Background Checks

A recent article written that appeared in the New York Daily News by Dareh Gregorian points out how important it is to know what you’re doing when doing a background check.

“Kevin Jones, 58, says he was offered a job…as a doorman, but the offer was rescinded after a background check mistakenly found he had felony and misdemeanor convictions. The background check company… had the dirt on another Kevin Jones with the same birthday — but with a different middle name and of a different race.”

Worse yet, when Jones tried to correct the record, the background checking company stood by its findings!  Jones sued.  “Jones’ suit says the company lied about using official court records and had actually obtained the info from a bulk data collection service.”

This is an inexcusable mistake by the background checking company that did the research.  Even though the birth date was the same, how hard would it have been to notice that the middle names were different?

Furthermore, if the company had gone to the actual court records, instead of a bulk data collection service, they would have also noticed other obvious differences.  If a simple Social Security check had been done, it would have been easy also to see that none of the home addresses were the same for the two men.

This is a perfect example of what can happen when a background checking company becomes too big and too impersonal.  It also illustrates how doing sloppy work can give the background checking industry a bad name.

Thankfully, not all of us operate that way.