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June 29, 2017
Fingerprinting for Background Screening: What Employers Must Know
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The majority of employers use some degree of background screening in hiring decisions. Some employ a criminal search, while others use several screening reports, drug screening, and assessment testing to help reach their decisions.
Fingerprinting is another background check option that helps employers gain additional information on the job candidates background and past behavior.
There are a couple of points need to be aware of when using fingerprinting for background screening.
Fingerprinting May Be Required
Some industries are regulated and are required by state or federal governments to fingerprint job candidates before hiring. Banking and Healthcare are two of them, but there are others that can vary by state. If your company falls under this regulation, it's important to choose a reliable fingerprinting company with a robust number of available locations.
Other Background Screening Products Should Still Be Used
It's a common misconception that fingerprinting for background screening uncovers everything an employer needs to know about a job seeker. This is not the case. There may be holes in the information fingerprinting returns. Employers who take action on fingerprinting results alone could be missing important information which could cause them to hire unqualified or dangerous candidates! This can cause all sorts of issues, including potentially costly litigation. The solution to this issue is to make certain when you fingerprint job candidates, you also conduct other searches like criminal records searches and employment and education verifications. All together, the combination of these searches will provide a clear, reliable picture of the candidate.
If employers need to use fingerprinting for background screening, what should they look for in a provider?
1: Number of locations. Think about it: If you have an applicant who needs to get fingerprinted, do they want to have to drive an hour to the fingerprinting location? NO! Long driving requirements may end up weeding out great candidates, or holding up your hiring process because the candidate keeps procrastinating on going. Make it as easy as possible to fingerprint job candidates. Choose a company with a variety of centrally-located places that are open many hours a day. If the potential vendor can't tell you how many locations they offer, look somewhere else.
2: Turn times. Fingerprinting for background screening is often the factor that holds up the entire hiring process! While you don't have control over when the candidate chooses to be fingerprinted, you can ask your vendor how long it takes them to return results. Request documented turn times so you can work them into your decision making process.
3: Technology considerations. Communicating electronically through platforms the employer already uses is key to a seamless, trouble-free system. Ask how results are returned, and whether or not the fingerprinting provider is able to integrate with current systems. The easier it is to contact the candidate, move progress along, and receive results, the less stressful and more effective the process will be.
4: Fingerprinting credentials. Fingerprinting for background screening demands accuracy and reliability. Ask the vendor where their information comes from, and make certain they are approved in the states you do business, and are an FBI channeler, if applicable. Knowing the returned information is true and accurate is crucial for fingerprinting specifically, and background screening in hiring decisions in general.
With more employers hiring this year than in the recent past, it's important they maximize the chances of choosing the best, most qualified employees for their open positions. Whether you are in an industry that requires you to fingerprint job candidates, or are simply choosing to add this solution to your overall screening process, taking these points into consideration helps you choose a vendor that will enhance the accuracy and efficiency of your screening process, and assist in painting a clear, thorough picture of the job candidate.
Susan McCullah is the Marketing Project Manager for Data Facts Background Screening Division.
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