A background check is sort of a blanket term used for all sorts of screenings. People or companies use them to verify a person’s identity and personal and professional habits. The two most common types of background checks are employment and tenant screenings, but there are many other reasons someone might need to conduct one. Some of these include professional licensing, borrowing money, and working with children. Each one contains its own set of information.
Employment background check
Surveys say that 96 percent of employers run at least one type of background check on all potential employees. This is usually done in an attempt to avoid problematic employees who might become a liability later on. For example, financial institutions want to avoid someone who would be considered a high risk for theft, so one of the key indicators they use is credit scores. Another factor they look at is an applicant’s credit history. If they have a history of theft or embezzlement on their record, they’ll probably never be hired at a bank.
Most employers only conduct background checks during the application process, but some also require periodic checks to keep their workplace secure. A good example of this would be a mental health facility that does annual drug tests and criminal history checks.
Employment background checks typically include education, credit, work history, criminal record, and drug testing. It’s also increasingly common and perfectly legal for employers to screen an applicant’s social media profiles. They might look for things such as inappropriate photos or behavior, drug abuse, or discriminatory comments.
Most landlords conduct very basic background checks that include credit scores and criminal histories. What they are trying to determine is whether or not a person will take care of their property and pay their rent on time. Credit scores are a good indicator of someone’s financial maturity. This is because someone with a high credit score probably won’t want to do anything to risk it, while someone with a low score doesn’t demonstrate particularly good habits.
Not all landlords conduct criminal history checks. However, the ones who do feel that it helps them protect themselves and their property. When they do these screenings, they usually have specific criteria in mind. They might be okay with renting to someone with a six-year-old public intoxication charge, but draw the line with DUIs or petty theft. However, it’s important to know your rights. There are certain situations where this is considered discrimination.
Personal background checks
There are many reasons why someone might want to run a personal background check on themselves or someone they know. When someone chooses to conduct a background check on themselves, they might be trying to find out what future employers or landlords can see. It may seem strange not to know what’s on your own record, but in some cases, these records are no longer visible. And as for credit reports, these change so much on a monthly basis, that it’s always a good idea to check them often.
Running a background check on someone you know is a different story, though. Maybe it’s someone who will be spending time around your family, or perhaps it’s an older man you’re daughter has started dating. Whatever the reason, there are things you can legally find out.
How to conduct a background check
There are several ways to conduct background checks. Some are fairly quick and easy, while others require more digging. The first thing you should do is simply search the person’s name online. You might be surprised what Google will pull up. Next, you can check out their social media profiles. You’ll be limited to whatever information they make public, of course, but it could give you some useful information to continue your search.
The easiest way to conduct a background check is through an online company. A reputable background check website will display things like mugshots, arrest records, previous addresses, and aliases. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot legally check someone’s credit without their consent, but most other information is completely accessible.
Whatever your reasoning may be, you might need to conduct a background check on yourself or on a potential tenant or employee. Keep these tips in mind to help you know what to expect from a background check.