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Background checks....why?
by Steven White on April 14th, 2015

​This post is to explain the necessity or desire to have background checks on people. Of course, the simplest answer is for businesses, to protect their assets and lower liability from your clients, creditors, and employees. So, let’s get back to that one.
I recently had an elderly woman come into my office and ask if we do background checks. I said, yes, and it depends on what purpose. She replied that she owns numerous rental homes and has been getting stuck with unpaid rent and having to go through the painstaking process of eviction. I said a background check would be ideal in her situation. There are different sorts of backgrounds offered by me and other professional investigation companies. There are just simple clearance checks, in which a criminal history, arrest records, and wants/warrants are sought. Those are the cheapest, by far. And it spans to a complete background, which would be the clearance check, and a complete history makeup, including interviews of neighbors, friends, former employers, etc.
A professional investigation company must be cautious, as there are laws governing credit reports and driver’s motor vehicles reports. Privacy concerns are a big issue. Whether it’s for a company or a private citizen. Also, a professional investigation company will usually employ several secure databases for the checks. This caution also extends to the person requesting a background check. The best option is to require the prospective employee or resident, the person the background is done on, to read, fill out, and sign a form allowing the background to be performed.
In compliance with these laws, a professional investigation company will only release information which is not a violation of these laws. For instance, a client comes in on a divorce case, wanting surveillance of their spouse. Since a disclaimer form will not be obtained from the offending spouse, that person’s drivers report nor credit rating should not be released.
There are many reasons companies/corporations should require background checks. A vetted employee is much more trustworthy and will strive to do their best. Many of my clients require background checks of all their applicants. Of course, a signed disclaimer from the applicant which has the applicant’s information on it is required by my firm in order for me to proceed. This disclaimer states that a complete background check and drivers motor vehicle report will be conducted and the applicant allows it. In my report to my corporate clients, all information is reported to the client on the applicant. Many undesirable applicants have been denied positions due to this background, thus insuring undesirable persons are not hired, nor a person required to drive a vehicle is not hired with a suspended or revoked license or a bunch of traffic citations and/or accidents. This simple background has saved many of my clients from liability issues, as well as provided the peace of mind that HR has hired the best possible candidates. Those corporate clients that go that extra step often require drug tests also. Some wish a fingerprint comparison be made to insure the applicant is who they say they are. Some clients also require the applicant pay for these checks as a precursor to getting hired.
Background checks are simple, relatively inexpensive, and in today’s corporate world a necessity part of business.  

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