If you want to know more about the integrity of another person, a background investigation can aid you in understanding certain aspects about someone’s life before and currently. Let’s learn more about background checks and see what the most important aspects are for your consideration.
What is a Background Investigation?
A background investigation is a process by which an individual's criminal and other records are obtained and checked for any potential red flags that may be a challenge to the integrity you are needing that person to have.
The specific types of records obtained vary depending on the level of clearance required for the position or the task at hand. All background investigations are bespoke to the matter you are making the inquiry over.
For example, an essential background investigation might only include a check of criminal records. At the same time, a more comprehensive investigation might also have a review of credit history, driving record, and civil court records.
Types of Background Investigations:
There are many different types of background investigations that can be conducted, depending on the type of information being sought.
Some common types of background investigations include:
Pre-employment background investigations:
These are typically conducted by employers before hiring an individual and may include a review of the applicant's criminal history, employment history, credit report, and educational background.
Security clearance background investigations:
Individuals seeking security clearance from the government (e.g., for a job with the military or in a sensitive government position) are required to undergo a more extensive background investigation, which may include a polygraph examination and interviews with family, friends, and neighbors.
Child custody background investigations:
In some cases, courts may order a background investigation conducted on an individual seeking child custody.
This type of investigation may include a review of the individual's criminal history, employment history, and/or financial background.
Background investigations for tenant screening:
Landlords may conduct background investigations on prospective tenants to screen for individuals with eviction or criminal activity history.
The Process of Conducting Background investigations:
Let's cover the process of conducting a background investigation step by step.
Step 1: The first step is to gather information about the subject. This can be done through public records, internet searches, and interviews with people who know the subject.
Step 2: The next step is to verify the information gathered in step 1. This can be done by contacting references, employers, and other individuals who know the subject.
Step 3: The final step is to compile the information and write a report. This report will be used to determine if the subject is suitable for the position they are being considered for.
Conducting a background investigation is essential to ensure that the person being considered for a position is suited for the job.
Background Investigation Basic Questions:
There are three basic types of questions that are asked during a background investigation:
Is the person who they say they are?
Is there any adverse history?
Can we authenticate their qualifications and character?
Is the person who they say they are?
The first type of question that is asked during a background investigation is to confirm the individual's identity. This may include verifying their Social Security number, date of birth, and current address. Additionally, a criminal records check will be conducted to see if there are any outstanding warrants or if the individual has a history of criminal activity.
Is there any adverse history?
The second type of question asked is to determine if there is any adverse history relevant to the position being applied for.
This may include verifying employment history, educational qualifications, and professional references. A credit check may also be conducted to determine if the individual has a history of financial responsibility.
Can we authenticate their qualifications and character?
The third type of question that is asked is to verify the qualifications and character of the individual.
This may include verifying job skills, work experience, and personal references. A drug test may be conducted to determine if the individual has a history of drug use.
Factors To Consider in Background Investigation:
When conducting a background investigation, there are several factors that you will need to consider. These factors can range from the subject's criminal history to their financial history.
Here is a look at some of the most important factors to consider when conducting a background investigation:
How Far Do You Want to Dig Into a Person's Past?
This is one of the first questions you need to ask yourself when conducting a background check. How far back do you want to go? Do you want to check for criminal convictions, or do you want to delve deeper into someone's history?
The answer to this question will largely depend on the position the person is applying for. For example, if you hire a new employee, you may not need to know about their high school antics.
However, if you are hiring someone for a position of trust, such as a nanny or a financial advisor, you may want to go back further in their history.
What Type of Information Are You Looking for?
The second step in any background investigation is to determine what information you are hoping to find. This will help you focus your search and make sure that you are looking for the right information.
For example, if you are looking for criminal history, you will want to search through court records. If you are looking for financial history, you will want to search through credit reports.
Once you know what type of information you are looking for, you can narrow down your search.
How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
The cost of a background investigation will vary depending on your services. If you are only looking for a criminal history check, the cost will be relatively low. However, the cost will be higher if you require more comprehensive services, such as a financial history check.
It is important to determine how much you are willing to spend on a background investigation before beginning the process. This will help ensure that you do not overspend on the services you require.
How a Background Check and Investigation are Different?
A background check is simply a check of someone's history. This can be done by searching through public records, such as court records and credit reports. On the other hand, a background investigation is a more in-depth look into someone's history.
An investigation will often include interviews with friends, family, and former employers. It may also include a physical search of someone's home or office.
A background check is typically conducted to hire someone, but an investigation may also be conducted for other reasons, such as investigating a crime.
Why Should you Conduct a Background Investigation?
When you are looking to hire someone, it is essential to conduct a background investigation.
This will help you ensure that the person you are hiring is qualified and has the experience they claim to have.
It can also help you avoid hiring someone who has a criminal record or has been involved in illegal activity.
When Should you Conduct a Background Investigation?
There are many reasons you might want to conduct a background investigation on someone.
Perhaps you're considering hiring them for a position at your company, or maybe you're thinking about dating them and want to know more about their past.
