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What is a Background Check Investigation?

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.

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Background investigations are customized to the particular issue.

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.