With each passing year over the last few decades, there's been a greater emphasis put on security in order to protect countries, government offices, and businesses from everything from fraud to acts of terrorism. Pre-employment screening is an integral part of that system. Not only do employers want to know your background, they want to make certain that you are who you say you are.
Which is why fingerprinting prior to employment has become so common.
Why do you need fingerprinting?
Essentially, while it is getting harder to change your state and your identity and leave the "old you" behind, there are still enough loopholes and disconnects between the ways that the various states track and record identifying information that people do fall through the cracks -- or figure out how to find one and slip in it on purpose.
It's also easy for two people to be confused for each other if they even share the same name -- which can be highly detrimental to you if the other person has a criminal background. In particular, if you're applying for one of the many types of jobs where you have to have a "clean" record -- like a security position in a bank or an athletic coach at a charter school for troubled teens.
Because fingerprints are unique to each individual (even identical twins), they remain the single most-effective barrier against identity fraud.
Should you get ink or digital fingerprinting done?
Generally, you have to pay for your own fingerprinting and background check if you're applying for a job. You usually have a choice of methods: the traditional ink method and the digital method. Ink fingerprinting still remains the accepted standard everywhere and can be used across state lines. It is also usually easier to find someplace that provides ink fingerprinting services and is less expensive than digital fingerprinting. On the other hand, digital fingerprinting is usually less messy (no ink) and generally more accurate than the traditional method -- but it might not be accepted by your employer -- which means you should check before you choose that method.
It's also important to note one drawback that can be frustrating for those who are job-seeking and exploring multiple opportunities: each time you have to send a set of fingerprints in, you usually have to have them retaken. While digital services may save a copy for you, not all employers will accept a copy of the original. That means that you'll also have to pay for the service each time -- which could make the ink option more attractive.
For more information, talk to a fingerprinting service in your area today.