A fingerprint background check is a great option for companies that must screen law enforcement, government employees or people handling sensitive information. However, they are more thorough than name-based background checks. Some providers give convenient and accurate Live Scan fingerprinting services for employment, certification, licensing or verification purposes.
Fingerprinting is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your employment screening. Because fingerprints are unique to each person, they can help prevent fraud and misidentification. Combined with a comprehensive background check, fingerprinting lets you see a complete picture of your candidate’s criminal history and other pertinent information. However, fingerprinting alone isn’t a good choice for every business.
Fingerprint-based checks are often incomplete and rely on data from state and federal law enforcement databases that may not be 100 percent accurate at all times. Name based statements, however, an agency can provide a much more detailed look at a person’s background by searching multiple sources. A private screening company with a large network of court researchers can go directly to the head and pull specific records that might not be available in a database search. Fingerprinting and criminal background checks can be used in various industries to verify the identities and credentials of new hires.
In many cases, this process is legally mandated and can protect employees, clients, or the public. Digital fingerprinting facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements and ensures that companies make informed hiring decisions based on accurate, reliable data. The streamlined digital fingerprinting process also helps reduce paper waste and contributes to a company’s eco-conscious efforts.
Fingerprinting and background checks can be an important element of a comprehensive vetting program, especially in roles where ethical conduct is crucial, such as law enforcement, healthcare, transportation, or positions that involve caring for vulnerable people. It’s also a common requirement for federal or state-level security clearance jobs. Whether you use fingerprinting as an added layer to your vetting services or as the sole method of vetting your candidates, your fingerprinting process must be accurate.
A background check on a person’s fingerprints compares them against a criminal record database, typically the FBI’s IAFIS. However, accuracy is a challenge because the FBI relies on information states provide. Inaccurate results can have legal implications, including creating disparate impact among groups protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, such as people of color. And when a decision is made to hire or not hire someone based on inaccurate information, an employer can find themselves at risk of legal liability.
Using a fingerprinting service with high accuracy reduces the likelihood of errors and misunderstandings and ensures the most accurate search results possible. Some agencies offer fingerprinting and background check services, including Live Scan processing at convenient nationwide clinics. This technology is more automated than the traditional ink card fingerprinting process, and it can be integrated into a client’s vetting portal for even more efficient and streamlined processes.
When screening candidates for positions in the finance sector, classes requiring security clearance or other roles that require further vetting, fingerprint background checks offer an ideal solution. These searches are also useful when an employee is responsible for someone vulnerable, such as a child or senior citizen.
While a name-based check can be conducted quickly and easily, fingerprint background checks can be an additional layer of security that ensures more thorough vetting and compliance with regulations like the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Because fingerprints are unique, they provide a higher level of accuracy for identification compared to a person’s identifiers such as their date of birth, social security number or alias names. Fingerprints are also more stable than other forms of information that can change, such as a person’s address or name.
This means fingerprint background checks are a more accurate and reliable way to verify identity than simply searching an individual’s name, which results in appreciable amounts of false positives and negatives. In addition, a live scan fingerprint submission is typically processed faster than a paper form since the digital process eliminates errors that can occur during the ink-and-paper process. Fingerprint experts can expedite the background check process for their customers. Their trained fingerprint technicians assist candidates to help speed up the process and reduce the chance of illegible prints.
Fingerprint-based background checks can uncover criminal records that may not be reported in national databases. Whether for federal employment screening purposes or to comply with a legal requirement, fingerprinting can add valuable insight into a candidate’s past.
Criminal history information gathered from fingerprints can be more accurate and complete than self-reported convictions. Using fingerprints also allows for additional research to be conducted at the originating court where a criminal record was originally filed, which can help ensure comprehensive results. Additionally, fingerprint-based searches are easier to organize and integrate into hiring platforms when the technology is designed with the user experience in mind.
With digital fingerprinting, the entire process is quicker and less prone to error than traditional ink fingerprint processing. Additionally, storing and accessing fingerprint data with a technology solution that uses a secure, tamper-proof hardware platform is easier. This eliminates the need for physical mail and helps speed up turnaround times so you can make hiring decisions quickly.
The FBI’s fingerprint database contains local, state and federal records and is accessible via various channels. Live scan, or electronic fingerprinting, is a process that captures an applicant’s prints without ink on a scanner and sends them to the FBI for checking against their criminal records. Many industries require live scans, including the mortgage industry, management services and financial institutions.