Whatever the reason, it's essential to know when it's appropriate to conduct a background check and what kinds of information you can reasonably expect to find.
Generally speaking, you should only conduct a background check if you have a legitimate reason.
For example, if you're hiring someone for a position that will require them to have a lot of contact with children, you might want to run a background check to ensure that they don't have a history of sexual assault or other crimes against children.
If you're thinking about dating someone, you might want to do a background check to see if they've been convicted of a crime or any red flags in their past that you should be aware of.
The Benefits of a Background Investigation:
There are many benefits of doing Background Investigation.
Here are some:
It helps to ensure that the person is who they say they are
The most common and essential benefit is that it helps you know the person you are dealing with. Especially if you will do business with someone or hire an employee, you need to know their background information. This will help you avoid many problems in the future.
It helps to know the person's character
Background Investigation also helps you understand a person's character. By understanding their character, you will be able to deal with the person more effectively. For example, if you know that a person is dishonest, you will be more careful in dealing with them.
It helps to know the person's criminal history
Another essential benefit of Background Investigation is that it helps you know the person's criminal history. This is important because it will help you determine whether or not the person is a good risk. If the person has a criminal history, you may want to reconsider doing business with them.
Helps to know the person's financial history
Another benefit of Background Investigation is that it helps you know the person's history. It will include financial records, employment records, bank records, etc. This is important because it will help you determine whether or not the person is a good risk. If the person has a bad financial history, you may want to reconsider doing business with them.
These were some of the benefits of doing a Background Investigation. However, there are many other benefits as well. It is up to you to decide whether or not you want to do Background Investigation on someone. If you think it is essential, you should do it.
Personal Horror Stories of People Who Did Not Perform a Background Investigation:
Many people have horror stories about someone in their life who did not perform a background check before becoming friends or family.
Here are some of those stories:
Story 1: A Good Client with a Bad Reputation
I had a great client who came to me for help with his business. He was charming and funny, and we hit it off immediately. I didn't think to do a background check on him because he seemed like a good guy. It wasn't until after he had left my office that I realized that he had lied to me about his business. I found out that he had been convicted of fraud and was currently on probation. I was so upset that I had let him into my life without knowing his background.
Story 2: A Date from Hell
I went on a date with a guy I met online. He seemed nice enough, but I didn't know anything about him. I didn't think to do a background check, and I definitely should have. It turns out he had been arrested for assault and battery. He got violent with me on our date, and I was lucky to get away from him. I learned my lesson about not doing background checks on people I meet online.
Story 3: A Friend with a Checkered Past
I had a friend who I had known for years. We went through many of the same things in life, and I thought I knew everything about her. I didn't know that she had been arrested for drugs and had spent time in jail. I was shocked and hurt that she had kept this from me. I realized that you could never really know someone until you do a background check on them.
These are just a few examples of why it is important to always perform a background check on someone before letting them into your life. You never know what someone may be hiding, and it could cost you dearly if you're not careful.
Hiring a Professional Background Investigator or Background Investigation Company
If you want to hire a professional background investigator, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
Only Hire a Reputable Company or Investigator.
It's critical to hire a reputable business or investigator when hiring someone to conduct your background check because, while thousands of these firms have emerged, offering everything from a simple record check to an in-depth inquiry for a low price, it's essential to do so.
See if they are covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
A third party might be an excellent alternative to hiring a house cleaner directly. They are covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which regulates access to consumer credit reports.
Criminal Background Checks
Criminal background checks are an essential part of any background investigation process, and there are a few different ways to see criminal history or criminal record. The most common way is to hire a reputable firm specializing in this type of investigation.
Education & Employment Verification
If you're looking to verify someone's educational credentials or employment history, the best way is to contact the school or employer directly.
However, this can be a time-consuming process, and it's not always possible to get in touch with the right person. In these cases, it's best to hire a professional firm that specializes in education and employment verification.
Personal History & Reference Checks
Personal history and reference checks are another essential part of any background investigation. Ask your background investigator to check the subject's references and speak to their friends, family, and acquaintances.
Get a Written Report
Once the background investigator has finished their inquiry, they should provide you with a written report detailing their findings. This report should include all of the information you requested and any other relevant information that the investigator uncovered.
Make Sure the Report is FCRA-Compliant
When you receive the written report, make sure that it's compliant with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This means that the report should only include accurate and up-to-date information.
If you choose to conduct these checks yourself, it's essential to be aware of the potential risks. These checks can be time-consuming and may not always provide accurate results.
It's always best to hire a professional firm specializing in background investigations. These companies are experienced and will be able to provide you with the information that you need.
Just before the hiring process, consider these factors above. These will help you a lot. It's best to hire federal government agencies. They are more reliable in conducting a criminal background check.
That's it. We have covered what a background investigation is, the different types of investigations, and the various stages of an investigation.
In addition, we looked at how to conduct an effective investigation and some best practices for investigators. Finally, we discussed the importance of record-keeping in investigations.