute arise, a reputable firm will have procedures in place to help resolve your applicants concerns before it escalates into a potential lawsuit against you, the prospective employer!
So how much is a background check going to cost?
The answer depends on many factors including how many places the applicant has lived and the level of the position for which you are hiring. Background checks vary in price depending on the type of search needed, how in-depth an investigation is needed, what state the applicant lives in, and if you are needing a county, state, and/or federal searches.
Edify Background Screening packages run typically between $12-$48. Once we learn more about your specific needs, we would can set up a special package that meets your background screening needs without spending unnecessary amounts of money.
Give us a call and we will prepare a specific quote based on your unique needs.