Factors to Consider in Fingerprint Background Checks

When vetting applicants, fingerprint background checks are a popular choice. Employers often use them in regulated industries like healthcare and financial services.

However, several factors should be considered when running a fingerprint background check. These include the cost, time, and requirements of a fingerprint background check.

Background Checks

Whether hiring new employees or just checking in on current ones, background checks help ensure you make the right decision and keep your business safe. They can easily verify a person’s identity, employment history, and more.

Most employers rely on fingerprint background checks, typically involving searching the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). IAFIS is a national computer database containing fingerprints taken by law enforcement concerning arrests and other related information.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires that employers notify applicants about their upcoming background checks and obtain written consent to conduct a check before requesting it. Fingerprint-based background checks are not the gold standard for screening candidates and should only be used when required by state or regulated industries. Name-based criminal records are far more comprehensive, and most businesses should opt for them almost always.

In addition, a name-based background check can be completed much more quickly than a fingerprint-based one. Additionally, it can verify additional information, such as a person’s Social Security Number.

A complete fingerprint background check can reveal a lot of important information about an applicant’s past, including their addresses and the names of their family members. It can also reveal their income and education level, as well as their employment and driving records. It can even provide a timeline of their housing history, which can be valuable when screening tenants.

Background Check Costs

Many factors affect the cost of fingerprint background checks. These include the type of information being analyzed, the search depth, and the data sources being used. The more extensive the information is, the higher the costs involved.

A basic criminal background check will typically be the cheapest, as this search usually only looks at county court conviction records. However, requiring the background check to include state and federal court records will increase the cost of the process.

Moreover, a variety of other types of information can be included in a background check. This includes social media searches, credit reports, and employment verifications. This can all significantly impact the cost of the background check, as well as the time and resources required to conduct them.

While most employers know the cost of a fingerprint background check, few understand the other factors that affect it. These include the type of data being analyzed, the depth of the search, and the information revealed during the search.

Background Check Requirements

Employers usually conduct fingerprint background checks to help determine job applicants’ credibility and ensure they don’t hire someone who will cause them or the public harm. These checks may also reveal details of an applicant’s criminal record, including if they have been convicted of a crime or have outstanding warrants for their arrest.

A background check of an applicant’s fingerprints is usually requested as part of the hiring process or by a state agency as a requirement under their law. Usually, these checks can be completed within a few days of submitting the applicant’s information.

Depending on the type of check, fingerprinting can take as little as a few hours to several weeks to complete. The applicant must often provide their birth date and other identifying information to verify their identity.

In addition to ensuring an employer’s compliance with state and federal hiring laws, fingerprint background checks also can help ensure the safety of individuals working around children or in areas where drug use is common. The check can also help reduce employee turnover, which can be costly to an organization.

These checks can be expensive and time-consuming, but they also give an employer peace of mind that their new employees are safe and qualified to work. They can also help mitigate legal risk, preventing fraud and theft and protecting the company from losing its credentials or reputation.

Background Check Options

When you’re preparing to conduct fingerprint background checks, some factors must be considered. These include the available information, the types of searches you will run, and the CRA you choose to conduct them through.

Fingerprinting is collecting a candidate’s fingerprints and comparing them against a database cross-referenced to criminal records held by the FBI or state agencies. It is an important component of fingerprint background checks and should be conducted by a qualified background screening company.

Applicants may be required to provide fingerprints on paper cards or electronically using a live scan device. This method, also known as ink-and-roll or electronic fingerprinting, is available in some states but not all.

Many background screening companies offer a direct search option. They will go directly to federal, state, and county courts and other repositories to gather comprehensive, up-to-date criminal data. This provides more accurate and timely results than a name-based search.