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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some FAQs that are commonly asked by employers. We encourage you to explore the FAQs to gain a better understanding about the background screening process. As we are here as a resource and to educate employers, if you have any questions that are not addressed below, do not hesitate to contact us at 866-298-3716 or guidance@junglesource.com, as we are available to assist anytime.

arrow Why shouldn't I just use a free online background check instead of using a consumer reporting agency like Jungle Source?
   
arrow Why does my current background screening vendor send me reports with information that doesn't belong to my applicant?
   
arrow When selecting a type of background check, what option is better between a County, State, Federal, or National Criminal Search?
   
arrow How many years does a typical background check cover?
   
arrow How do I initiate a background check?
   
arrow Must I have the applicant sign a release form?
   
arrow Do I have to send over the release form each time I order a background check?
   
arrow Why do some companies have hidden fees?
   
arrow Do I have to notify an applicant if I am not hiring them because of their background check results?
   
arrow What is the average cost of a background check?
   
arrow How can I verify my applicant’s education or employment history?
   
arrow How long does a background check take?
   
arrow What causes a background check to take longer than expected?  What can cause delays?
   
arrow Why do I need my applicant’s Social Security Number and Birth Date?
arrow My client is asking us to do a background check. What type should we run to be sure we are compliant with my client’s screens?
   
arrow What can I do to help speed up the turnaround time on my order?
   
arrow Is Jungle Source a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners?
   
arrow Will Jungle Source assist with keeping my pre-employment screening program compliant according to all state & federal laws and regulations?
   
arrow Will Jungle Source supply me with all of the state and federal required forms?
   
arrow How do I get started?
   
arrow Does Jungle Source have sign up or maintenance fees?
   
arrow How am I billed?
   
arrow Does Jungle Source handle any other types of
pre-employment screening besides criminal background checks?
   
arrow Can Jungle Source manage my drug testing program?
   
arrow Why doesn’t Jungle Source’s National Criminal Database search always come back instantly?
   
arrow Can I enter the background checks online and track the results?

Q: Why shouldn't I just use a free online background check instead of using a consumer reporting agency like Jungle Source?
 
A: You know the old adages “You get what you pay for” or “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is”.  The same thing holds true with background checks.  While there are some Websites that advertise free background checks, in the end, you are likely to find yourself out of compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA - the federal law that governs background checks), as the only information you are likely to obtain from a free source would be a database search that contains some criminal information.  However, you will not know how accurate the information is. The FCRA requires employers to make hiring decisions based on the most accurate and current information available, which requires verifying database results at the courthouse.

Q: Why does my current background screening vendor send me reports with information that doesn’t belong to my applicant?
 
A: Some background screening companies do not verify the information (e.g. name, DOB, address, SSN, DL#, etc.) before the report is completed and sent back to you, which can leave you open to liability if you are making hiring decisions based on information that may or may not have been your applicant’s.  At Jungle Source, we pride ourselves on vetting and filtering all results, so there is no guess work once you receive a completed report, as it will be delivered in compliance with federal and state laws. 

Q: When selecting a type of background check, what option is better between a County, State, Federal, or National Criminal Search?
 
A: It really depends on your organizations comfort level with risk, as each search is slightly different.  Below you will find a summary for each search:
  • County Criminal Search: The searches are very good, available in every county, and considered the best source for obtaining the most accurate and current information available.  This search involves searching a specific county courthouse where an applicant has worked or lived for derogatory information.
  • Statewide Criminal Search: This search involves searching the state repository for criminal records that have been forwarded from the individual counties in the particular state.  This is a cost effective way to search many jurisdictions in a state, but is only as good as the systems in place at each county to forward results to the state repository.  In addition, a statewide search is not available in every state, which can impact your ability to have consistent searches.
  • Federal District Criminal Search: These searches are different than other searches, as this search covers 93 federal district courts, which are completely separate from the county courts. This search covers crimes against the United States or crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the federal court system.
  • National Criminal Database Search: This is a relatively cost effective tool that scans over 500 million records from jurisdictions around the country and includes searching the sex offender registries. While this search can be performed as a stand-alone, it is recommended to use this search in combination with county criminal search or statewide criminal search.
While cost and risk management are major factors when deciding which search to conduct, background checks are most effective when combining multiple criminal searches.  Feel free to contact us to discuss these search positions in more detail at 866-298-3716 or guidance@junglesource.com

Q: How many years does a typical background check cover?
 
