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Cheap Background Checks: More Expensive In The Long Run

Discount background checks are tempting with budgets that seem to stay the same or suffer cuts yearly while the cost of doing business continues to rise. An inexpensive database search may seem like a good value, but when does saving a small amount of money cost you in the long run? If you receive incomplete information from a discounted background check that misses critical information. There are many reasons why you should choose a more comprehensive pre-employment screening package, such as accuracy at multiple levels, FCRA compliance assistance, and the cost of a bad hire.


You get what you pay for is a common saying in the United States for a reason. Often times a discounted item or service lives up to its price. A third-party database search is generally going to be the discount option, and you really do get what you pay for because discount database searches leave important data undiscovered.

Rear view of businesswoman pointing at drawn target

When making an important hiring decision, we want to know that we are getting all the data. A database search from a third party source is likely to contain outdated information, and doesn’t provide a complete picture that more in-depth searches provide. The source for these database searches is usually only updated on a set schedule, if you order your search at the wrong time more recent information might be missed.

Additionally, due to the out of date nature of these searches you may encounter data that you shouldn’t - records that have been expunged or data from another individual with the same name and date of birth. With 325 million people in the United States, the likelihood of finding multiple people with the same name and date of birth is high, and basing your hiring decision on this information isn’t prudent.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Compliance

Background checks need to be compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRP. Whether you hire for a small organization or a very large one, you must be compliant with the FCRA when performing background checks or face hefty fines and judgements against you if you run afoul of this law. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t background check, it just means that you should always have up-to-date policies and procedures that you are working from when conducting background screening.

You can’t always stop an adverse action being taken against you, but you can choose to only use fully compliant screening services to greatly reduce that risk while also making good hiring decisions that protect your workforce.

Discount searches will not always provide the support you need to appropriately respond when an adverse action is taken against you. CNet understands the importance of staying on top of changing regulations and we built a system to give you real-time updates on any changes that will affect your compliance policies.

Businessman being depressed by accounting in his office-1Expensive Bad Hires

The difference between a discount database search and a full background screening can be only $15. The cost of a bad hire is significant. According to Forbes, the cost of a bad hire runs from “30% of the employee’s first-year earnings” to much, much more.

The cost of a bad hire is more than the losses a business suffers from training and wages and resources spent on the hire itself. There is also the expense of correcting that mistake by hiring replacements.

What is possibly worse than the financial cost of a bad hire is the psychological cost. When attendance issues present quickly, it can hurt the morale of the tried and true employees contributing to your business’ success.

What to Look For

A comprehensive background check will include more than just a national database search. Look for services that also search at the state and county level. These searches may turn up information that does not get communicated to the national databases. Additionally, a social security number trace will provide information on aliases and locations that should be covered in the background check.

For a little bit more, you can save thousands of dollars by ensuring your next hire is a good one.

CNet Technologies helps HR professionals like you manage background screening, drug testing, and more. Contact us today to learn how we can help you create a better hiring experience for your organization.

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