Errors in Background Check ReportsPosted on: February 18, 2017 by Gavin Muirhead
Whether you’re on an online dating site, looking for a babysitter, or hiring a new employee, a background check can serve as an important step in making the best decisions for yourself or your business. While helpful, background checks are not always one hundred percent accurate. This is problematic, because if you miss something important on a background check that is crucial to know, you may not be making the most informed decision based on that background check. In the case of applying to a new job that requires a background check, there may be something additional on your record that you were not aware of, or that is completely false altogether. When utilizing a background check for any reason, it is best to know what your source of information is and how to double check if the information is correct.
Error while making final reports
Background checks can be helpful for various purposes, but there is a lot riding on them. If the person who enters the information into the system inputs it incorrectly, this can be devastating to someone’s record. For instance, if the number of arrests is all an employer looks at, and sees only one arrest, then they may give you an opportunity to explain the incident. However, if the number is accidentally changed to two arrests simply by way of an error in inputting information, an employer may overlook that particular candidate; one arrest can be explained, two may be more difficult to explain.
Issue of identity theft
In today’s society, the issue of identity theft has become a serious one. It is now commonplace for people to secure their identity using businesses that do just that. Although these programs are in place to help protect identity theft, it is still an ongoing issue for people who cannot pay for such protection. If someone else has stolen your identity, then there are all kinds of issues that can arise because of it when relying upon a background check for sound information, especially because your credit history is also a significant part of background checking.
Wrong source of information
It is important to remember, that background check information can be incorrect due to an error on the part of the original source of the information, as well as from whoever the third party is that produces the background check. In any case, it is important for any questionable information to be addressed immediately with whoever provided it. Because there are multiple sources of information that are compiled together in a background check report, the potential for mistakes is great. If the report has information taken from hand-written documents, the chances for error are far greater—misreading information is common when it comes to such reports.
Some valuable tips for employers
You should try to get a copy of your background check to keep for your own records at all times; that way, if anything changes without notice you can contest the accuracy of the report. For employers who are hiring employees by using background checks, it is crucial to handle the situation delicately with care and understanding. You should put yourself in the applicant’s shoes; the process of applying to a job itself is stressful, and when things go wrong with an application, it can feel like a hugely missed opportunity—especially if due to errors in a report that are out of the applicant’s hands.
It is important to be especially careful when using background checks for online dating purposes. Even though using background checks seems to be a good way to weed out the potential harmful characters of the bunch, it is not a full-proof solution. If errors can happen that lend to someone’s misfortune, then they can also leave out pertinent information that you may want to know about someone before you begin dating them. It’s a scary thought to be reliant upon a computer system that is simply a data-entry program when it comes to your safety, but it is another scary thought to date a complete stranger that has a potential serious record. Although errors can come up in background check reports that can be detrimental to someone’s reputation and capacity for opportunity, that is not to say that they are not valuable sources of information that should be used for specific purposes.