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The Key Difference Between Background Checks and Fingerprint Checks

When talking about background checks, a common topic of debate is the advantages of fingerprint checks against the advantages of background checks. People want to really know if a regular background check is better than a fingerprint check or vice versa. It can be very surprising to find out that a lot of companies do not really conduct fingerprint checks as this method of gathering information is not really recommended. Fingerprint checks should only be used as a supplement because this method of screening have marginally significant inefficiencies making it a poor employment screening method.

Fingerprint Checks

Fingerprint checks and databases were made for law enforcement purposes. Thus the fingerprint database that has been made available to the general public are usually not up to date and are not geographically comprehensive. Fingerprint checks have its uses in some industries, but most companies however, find fingerprint checks or fingerprinting to be too inefficient and is just a waste of time and money.

Fingerprinting is best used by the government as an investigative tool for all levels, to be used in background checks of people that are in connection with employment, general security clearance, and immigration.
The use of fingerprint checks revolves around it being precise and inexpensive. Fingerprints can be sent to police agencies in a digital or hard copy ink format. The end result is a certificate that states that a person does not have any record of any convictions or charges.

So what this means is that unless the applicant being screened has a file with the police agency, there won’t be any solid assumption that they have been convicted or charged.

Background Checks

A background check is the common means of screening applicants as this method is much more accurate, what happens in this process is that the applicant’s criminal records, education, work history and their financial records are looked up and compiled. So companies who are hiring will be needing more solid pieces of information with regards to a candidate in order for them to make informed decisions. Though there are companies and other industries that require mandatory employment background checks upon application, industries such as for FSA registered candidates, healthcare professionals and taxi drivers, just to name a few, all require mandatory background checks upon employment. However, employees also have the right to be able to keep some of their records that they don’t want people to see private, although the extend of this can vary from country to country. Though if a company violate this employee’s right, they can be prosecuted. So companies should take in mind the things they can and cannot do whenever they are conducting background checks on their potential employees.

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