We’ve got you covered! 

4 Elements of Background Screening You Should Know About


4 elements of background screening you should know about

 Conducting employee background checks manually? You could be missing important information that could protect your patients and organization from “bad actors.” Hiring a bad actor can result in patient harm, reputational damage, and legal litigation with heavy fines. 

Background checks must be thorough. Checking multiple primary sources provides more comprehensive results than relying on a single source. You may even want to consider verifying additional datasets such as state and federal criminal records, education history, or references to get a better picture of your applicant.

Some elements of a background check need to be conducted on a regular basis for your employee population. If a background check didn’t turn up any red flags when an employee was hired, that doesn’t mean an individual couldn’t get involved with illegal activity after being hired.

Keep in mind, you need to adhere to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) standards when performing background checks. Because of this, you’ll want to be aware of limitations that exist on criminal records, understand which level of background check is required for each position, and what your outsourcing options for background screening are.


Fair Credit Reporting Act

When employers conduct background checks, they must be FCRA-compliant. The FCRA ensures the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of consumer reporting agency information used by credit bureaus and other agencies. If you’re not following FCRA standards or using protected information like credit scores or medical information to make hiring decisions, you could find yourself in legal trouble.

To meet FCRA standards for background checks, you, as the employer, must: 

  • Provide written disclosure to the applicant
  • Receive written permission from the applicant
  • Inform the applicant of their rights
  • Offer to share results with the applicant
  • Follow Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules
  • Comply with adverse-action procedures

If you don’t have these processes in place, you could end up paying a huge fine, as RealPage, Inc. did. This Texas-based company paid the Federal Trade Commission 3 million dollars for violating FCRA requirements in their tenant screening processes. Don’t take the risk.


Background Screening Report Limitations

Federal and state laws govern the information you receive when you run a background check. Some information does not appear on a candidate’s record, other information is removed after a while, and lastly, available information varies based on location or the position. 

The following is a list of the limitations or results you could encounter when performing a criminal background screening:

  • Convictions. If the person you’re screening was convicted, the information may be reported indefinitely. However, some state laws limit what can be reported to employers.
  • Non-convictions within seven years. According to FCRA, arrests that did not result in a conviction may be reported for up to seven years. There are four types of non-convictions:
  1. The charges were dropped.
  2. Nolle prossed, meaning the court decided not to prosecute.
  3. Deferred adjudication. The defendant pleads guilty in exchange for abiding by court requirements such as probation or community service.
  4. Pre-trial diversion. The defendant agrees to a supervised program. Upon its successful completion, the charges are dropped.
  • Non-convictions that become convictions. In some instances, such as a probation violation, a non-conviction can become a conviction.
  • Probation violations that do not become convictions. The defendant violated probation, but the record is not changed to a conviction.
  • Sealed or expunged records. Some arrests and convictions are sealed from government agencies, so they will not appear on a background check.
  • Salary-dependent rules. Although the FCRA states that civil judgments, government sanctions, and disciplinary measures relating to licensure will not appear in background check results after seven years, that rule does not apply to open positions with a salary of $75,000 or more. Those might appear on background checks for a longer period of time.

Criminal background screenings can be tricky. To get the complete picture, a criminal background screening should include county-level and federal civil suits and criminal convictions as well as federal criminal offenses. Keep in mind the above limitations when reviewing results.


Level 1 vs. Level 2 Background Checks

Another thing to keep in mind is the depth of the background check that is required. The position and the employee’s potential access to at-risk patients will help determine what level of background check is needed.

A level 1 background check is typically completed at the state level and focuses on an individual’s employment history. These checks are name-based, meaning they rely on the accuracy of the name of the candidate that is provided.

A level 2 background check is a fingerprint-based check at the state and national levels. It is more extensive than a level 1 check and typically used for positions that require working with children or other vulnerable populations.


Outsourcing Options

To avoid the issues raised above or even to save time during a period of rapid expansion, employers can hire third-party organizations, such as Verisys, to conduct background checks on their behalf. 

Verisys offers basic background screenings using our proprietary dataset, Fraud Abuse Control Information System (FACIS®), which is available through our cloud-based platform, CheckMedic®. 

A single search through FACIS searches over 5,600 primary sources, providing thorough and up-to-date information about an applicant, helping you make an informed hiring decision. FACIS searches meet FCRA regulations and, besides primary source verification, typically include:

  • Employment verification, including start date, end date, title, salary, the reason for leaving, eligibility for rehire, and verifier’s name, title, and contact information.
  • Education verification confirms dates of attendance or graduation, degree, and/or major.
  • Credentials verification verifies the applicant’s license, certifications, or credentials along with the date of issue, expiration date, and status.
  • Basic reference from previous employers asking human resource related questions, such as attendance record and job description.
  • Professional reference requires interviews with up to three specified contacts, such as a co-worker or direct supervisor.
  • Personal reference requires up to three interviews with specified contacts such as a friend or associate.
  • Peer reference conducts an extensive interview with a specified peer.
  • International employment verifies previous or current employment outside of the U.S.: start date, end date, and title, along with the verifier’s name, title, and contact information.
  • International education confirms attendance and the degree obtained outside of the U.S., along with the verifier’s name, title, and contact information.

Verisys offers two background screening levels – level 1M and level 3 –  to meet your screening needs. Level 1M is a basic background screening, whereas level 3 is more comprehensive and considered the gold standard for exclusion and sanctions screening.

Verisys’ credentialing solutions can screen, verify, and store all your verification documents, making credentialing a breeze. 

Contact us today to learn how we can solve your employment screening problems.