Background checks and employment screening services offer an insight into an applicant that enable organization’s to make informed hiring decisions. However, pre-employment screenings are only one component of the hiring cycle and they bring additional cost to the hiring process.
(Regarding hiring costs, Mindflash has put together an infographic based on a Career Builder survey on The Staggering Cost of a Bad Hire)
With that being said, organizations are continuously looking to cut costs and some HR departments have moved to background screening providers that have atypically low costs. Some of these providers have chosen to outsource a portion or all of their employment screening services to overseas call centers and suppliers.
What is the problem?
When these employment screening vendors send individuals’ sensitive information, such as social security numbers, personal identification data and financial account information to off-shore locations, it puts both the applicants and employers at risk. Consumer protection laws, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), may be lax or non-existent and may not protect U.S. applicants or the employers to the same degree as in the United States.
Why am I not protected?
The United States government has passed strict laws that protect personally identifiable information (PII), such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and as stated earlier, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Once these screening services have been outsourced overseas they are no longer under the protection of U.S. privacy laws.
How do I verify that a vendor is not sending personal information overseas?
The most important thing is to question your provider about their practices regarding the outsourcing of screening services to international locations. Another resource is an affiliation of like-minded Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) called the “Concerned CRAs”. This group is committed to several key principles in the performance of background screening and has policies in place to limit the outsourcing of background check services. When using an employment screening provider that is a member of the Concerned CRAs, you can be assured that any PII will be kept in the United States and will be protected by both state and federal laws. Justifacts is a self-certified member of the Concerned CRAs. To learn more about this organization, please visit: www.concernedcras.com.
Chas Sobolak is the Corporate Marketing Manager of Justifacts Credential Verification. The information and opinions expressed in this article are his own. None of the information contained herein should be construed as legal advice, nor is Justifacts engaged to provide legal advice.