While some employers might think that a do-it-yourself method of performing background checks is faster or more cost effective, in reality it is much safer to employ a private investigator while screening potential employees. Rather than going to a courthouse and looking up records yourself, here are a few reasons to consider hiring a private investigator to do the work instead.
Legal requirements are always changing. The rules surrounding how to conduct background checks are constantly changing and evolving. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers guidance on how employers can legally gather criminal records and other personal information. Employers who collect inaccurate or illegal information and disqualify applicants on the basis of this information can be subject to legal consequences. Accredited background check agencies keep up to date on legal matters, and can help you avoid these problems.
Not all records are available online. Even if you do find records online, you have to check the validity of such records as they might not be up to date or entirely accurate. Online investigating also does not help with checking references, or finding out about past employers and degrees. Online records can give you a place to start, but manual labor still needs to be done to ensure validity and accuracy. Private investigators are available to help with this work.
Investigators understand the system. Court documents are not always straightforward or easy to understand. They often require knowledge of criminal code, which can be provided by investigators. Employers also sometimes opt for in-house screening in an attempt to avoid regulations set by consumer reporting agencies; however they must still follow rules set by the EEOC, and other laws that might impose FCRA-like regulations on employers during in-house screening. Investigators and consultants can help ensure compliance with these laws.
Courthouse efficiency varies. While some courthouses have an available online search system, some rely on clerks to manually retrieve records. Record retrieval can become very complicated if an applicant has recently moved from across the country, as courthouse record searches are based on residential history. Hiring an investigator can streamline this process and prevent confusion. Using a professional background screener can also improve due diligence in locating relevant information and eliminate the opportunity cost associated with in-house screening.
Hiring a private investigator can both reduce your costs and help you avoid dangerous legal situations. Investigators bring important knowledge to the table, and ultimately can save time and be more cost effective. Baldwin Legal Investigations offers complete background checks quickly and economically. Send us a note and we’ll get your potential new hire screened right away.