Last updated: May 29, 2023
When running a company, business owners realize that, ultimately, it’s all about the bottom dollar. Saving money whenever possible is a no-brainer, right? If your company has decided to begin background screening potential employees, have you decided if you’re going to incur the expense of running a fingerprint background check?
There are some employers who believe that the fingerprint background check is the only way to go because using someone’s fingerprints as identification leaves no room for error. While that is certainly a legitimate reason to use them, they’re also the most expensive—and often time-consuming—background screening method available.
Some industries require them
According to a survey conducted by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA), overall, using fingerprinting to screen someone’s background was only used by 19% of the employers taking the survey. This is in comparison to 89% who use a statewide search or another local or regional source. Additionally, 84% of the 850 employers surveyed completed a background search using the National Criminal Database.
When employers want to look hard for a criminal past, fingerprint screening is the best source. People can manage to fly under the radar using aliases or other underhanded methods to avoid detection. It’s hard to fake a fingerprint though.
Certain federal government positions, state agencies, and industries regulated by the government may require you to use fingerprint background checks before hiring someone for the job. Highly sensitive positions require squeaky-clean credentials.
Professions that require working with vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and even the public at large, can be mandated to use the fingerprint background check. It’s the best way to determine if someone who is being considered for a position has a violent or abusive nature. Felony convictions of a violent nature tend to prove that point. A report listing these types of crimes is usually enough to exclude someone from getting the job.
There’s a long list
Some professions that require background checks include:
- Social Services
- Medicaid or Medicare Vendors
- Child Care Providers—licensed and unlicensed in some states
- Private Adoption Applicants
- Early Intervention Specialists
- Conceal and Carry Firearm Instructors
- Individuals who are applying for a Conceal and Carry License
- Those who purchase firearms
- Healthcare Providers
- State Gaming as in Riverboats and Casinos
- State Racing Licensing
- Local Government Employees
- Public School Employees
- Private School Employees
- Those working in the marijuana industry
- Bank Employees
- Pawn Brokers
- Amusement Park and Carnival Operators
- Anyone working with explosives
- Military and National Guard
- Liquor License Applicant
- Public Law Enforcement
- Security Guards
- Real Estate Appraisers
- Charter Bus Drivers
The list could go on.
While there are some federal and state regulations regarding who must pass a fingerprint screening before working in a specific field, ultimately, any employer has the right to request that job applicants report for a fingerprint background check.
It’s your responsibility as an employer to provide a safe environment for those who work for you. Background screening, which may or may not include fingerprinting, is a tried and true method to avoid a potentially dangerous situation involving an employee or an unsuspecting client or customer.