How Extensive A Background Check Should You Perform?

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If you own or manage a business, one of your primary concerns is likely the safety and security of your employees and customers. There's often no better way to ensure this safety than to perform a criminal and financial background check on potential employees (or even contractors or maintenance personnel). However, with the number of types and degrees of background checks available, it can be difficult to determine precisely what you need to look for.

Read on to learn more about your background check options, as well as how you can determine the extent to which you need to look into potential employees' pasts.

What types of background checks are available?

The most common type of background check available is a criminal check. To obtain a criminal background check from an online provider, you'll just need to provide the employee's personal information and this service will scour police and court databases across the country to find any criminal convictions. However, this background check does not always include arrests -- so you may want to look into other background check options in tandem with a criminal background check.

Many employers also run a credit check to obtain information about the employee's use of debt and to determine whether there are any red flags that could present problems.

Another option is a court docket check for any civil or criminal matters in which the potential employee is involved. For example, if the employee is suing her last employer for wrongful termination, this information will not be revealed on a criminal background check -- but may be very relevant for employment purposes.

How can you determine what type of background check to use?

The type and extent of background check chosen will largely depend upon the type of job the employee will be doing and the others with whom the employee will regularly be in contact.

For example, if you're hiring someone to care for small children, you may want to perform both a criminal and civil background check. While you certainly don't want someone with a criminal history to take responsibility for the safety and security of others' children, you also may not want someone who is involved in a contentious divorce and whose ex-spouse may suddenly show up one day.

Ensuring that you're aware of all criminal and civil matters in which your potential employee has been involved can give you a better perspective on hiring decisions.

In other situations -- particularly if the employee will be handling large sums of money -- you may only want to perform criminal and credit checks.

A credit check can give you a good idea of whether the employee is at risk of embezzling or "borrowing" funds from work, while the criminal check can let you know if this situation has already occurred. If the employee has a high debt load relative to the income you're planning to pay, it may be worthwhile to find a more credit-worthy candidate instead.

If you have other questions, contact a company like Background Investigations Inc. to learn more.