When it comes to making hiring decisions, background checks play a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of information about potential candidates. However, relying on inaccurate background check data can lead to significant legal liabilities and potential hiring mistakes.
Therefore, assessing the accuracy and reliability of the background screening provider you choose is essential. In this article, we will explore the challenges of false positives and negatives in background search sites and provide valuable insights on navigating them effectively.
False positives in background screenings can harm both employers and candidates. These inaccuracies can cause delays in the hiring process and, more importantly, lead to incorrect hiring decisions. If an employer takes action based on false-positive results, such as hiring or denying employment, it can result in legal complications and reputational damage.
False positives can occur due to various reasons, including:
- Simple Database Search: Some screening providers may rely solely on a simple database search, which may not provide comprehensive or up-to-date information.
- Insufficient Identifying Information: Reporting a name match without sufficient additional identifying details can lead to false-positive results.
- Expunged, Set Aside, or Misreported Records: Background check results that include records that have been expunged, set aside, or misreported can generate false positives.
To ensure your screening provider minimizes the risk of false positives, it is crucial to ask the following questions:
To effectively reduce false positives, choosing a screening provider that utilizes advanced technology and automated systems is essential. A compliance-minded provider should have a platform that automatically cross-checks record data for accuracy, applies legal reporting restrictions based on your and the candidate’s locations, and conducts manual checks for positive results.
Expanding search parameters and cross-referencing with multiple sources can significantly reduce false positives.
For example, GoodHire’s technologically advanced platform utilizes automated filters to evaluate every record and applies a set of rules based on local laws applicable to both employers and candidates. This ensures that only accurate and legally reportable records are shown, reducing the risk of false positives, especially when hiring across multiple states.
Compliance with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is crucial for background check providers. They should follow reasonable procedures to ensure the maximum possible accuracy of the information they report. Reliable providers go beyond instant results and have processes in place to review, cross-reference, and verify the accuracy of the results.
This includes manual reviews by a quality assurance team to identify and remove duplicate records, confirm the record’s association with the candidate, and assess whether the record can be legally reported.
GoodHire, for instance, maintains a dedicated, in-house, FCRA-certified quality assurance team that stays updated on federal and state laws. They review all background check results to ensure maximum accuracy, reducing the risk of false positives caused by inaccuracies.
A screening provider’s dispute rate is an essential metric to consider when assessing their ability to provide accurate background check results. By law, consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) must investigate any dispute filed by a candidate and review the report for accuracy.
If the CRA cannot verify the accuracy or ownership of a record, it must be removed from the report. A lower dispute rate indicates that the provider consistently delivers correct and complete results, as candidates are less likely to dispute accurate information.
While a screening provider’s dispute rate may not be readily available on their website, they must provide this information upon request. GoodHire, for example, boasts a dispute rate of less than 0.1%, one of the lowest in the industry. A low dispute rate is a testament to the provider’s commitment to accuracy and their ability to deliver reliable background check results.
In the event that you discover mistakes or inaccuracies in your background check report, it is important to take proactive steps to rectify them. Here are some strategies to consider:
According to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can request a copy of your background check report if a potential employer finds something concerning. You can review the information and identify any inaccuracies or mistakes by obtaining a copy.
Once you have a copy of your background check report, meticulously review it to identify any inaccuracies or mistakes. Document each error to ensure that you can address them comprehensively. This approach lets you contest all the mistakes simultaneously, saving time and effort.
While reviewing your background check report, it is essential to understand the common errors that can occur. By familiarizing yourself with these errors, you can better navigate the dispute process. Some common mistakes include:
- Similar names lead to confusion between different individuals.
- Inclusion of information that has been sealed or expunged
- Duplicate listings of a single criminal charge
- Mislabeling offenses, such as categorizing a misdemeanor as a felony
- Reporting an arrest without indicating that no charges were filed
When addressing background check mistakes, it is important to determine the source of the errors. While background screening companies facilitate the process, they rely on public agencies and records for information. Contact the relevant public agencies, such as credit bureaus, driving record authorities, military records offices, past employers, educational institutions, or criminal record bureaus, to correct the inaccuracies at their source.
Once you have identified the source of the errors, take proactive steps to correct them. Contact the appropriate public agency associated with each error and follow their procedures for challenging and rectifying the information. For criminal record errors, reach out to your state’s Bureau of Identification and file a challenge to ensure accurate reporting.
Background checks are essential for making informed hiring decisions, but false positives and inaccuracies can undermine the integrity of the process. By asking the right questions and choosing a reliable screening provider, you can minimize the risk of false positives and ensure accurate background check results.
In cases where mistakes occur, it is crucial to take immediate action to correct them and ensure that future background checks reflect accurate information. By navigating the complexities of background checks effectively, you can make informed hiring decisions and maintain compliance with applicable laws.
Remember, when it comes to background check accuracy and reliability, choose a provider like GoodHire that prioritizes compliance, utilizes advanced technology, and maintains a low dispute rate. With their expertise, you can confidently navigate the background screening process and make informed decisions about potential candidates.