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Conducting Background Checks


 
 

 

Conducting Background Checks

The Importance of Conducting Background Checks

At one time, conducting background checks used to be something only the government did. While those applying for government jobs often had to submit to a lengthy and thorough background check, many of those in private industry received few if any checks of criminal records, credit ratings, driving history and the like.

All that is changing fast, and more and more companies are adopting policies in which they perform background checks before any new employee is hired. Some companies are going even further and performing background checks on all current staff members as well.

There are a number of reasons for this change in attitude, but some of the change no doubt dates back to the recent increase in workplace violence. Some highly publicized incidents in which unstable coworkers have attacked and even killed other staff members have forced many companies to take a hard look at their screening procedures and hiring practices, and many have adopted background checks on the recommendations of security consultants hired by their corporations.

No matter what the reason for these increased background checks, there are a number of excellent companies whose main business is conducting such checks for large and small businesses. These companies are often able to access proprietary databases of prison records, arrest records, court records and the like in order to provide employers with a complete picture of each employee or potential employee profiled.

Employers who wish to conduct such background checks should be sure to gather as much information as possible on each employee before requesting the background checks. No doubt the employer already has access to each person’s Social Security number, name and home address, but it may be helpful to also have the employee’s maiden name, as well as any past addresses and phone numbers. Having this additional identifying information will help the company doing the background checks to ensure that the information returned is complete and accurate.

Of course these days it is not just corporations who are conducting background checks. Even individuals hire others, whether as cleaning personnel, chefs, personal trainers, babysitters, nannies or contractors. It is not unusual any more for those individuals to conduct criminal background checks on those employees and contractors who will have access to the home and contact with the family. Indeed, it is a smart practice to do these kinds of background checks to make sure that no one hired could pose a danger to the family or its property.

In many cases individuals can tap the same companies who do background checks for large and small companies. Not all of these companies are able to serve the needs of individuals, so it is important to get the names of several background check companies and shop around for one who works with individuals. In addition, private investigators are often able to provide these background checks for individuals, often at prices comparable to those companies that specialize in background checks. As always, it is important to shop around for the best company and the best price.


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