A: The past seven years, but more extensive searches are available for additional fees.

Q: How do I initiate a background check?
 
A: Once you have an account set up, you can initiate an order by logging into our secure portal with your username and password, click “New Order”, enter the applicant’s information (name, DOB, SSN and current address) and click “Submit”.  Once completed you will receive an email notification.

Q: Must I have the applicant sign a release form?
 
A: Yes.  Jungle Source will provide you with a complimentary set of compliance documents, which includes the Disclosure/Authorization Form; however under the FCRA it is ultimately the employer’s responsibility to ensure the Disclosure/Authorization Form has been signed prior to ordering a background check.

Q: Do I have to send over the release form each time I order a background check?
 
A:  It depends on the background screening company’s requirements. At Jungle Source, we do not require the release form each time unless the order contains an employment or education verification. A majority of schools and employers require a copy before they will release information.

Q: Why do some companies have hidden fees?
 
A: Some background screening companies do not disclose if they have additional fees on your order.  However, there are a couple of services that require information to be obtained via a 3rd party that assess fees to access their records. To view current 3rd party access fees click here. You can be confident that any access fees are not adjusted by Jungle Source in any way.

Q: Do I have to notify an applicant if I am not hiring them because of their background check results? 
 
A: Yes.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires employers to notify any applicant whose background report contains derogatory information, which may result in the applicant not being hired.  Below are the simple steps to take.
  • The applicant is sent a pre-adverse action letter, a copy of the report, and a copy of their rights under federal law (FCRA Summary of Your Rights document). 
  • Provide a "reasonable amount of time" to allow the applicant to receive the letter and contact you or Jungle Source to dispute any information within the report.
  • If no contact is made within the reasonable amount of time, you may proceed with the adverse action letter if you decided not to move forward with the applicant.

Q: What is the average cost of a background check?
 
A: Background checks can be as little as a few dollars and go up into the hundreds of dollars.  However, a typical background check averages US$35.

Q: How can I verify my applicant’s education or employment history?
 
A: To get started, you need to independently verify your applicant’s employer or school and contact the Registrar’s Office or Human Resources Department to clarify their procedures.  Assuming adequate information is provided by the applicant, verification is straightforward.  While an employer can perform verifications on their own, Jungle Source has staff standing by if you would like our team to process verifications on your behalf.
Note: Our verifications are handled internally and are never outsourced.

Q: How long does a background check take? 
 
A: The short answer is “it depends.”  Background checks can take as little as a few seconds, a few minutes, or up to several days depending on what service offerings you have ordered.  In general, thorough background checks take approximately 48-72 hours to complete.  At Jungle Source, we have been able to return over 95% of our orders in less than 72 hours.  If you are experiencing problematic turnaround times, do not hesitate to ask why, as we would be more than happy to educate you on the nuances within the industry that can cause a delay.

Q: What causes a background check to take longer than expected?  What can cause delays?
 
A: While the typical background check will take 48-72 hours, some orders exceed that time frame.  Some causes of background check delays include:
    • Incorrect information provided on the order
    • Common names that develop many possible records and must be combed through
    • Searches with possible records that require a court employee to pull a file
    • State and county budget cuts that have caused courts to lay-off hundreds of employees that used to pull court files
    • Courthouses that operate as “Court Clerk Search” counties, meaning all searches must be conducted by the court clerk.  Example: Santa Cruz, CA; All Counties in Wyoming, etc.
    • Extreme weather (floods, snow, hurricanes, etc.)
    • International Searches
    • Retrieval of archived records from an offsite storage facility
If you have a question on a specific jurisdiction or order, do not hesitate to contact us and we will explain the cause(s) of any delay.

Q: Why do I need my applicant’s Social Security Number and Birth Date?
 
