Fingerprint background checks: it’s about standards and safety.

Some forms of background checks, like the National Criminal Search, are par for the course for most employers. But fingerprint background checks aren’t necessarily as common as you’d think.

Employers and job applicants alike have questions about fingerprinting as part of the background check process. For starters, why do some employers check fingerprints when others don’t? What kind of information does a fingerprint check reveal about a job applicant? How does a fingerprint background check help an employer make hiring decisions?

Here are three things for employers and job applicants to keep in mind when it comes to fingerprint background checks.

1. Some job positions require fingerprinting.

Some types of job roles involve thorough background screening, including fingerprinting, for all applicants as a requirement for hiring. This is equally as true for someone applying for a teaching position as it is for someone applying to work for law enforcement.

Fingerprinting as part of the background check process helps confirm that an applicant doesn’t have a criminal charge or conviction in their criminal record that precludes them from being hired.

Some job roles involve contact with vulnerable populations, like children, the elderly, and the public at large. A felony on an applicant’s record could exclude them from consideration for such a sensitive job role.

2. Some industries require fingerprinting.

Plenty of industries require fingerprint background checks for most or all employees. This is especially true when the industry is subject to or deals with crime. Some industries mandate fingerprinting reactively, to try to reduce and solve crimes committed by employees. For other industries, fingerprint checks are a base-level procedure for all employees—and the people they interact with.

A few years back, Medicaid implemented mandatory fingerprint checks as a means to help reduce instances of fraud. This a great example of reactionary fingerprinting for the purpose of solving a rampant industry problem: crimes committed by employees.

Perhaps the most obvious example of fingerprinting as a means of standard procedure and policy relates to law enforcement. Police officers and government agents are required to be fingerprinted to meet the safety standard set for their sensitive job roles.

For the law enforcement industry as a whole, fingerprint checks have a second purpose that’s outside of job role safety: solving actual crimes.

Fingerprints collected at a crime scene can be compared to existing records held in vast databases, like the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). Fingerprint analyses help law enforcement identify who was at a crime scene, establish timelines of criminal acts, and solve crimes.

3. Checking fingerprints helps ensure safety in the workplace.

While no database is infallible, fingerprints are the most accurate way to confirm that a person is who they say they are. More than that, fingerprints are the best way to link a person to their criminal record.

Fingerprint background checks ensure that a certain level of workplace safety can be maintained, from the financial safety of the company to the personal safety of the workforce.

Not all job positions legally require that applicants have clean criminal records in order to be hired. Still, employers are more likely to prefer candidates whose criminal records are clear of certain types of crimes. For example, consider a candidate with a financial crime on their record. If they apply for a job in a company’s accounting department, their criminal record could seriously affect them being considered for hire. Just like financial crimes, crimes like assault and battery can negatively affect your ability to be hired for a job.

We’re fingerprint background check experts you can trust.

You can change your name, your address, your vehicle—even your appearance. But you can’t change your fingerprints or the records associated with your fingerprints.

Checking fingerprints helps employers meet the requirement standards of both the job position and the overall industry. Fingerprint checks also help employers ensure that they’re hiring individuals with clean or acceptable criminal records. More than anything, fingerprint checks help ensure the overall safety of businesses at large.

To learn if fingerprint background checks are right for your organization, get in touch with Mind Your Business today.

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