Why do employers do background checks?


Crimal background checks are often requested by employers on job candidates for employment screening, especially on candidates seeking a position that requires high security or a position of trust, such as in a school, courthouse, hospital, financial institution, airport, and government. These checks are traditionally administered by a government agency for a nominal fee, but can also be administered by private companies. Background checks can be expensive depending on the information requested. Results of a background check typically include past employment verification, credit history, and criminal history.


Dig Deeper With a Background Check


In addition to the information you’ll receive from running a background check through BackgroundCheck.org, you’ll learn about:

This information can help you evaluate whether someone would be a safe and reliable hire, or whether a new neighbor or tenant has a history of violence or crime of which you should be wary. Learn more about how you can use a background check, and what you can learn about your own background check.


Background checks are used to minimize risk. The most common scenario for a background check is during the employment process. According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, 70% of employers use background checks to screen candidates for criminal histories.

Candidates who are applying for jobs that require financial responsibility are often screened based on their credit scores and financial histories. Additionally, public records and professional listings compiled during background checks can help employers confirm a candidate’s work history and qualifications, making it easier to spot false information on a CV.

Job Seekers

Job seekers can also benefit from running self-background checks. Even candidates with no criminal history or financial problems should run a background check to verify the public information tied to his or her name. Identity theft, inaccurate or missing information, and outdated traffic violations can all create red flags for employers. By conducting a self-background check, job seekers can assure they are being accurately represented and can meet potential problems head-on.

Family Members

Pre-employment background checks alleviate the risks of employing those who have criminal or irresponsible pasts, but what about the people closest to your family? If you have suspicions that someone could be negatively influencing a family member’s life, a quick background check could reveal very real reasons for concern.

For example, if an ex-spouse is in a relationship with a person of questionable character, a background check could provide evidence that your child should not be exposed to his or her influence. Background checks can be powerful tools to help protect the people you love.

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Business Help


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1. Pre-employment Screening

Many companies need a criminal background check on applicants. An airport shuttle company may need to check applicants' driving histories with the Department of Motor Vehicles if it's hiring a driver to transport passengers in the company's vehicle.

Perhaps a Fortune 500 Corporation is filling a top management position and wants to evaluate an extensive profile of a candidate that goes far beyond what's on the resume. Interviews with references and other informational searches can provide that.

Or parents may decide to hire an in-home nanny. A PI can check the prospective caregiver's personal, financial and criminal history, as well as her references.

2. Prospective Business Partner

Gary wants to start a small pizza restaurant in his neighborhood. His brother, William, introduced him to Joseph. Now, Gary and Joseph are considering a partnership. Everything looks good, but Gary will be investing his life's savings and he doesn't really know Joseph. Gary may decide that a background investigation by a respected PI could make the difference between success and disaster.

3. Investments

Before you invest your money or time in a new company or other financial deal, you'd better research it. A company may appear perfectly legitimate, with a fancy office, a pleasant receptionist and a readily available list of previous client referrals. But it could be a sophisticated scam. A private investigator can check public records for licensing, small claim judgments, bankruptcies, state and federal tax liens, and other judgments or defaults.

4. Security Consultations

A business may need to secure premises, property, assets, people or even information. Some companies may need only a nighttime security guard or an alarm system. But others need electronic surveillance, a loss-prevention staff and strict computer security. Experienced private investigators can recommend security services and techniques to prevent theft of inventory or to provide for employee safety.

5. Workers' Compensation Claims

Insurance companies estimate that twenty percent of these claims are fraudulent. Even a single fraudulent claim can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars-all unnecessarily.

A PI can look into employee claims to verify their legitimacy. We photographed one claimant happily playing golf, while he supposedly couldn't work because of a bad back. Sometimes, we wait until trash day to learn the truth about the claimant. If a claimant can haul thirty pounds of trash to the curb, maybe his back condition isn't so bleak.

The company benefits in another way as well: This deters future fraud by warning other employees that the company pursues every claim.

6. Law Enforcement

Top echelon private investigators are an integral part of your community's law enforcement. They work closely with police and the court system on the local, state and federal levels. When securing evidence for use in the judicial process, they assist police, the district attorney's staff and lawyers. They conduct searches and surveillance, serve subpoenas, take statements and testify in court.

An added bonus: Because of the role PIs play in the legal arena, they're an excellent source for attorney referrals.

7. Electronic Surveillance Detection

Planting electronic listening devices is illegal and can result in a felony conviction. Still, we receive at least ten calls a month requesting such a service.

If it's illegal, who's doing it? In small and large companies alike, the competition can be relentless and the pressure to beat the competition can be ruthless. This can lead to one company bugging the boardroom of another, maybe by bribing an employee to place the hidden monitoring device.

While no legitimate private investigator will wiretap an office, many will offer "debugging" services to remove the problem.

These are just a handful of the many services a reputable private investigation firm can provide for you.

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We value your privacy and your information is 100% safe