ABS Screening has addresses some of the most asked questions concerning applicant screening by hiring managers. If a concern of yours is not covered, contact us and a representative will answer your questions.

Before establishing a screening account

Q - If a credit report is not part of a screening program, does the Fair Credit Reporting Act ( FCRA ) apply?
A - Yes, all employment-screening companies are full Consumer Reporting Agencies, regulated by the FCRA and all screening reports are Consumer Reports regardless of content.

Q - Is it acceptable to only screen applicants you don't know or have not been referred by a friend?
A - No, once you start screening job applicants, screen all applicants you intend to make job offers, to prevent discrimination. Create a written company screening policy and apply uniform evaluation standards to all job candidates. Screen all applicants in the same job classifications uniformly. Always adhere to the FCRA standards and requirements.

Q - How long does a typical screen take?
A - An average screening report takes 72 hours. Name matches on public records may slow down the process while court staff research personal identifiers to determine exact identity of the subject on the record. All references are attempted by telephone, however if faxed or mailed requests are required, the process may also be slowed down. Emphasis is put on accuracy and expediency. Partial reports and status reports are available until the report is completed.

Q - What information from the applicant is required?
A - A signed authorization form with first, middle and last names, past names (maiden, prior married names and date changes), address, SSN, DOB, Driver License number and issuing state and references to be verified. As required by the FCRA, the authorization form must be a "stand alone" form and can not be combined with other forms such as an application form.

Q - Is it legal to obtain applicant's personal information such as DOB, SSN and past names before making a job offer?
A - Yes, as long as the information is used exclusively for screening purposes and maintained in the strictest confidence by authorized personnel. State and federal regulatory and inspecting agencies understand that pre-employment screening is legal and necessary. The applicant's personal information is required, for identification purposes only, by the Consumer Reporting Agency to conduct the background check.

Q - What if an applicant refuses to provide the necessary personal information or authorization required for screening?
A - It is every individual's right to refuse to provide personal information or to refuse to authorize the screening. However, if it is your organization's policy to screen applicants for the job classification, the applicant 's refusal would disqualify him or her from that employment opportunity.

Establishing a Screening Account

Q - What information is required to set up an account?
A - Since collection, storage and dissemination of all employment screening information are regulated by the FCRA, ABS Screening must qualify your organization as an authorized User of Consumer Reports. Legal business name, address, contact numbers, Federal ID number, License number, and authorized client contacts are required. If using a credit card, service may begin immediately. If applying for services on credit ( monthly billing ) a bank reference and credit references are required. There may be a 24 to 48 hour delay for verifying financial information for credit accounts.

Q - Is a contract required to establish an account?
A - Under the FCRA, a signed Subscriber Certification of Use for Consumer Reports must be on file with ABS before any Consumer Reports may be issued to the user. This certification does not bind or obligate the user to ABS Screening, but simply certifies to ABS that the user understands the FCRA and agrees to comply with this federal law. American Business Services does have a User Agreement, but again this agreement does not obligate the user to ABS Screening.

Q - How is payment for services handled?
A - Completed services are invoiced for at the end of each month, terms: net 15 days.

Starting Screening Services

Q - How are screening requests made?
A - Subject information can be entered directly into ABS Screening's system via our secure website, or can be submitted by email or fax. Screening components can be selected a la carte, but are more often part of a standard program to ensure uniformity of screening. Completed reports can be reviewed online or delivered by email or fax.

Q - What is the recommended retention and storage of screening releases and reports?
A - The authorization release form and screening reports are sensitive and highly confidential materials regulated by the FCRA . These materials should be stored separately from other personnel files in a secured means, available only to authorized staff. Retention of these reports should be the same as other personnel files and only accessed for official inspection audits or in response to a negligent hiring or retention civil lawsuit.

Q - What is the best procedure for initiating an applicant-screening program?
A - To ensure standardization, uniformity and conformity with the FCRA , a written company policy should be established. ABS Screening can assist new clients with creating a legal and proven company policy.





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