If you’ve been around the world of background screening long enough, you know that criminal records research is not as straightforward as it sounds. While what’s on the surface feels like a simple public records check, it can be wrapped in layers of complexity and nuance that even the most experienced of practitioners can find mind-boggling.
From jurisdiction to jurisdiction, across more than 3,000 county courthouses, the process and availability of public records research varies, sometimes greatly. Failing to understand and manage the complexities and specifics of the research process can lead to significant risks. From making a dangerous hiring decision, to unfairly excluding the right applicant, to being subject to fines or lawsuits for failing to adhere to compliance requirements, there is a strong incentive to get the research done right.
CRAs rely on their research providers to do it right. And employers rely on their CRAs to make sure it’s done right.
Does your provider have the chops to back you up with a proven process?
At Wholesale Screening Solutions, we pride ourselves in being the leaders in public records research for the background screening industry. Here are 6 ways we mitigate the complexities of criminal records research in order to deliver the results you expect:
1. We show up at the court houses.
While many courthouses are moving records online for researchers to access, there are significant variations in the breadth and depth of this data. In some cases, there are courthouses that only have a few years of data online while the rest must be accessed by visiting the court in person. In other cases, only certain records, or data within the records is available, which dictates a court visit. If your provider fails to recognize these differences and blankly assumes that what they get online is sufficient, you could be putting yourself and your clients at risk.
2. We emphasize relationships.
It’s just a fact of life that when you work with people, you get more done. Our approach has always been to establish the best relationships we possibly can with the local courthouses and the clerks within those courthouses. Simply put, we can get more done faster when we put our relationships first.
3. We train our researchers and hold them accountable.
Employees begin their tenure at Wholesale Screening Solutions with a two-week, in-depth training on the criminal justice system, our culture, and how to do a search. Training and learning continue through our learning management system (LMS), where individuals can gain special certification on jurisdiction-specific knowledge. As a result of this commitment to quality, we have individuals in our organization who have achieved more than 12 consecutive months of 100% quality. Our researchers are measured, managed, and rewarded on the basis of quality.
4. We attract and cultivate specialists.
Public records research is a specialty niche within the background screening industry. At Wholesale Screening Solutions, we built our business around our specialized expertise in public records research–specifically, criminal records. We brought in industry veterans and thought leaders from across the industry in order to build our teams and address the needs of our CRA customers.
5. We stay on top of emerging trends and changes.
A lot has changed in a short period of time in the world of background screening. Many of these changes have directly impacted our role as a research provider. Take the case of increasing litigation around compliance issues and the trend toward redacting personally identifiable information (PII) from public records. These two trends alone are changing the way we work. Our ability to stay ahead of emerging trends and changes in the industry will continue to positively influence the success of our CRA clients.
6. We maintain a seat at the table.
Our leadership team has successfully worked with legislators and court administrators on behalf of our CRA customers and their end-user customers to ensure our collective industry can continue to deliver and rely on quality, accurate information. Our people have taken active leadership roles within the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) to maintain and improve access to identifiers contained in public records in courthouses around the country.
As CRAs continue the trend of driving compliance requirements down to their supplier network, it really matters who you choose as your research partner. Backed by our powerful FuseOS® operating system, highly-trained researchers, and dedicated customer service, Wholesale Screening Solutions sets a new standard for what you can expect from your public records research provider. We invite you to try us for the first time or put us up against an existing vendor in a jurisdiction we don’t currently handle for you. Try our services.