Background Checks

Background Screening for pre-employment or advancement got you buried? Let Backgrounds Plus explain ways to ease the process and allow you to make hiring decisions on accurate and current facts, not outdated searches that are provided by on-line companies. Pre-employment release forms, FCRA and DPPA compliant are provided free of charge when you become our client.

Basic screening services which include verification of personal identifiers, addresses and names used as well as criminal history searches begin the process. We offer additional screening modules for appropriate and needed verification in the selection process.

Today’s workforce is mobile; statistics state that the average employee will change jobs every 3-5 years. This means an ongoing cost to have your labor force ready to provide you with the services needed. This same group of people have lived and worked in many different places so limiting the searches to the current residence is only doing half the job.

More than 40% of applicants make fraudulent statements on their applications. A few people move to leave behind unwanted records of activities that would affect their hiring probability. Others inflate their resumes when reporting prior work experience and responsibilities and as well as salaries. Education verification is another place where we find inaccuracies.

Do you know the differences in criminal record searches? Where does your current vendor get their information? Is it complete and up to date? We will gladly sit down with you and explain all of our search capabilities and why it is important to have more thorough screening practices in place to avoid costly liability issues.

Understanding the Basics

What is a Background Check?

Basically, background checks pertain to a manual and/or database search to investigate the background of the person. It could range from a simple criminal check to a full blown investigation. A more simple background investigation could include criminal record search, employment verification, education verification, driving record and credit check. However, for a full blown investigation, it is so typical for a background check to cover more in-depth elements, such as multi-jurisdictional civil searches to interviews of friends, relatives and neighbors.

The Reasons for Conducting Background Checks

Background checks in general can provide some enlightening information about a person. But, what really can a background check tell you that you don’t already know? Well, let’s take a look at some of the possible reasons you might want to conduct your own background check:

To Determine Criminal Records

Some companies conduct checks on their potential employees to determine whether or not the worker has a criminal record. This is especially vital if the employee is going to be handling money or working closely with customers. Just imagine hiring a person who has a history of violence and then assigning them in a customer service position. It’s clear that you could be looking at a negligent hiring suit and subjecting your company to a great deal of liability.

To Determine the Person’s Ability to Work

Several companies these days run credit checks, in particular, on their potential employees to determine the person’s ability to work. But, how credit checks relate to the ability of the person to work? Well, in some instances, it does not relate but it may provide a good indication if the person is reliable and can be counted on. There are also some instances in which it relates directly to the position the person applied for. For example, you may not want to hire a tax consultant who is in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy. It’s just a matter of common sense.

There is a myriad of other reasons to conduct a background check on someone. If you have met someone and think they may be the “right one” and he or she seems too good to be true, a background check can help you find out the answer.

Does a friend or a coworker really have that college degree they have been bragging about? Have you got some strange neighbors? Or, are you about to hire someone for a critical position such as a nanny for your child and you need to make sure that the person does not have a criminal record or past criminal history? If you have these questions in mind right now, then there’s no reason for you not to conduct a background check. Just exert extra efforts and find out!

The Requirements

When conducting background checks for any purposes, whether for employment, criminal, nanny services, etc. it is very important to note that there are a great many laws and guidelines that must be followed. After all, when you are dealing with someone’s livelihood for example, you may want to make sure that you have all the necessary facts correct before you deny them employment.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Now, one of the most important set of laws that must be followed is the Fair Credit Reporting Act or FCRA. The FCRA is basically a set of principles developed by the federal government for one particular purpose, that is, to make sure that accurate and up-to-date information is used when the decisions for credit reporting are made. To make this aim possible, the federal government considered background checks for employment purposes.

Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)

Recently enacted, the Drivers Privacy Protection Act or DPPA is but another important set of federal laws. The DPPA basically regulates how information from DMV records can be released and distributed. Primarily, it regulates how the motor vehicles departments provide records as well as vehicle records. More to that, the DPPA regulates how a recipient of the DMV records can share information with another person.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

Here is another important set of federal regulations that primarily apply to employment screening – the GLBA. Well, this act was first developed in order to keep the information maintained by the financial institutions private. Also included in this act is the information that a potential employer may gather and use.

State Laws and Guidelines

So you are living in one of the states in the US. It is then worth noting that state laws and guidelines are but another thing to consider when conducting background checks. Every state today has rules and regulations set for the people to follow prior to the conduct of background checks. Most of them however are concerned with employment screening and background investigations.

Background Check Services available today

Now that we have seen a few reasons and a few laws to follow when considering a background check, let’s take a look at some of the available background services these days. It is somehow important for you to know these services as you might consider one or two of them one of these days.

