The Issue with Databases

In the wake of the Louisiana shooting, background checks and gun control have come to the forefront. Under the current federal law, gun dealers are required to perform background checks through the FBI’s  instant criminal background check system database, or NICS.

So what’s the issue? Why are the individuals who are committing these heinous crimes able to legally purchase a gun? The answer simply put, is that certain states have elected to not provide information related to a persons’ mental health to the federal database. When looking at the data the numbers are frightening, after a report showed Louisiana as one of the worst states to voluntarily comply with only 4 mental health records reported as of November 2013. Following the report they have stepped up efforts reporting 908 records as of December 2014. To put this in perspective for you, Delaware implemented its version of the law in 2012 and nearly 20,000 records were filed in the state, which has less than 1 million people compared to Louisiana’s 4.65 million.

Why is all of this important and how does it apply to HR, Ryan? The correlation between screening practices for gun control and employment is that database sources of information are only as good as the sources and the information provided to the database. Companies around the world advertise instant background checks, where do you think this information is coming from? If it’s instant that means it’s on hand and stored information.  What happens if in the location your candidate committed a crime they don’t report to a database and the only way to gather this information is actually a hand-pulled court house record that requires a court researcher? That information isn’t going to be available in the database and you will never see it.

We aren’t looking to scare anyone, we are simply looking to educate. We partner with several suppliers that provide fantastic databases that include national coverage, are they the “silver bullet?” Absolutely not, but it’s a great supplemental search that can increase your coverage area and provide information rapidly. If you’re performing these types of searches today, we recommend you contact your provider and ask for a source list of where all the information originates and see if it’s accomplishing everything you had hoped.

For more information on database searches and other background screening topics, please contact CredentialCheck at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com

Did you know…..?

CredentialCheck® offers many solutions to maximize efficiencies. Customized Risk Matrices are available to our clients to expedite the background check review process. CredentialCheck® will work with your HR team to determine what items should remain flagged for additional review on completed background checks. This can include motor vehicle reports, criminal records, and employment and education verifications among other services. CredentialCheck®’s compliance team would review each individual order within the background check, and compare it to the Risk Matrix to determine if the flag should remain, or if it should be removed based on your customized criteria. While this does not replace individualized review of all background checks, a custom Risk Matrix can improve efficiencies within your organization.

Interested in this service?  Please call CredentialCheck® at (888)689-2000 and tell our team that you’d like more information on building a Custom Risk Matrix!

 

State Criminal Background Checks “Only as Good as the Records They Keep”

The phrase “you are only as good as the records you keep”, no longer only pertains to your taxes. This is what some organizations are discovering when reviewing their current screening practices. A recent review done by the state of Ohio has proved that their statewide criminal database is nothing more than “cobbled data” that is “running on borrowed time”.

From local law enforcement to day-care centers looking to avoid hiring individuals with criminal histories the challenge is real. This system doesn’t always reveal the truth about the people they are dealing with. A study of thousands of intertwined criminal-conviction and fingerprint records with processing errors have backed up the system, thus keeping the real pertinent data from being discoverable by those who need it most.

In 2014 alone the state of OH had to inform employers of 195 instances in which they provided a clear record for an individual for employment purposes, to then later return to the employer with the unfortunate news that a mistake had been made and the individual did have a criminal history.

Here at Credential Check Corporation, we get asked regularly which source our clients routinely use as a best practice in regards to criminal records.  Obviously there are benefits to utilizing the state repositories to cast a wider net and some states have better data than others; however, they shouldn’t be your only source. Over the 30 years we have been in business, we have seen a best practice evolve among our clients of utilizing county level searches along with statewide database searches to ensure that you retrieve the most accurate information possible.

For more information on the different levels of criminal searches and what model best fits your organization, please contact Credential Check Corporation at 888-689-2000 or sales@credentialcheck.com