Danny Boice, Trustify CEO
Hello again. I am Danny Boice - Trustify's CEO. Today I want to talk about the inherent flaws in the traditional background check and employee screening markets.
The evidence mounts daily proving that traditional background checks alone are merely ineffective. The background checks can be for screening employees, buying guns, or vetting drivers, housekeepers, and handyman for an on-demand service.
Why Background Checks Are Broken
Here are some of the main reasons why background checks are broken:
- Criminal convictions are most likely going to have been at the state or county level. There are 50 states and 3,007 counties in the U.S. For an automated background check to check for convictions in the US accurately then each county, and each state would have to correctly enter the record of the sentence into their system AND make it available electronically and online to be aggregated.
- Criminal convictions are all that get registered. Assuming that the bullet above miraculously happened, you still have to remember that we're only talking about convictions here. It won't show indictments or charges. It won't show plea bargains - and 94% of all cases across the US are pleaded down to a lesser charge.
- Is public criminal record even the most effective strategy period? The current method of traditional background checks revolves heavily around the idea that criminal convictions speak the most towards a person's character. Some checks may also look at other public records like tax liens, civil cases. Some may even go as far as pulling credit too (although that requires special permission).
A Better Way
Looking through the person's social media accounts, posting and online commenting, deep web data, a person's network of closes associates, and actual interviews with former peers and co-workers give a much better picture of the person.
I have hired hundreds of employees over the past few years alone. I am confident that I would instead check out whether the engineer I'm about to engage was lying when he/she said they were the hero on every single project they worked on over the last five years rather than find the needle in the haystack that was their underage drinking conviction in college ten years ago.
The only way to generate a genuinely comprehensive picture of the subject of a background check is to turn it into an actual background INVESTIGATION. That means utilizing a former intelligence professional - likely coming from the CIA, FBI or DHS like Trustify's investigators do - to spend a couple of hours doing a customized report. Any additional cost in doing so ($300 to $800 via Trustify) is negligible in the long run, and it will likely even save you money should we uncover something material and save you much heartburn.