Crime shows will tell you that fingerprints help track a criminal. Although a fingerprint can help pull up all sorts of records, they don’t tell you every little detail about the felon in question.
While it looks convenient, the fact is a fingerprint background check is nothing like what television shows. An FBI fingerprint database may contain certain details about an individual but it is not all hunky-dory and pre-employment background checks may not manage to get all the information for an individual with their fingerprint.
What Is A Fingerprint Background Check?
A fingerprint background check is a simple background check. Your fingerprints are cross verified against the fingerprint database.
A fingerprint screening can help understand certain facts about the criminal history and personal details however this is possible only if the person was entered into the system.
This database is by no means the gold standard database. This is because a lot of individuals do not get their fingerprints scanned even if they were convicted and this is the reason they may not exist in the database. Authorities record only federal crimes in the database and not state-level crimes.
Lawmakers can go through an FBI record but a pre-employment screening cannot go as deep as these records. This is why a fingerprint database is usually not the most accurate way to judge an individual.
In case you’re wondering why a fingerprint database is not that relevant and why this background check should not be part of employment prescreening then here is what you need to know.
- Database is often incomplete
- Even if a person exists in the fingerprints database there is no guarantee that their record is up-to-date and there is a chance that certain information is still left out
- Fingerprints are not scanned for all felons which means the database is incomplete
- Fingerprints were never accumulated to be part of background screening
What Information Does A Fingerprint Background Check Reveal?
If a felon was convicted for a federal crime then their complete history will be in the fingerprint database. If an individual was part of the military service then information related to that job will be on the fingerprint database.
Organizations that run a fingerprint background check are often looking at the candidate with a fine comb and in all probability reject them because something came up during their background check.
Who Compiles Fingerprints Database?
The FBI maintains the record for the fingerprint database. An automated fingerprint identification system integrates the profiles. The system can run 17 million records while matching fingerprints. It also has information pertaining to people who have purchased firearms or working at jobs that require their fingerprints to be scanned.
This data can be looked into 24 hours a day for all days of the year. There are talks of the system being replaced with more accurate information that will include biometrics recognition, palm prints, and iris scanners.
Do Companies Still Use Fingerprint Background Check?
Based on recent research, multiple applicants have admitted to submitting their fingerprints while applying for a job. Just as your social security number, education, and other relevant data are important, fingerprints play a vital role in your background screening.
The information provided during the check may or may not be relevant or pertaining to the job you have applied for.
Do Authorities Recommend A Fingerprint Background?
A fingerprint background check is not the most accurate way of determining the history of an individual. It is something that organizations should now do away with. There are various other background checks that are more reliable and easier to obtain as compared to a fingerprint search.
Most of the time, information is missing from the fingerprint database. In certain cases, the interviewer informs the candidates they have failed their check because their record is not up to date updated even though they qualify for the job.
The database is flawed and organizations must look into a stronger system. This system should give every individual an equal opportunity based on their background. If you’re worried about failing a fingerprint background test then you should know that most organizations that run a fingerprint background check also conduct other tests to verify the credentials of a potential employee.
In case you are wondering what could cause you to fail a background test then here are a few things you should know.
1 Criminal History
Even though most organizations hire felons, they can reject you because of failure in a background check or not matching the skills for that particular job. Although organizations cannot reject an applicant based on their felony, they shall have the right to reject an individual based on the crime they committed.
For example; somebody who was driving under the influence of alcohol cannot be given a job in the automobile industry. This is because the job involves handling vehicles. Somebody with a violent charge against children cannot get a job in a school.
2 Drug And Alcohol Test
Most organizations make it a point to run a drug test before hiring an individual. It is necessary to clear this test if you want to bag the job. Failing a drug test can result in losing an opportunity. You cannot apply with the same organization again as well.
If you are worried about how to store your urine for a drug test then it is important to learn the correct measures so you do not mess up the sample.
3 Credit History
Organizations are always looking to hire people who are honest. If your credit history has certain red flags and you are applying for a financial position, you may not get through.
Employers run background checks to check for bankruptcy filings. If you are facing financial problems then there is a chance you could get desperate and choose the wrong path. This makes you a liability or a threat to an organization.
If you filed for bankruptcy in the past and you have overcome the financial crisis, it is necessary to explain your situation. This ensures the organization does not reject you based on a 5-year-old mistake.
5 Driving Record
A few speeding tickets or parking tickets won’t get you in trouble when getting a job. If the authorities charged you with DUI or reckless driving, the organization will reject you. This happens especially if the job is related to driving. Organizations that do not have anything to do with your driving skills usually don’t check your driving record.
6 Employment History
Your employment speaks volumes about you and this is something every organization would like to check. They want to see how long you stay in a particular job and whether you work for multiple companies in short intervals. This tells them how loyal you are or how difficult it is for you to stay in the same job for long.
When preparing your resume, keep the following tips in mind:
- Leave off any short jobs and only speak of the ones where you worked for long durations.
- Do not add any false statements to your resume. A background check can expose you.
- Be open about the specialized courses you have completed
Every organization will run a background check on your education to see whether you’ve told the truth about your qualification. Most jobs are dependent on your qualification or your certification courses so information about your education history is vital. Nowadays educational records are available online so lying about it won’t get you far.
How Far Do Background Checks Go?
Employers usually run a background check on potential employees to make the right decision before hiring them. These checks include:
- Your qualification
- Criminal history, if any.
It may be easy to speak about your qualification and other personal aspects of your life. Speaking about your felony history might be a little tricky. Organizations often claim to be open to hiring felons but some of them do have reservations with certain felonies.
In case you’re wondering whether records show up after 7 years then you should know that the law is different for different states. While some states hide criminal records older than 7 years, others do not seal them even up to 10 years.
Being upfront with the organization about your criminal record is the smartest way to go. In case you are not comfortable about talking about your criminal history you can get in touch with an attorney. They can expunge or seal the record.
At the end of the day, whether it is a fingerprint background check or criminal background check, it all comes down to the kind of information you provide to your employer and your honesty. Complete your research and apply for a job that falls within your area of expertise.
If you do this, there is no reason why an organization will not hire you. If you are still skeptical about your background check, you can run one on yourself. You can see what potential recruiters see. This also gives you the chance to rectify your records so your job hunt is successful.