A question often asked, “What is the most thorough inexpensive Criminal background check?”

Below we have listed the 4 Pillars of background screening to break down and define the different types of criminal background checks available.

  1. Pillar 1: Multi-State Criminal - Think of a fish net that covers a very wide range but there are holes. It is not complete but is the most cost effective and you get a pretty good report for the cost. For employment purposes, the "hits" on this search must be verified according to the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. In most cases, the “hits” are verified though a county level search explained in Pillar 4.
  2. Pillar 2: State Police search-If you are interested in arrests or other problems the applicant may have caused, this is the search for you. Covers only the state for which the search is pulled. However, you do not get convictions. This is normally the most expensive search and the least useful.
  3. Pillar 3: Federal search-Most people think this will give a complete search of all records but there are many holes. It is a good search for federal offenses but cannot give criminal backgrounds in state courts. There are some types of industries who can obtain FBI searches with fingerprinting. However, this too has holes because there are jurisdictions who fail to get their information reported to the federal databases.
  4. Pillar 4: County Level search - This is the most comprehensive and most accurate of all searches. As mentioned in Pillar 1, this search is conducted to verify the Multi-State Criminal record “hits”. People are sent directly into the court records to conduct these searches. If your applicant has not moved around much and has kept the same name, it can be inexpensive and you can be assured to get the most accurate information available. Of course, anytime there is human intervention, there can be mistakes. No one is 100% accurate 100% of the time.

For the most thorough background screening, you should use all 4 Pillars.