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Frequently Asked Questions
General Background Screening
What percentage of companies utilize background screening as part of their hiring process?
Approximately 80% of companies conduct some form of background screening.
Which form of background checks do employers use most?
A domestic criminal background check, county and federal jurisdictions, is the most popular tool for employers. A close second is employment/education verification. Employers also frequently include drug screening in their screening process. We offer all of these options.
What info do I need from the applicant for an accurate background check?
Name and Date of Birth are the two most important pieces of information we need. Matching the full name of the applicant and their date of birth is the basic way of linking a criminal record to the individual. The social security number is also a very important piece of information. The SSN can be used in some limited criminal courts to assist with the search, but its main purpose is to establish a past address history. With this history, you will know where to order a county criminal search.
Where should I search?
A good background search should begin with a past address history. Chances are, the job candidate has not lived in the same place his/her entire life. For a good look at local criminal convictions, you might want to consider a state or all county search.
What kind of records should I look for?
The answer to this questions depends on a number of factors:
- Which industry is your company a part of?
- Are there any particular searches that are required by law in your state or industry?
- What are the responsibilities of the position you are attempting to fill?
- How much access will the applicant have to assets and/or customers?
How far back should I search?
Going back seven years is typically the standard for most industries. However, industries such as education, financial services, and healthcare may require you to go back further.
Different jurisdictions also determine what is legal in terms of how far you can go back into someone’s criminal history.
Why are charges not showing up when all we are running is the National Criminal Search?
The National Criminal Search is a real value, because it includes the Sex Offenders Registry, Terrorist Watch List, GSA/OIG sanctions, to name a few sources. By itself, however, it is not a comprehensive search of criminal convictions at the local level. S2Verify recommends that this search always be used in conjunction with county or state wide search.
Which search should I use? State-wide or county?
While the processing of a Statewide search (versus a County Courthouse search) offers greater geographic coverage area, it must be recognized that State Central Repositories receive their criminal record information and updates from local law enforcements agencies, and the courts within that state. Therefore, a county search may be more current than the statewide search.
When considering a statewide search, you must take into account factors including coverage area, data integrity, record access requirements and turnaround time. We constantly evaluate these factors for each state and can educate you on which states a statewide search is advisable. That being said, there are several states that do not offer a statewide search capability or it is not recommended. When setting up your search package, an S2Verify associate will provide you with our best practice recommendations.
How long will it take to get my results back for a drug test?
It can take the lab 5 to 7 business days to complete the testing process and report the results.
My drug test order has expired. Can you extend it for me?
No, I am not able to extend and expired drug test. A new order has to be placed.
Will I be charged for the new drug test order when replacing an expired order?
No. As long as you let our drug screening specialist know you are ordering a 2nd test, we will be able to cancel it out. Accounting will make adjustments to your bill.
I am not getting my link for my Drug Test Scheduling. What do I do?
Contact us by phone or email. Our drug screening specialist can check to see if there are any behind-the-scenes issues. If no issues are found, then it could be your fire wall blocking emails from your inbox. We can work out a temporary solution until you resolve the issue with your fire wall.
My applicant is at the collection site and they are telling us we need an account number. What do I do?
Once again, call or email us. Our drug screening specialist will determine if your applicant placed their order within the link system that was sent. If the applicant didn’t follow this procedure, he/she will not be able to test until the order is placed.
What does Non-Contact Positive mean?
This means the applicant tested positive for a substance, but the Medical Review Office was unable to speak with them about what was found. If this happens, have the applicant call the Medical Review Officer at 303-757-4546 to confirm the findings. The MRO will determine whether or not a prescription caused the positive result. At this point, the result will either be downgraded to a Negative or upgraded to an absolute Positive.
My applicant was told they have a cold specimen. What is that?
This means the applicant may have tried to manipulate the system by using an old specimen. This specimen was brought into the collection site in hopes to be passed off as a fresh sample. When this happens, the collection site will give the applicant the chance to produce a fresh sample for them. If they can’t or won’t, then it is marked as a refusal to test. It will then be removed from their system.
Using Our System
How do I get started?
We recommend you contact us by phone at 1-855-671-1933 or get in touch with us through the Contacts tab of our website. An S2Verify associate will guide you through each step of the process. Not sure which searches you need to run? That’s not a problem. An S2Verify associate will educate you on what searches are a good fit for both your industry and the position you are trying to fill.
Will I be charged any extra fees when searching for county records?
Yes. When searching for county records, often times there is a data access fee that the courthouse charges for access to their records. Whether using a 3rd party provider or dealing with the courthouse directly, you will incur this data access cost. These data access costs differ from county to county. The costs can be as low as $1 or as high as $65 for some counties in New York. You can negotiate a flat rate price to include fees, should you desire to do so.
Are there any other fees I should be aware of?
