Reasons to Avoid Online Background Checks

Is it a ticking time bomb?

May 8, 2018

You have interviewed several candidates for a position you must immediately fill; the first hurdle of selection is complete, and you must perform due diligence via a background check. You’re pressed for time, and decide to skip the extensive background check process, and instead use the quick and dirty online method to pre-screen your perfect candidate.

What could go wrong? Continue to read reasons why the quick and dirty approach can open a Pandora’s box of lawsuits for your company.

A Ticking Time Bomb Abound

It’s understandable why you want to take the “easy” route. In today’s market, it’s difficult to find the “right” person to hire, especially for specialized positions, but are you willing to pay the consequences?  Below are a few reasons that will help you weigh the pros and cons of using an online background-screening site, rather than a full-scale screening process.

The Pros

  • It’s fast.
  • It’s cheap.

The Cons

Below you will see that the Cons far outweigh the pros.

Unfavorable Records

A site may feature a massive national criminal database, filled with a multitude of data; however, it’s not possible to know if this information is accurate. First of all, this information isn’t vetted for accuracy with the court system, and secondly, the data reach is limited.

Very Limited Access

Online services have limited access to information. That said, the only information that can be retrieved is from one source  – digitized databases. Keep in mind that not all states have information programmed into digitized databases, and as a rule, many jurisdictions do not make information available to online systems.

Although elements of background checks are public, most sources of criminal and civil information must be acquired in person, at the courthouse. Employment and education records cannot be obtained instantly. Another thing to consider is that data can be old.

Incomplete Records

“You get what you pay for,” as the cliché goes. Records you obtain may be incomplete. In fact, you may notice a line that indicates a criminal felony, but without sufficient information; you must do the legwork.

Fallacious information

Regardless of the method you choose, it is not uncommon to receive information that is incorrect. A credit report that indicates bad debt may belong to a person with the same name.

Erroneous information can lead to costly lawsuits, as in a multi-tier class action lawsuit filed in 2014. It settled for 3 million dollars against Food Lion, LLC, and its parent company, Delhaize America, LLC, an east coast grocery store chain. One part of the suit describes an employee was fired based on an erroneous criminal report.

Bottom line –

Things that seem easy, usually turn out to be more difficult, and costly. First, and foremost, it’s important to know the law as it relates to background checks, and the importance of using a reputable company with whom you feel confident. The urgency of your hire should take a back seat to a shortcut that may be costly for your business.

Lofton Staffing can help you with all of your hiring needs. Since 1979, Lofton has built a reputation on providing staffing solutions that companies can rely on to make their businesses more efficient, cost-effective and profitable. Our purpose is to provide the best service possible. To do this, we set high standards for ourselves, striving for perfection in every aspect.  Contact us today.


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