Sex offenses are among the most serious crimes a background check can uncover. Recently, we have heard from some HR professionals who thought they are doing enough to find sex offender records with local and national criminal searches. In some instances, they expect a National Criminal Database Search, with all of its vast sources, to include all sex offender registries and sources. That is not always the case. With that misinformation in mind, a separate sex offender registry background check may seem redundant.It is not uncommon to find other background screening companies lowering the cost of a background check by simply saying that a National Criminal Database Search “includes sex offenders.” This approach has left many HR professionals unaware of the potential gap in their background screening program.
The truth is, just because your National Criminal Database Search includes some sex offender data, it does not mean it will have the sex offender information on your candidate. A National Sex Offender Registry is a “live” search of sex offender specific records provided by individual state and local registries. If you are getting your sex offender information through a National Criminal Database Search, you might be missing out on sex offenses or critical crime details.
Often sex offenders relocate, sometimes frequently, for a variety of reasons, including moves to different states with different regulations surrounding sex offender registry reporting. A search targeting specific county criminal records and state sex offender registries may create gaps in search areas. Would you want to be looking in the wrong jurisdiction? Augmenting criminal searches with a National Sex Offender Registry search creates more chances to find a sex offender who may fall through the gaps in a background check.
Any HR professional concerned with finding sex offender information may benefit from a layered approach to sex offender background checks, combining the information sources of a national criminal database and criminal searches with a dedicated sex offender registry. If you are not doing a real time search of the National Sex Offender Registry or are unsure of what you are doing, schedule a consultation to start exploring your screening options.