When an applicant can be identified by several different names, you will be charged for each alias. It is the equivalent of doing a search on different people. For example, a woman got married and took her husband’s last name. You may need to order a search on her current last name as well as her maiden name. You will be charged accordingly for each search. You can negotiate a flat rate price to include all aka’s, should you desire to do so.
“Why can’t I submit orders without the screen telling me that I have left fields incomplete? This didn’t used to happen!”
A permanent change has been made in the system for clients that only order an Instant National Criminal Search, in that it now requires the applicant’s email address be entered below the personal information. This is to ensure the applicant is receiving a copy of their report.
As the administrator for my account, what are my capabilities?
You can set up users and edit their abilities. You can add and remove users.
Can I have multiple users on my account?
There is no limit to the number of active users you can have.
Can I temporarily disable a user’s access to the system?
If you have the administrator capabilities, yes you can.
Does your system allow us to save the searches on our hard drive?
No. You can email and print the reports, and save them that way.
How can I customize the system to fit my needs?
We can add your logo to your account. There are also ways to have a customized link created for you clients.
How can I receive e-mail notification for completed searches?
Accounts are typically set up with the user’s email address to receive the results.
How do I change my password and is it case sensitive?
Passwords are case sensitive and can be changed through customer service.
How do I conduct a criminal search?
We recommend you speak with a sales representative to discuss what searches need to be ordered. The order process is simple and can be explained in a 5 minute call with customer service. OR log in and go to the “Order Reports” tab.
How do I set up to run MVR searches?
MVR searches are in the a la carte section. Click on “Order Individual Searches” and it will be there. Some states (PA and AK for example) require state specific releases.
How do I print a report off your system?
Enter the applicant’s name in “Quick Find” > Click on their name > Click on View Report Options below DOB and there you will find the option to print the report
How do I update my company’s billing and contact information?
Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will quickly help you resolve this.
How long can I continue to view my search results?
Reports will remain in the “Completed” folder for 1 year, then be moved to the “Archived” folder where it will remain FOREVER. We do not remove reports once they are ordered.
If I have numerous applicants to conduct criminal searches on, is there an easier way than submitting them one-by-one?
Swifthire may be an option. This is a way for applicants to enter their personal info themselves. We can discuss this option during account set up, or you can email email@example.com to enable swifthire on an existing account. You can also send us a batch file (Excel) to upload. The batch file is run and the results appear on your dashboard.
Why are court fees listed separately on the invoice?
We list base price (or package price) separately from court fees so that you can confirm that the correct package was selected.
How can I make sure my screening process is 100% legal?
All companies must abide by Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state laws, and EEOC guidelines. To help you maintain FCRA compliance, we can provide you a sample consent form, sample release form, pre-adverse action letter, adverse action letter. To guarantee compliance, make sure you look it over with your in-house counsel. Also, be aware of the state regulations that apply to your company. Lastly, follow the EEOC guidelines that help navigate Title VII of the Civil Right Act.
Where can I find the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)?
Where can I find EEOC guidelines?
At what point in the hiring process can I order a background check?
The answer to this question depends on the location of your company. You can order a background check at any point (as long as you’ve gotten consent from the applicant) in some cities/counties. On the other hand, some cities/counties don’t allow a background check until after a conditional offer has been issued to an applicant. These regulations are consistently changing, so we are always keeping an eye on new laws. Our blog is a great resource for staying up to date on new laws that will affect your company.
Can I include the disclosure/consent form on our application?
No. FCRA requires that the disclosure and consent remain separate from the application. According to the FCRA, “A clear and conspicuous disclosure is to be made in writing to the consumer at any time before the report is procured or caused to be procured, in a document that consists solely of the disclosure.”
Do arrests that result in a deferred sentence/diversion program show up on the report?
No, unless we arrange to do so based upon contractual relationships. As a CRA, we focus on convictions. A satisfactorily completed deferral program means they have not been convicted.
How long does this stay on my record?
When we do a search, our client specifies how far back they want us to look into someone’s criminal background. The number of years we look into varies from state to state/industry to industry. As 7 years is the standard in most cases, we will use that as an example. The misconception is that the conviction won’t show up after it has been 7 years since the incident date. In reality, it is reportable for 7 years after the last date of their disposition. By disposition we mean court date, date they walked out of the corrections facility, etc.
How do I get this off my record?
You can go to the district clerk’s office and petition for an expungement. State laws must be reviewed, as many vary in process. In many states, certain crimes are not eligible for expungement. There is a fee and it has to be approved by a judge. The process can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks. It is highly recommended that you consult with legal counsel.
How can I get a copy of my report?
If a prospective employer has used S2Verify to run a background check on you, you can get a free copy of your report by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we have not yet run a previous report, you can go to http://s2verify.com/BackgroundCheck_Services.html to order a criminal search on yourself. Please note that you are only authorized to order the report on yourself.
If you have any questions, 855-671-1933 between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm EST.