A: We use a Social Security Number (SSN) to run a SSN Trace that indicates if the number is valid and where it was issued.  In addition, the SSN Trace provides address information for the applicant, which identifies the jurisdictions to search for derogatory information.  This is a great tool as it removes reliance on the applicant in case they have something to hide and deliberately provide fictitious addresses on their application or release form.  The Date of Birth (DOB) is very important and used to help link a criminal record to the applicant.  When derogatory information is located during a court search, our team will locate at least two identifiers (Name, DOB, SSN, DL#, Address, etc.) to link the record to the applicant.  On felony records, we attempt to obtain three identifiers.

Q: My client is asking us to do a background check. What type should we run to be sure we are compliant with my client’s screens? 
 
A: Contact one of our team members to discuss your specific needs. 866-298-3716 or guidance@junglesource.com

Q: What can I do to help speed up the turnaround time on my order? 
 
A:
  • Ensure all information entered is accurate
  • Ensure all required fields are completed
  • Provide a middle name
  • Enter the order as early in the day as possible and avoid waiting until the next morning to enter the order, as field researchers log-in to retrieve search requests in the early morning hours before heading to the courts for the rest of the day.

Q: Is Jungle Source a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners? 
 
A: Yes, Jungle Source has been a proud member of the NAPBS since 2007.

Q: Will Jungle Source assist with keeping my pre-employment screening program compliant according to all state & federal laws and regulations? 
 
A: Yes.  Jungle Source has an active company values program of which one of our core values is “Compliance”.  We pride ourselves on processing your background check orders in compliance with the federal and state reporting requirements.  This is very important as there are some companies that will forward all kinds of information to you and leave it up to you to determine if the information is your applicant’s.  Rest assured the information you receive from Jungle Source can be relied upon to help make hiring decisions.

Q: Will Jungle Source supply me with all of the state and federal required forms? 
 
A: Yes.  Every client of Jungle Source receives a complimentary set of documents needed to perform background checks.  The forms include the Disclosure/Authorization (Release) Form, FCRA Summary of Your Rights, CA Law Notice, NY Article 23-A Notice, Identity Theft Notice, Notice to Users, as well as special release forms for the several states that have restrictions on ordering credit reports.  Note:  These documents are also available in Spanish.

Q: How do I get started? 
 
A: It’s easy!  You can either call us at 866-298-3716 or you can fill out our request a quote form and a representative will contact you within one hour, M-F.

Q: Does Jungle Source have sign up or maintenance fees?
 
A: No.

Q: How am I billed?
 
A: Jungle Source clients are either billed via U.S. mail or email.  Invoices are processed two times per month.

Q: Does Jungle Source handle any other types of pre-employment screening besides criminal background checks?
 
A: Yes.  While criminal background checks are the most common type of screening conducted, we offer a variety of other background screening options.

Q: Can Jungle Source manage my drug testing program?
 
A: Yes.  We currently work with eScreen and Quest Diagnostics for the majority of our DOT and non-DOT drug testing needs.  These partnerships provide our clients with access to over 7,000 clinics across the country, where we can send an applicant for a urine drug test and get results within hours.  Or, we can send an employee down the street for a random DOT drug test.  No matter the program or logistics, Jungle Source can manage your testing program cost-effectively.

Q: Why doesn’t Jungle Source’s National Criminal Database search always come back instantly? 
 
A: At Jungle Source, we pride ourselves on performing quality searches and working within the FCRA’s guidelines, while working with the industry’s best practices.  In addition, one of our core values is “Accuracy” which is paramount in our industry.  To keep you in compliance with the FCRA and provide you the most accurate information available, Jungle Source initiates a County Criminal Search to verify any possible records that appear on the National Criminal Database Search. So, while searches with no matches are completed instantly, searches with possible record matches are not, so we can initiate a County Criminal Search at no additional charge.

Q: Can I enter the background checks online and track the results?  
 
A: Yes.  Using your secure username and password, you are able to access our state-of-the-art web-based interface 24/7, allowing you to enter and track your background check orders any time.

 

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