Are Background Checks Reliable and Accurate?
The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) conducted a study during mid-2012, affirming the “accuracy of background checks”. This study was in response to a report by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), which “accused background screeners of routinely making mistakes.”The study, which was validated by the market research agency, Mathew Greenwald & Associates in Washington D.C., found that 98 percent of background screening providers who were surveyed, faced consumer disputes for only about 5% of the millions of cases handled annually. And eventually, more than 95% of the disputes were found to be correct after all.
It is definitely fair to question the accuracy of background checks; as very important decisions are based on the findings of those checks. Employers from different fields rely on employee background checks for picking the right candidates. Apart from the employers, the clients also have the right to know that the person coming into their house to fix their air conditioning, or take care of their child is safe to be around. It is always better to know as much as possible, if not everything, about a person before choosing him/her for a particular position. While background checks are prevalent in various industries such as healthcare and childcare, more and more industries have been resorting to it over the past few years.
As mentioned earlier, there have been reports accusing screening agencies of being inaccurate and negligent. Especially ‘Broken Records: How Errors by Criminal Background Checking Companies Harm Workers and Businesses‘ by NCLC, which reported that “65 million Americans with criminal records were forever tarnished and unemployable as a result of background checks.” According to NAPBS, this report has ”several inaccurate points” and it doesn’t “offer critical empirical data to back up its findings.”
Whether you believe the report by NCLC or the report by NAPBS, it is your discretion as a reader. We continue to recommend caution in choosing the right background screening partner. Do your research and find an agency with the proper accreditation and credibility to conduct the required background checks; to ensure that the final report is a result of due diligent efforts and reliable information.