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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about our products and services. Please contact us if you are unable to locate an answer to your question(s).

Who can benefit from using a background screening service?

Any industry can benefit from using background screening since it is an absolute must to exercise due diligence in hiring. Proper due diligence includes background checks and pre-employment screening.

We offer background screening solutions for the following industries:

You can not do a background check on anyone though, there are laws as to who has permissible purpose to access specific data in order to comply with Federal regulations.

Will I need to get written permission to conduct a background check on an applicant?

Yes. You are responsible for having your applicants' written consent to access certain information in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You are responsible for maintaining this document, which the screening company may request from time to time for audit purposes.

Can applicants fill out their information online?

Yes. By entering in the applicant's name and email, our system immediately emails the applicant with a hyperlink to our secure ApplyNow™ on-line application. The applicant completes a series of data entry pages that provide all of the relevant data to complete the background search including personal identification, employment history, etc. The applicant electronically signs their consent to the background check which gets attached to their background report.

Do you offer management reports to help me manage my screening process?

Yes. We offer several reports that contain statistical information, such as:

  • Average and total report costs
  • Package comparison
  • Applicant information, such as: hiring decisions, DMV offenses, drug test results, and criminal offense level and disposition

Can Trusted Employees integrate with our applicant tracking software?

Yes. We have established integrations with several leading Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, and Human Resources Information Systems(HRIS). Contact us about integrating with your ATS, HCM or HRIS so that we can design a customized solution for you.

Is there a central location for accessing criminal records in this country?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no central location for criminal records. There are over 10,000 state and federal courthouses in the United States. These courthouses are spread out over some 3,300 jurisdictions, each with its own database of records.

What is the FBI's national computer database?

The FBI's database, the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is available to only the FBI and state law enforcement. It is illegal for most private companies to access this database without some type of specific authorization.

Do I need to search every county courthouse in a given state?

No, first determine which counties are relevant. Some guidelines may be as follows:

  • County of Residence – At a minimum, employers should search the county of current residence or the last place the applicants spent the most time. While there are no conclusive studies to prove the point, many criminal justice professionals have observed that the county of residence is the county most likely for a criminal to commit a crime.
  • Last Three Counties – Some employers have a policy to search the last three counties lived in. The number three is not based upon any court case, or official recommendation. It is simply based upon the experience of screening firms that show that most applicants have lived in an average of 2-3 counties in a seven year period. At Trusted Employees, we have found that our average applicant has lived in 2.3 counties in the average 10 year period.
  • Seven Year Search – A much higher degree of protection may be afforded by doing a seven year search of all places where the applicant lived, worked or studied based upon the application for employment. The counties' names can be determined through a verification of past employment and education, and all past addresses can be compared to see that nothing has been omitted before ordering the criminal searches.
  • Adjacent County or Metro Search – Additional protection can be provided by searching the metro areas and adjacent counties. Unfortunately, there is nothing to prevent a person from crossing a county line to commit a crime. If a person's application and credit header indicated that they lived in Hopkins, a metro search may very well include the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington.

What type of turnaround time can I expect on my screening report?

Pertinent information can be made available to you in as little as 60 seconds. Although the time may vary depending on the depth of the report ordered, most reports are completed within 1-3 business days.

Do you offer applicants access to their completed background report?

Yes. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows consumers to obtain a copy of consumer reports if denied credit or employment because of information contained on the report. If an applicant needs a copy of a report that Trusted Employees prepared for your company, they can access it instantly online or request that a copy be sent via U.S. mail.

To obtain a copy of the report by mail, a written request needs to be submitted to: Trusted Employees, 701 5th Street South, Hopkins, MN 55343. They must include their full name, full address for return mailing, social security number, date of birth, and signature for verification. Requests are also accepted via fax (952-545-3973), but report copies cannot be faxed to the applicant. All report copies will be mailed within 3 business days.

How does an applicant correct inaccurate information on their background report?

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows consumers to dispute information contained on their background reports. Disputes are promptly investigated but may take up to 30 days to be resolved, as provided for in the FCRA. If an applicant feels that there are inaccuracies in their report, we make it easy for an applicant to create a dispute. Applicants can dispute inaccuracies online or by mail to: Trusted Employees, 701 5th Street South, Hopkins, MN 55343.

How do I tell an applicant that they have been declined for a position based on information in their background report?

When a background check comes back with information that is against your hiring criteria, what do you do? Under the FCRA, you are to send to the applicant a pre-adverse action letter and an adverse action letter.

  • Pre-Notice of Adverse Action Letter – This is the first letter you send out. It alerts the applicant that there is something on their report for which you are considering taking back the offer of employment. You must provide the applicant with a copy of their background report, along with this letter.
  • Final Adverse Action Letter – This is the second letter that can be sent out after a reasonable amount of time if the applicant does not respond to the first letter or if they agree that the report is accurate. If an applicant needs to dispute inaccuracies on their background report, we make it easy to start a dispute online.

Trusted Employees helps streamline the process of sending out pre-adverse and adverse action notices, which can be generated directly from our website. The letters can be customized with your organization's logo and verbiage and standard templates are also available for your use.

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