Common Questions about Background Checks

What are the real benefits derived by using background checks as part of your hiring process?

Negligent hiring, wrongful discharge, and company theft can expose your firm to possible lawsuits. Background checks can determine high-risk employment candidates.

Safeguarding of Private Information
The most secure way for an employer to submit a request to us is through our secure website. Our server is protected with a firewall. Our server and office computers are password protected. Our database and website are secure, and are continuously being evaluated and updated as necessary to be sure the security systems are keeping up with security advancements. We receive requests from companies and respond with a report of findings. The only individuals having access to the reports are the employer, the applicant, and my staff. Background Investigations, Inc. has been in the criminal background investigation business for 19 years and we have never had a breach in the safeguarding of private information. Accurate reporting and the safeguarding of information are our top priorities.
Should our company obtain a pre-employment inquiry release form signed by the applicant?
A signed release form by the applicant is required in order to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other applicable state law. A signed release also allows the applicant to self-report information which is helpful in researching criminal history.
What is the turnaround time?
In most circumstances, our response time on criminal history checks is within 24 to 72 hours of your request, excluding weekends and holidays.
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What is the cost of a background check?
Our background checks can cost as little as $10.00 per individual, and often do. Utilizing background checks in all your hiring decisions is a surprisingly affordable and effective method of  preventing greater costs down the road.
Are there any privacy laws violated by having a background check performed on a prospective employee?
All information that is accessed and reported back to you is obtained from governmentally created and held public records. As a potential employer, you have the right to access this information. All fifty states and the District of Columbia have specified restrictions in reporting criminal conviction history for employment purposes. Employers must follow local, state, and federal laws in considering consumer reports for employment purposes. Our company follows all local, state, and federal laws outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other applicable local and state laws to assure employers are in compliance.
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Why should your company do a criminal background check?
Usually a great deal of time, energy, and money goes into finding the right employees for your company. Obviously, you want those new hires to be productive and efficient members of your existing team. There are some pitfalls, however, you can avoid upfront with a background check, making the probability of a good choice more likely.
Negligent Hiring.
A real threat of liability employers now face under current legal doctrine is negligent hiring. If an employee causes damage to a third party, your company could be found liable for failing to heed the warning signs. An example would be hiring someone inappropriate for the job, such as a bus driver with a long history of negligent driving.
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Wrongful discharge
An increasing number of lawsuits are being filed by employees who feel they have been wrongfully discharged by their companies. Are you hiring someone who has initiated one of these lawsuits more than once? Studies show that claimants win the majority of the cases that go to trial. Careful pre-employment screening will reduce the risk of many problems like this down the road.
Company Theft.
As technology advances, employees have greater access to data banks and crucial company files. You can protect your company, your employees, and your customers by being proactive. A thorough background check can determine high risk employment candidates before a problem occurs.
Leverage in Hiring.
When you're interviewing a candidate, you generally would not know if there were exaggerated or falsified credentials on the employment application. Having input from several sources, including a background investigation, gives you important leverage in a hiring situation by knowing fundamental facts in the candidate's background. This allows you to hire the person best suited for the job and your company. It's important that you know who you are hiring before you hire them.
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Does a criminal background check include minor traffic offenses?
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Washington background checks include minor traffic offenses. Minor traffic offenses in these 18 states are reported to customers at no additional cost.
Does a criminal background check include juvenile records?
Washington and Idaho background checks include juvenile minor traffic offenses, misdemeanors, and felony conviction history.
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How far back is criminal background information able to be reported?
In all 50 states and the District of Columbia criminal conviction history goes back a minimum of 7 years.
How and what information is reported?
Crime of conviction, incident or file date, date of sentence, and disposition of sentence are available on most cases.
Is a full name, date of birth, and social security number necessary for an individual criminal background check to be done?
In order to provide the most accurate criminal background check, we will need your applicant's full name, aliases used, dates aliases were used, date of birth, and for nationwide searches the applicants social security number.
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Are pending felony, misdemeanor, and traffic charges included?
Background Investigations, Inc. reports all active warrants and pending felony, misdemeanor, and traffic offenses on applicants.