APSCREEN FAQs, frequently asked questions


Here are some of the most common questions requested of APSCREEN.

Q: Why should our company use APSCREEN?

A: APSCREEN is the oldest, continuously operated Factual Employment Screening firm in the U.S.

Since 1980, APSCREEN has provided consultation, education and employment screening to thousands of large, medium and small firms. Our Founder, Thomas C. Lawson has been referred to as one of the world's foremost authorities on the topic of Factual Employment Screening, and is presently the Country's most recognized expert witness on matters of Improper Employment Screening, and Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance. (Source – The Complete Workplace Violence Prevention Reporter, Gaming and Wagering Business, Public Personnel Management)

Our firm is a 30-year-old company in an industry that only started in the late 1990s
Why wouldn't your company use APSCREEN?

Q: How do you conduct your Criminal research?

A: Since 1980, APSCREEN has provided Criminal searches on only one basis – hand-searched records at the applicable jurisdiction(s) of pertinence to the residence history of the subject.

APSCREEN does not use database criminal checks, nor do we subscribe to the term "on-site" searches, since "on-site" is an industry term, and not a true representation of the search you will get. Only hand searches at the applicable jurisdiction will reveal the true history of a subject's criminal convictions in a particular jurisdiction.

Additionally, APSCREEN chooses to search all applicable Court levels in the jurisdiction, ensuring a complete report of a subject's conviction history, whether or not the subject has been convicted of a misdemeanor, felony, or federal crime.

Q: How does APSCREEN know where to look for criminal convictions?

A: Good question! APSCREEN conducts an extensive, thorough multi-step Candidate Identification Process in order to fully and thoroughly identify the candidate's name, prior address history, aliases, and so on. This ID process is conducted in conjunction with proprietary forms provided to our clients who initiate the ID process. APSCREEN's process is to eliminate candidacy during the application process in order to provide the employer with a retaliation-proof method of screening out undesirable candidates because of the omission of material information pertaining to their identity.

Instead of using a simple social security trace, as most of our competitors use, APSCREEN has compiled a proprietary assemblage of no less than nine identification products (at a minimum) in order to thoroughly identify the candidate. It is no wonder that APSCREEN discovers omitted information on approximately 60% of the applications processed on a daily basis.

Q: Is APSCREEN compliant with all applicable Privacy statutes?
A: APSCREEN is not only compliant with the FACTA, FCRA; CCRRA, and G-L-B, but has extensive published works on the topic. Our Founder, Tom Lawson regularly speaks writes articles and gives expert witness testimony on the topic.

APSCREEN not only provides it's clients with state-of-the art forms and procedures designed to screen prospective employees, but is well known in the Consumer Reporting Industry as being on the cutting edge of forward-compliance, a concept foreign to it's competitors. APSCREEN was getting signed consents from its clients before most employment screening firms were in business. We set the standard, and that is why we continue to get re-certified.

Q: Why is APSCREEN's pricing so different than its competitors?

A: APSCREEN is significantly less expensive than our nearest legitimate competitors when comparing exact products which actually makes us the least expensive provider of FCRA-compliant background checks available.

What most fail to factor in when comparing prices are the corporate national advertising campaigns, commissioned sales people, trade shows, networking cruises and other astronomical selling expenses buried in the cost of what many times is an inferior background check.

In order to sell less expensive and/or non-compliant background checks, what suffers isn’t the country club membership, entertainment & travel budgets, or the boss' Mercedes payment -- it is the cost to develop the information and provide the service. That’s why the concept of “contemporaneous notice” as a way out of going to the courthouse was such a gift to non-compliant providers, or so they thought and until the FTC and the EEOC stepped in.

When the CEO of your background check company chooses to personally determine if there is a fit between you and him the cost savings can be upwards of 40%+. APSCREEN enjoys a 99% client referral rate so we don’t have to advertise. We are not salesman, we are Factual Employment Screeners.

The employment screening business is filled with service providers who are more interested in selling data than screening applicants.

If you want to keep your company safe from negligent hiring lawsuits, what you want is what APSCREEN has been doing since 1980. We thoroughly thoroughly, carefully and concisely identify the candidate including daily courthouse visits to hand-search records that determine if a discovered criminal record is reportable under FCRA Sections 607 and 613a2.

Q: Why are there so many employment-screening firms out there, I saw over 20+ vendors at the last SHRM conference?

A: Why not? It's an easy business to get into and it is profitable. In fact, a person can be in the employment screening business in their living room, since just about everything they will need to resell to you is available to them over the Internet, or several "on-line" type of information (database) purveyors. Problem is, you never know where the information is really coming from, do you?

Q: OK, how do I know where APSCREEN gets its information?

A: Simple. As a member of many national and worldwide professional research and investigative organizations, APSCREEN is readily accountable, and is known to conduct research not only by it's clients, but also by it's sources, located at every Court in the land. As Charter members of the Public Record Provider Network, and long standing members of the National Public Record Research Association, we are in the Courts, daily searching other records, so criminal records are a natural for us to research. We also research criminal records for other firms who don't want to, or don't have the resources to search them themselves. For us, research is easier than compilation, so we elect to research, not compile.

Also, since no database compilation is ever 100% complete, when migrated into a centralized data format, we only see problems with databases, because, anything less than 100% is incomplete, which results in an incompetent search.

Additionally, APSCREEN, as a Bureau-Certified Consumer Reporting Agency has direct relationships with all 50 state's Motor Vehicle Departments, and all three major credit bureaus, as well as over 900 other repository-based providers for identity reports, and other information types such as UCC searches, litigation histories, etc.

Well known Labor Lawyer Lee Paterson once told our Founder: "Your best selling point, Tom, is to tell your prospective customers that you've never been sued".

Q: How can APSCREEN provide such a high level of quality, at admittedly, half of the price of its nearest competitor?

A: Buying power. We buy Credit reports at sometimes one-third of the market rate because we are a licensed credit bureau, and because we have been buying these reports for 33+ years.

We also buy our driving histories at a fraction of our competitors, and when buying criminal records, we only use fellow PRRN, or NPRRA research firms which all discount to each other because we are an Industry Cooperative.
We also establish a national norm for pricing, which affords the customer an anticipated cost for all of their reports, rather than an unpredictable cost structure, which is hard to budget for. Simply put, this means that we have an average price for criminal checks, which could be high in some areas, and low in other areas. This means that the customer benefits from average pricing, rather than area-sensitive pricing. When you have thousands of clients in all parts of the Country, the offsets exist for available profit for us, no matter where we do the research. A big client base benefits all of the clients, equally.

Q: How about Customer Service? Do you pamper your customers, or treat them like Sheep, with low-paid telephone clerks.

A: We let our customers answer that question, just ask us for a reference!