3 Strategies to Conduct Background Checks
A background check can provide valuable information for both individuals and corporations. From a corporation's perspective, employers often rely on background checks as a method for screening new hires. Many companies do not want to hire individuals who have a history of drug abuse, trouble with the law, or even bad credit.
Landlords also rely on background checks as a method of keeping troublemakers out of their properties. Still others may use background checks to ensure their new significant other's story is in line with reality. Thanks to digital information, conducting a background check today is easier than ever before.
Information You Can Find through a Background Check
Background checks allow you to access public information about a specific individual. Information you may find through a background check includes:
- Current and previous addresses
- Current and previous phone numbers
- Current and previous roommates and neighbors
- Potential aliases and/or maiden names
- Criminal records
- Civil records (such as property ownership, marriages, divorces)
Conducting an Online Background Check
In the past, background checks were obtained via a third party service, such as agencies that specialized in background checks or private investigators. Today, a background check may be easily performed online for a small fee.
Running an online background check is much simpler than having to consult a firm or agency, since these establishments often charge membership fees. In contrast, most online options simply charge per background check.
Using Public Records
Most counties and cities offer court records for free online. This can be a very simple and free manner of conducting an online background check. However, there are drawbacks.
For example, the information given is usually very limited. You will be able to see any offenses that the person has committed, but details of the offense or the names of other parties involved may not be given. Also, it is important to understand that discriminating against a potential hire or tenant based on charges that were dropped or are pending is illegal in almost all states. When it comes to using information found in these public record searches, the courts take "innocent until proven guilty" extremely seriously.
Simple Searches to Confirm Facts
Perhaps you don't need to know a person's credit score of criminal history; maybe you just want to gain a little more insight into what type of person he or she is. Simply searching the person's name in Google or on a social networking site can give you a tremendous amount of information about the personality, hobbies, and acquaintances associated with an individual.
In addition, you can use a website like EmailFinder.com to instantly connect you with all of the social networking profiles and directories associated with the individual's email address.
What Information Can Be Used?
Particularly pertinent for business and landlords, information found through public records or through individuals' personal sites may or may not be able to be used to prevent them from being hired at a job or given a lease on an apartment, depending on the laws in your state. When performing background checks, be sure to check with a lawyer to see what information can or cannot be used against a person.
Background checks were formerly an elaborate endeavor, but today, it is far simpler to discover information about a person online.