FAQs: Background Screening

What do you mean by custom background screening program?
Trace Investigations will work with your company to create a background screening program to meet your specific human resource needs, and which will be in compliance with state and federal employment laws, adding an important level of due-diligence to your hiring process.

We recognize every company is diff­erent. This means that every company is going to have different hiring needs. A local house painting company might hire one new person a year. A luxury resort might be hiring thousands a year. Each company wants to make the right hire to avoid lost training time, reduce ‑financial risk, and ensure a safe working environment for its employees. You need a screening partner who features a “not one size fits all” approach for clients. Trace Investigations will work with you to create a customized screening program which will reflect your hiring needs.

Under the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Trace Investigations is considered a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) when providing background screening services for employment purposes. A screening report is mostly comprised of public information contained in government records, which are compiled, maintained and indexed by the government agency which was searched. We cannot independently verify the completeness or accuracy of the underlying government records. Our ­firm conducts research using the record indexes and books, court files, and/or the public access computer terminal provided by the relevant agency. Motor vehicle information is retrieved in compliance with the Drivers Privacy Protection Act. Before any adverse action is taken on any information submitted in a screening report, our clients are obligated to comply with relevant provisions of the FCRA and state employment laws. Trace Investigations, Inc. is not a law fi­rm and we do not offer legal advice. We urge all clients to consult with legal counsel when establishing an employment screening program.

What is the difference between what you do and what I can just look-up online?
Not every criminal record is accessible online. A lot of the information you will find on the web will be outdated, incomplete or incorrect. Knowing the limitations of online databases and rural jurisdictions allows Trace Investigations to provide you the most thorough reports possible.

What does it take to start a screening program?
Every background screening client of Trace Investigations has a primary point of contact to assist throughout the onboarding of becoming a screening partner. Your Trace Investigations client manager will work closely with your human resources or security department to make sure that the implementation of your background screening program is seamless. Throughout the screening process the client manager will provide updates if there appears to be an issue which could delay a report past our normal turnaround time. Our analysts’ knowledge of the court system and limitations in certain jurisdictions becomes your knowledge. We provide you with over 40 years combined experience in investigations and background screening. Our attention to detail means that the analysts at Trace Investigations review each piece of data for accuracy. Nothing is returned without review to ensure your state and federal compliance needs are being met regarding the reporting of criminal records. Our analysts regularly attend continuing education seminars and webinars in order to be current on the ever-changing laws regarding the background screening industry, and when needed we consult with an attorney who specializes in employment law.

How are reports compiled?
Trace Investigations utilizes The Flexible Research System screening platform which utilizes “elite technology interwoven with expansive data sources.” This platform provides our analysts unparalleled efficiency and is regularly updated by our information technology partners.  It also provides a report format which is easy to read and understand for our clients as they consider their hiring options. Companies relying on out of date screening platforms significantly hinder the ability for background screening analysts to analyze data quickly, easily and efficiently. This means slower turnaround times on reports and lost revenue for your company when positions remain open.

How do you keep up with state and federal employment laws?
Trace Investigations maintains training through membership in many organizations such as the Indiana Association of Background Screeners, the National Association of Professional Background Screeners and the Society for Human Resource Management, among others. Regularly scheduled, educational webinars keep analysts at Trace Investigations current on research methods, compliance issues, and technology advancements in the screening world, and we attend annual national conferences.

How does your team evaluate information?
Our analysts also have “real world” experience in communicating with court clerks and courthouse researchers. They are versed in evaluating criminal records and will contact courts of record for clarification, or even to provide information when a clerical error at the court is uncovered. We regularly encounter discrepancies and anomalies in case dockets and court files, requiring access to the original source materials. Our relationships with the stewards of these records are critical to providing you with accurate and reliable information on a job applicant.

How much do you charge?
Fees vary. Just as there are various background screening components, there are different levels of fees and expenses. We have two primary “packages” that most of our clients use; the “Regular” screening is for hourly workers and a “Full” screening provides a more detailed background check. Each package can be customized. In addition, we provide new clients with forms they can use for new job applicants. Our forms comply with federal and state laws regarding the rules and regulations governing pre- and post-employment background screening, and they are reviewed and updated regularly by an employment law attorney. Some investigations will necessitate further research such as retrieval of archived cases, court fees, and extended searches in some jurisdictions. Extended research and special investigations will incur fees accordingly.

What type of payment do you accept?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal and checks.

What is your turnaround time on a background screening?
Turnaround times vary; usually 1-3 days. Rush service may have an extra cost. Some state courts are clerk-only searches and wait times can extend to a week or more.

How do we contact you?
You can always call our office from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday (phone 812-334-8857, direct line 812-333-8830). Our investigators have cell phone numbers and email addresses printed on their business cards, and often communicate directly with clients during cases. You can also go to our contact page on this web site and send us a message. If you have a legal matter you think an investigator can help you with, we want to hear from you.


To eliminate doubt that could jeopardize the outcome of a serious matter please call us at 812-334-8857 for a FREE consultation.