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You Can’t Trust Criminal Record Checks!

In today’s workplace many industries require their staff vetted with a criminal record check. In fact, it is highly recommended even if not required by legislation that you have background checks undertaken on all your employees. Many organisations rely on the employee producing their own criminal record check. However how much faith should you have in the criminal record checks you are provided?

In recent times our team at Precision Integrity Services have discovered numerous instances of employees engaging in deception and having prior criminal convictions despite these people having provided a “legitimate” criminal record check. You may be asking yourself, how is it possible a person with criminal antecedents can obtain a clear criminal record check? The answer is criminals have discovered several ways to game the system, making it all the more difficult for human resource managers and small business owners to detect.

The first method is the use of a candidate’s full name. This seems incongruous but simply by using the middle name or names (some people have more than one middle name) the applicant can gain a clear criminal record check. The reason for this is because often Police, when charging offenders, record people by first name, last name and date of birth. They often don’t put in the middle name of the offender that is being charged. When the candidate enters their details for a criminal record check using their full name the system does not match them as being the person that has been charged because the names do not match exactly. This creates an erroneous but otherwise valid response from the provider of the criminal record check.

The second method being utilized by dishonest applicants is that of slight variations in their name. Some applicants spell their first or middle name different by just one letter. This may also provide a clear criminal record check. In fact, just by changing the order of the letters in one of their names they can elicit a clear criminal record check where there are previous convictions.

A third method in use, sees the middle name and the first name of the employee being rotated. This can be done either at the time of the application of the criminal record check or at the time of charge by Police. Yet again this yields a result that does not show the previous criminal history of the employee.

It should also be noted criminal record checks are inherently flawed in other ways. For example they do not show if a person has been arrested but only a person’s convictions. Criminal record checks also rely on the applicant to advise if they have previously used another name. If the applicant does not nominate this their provision of a clear criminal history check may be misleading.

If you are wondering how you can find the answers you need when it comes to hiring new staff. The best way to mitigate the risks associated is to gain 3 forms of identification from the prospective employee then do the following, undertake background checks on the employee first, then perform Criminal History Checks utilizing the various combinations of names available from their identification and background checks.

Perhaps the most important step is to engage professionals to undertake individual checks for you, to ensure you are not at risk of making the worst human resources decision in your organisations history. It is better to hire slow than need to fire fast.

If you need help with ensuring the safety of your business and integrity of your employees,  contact Precision Integrity Services to see how our background checks and investigators can prevent you from making the worst hire possible.

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