Whether you're a business owner or an individual looking to perform some background research on a person you have to deal with, it's critical to conduct the best background check possible. There are many reasons why a background check might be necessary. Job applications are obvious, but many people conduct these checks to ensure their elderly parents aren't being scammed or their children aren't associating with the wrong people. Whatever your intent might be, it's critical to follow the right process if you want to conduct a background check that will work. Here are four steps to get you going.
Collect as much identifying information as you can
There are many John Smiths out in the work today. Unless you want to suffer the consequences of a false positive, you'll need to identify the right one. It's easier to do this when you have background information. Effective background check services can help you fill in the gaps later. Up front, though, you'll need a rough idea of the person's age, the person's name, and where they live. The less common their name is, the less information you'll need to ensure you have the right person.
Choose the right background check service
There are many basic background checks that will give you an idea of the person you're dealing with. These reports will often be incomplete, leaving you worse off than you were in the beginning. Few things are worse than thinking you've done due diligence when you've actually been given only half the picture. It can pay to invest in an effective service, even if it costs a bit more up front. The best background check services will provide a return on your investment down the line.
Follow up with references if you can
Background check services can give you the facts on a person, but you may have to do some of your own leg work to determine the circumstances of a person's criminal history. For instance, a person who did drugs and then checked themselves into rehab is much different than a person who continues to get high. If you have access to references, follow up with them. Try to get as much soft information as possible to make your proper determination.
Trust your instincts
A background check is a valuable piece of information, but the ultimate decision on whether to hire someone or deal with someone rests with you. It's a good idea to trust your instincts when something doesn't seem right. While you might be tempted to give a person a second chance--and this is a noble venture--it's best to stick to your guns if a background check reveals something you aren't comfortable with. You'll kick yourself if something bad happens after you ignore the background check's results.
Conducting a background check is a major part of your due diligence, as an employer, a smart deal maker, or even a responsible parent. Make sure you know what you are looking for. Background checks will reveal criminal information and other important facts. You'll need a plan on how to act once you get that information. You'll have to ask yourself, "Just how important is it to know who I'm doing business with?"