Background Check Loopholes

Part of your business budget is designated for marketing. But just as your advertisements cause people to talk, so does the thoroughness of your background screening process. Criminals who have not reformed themselves tend to keep company with other criminals. They compare notes on their crimes. What worked? What didn’t? But something else they discuss is what they are doing to make money. Many companies work strictly with known criminals, but other companies believe they are doing their due diligence in hiring applicants free of records. Is this your company? Do you believe your background checks are thorough enough? Let’s see if your reports are as strong as you think.

Do you process federal reports on your applicants?

What is a federal report? A federal report could provide records for drug trafficking, counterfeiting, embezzlement, or kidnapping, to name a few.

Why is this important? In our years of experience, we have witnessed companies hire employees who have a clear Connecticut criminal report but did not run a federal report. Years later, they requested federal records and found that not one but two employees had federal records, and they conspired with each other. This is an example of criminals collaborating to find weaknesses in a company’s hiring process.

Who Provides you with your Connecticut Criminal Records?

This is specific for Connecticut-based companies hiring applicants who live in Connecticut. Most consumer reporting agencies provide a criminal report limited to 7-10 years. They do not account for the number of court clerks who have entered information into their system with typos, including names and date of birth. Another issue is that they may only search the applicant’s current name. Research Services provides records that span as far back as the 80s—our search system is designed to handle typos in names and date of births, as well as any aliases used. We have encountered a scary number of companies who had other agencies run reports on their applicants, then switched to using us, and we found records the other company did not report. We find records under aliases that are not disclosed by applicants daily.

Do you include criminal reports from other states?

Unless a client specifies otherwise, we contact you to provide other states found on an applicant’s social trace. This allows you to determine if you would like to include criminal records from different states and any other aliases found.

Why do we Provide This Information?

  • Criminals frequently flee an area where they have been convicted of a crime. This happens for various reasons, including avoiding influences who got them involved with criminal activity and moving to a state that offers more opportunity due to having family there that will support them in their transition. But there are more nefarious reasons behind these moves as well. We frequently see criminals move from state to state; most companies do not follow that trail with criminal reports. On the other hand, some will run them, and it works in their favor, as we have found many applicants free of records in Connecticut but have records in all of their previous states.
  • Companies tend to think people will not commit crimes on vacation, which we have seen is not the case either. A company with a zero-tolerance policy ran a state to be safe, even though the applicant had never lived there. To their surprise, the applicant may have been vacationing, but it was long enough to commit a crime. This crime was the only crime on their record. Without running it, they would have missed this record.
  • Examining alternative versions of an applicant’s name is worth considering. Sometimes, an alternative name appears to be a typo, but we have witnessed a company opting to run this name and found records under it. Companies generally opt-out of requesting name alternatives regularly, but it could mean the difference between compromising your company, which will have a more significant cost later.

Do you Verify the Social Security Number of Your Applicants?

This is a simple search, yet most of our clients do not request it. The social verification simply confirms if the social security number is valid using the name and date of birth. We have had many experiences with clients looking to verify this information due to suspicious information on their applicant’s consent form. We’ve encountered numerous fake and forged social security cards, which we were able to determine after verifying with the Social Security Administration.

Do You Rely On The National Criminal Index For Criminal Reports?

Many new clients come to us thinking the national criminal index includes full coverage of criminal records. While there are a few districts and counties scattered throughout the United States that do update the index with some regularity, the majority do not. For example, the State of Connecticut stopped updating the index altogether, meaning any new records or updates to existing records will not be reflected. Connecticut criminal records in this database are now considered historical data. Any records found on the national criminal index are required to be verified with a supplemental county/state search to validate reportability. Another challenge with the national criminal index is that clerical typos at courthouse can impact search results.

We strive to provide transparency and education on our services. We are available to have in-depth conversations about our services to allow our clients to weigh the pros and cons of each. Our goal is to keep our clients informed to avoid disasters later. This position has taught me that one should never make assumptions. To avoid making assumptions, it is always better to be safer and run additional reports for applicants with any name alternatives or aliases.

If you do not use our services, is your background-checking agency available to provide you with transparency? Are they easy to contact to offer elaborate explanations of completed reports? We will never use semantics to inflate our searches to be more than what they are.

If you are a new client or a current client who would like to expand on the searches performed on your applicants, contact us today.


The information provided on this website is not to be considered legal advice. All information on this blog is for general information purposes only.


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