Editors Note: This article was originally published on May 17, 2017, and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
When most people think of background checks, they think of an inspection of criminal history, but that is not always right. Free online people search services typically omit the majority of information and are limited to specific public records databases. Online websites, such as InstantCheckmate and TruthFinder, may not give you accurate results.
Advanced background checks can encompass so many more details.
What is a background check?
Advanced background checks are an investigation into the professional and personal history of a person that will reflect the person’s character and prove their identity.
What does a background check show?
Typically, an accurate background check will reveal:
- Criminal history
- Sex offenders
- Educational background
- Employment history
- Civil records
- Credit record
- Driving records
- Drug testing and screening
- Medical history
- Social Media Profiles
Possibly it will reveal more information depending on the reason for the check.
What information is needed to complete a background check?
When you contact a private investigator, you will need to know some important information about the person you are investigating.
Some contact information you’ll need to provide is the person’s:
- Full name including their middle initial
- Date of birth and the city and state in which they were born
- Social security number
- Schools they have attended.
- Previous employers
- Phone numbers or address
- Email Addresses
A good private investigator will find out a lot about a person with or without detailed information, but it is helpful. It will speed up the process if you can obtain as much information as possible beforehand.
How long does a background check take?
The completion time of a background check will vary depending on a variety of factors. A key factor is the quality of data.
With accurate information, a final report could take a matter of days. For a majority of cases, you could expect results in less than a week.
Another factor is the details you will need regarding the type of data or search.
When to obtain a background report?
Successful background investigations into someone’s past need to be designed to address the information you are seeking. There are a variety of scenarios in which you may want to have a background check completed on a person, such as:
- Employment background checks
- You own a property that you may lease to someone, and you want to do a tenant screening.
- When you are hiring a babysitter.
- A person has applied for a security clearance.
- A domestic violence survivor may need a criminal record search to check on a potential suitor.
These are just a few of the scenarios in which a comprehensive check may be necessary to obtain information about a person.
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What are the best methods to see someone’s background?
There are several methods of analyzing someone’s background, and one of them is people search engines.
These are considered automated background checks, but many times, the information is outdated, incomplete, or incorrect. Each record needs to be validated to ensure that it is for the correct person and that the data is current and accurate.
Not all the files you can obtain online are complete and may leave out pertinent information. The validity of the record still needs to be verified, so the use of a private investigator may be beneficial.
An investigator can provide the best records with the most detailed and correct information so that you can make a decision based on facts.
For example, if you have a prospective tenant named Robert E. Smith and you attempt an online background check, you may get the information of the man’s son, Robert D. Smith, who has an extensive criminal history. You would end up not renting to Robert E. Smith because of his criminal history when, in fact, he did not have any criminal record at all.
If you hire a private investigator, you can be assured that the information you receive has been checked for accuracy and is dependable.
A background check investigator can provide you with more detailed information and even more insight into the person’s real character.
Learn how to do an Advanced Background Check on Prospective Employees
Finding the right employee to fill a need at your company can be a time-consuming and challenging process. It’s very important to conduct a thorough employment background check on prospective employees.
If you’re wondering how to do a background check in the most thorough manner possible, the best route is to hire an investigator. Why? They are trained, have tools and methods that the average person can’t access, and adhere to the legal guidelines.
Look into Employment History
A resume generally consists of a summary of the applicant’s past work titles and experiences. If the applicant has given their permission, contact former employers to confirm job duties, length of employment, past salary, and more.
References can be a useful resource for learning more about an applicant. Ask to speak to former colleagues and direct supervisors to give you a well-rounded idea of what it’s like to work with the applicant.
If you’re looking for a candidate with specific credentials such as a certification or degree in a particular field, you’ll want to confirm this information. Start by calling or emailing the university or school where they obtained said degree.
A simple Google search can give you lots of information about a person. Be careful not to make snap judgments or believe everything you read.
Drug screening is pretty common with any employment background check, especially for positions where the candidate can work with heavy machinery or dangerous situations.
Increasing technology has made it easier than ever for employers to find information on potential employees. Employment background checks, fingerprinting, Google searches are all techniques that have been used in the past. With the “Ban-the-Box” Movement in full swing and more and more workers becoming independent contractors or “gig workers,” human resource professionals and small business owners alike are being forced to change their screening tactics.
Ban-the-Box is Now the Norm
According to the National Employment Law Project, 70 million people in the U.S. In 2010, have an arrest or conviction record that is shown in the employment background check. This norm, which is going to be effective December 2021, will prohibit almost all contractors and federal agencies from requesting information on criminal records before offering the job to the applicant.
These “Ban-the-Box” laws aim to help all of those with a criminal record from having their applications tossed to the side after the employer sees that they have checked “yes” beside the “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” box.
Social Media Screening Soars
The Manifest published recent research showing that 90% of employers take Social Media as a factor to consider when hiring. That same research showed that almost 80% of employers had rejected applicants because of their social media content.
What exactly are employers looking for? It comes down to three things: that the employee has some online presence, what they are posting, and whether they should hire the candidate.
Rescreening Will Increase
A final current trend has little to do with the pre-employment screening process and revolves around keeping your job. Many employers are not hiring professionals, so they conduct re-screening checks. In other words, they want to make sure that their current employees still fall in line with company values. This on-going criminal monitoring can be used to make employers aware of recent arrests, ongoing criminal investigations, or other red flags.
Overall, if you need a thorough analysis of someone’s background, enlisting the services of a private investigator will provide you with more accurate and complete information on which to base your decisions upon. While a quick online check may be tempting, to guarantee you receive the most current, accurate, and reliable information, you should hire a private investigator to assist in the process.
Lawrence Ryan Investigation Firm assures you that the personal information we collect is gathered by professionals using the best tools on the market to help you with your investigation.