If you’re thinking about hiring people, be careful of the websites that offer “instant” background checks. Most of the instant sites are really just data collectors that don’t comply with the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
That doesn’t mean the information they provide is bad – it may be accurate and up-to-date; but there’s no way to know how accurate it is, how current it is, or if your candidate is really the same person as the one identified by an instant search as having some sort of criminal record.
Most importantly, it’s always important to remember that you can’t use the information on an instant site when making hiring decisions. Reliable websites usually have a disclaimer that says something like, “If you are searching for a person you are considering for employment, credit, or insurance eligibility, you cannot use the information on this site because it would constitute a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and is against the law. This site is not a consumer agency and does not provide any consumer reporting service.”
The upside, however, is that an instant site provides a starting point for a reputable Consumer Reporting Agency – like Barada Associates – to probe a candidate’s record at its source to verify or refute the information the instant site provides.