Background Checks for a Variety of Purposes

Criminal background checks are used for a number of reasons by organizations of all types. The intent of performing such a check is not to intrude into the life of an individual, but to protect a company from future loss or potential liability. An ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure is the applicable justification for reviewing the background of a person.

Employers use them to screen prospective employees, both for security reasons and to determine whether a potential employee can meet job requirements. For example, a security company where employees are furnished firearms may be prohibited from furnishing a gun to an employee with certain criminal convictions.

Many businesses where the individuals will handle money or financial accounts may be leery of hiring a person with a theft or embezzlement conviction on their record. A complete driving record would normally be performed in any case where a potential employee will be operating a company vehicle or driving on company time.

In other areas, many youth organizations now screen leaders or volunteers who will have access to children. Responsible landlords screen tenants as a matter of course. The cost of a background check that uncovers a violent individual is minimal compared to the potential damage they can cause to a rental property. A company such as Tenant Screening Services, LLC performs such services to many landlords or rental companies.

Some businesses attempt to perform informal checks, utilizing a local court database. These methods may help to an extent, but they are limited. Local searches will only disclose convictions in that jurisdiction. They will not normally disclose federal cases, out of state or even cases in other counties. More recent types of checks include the Patriot Act terrorist list and Sexual Offender lists.

If something turns up on the search, the company can delve further into the records to determine the nature of the case, whether parole was ordered and whether a defendant completed the terms of probation.

Most investigative companies will utilize a national database for their background search. In addition, a review of the national sex offenders list will be checked for service companies, schools and youth organizations.

If the company provides additional services, a credit worthiness check may also be a part of the background check. Not all checks that turn up negative information conclude that an applicant is an inherently bad person. But making an informed decision is a far better course than failing to consider the background of the individual.

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