• Gray Matter

How to beat a background check

Back in February we tried to draw attention to how rampant and widespread resume fraud is in America. It seems as though people are willing to accept this risk because they know the system well enough to know that some things can be lied about and a traditional background check will not identify the lie(s).

We took it a step further and even laid out many of the short comings in the system and how traditional background checks were dead. HR departments have become complacent and people know this. Websites like Reddit have members posting their successes in beating background checks. Many of these posts gloat that Federal felonies did not show up in a traditional background check and sadly, this is very true.

We can say from years of experience that many state, county, and local municipality offenses will not show up in traditional background checks. The question is then why? And how do employers eliminate the liability of not conducting proper background checks. The simple answer is to use enhanced background checks.

Screen shot of the Federal PACER database
Screen shot of the Federal PACER database

If you are unfamiliar with the background check system you may believe that all the information on a person flows into one central database. You would be very wrong. The Federal system in American has it's own database called PACER. Each state, county, and local municipality has their own clerk of courts/database and depending on the resources they have, may trickle into a centralized database. Often times it does not. Uber was sued and paid $25mm for using background checks that FAILED to catch criminal as did Lyft. These background checks failed to catch 25 drivers with criminal backgrounds because the screening process was not able to handle the issue of fragmented databases.

What we do for clients is test every single piece of information listed on the persons application, resume, etc. A traditional background check is only used to provide our team with a starting point. From there the real search begins. Our enhanced background check combs through all court systems, including those that require us to send someone to the physical clerk of courts.

Specific FCRA rules apply to conducting background checks
Specific FCRA rules apply to conducting background checks

While that search is being conducted another team tests the qualitative data supplied by the applicant. These can be degrees, professional certificates, and so on. Previous employers are interviewed to verify information listed by the applicant and during this interview new information is usually uncovered and added to the enhanced background check.

The penalty for not conducting an appropriate employee background check is severe. Uber was recently sued by an anonymous Uber rider after a driver raped her. Employee misconduct can cause significant reputational damage and legal liabilities to employers.

The traditional background check is dead. Applicants are becoming more and more aware of how to game the background check system. The only answer is the use of enhanced background checks. Enhanced background checks by Gray Matter Group not only go much further and wider than a traditional background check, we provide human oversight to ensure questionable items are presented as such and incorrect items are eliminated from consideration. Protect your company today.

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