Many employers mistakenly do not include a Nationwide Federal Criminal search in their criminal screening packages. However, Nationwide Federal Criminal searches are a pivotal component of creating an employee criminal screening program. The Nationwide Federal Criminal, County Criminal along with a Multijurisdictional Criminal Database search provide a comprehensive view of an applicant’s criminal history, enabling employers to make well-informed hiring decisions. The Nationwide Federal Criminal and County Criminal searches work so well together because they differ significantly in scope, details they reveal, and their importance in the hiring process.
Nationwide Federal Criminal Searches: A Broad Overview
A Nationwide Federal Criminal search is an extensive review of an individual's criminal record across all federal districts in the United States. This search checks records from federal courts for crimes that are federal in nature or those that were prosecuted at the federal level. These offenses include drug trafficking, embezzlement, bank robbery, kidnapping, tax evasion, and other crimes against the government. These crimes would not be found in a County Criminal search. For example, possession of 500 grams of cocaine or more could be tried at the federal level rather than the statewide or local level. This broader scope increases the chance of uncovering any potential red flags that might affect the individual's role in your organization.
While Nationwide Federal Criminal searches provide a broad view from a federal level, their limitation is they do not include those local state and county records. If a crime was tried in statewide or local level, it would be missing.
County Criminal Searches: A Detailed Local Perspective
On the other hand, a County Criminal search focuses on detailed records within specific county jurisdictions. This type of search will provide information on crimes committed within that county, including misdemeanors and felonies. When accompanied by a Multijurisdictional database search and an Address Search, County Criminal searches provide detailed records of an individual's criminal history in the locations they have lived, worked, or travelled.
While county criminal searches offer valuable insights, their limitation lies in the fact they only include cases at the statewide and local levels.
The Symbiotic Relationship
Understanding the difference between these two types of criminal background checks and how they work together is crucial when structuring your organization's pre-employment screening process. While county criminal searches offer an in-depth look at local criminal records, they fall short of providing the whole picture. Conversely, a Nationwide Federal Criminal search, though broad, lack the detailed records found in a county-level search.
To maximize the benefits of a comprehensive employee criminal background check, a combination of both checks along with a multi-jurisdiction criminal database search ensures a comprehensive understanding of a candidate's criminal history. Using a Consumer Reporting Agency like MyHRScreens will ensure you incorporate the searches you need in a FCRA compliant manner. This will allow you make the most informed, confident decisions about your prospective employees. This symbiotic relationship fosters a more secure, compliant, and trustworthy work environment for all.