Personal Background

This particular service digs on the person’s personal details such as verification of name, address and phone number, age, marital status and other personal information relevant to the subject.

Name, Address and Phone Number Verification

You can verify the person’s name, address and phone number in a variety of ways as follow:

1.Start searching for a local telephone directory or directory assistance. Then, verify that his or her name, as listed, corresponds with the address and phone number he provided you. However, if there’s any doubt on your part, you can dial the phone number he gave you and check if he or she really lives there.
2.If he is not listed, you consider looking him/her up in an online crisscross directory. Also note that a number of libraries these days have a print crisscross directory known as the Haynes Directory. Now, on the directory, enter his address to verify his/her name. You can also enter his phone number to verify his address, or enter his/her address to verify his/her name and phone number.
3.After which, run a social security trace or national identifier to obtain his/her name, past and present address, as well as social security number.

Age Verification

To verify his/her age, follow the following steps:

  1. Look at his/her birth certificate.
  2. Check his/her marriage license.
  3. Check his/her Department of Motor Vehicle records.
  4. Check his/her voter’s registration records.
  5. Run a social security trace or national identifier.
  6. Look for his/her occupational licenses.
  7. Check the high school or college yearbook.
  8. Check associations to which he/she belongs.
  9. Consider civil or criminal litigation.

Marital Status Verification

Age Verification

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Check the marriage license of the subject.
  2. Review credit applications.
  3. Run a social security trace or national identifier.
  4. Go to the State Department of Vital Statistics and check for a divorce record.
  5. Through the county courthouse civil records, check for the divorce filing.

Know if the Subject Has Children

  1. You can dial the local schools or daycare centers’ telephone number and verify if the subject has a child or children studying.
  2. Call the office of State Child Support.
  3. Conduct an Atlas search, like interviews of the subject’s neighbors.

Determine His/Her Social Security Number

Before taking any action, note that accessing your subject’s social security number is ethical and legal providing that your use of the information does not invade his/her legitimate rights for privacy. Also, you should be aware that it is illegal in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCDA) to use a social security number for the purpose of accessing the subject’s personal credit history except for certain specific permissible aims.

Where to obtain the person’s social security number:

  1. Voter’s registration records
  2. DMV records
  3. Civil litigation files
  4. Tax liens
  5. National Identifier Search

Litigation History

This background check service focuses mainly on the civil suits filed against the or by the subject. It also provides information if the subject has even been bankrupt. To identify civil suits, check the county courthouse or the federal court records. And, to identify bankruptcy, you can check the federal district court, the PACER, or the for business bankruptcies.

Tenant Screening

This service particularly determines the kind of tenants renting the place. The records that can used for this background check include the current public records, employment and tenant credit report information as well as interviews with current and past landlords.

Pre-Employment Screening

The pre-employment screening was developed to weed out undesirable potential employees. When it comes to conducting background check for employment services, one must follow a number of laws and guidelines, and since the livelihood is at stake, one should make sure that all the gathered facts are accurate.

Criminal Background Checks

Generally, the criminal background checks are required by law in some professionals. These are usually conducted for jobs involving children, elderly and disabled persons.

It is important to note that today there is no publicly available central repository for criminal records. As such, it is commonly advised that at a minimum, you should check the current county of residence of the subject, plus his state of residence. You can start your search by checking at the county level, then at the state level and to the federal level.

Business Background

Dealing with business, it is so typical for the business background checks to look into the database of businesses within the state or county’s jurisdiction to find out the relevant business background of the subject.

Educational Background

This service deals with the investigation of the subject’s educational attainment, whether he/she graduated from college or not. And if he/she did, what degree or he/she pursue. You can check the college registrar’s office to find out the answer.

Professional/Occupational Background

As the name implies, the professional or occupational background check deals with the person’s occupation or the profession that he/she belongs to. This service can also determine if the person has published anything, has a website, or affiliates in online forums.

Nanny Checks

The term “nanny” bears the explanation for this service. Well, it actually works on the investigation on your child’s nanny or babysitter. This is done by checking the criminal record, driving record, and references.

Asset Search

The asset search primarily locates the person’s real property assets, including his/her financial assets. It is just somehow necessary for you to be aware of the illegality of “pretexting” in attempting to locate the bank accounts and other financial assets of a person.

So you’ve learned the basics of background checks. Well, as presented, background checks are a good start to get to know someone. Just about anything that you would like to know about someone could be archived somewhere or known by someone. Background checks could also assist you in verifying facts, and whether it is a personal or business relationship, people highly need to feel secure and comfortable about the people they enter into relationships with. We can’t even deny the fact that even in the workplace; the value of background check is undisputed.