How To Conduct A Background Check
It has become more important than ever for businesses and organizations to know the information job applicants or volunteers provide in their applications and resumes is true. Employment experience, academic degrees and other information people submit to you may or may not be true. A background check can offer a way to know you can rely on the people who work for you.
Why Run A Background Check?
How do you know the information someone includes in a resume or job application is true? The simple answer is that you do not know, and this is one of the primary reasons organizations routinely conduct background checks as part of the hiring process.
A background check could reveal that the person whose advanced academic degree from a prestigious university you are about to hire never attended college. It could also reveal that a person hired as a sales representative going into the homes and businesses of your customers turns up in a sex offender search. The potential liability issues for your business or organization are frightening.
Whether protecting your organization, your employees or your customers from the lies and deceit people use to apply for a job, it is essential to know as much as possible about the people who work for you. The negative publicity generated from firing a key executive because of false credentials you did not verify can hurt your organization.
A people search conducted by various background check services can turn up an undisclosed theft conviction or negative financial information on a new employee. Knowing the truth might prevent your organization from suffering losses if the person is working in a position of trust.
What Information Is Found In A Background Check?
The information resulting from a background search of a person depends upon the types of searches a company, such as Search Quarry or CheckPeople, is asked to conduct. For example, a criminal records search usually contains information, including the following:
- Criminal convictions
- Pending criminal charges
Public records and court records searches look for civil judgments that could reveal a person has failed to meet financial obligations and was sued by the creditor. Bankruptcy filings are another indication that a person is financially irresponsible in managing money.
Of course, you could go to the local courthouse or the county clerk’s office to look up information about someone on your own. The primary drawback to this is that people move about and may have records in multiple states. Companies engaged in the business of conducting searches, such as People Look Up or TruthFinder have the ability of conducting searches in jurisdictions throughout the country.
On Whom Should You Run A Background Check?
The first thing to keep in mind about a background check is that you must get the written consent of the individual before conducting it. If you don’t, you could be in violation of federal law.
Conducting a background check as part of the pre-employment screening process for new employees to whom you have offered a position with your company is a good idea. Some companies conduct the search after they have narrowed their list of eligible candidates to one person and want to verify the information they have on the person before making an offer of employment.
It has become common for landlords to request permission from prospective tenants to conduct a background check. Any judgments or criminal convictions could make an otherwise promising tenant a risk of someone who might not pay the rent or could create problems for other tenants in the building.
Running a background check on yourself before applying for employment is a good method of finding out what employers will learn about you. It is an excellent way to discover erroneous information that could hurt your chances of getting a job or renting an apartment.
It is possible for information about another individual to be in the report of your background check, particularly if you have a common last name. Getting a report done on yourself gives you an opportunity to get the mistake correct and have the erroneous information removed.
Online searches do not have to be limited to full background checks and employment situations. You might want to reconnect with people you were friends with in school after many years of not having contact with them. Online search companies, such as People Finder offer a quick and inexpensive way to locate people.
What Shows Up In An Employment Background Check?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act created standards for the types of information employers may obtain as part of its hiring process. Once written consent is obtained from the person to conduct a background check, the report may include the following information:
- Verification of employment history
- Education verification
- Judgments and liens
- Criminal convictions and arrests
Depending upon the needs of the person requesting the report, additional information could be included in it as long as it complies with federal and state laws.
Background Check Services Frequently Asked Questions
If I ran a background check without consent, what would the penalty be?Unauthorized background checks are illegal under federal law. Lawsuits may be brought against any entity from individuals to corporations, and if found guilty those individuals or entities may be required to pay for any lost wages or other harm for which their actions are responsible.
What if the information in my background check is incorrect?If your background check information is wrong, you will need to file an appeal/complaint with the company that provided the information from the check in order to dispute it. Click HERE for more information on how to file a dispute.
What if I run a background check and find out the person has an active warrant?It is not your responsibility to act in any way that jeopardizes your personal security; you are not required to inform the police of your findings. You are also not required to inform the individual of the warrant, nor must you presume the individual is or is not aware of the warrant. As an employer it is your right to deny employment to the individual, especially if the warrant is relevant to the business.
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