Oct 24, 2013 Quinn Thomas
Criminal background checks are a critical aspect of the onboarding process in business, especially considering the responsibility placed on decision-makers to maintain a comfortable and safe working environment. However, background screening is far from a cut-and-dry process, and demands a significant level of knowledge related to the law among those who are responsible for completing the associated tasks.
Screening practices need to walk the line between the law and comprehensive evaluations, which can often be difficult to identify when employees do not have experience with these activities. Businesses that do not feel entirely comfortable with the background checking process should seriously consider outsourcing the task to a firm that specializes in it.
Demand in Rhode Island
The Providence Journal recently reported that demand for criminal background screening services has skyrocketed in recent years across the state of Rhode Island. While these actions were once only popular in a few industries, a greater diversity of entities are now in need of proven and accurate background checks to ensure legal and progressive employment-related decision-making.
According to the news provider, the state of Rhode Island now demands that auctioneers, work-release employers, prospective adoptive and foster parents, campus police, public and private school employees, debt managers, drivers of public transportation vehicles and many more have to have background checks in place.
The source explained that the number of background check requests to the state Attorney General's office increased massively in the past three years, rising from 57,015 in 2010 to more than 74,000 last year. Civilian inquiries were not nearly as common as business-related demand, while the number of such private requests has continued to drop consistently since 2010.
The Providence Journal added that the massive increase in demand for background information has strained the Bureau of Criminal Identification in the state, as well as the Attorney General's office.
Relying on private services
Background screening services can be acquired through the public sector, while many of the firms that offer such solutions have a long history with the process. Knowledge of state, federal and industry-specific regulations is not easy to come by in the public sector, nor in internal human resources departments, and failure to adhere to these protocols can lead to significant fines and sanctions.
For these reasons and many more, businesses will often benefit from outsourcing the background screening process to a third-party service provider.