What is a background check?
A background check is an investigation into a person’s professional and personal history that validates or disproves their character and identity.
A typical background check includes criminal records, education and employment history, civil records, references, and more depending on the situation and individual.
- Why conduct a background check?
- Commonly Detected Lies
- How do you conduct a background check?
- Problems and Limitations of Online Background Checks
- Working with an Investigator
- Information You Need
- Criminal vs Complete Background Checks
- 5 Reasons Why Background Checks are Crucial for Recruitment
Why conduct a background check?You may want to have a person submit to a background investigation before:
- Hiring a new employee
- Taking on a new tenant
- Making an investment
- Hiring a nanny
- Selecting a public official (i.e. police chief or fire chief)
There is no standard or routine background check. The investigation should be tailored to your areas of concern, reasons for finding out more, and your overall needs. Whether you're hiring a new employee, looking for a nanny, or are about to make a new investment, a background check can ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Commonly Detected LiesPeople often provide false information on the following:
- Education history and degrees
- Professional background and work history
- Licenses and professional organization membership
- Omitting prior experience to hide a grievance or lawsuit
How do you conduct a background check?
There are automated background checks available via the internet, but that information is often incomplete or inaccurate. Each record, whether found through the internet or another source, needs to be verified for validity. A private investigator can provide detailed and accurate information about a person and ensure that the information is accurate.
Problems and Limitations of Online Background Checks
- Not all records are available online
- The information may not be accurate or up-to-date
- The validity of the record still needs to be verified
- Does not include checking references, past employers, degrees, etc.
Working with an Investigator
Working with an investigator is the best way to ensure that the information you receive is accurate and reliable. A background check investigator can also give you further insight about the person's character through interviews and looking into the person's professional and personal history.
Information You NeedHaving as much information as possible can make the background investigation a quicker process. Some information you may want to have:
- Full name with middle initial
- Date and location of birth
- Social Security Number
- Schools attended and awarded degrees
- Past employers
Criminal vs Complete Background Checks
Two common investigations are criminal and complete background checks. Criminal Background Check: The sole purpose of a criminal background check is to determine whether or not the person has a criminal record.
Complete Background Check: A complete background investigation involves looking at all public records that are available. This can include driving records, education and employment history, and more.
A criminal check does have its limitations. For example, in some states a DUI shows up in a driving record but not in a criminal record.