Flaws in the Fingerprint Background Screening System

Fingerprint Background Check Flaws When hiring a new employee, it is essential to perform a thorough background check to ensure that you make the right decision for the company’s interests. Perhaps one of the most commonly used methods is the FBI’s background check system.

This system was initially designed for vetting applicants in law enforcement, military, childcare, and educational industries. However, more and more private and public companies are turning to fingerprint checks and as a way to perform a criminal background check on potential employees.

While fingerprint checks do offer the benefit of confirmed identity. As they can’t be fooled by fake names. The system is generally very flawed. Here are seven reasons why using a fingerprint background check system is a terrible idea, especially during the vetting and hiring process.


The information provided is often inaccurate


Fingerprint backgrounds often provide inaccurate information. On the one hand, you may have an applicant who has a criminal record in the FBI database and records from a wrongful arrest or when their records were already deleted.

On the other hand, you could have an applicant appear clean despite having an extensive criminal record. This is because not every state frequently submits arrest and conviction records to the FBI database.


It is unfair towards wrongly-accused applicants


Unfortunately, the process for getting inaccurate records was changed by the FBI. For more accurate fingerprint checks is a long and difficult one. It can take several months for the applicant to get cleared, and by which time they will have missed out on very many opportunities.


It offers an incomplete picture of the applicant’s criminal history


Most fingerprint checks will only inform the HR department of the presence or absence of an arrest record. They rarely give information on the eventual outcome of the arrest. Studies show that the FBI Database is missing over 50% of disposition information.

Were the charges dropped? Was the applicant convicted or acquitted?

Unfortunately, it is usually tricky to figure this out. Leaving the employer to work with minimal information and an often unfairly biased perspective.


It is often not in compliance with most state regulations


A lot of states have strict rules on using fingerprint background checks to vet job applicants. They recognize the shortcomings of this strategy and set those regulations as a way to protect employees.

Therefore, by performing these checks, you may be in direct violation of this regulation, which could land your business in trouble.


It has a long turnaround time


Fingerprint checks are not only unfair and inconvenient for the job applicant, but they are also for the HR department or business owner in terms of the long turnaround time. On average, it takes anywhere between 6 weeks to several months to go through the entire process.

This includes filling out request forms, collecting and submitting fingerprint samples, and waiting for the report.

On the other hand, other background check methods include name-based checks. They are usually complete in a matter of hours to a few weeks.


The information is usually out-of-date


FBI rarely updates their criminal records, which adds to the lack of accuracy that often works against wrongly-accused job applicants.

So even if the applicant is lucky enough to get the FBI to change their records. It may take several weeks or even months for the changes to reflect on their database. Criminal background can be ordered to check.


It only offers information on criminal history


When conducting a background check on a potential employee. It is essential to look at more than just their criminal past. In terms of legal history alone, you may want to know about other things and which are some things that fingerprint background checks will not tell you.

These checks also offer no value in terms of employment and training history, and they are also critical during the hiring process.

> My Past Mistakes On My Background Check? 

> What crimes can stop you from getting a job? 



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