Background checks are conducted for many reasons. They are used to screen, pre-qualify, or confirm employment candidates, as well as determine whether an individual is fit to serve in certain positions. Most employers use them to screen or pre-qualify applicants and employees before they are hired or placed on the job. It’s also used to check references and verify information provided by a candidate or employee that may be required for verification purposes.
Many people think background checks are only for criminal records, but they can include any type of record including civil, child protection, and driving records. A background check can be ordered through your local police department, county court, district attorney, or state agency. If you need a background check done online, there are several companies who specialize in conducting these types of searches. You’ll find links below to some of these companies.
The most basic type of background check is one that looks up the person doing the search. This type of inquiry is usually conducted over the phone and doesn’t require much time, effort, or cost. The person doing the searching will simply provide all the necessary information about themselves (name, address, social security number, etc.) and then wait while the information is sent out to the local database where it can be checked. For example: when a prospective new employee applies to work at a company, the hiring manager will contact the employer’s human resources office to request a background check on the applicant.
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If the company does not have the ability to perform a full background check on the potential hire, they must send a general inquiry to a third party company for a “firm” background check. The firm background check will take longer than a simple inquiry, because it requires more detailed information from both parties. Both the name of the applicant and current/former employer(s) must be provided, along with dates of employment and termination.
A full background check involves contacting the local law enforcement division, county clerk, or state motor vehicle department. These agencies perform criminal history checks, which includes arrests, convictions, and pending charges. They also conduct child abuse reports, sex offender registrations, and check drivers’ licenses for outstanding traffic tickets.
For instance, if a woman applying for a job wants to see her criminal record prior to being interviewed, she would go through the process described above. Once she has been verified as having no criminal record, she would be asked to submit to a drug test. She would also be asked about her past employment history and how long she had worked in that field. The hiring manager may then decide to offer her the position based on their findings.
In addition to the criminal background check, it’s important to know what kind of background checks are being performed. Some states mandate certain types of background checks. For instance, California requires employers to inquire into a job applicant’s credit history, criminal history, and driving record. Other states may only require a criminal record search, so if that is all you’re looking for, you don’t need to worry about a full background check. In most cases, it is best to order a full background check.
Most states allow individuals to look up their own criminal record, but most don’t allow employers to do this. However, some states require businesses to report criminal activity to the government when the crime was committed within the last seven years. This means employers should always check a potential employee’s record before making an offer of employment.
Although background checks are typically conducted by a third party, the person requesting the check may still run into problems if the individual being searched has changed his or her name, moved away, or is involved in a legal battle. To avoid trouble, make sure to ask the employer to provide you with the full name, date of birth, and Social Security Number. Also, if the individual is using a different name, he or she may want to change it prior to the check being completed.
Employees who wish to hide their criminal record can purchase fake names and Social Security numbers. There are even websites that sell these fraudulent identities to those who want to conceal their criminal record. Although this can be convenient, hiring managers should be aware that the employee may have a previous conviction under another name.
Because background checks can be costly, especially when ordering a check online, it’s important to choose wisely. Before selecting a service, ask yourself the following questions:
– What kind of background check is being requested?
– When will the results be delivered?
– Will I have access to the results if needed?
– How much will it cost?
– Is the provider reputable?
– Are there any fees?
There are dozens of companies providing background checks, so it can be difficult to decide which ones to trust. Ask friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers for recommendations. Read customer reviews and ratings online. Look at company websites and blogs. Contact local law enforcement, county clerks, and state motor vehicle departments.
Finally, if you plan to use a background check service to screen job applicants, it’s important to understand what information will be made available to the employer. Most services will provide the name, date of birth, Social Security Number, home address, and other identifying information. There will be no mention of arrest or conviction records, however.
If you are interested in learning more about conducting background checks, check out these articles:
– Understanding Background Checks
– Conducting a Background Check
– Hiring Tips for Employers
– Protect Your Company Information With Background Checks