How to Conduct Criminal Background Checks the Right Way


Conducting a criminal background check is a necessary step when hiring someone. You don’t want to hire somebody with a criminal record or who has been the subject of many employment lawsuits. Checking employees’ criminal backgrounds is a crucial part of the hiring process, especially in the workplace. The problem is that background checks are often flawed. As such, it’s essential to understand the process and how to perform one yourself to avoid making mistakes when doing them for others. There are several ways to complete a background check, some of which are more effective than others.

1. Tell the Candidate You Will Be Conducting a Background Check

If you’re checking up on your potential employees, the first thing you want to do is tell them that you will be conducting a criminal background check. This will help prevent the candidate from lying to you later to hide their past illegal activity. The less they know about what you’ll find out, the better! You want to make it clear that it’s not for any discriminatory reasons: your company is just trying to ensure a safe and productive environment for everybody in your workplace.

2. Perform the Background Check Yourself


Many large companies outsource their employee background checks to agencies specializing in such work. Many such agencies are legal entities that conduct background checks for a living. The problem with this method is that it’s expensive and time-consuming, and you don’t get any personal feedback on the results of your efforts. Moreover, these private companies typically perform extensive searches through up-to-date databases, including sources like public records and social media profiles. If you decide to complete the background check yourself, you want to look for common mistakes that most corporate background check companies make.

3. Use a Third Party to Conduct the Background Check

Many companies hire outside firms to perform their employee background checks, which provides an added layer of protection against discrimination lawsuits. You might consider utilizing a third-party agency for your commercial criminal records search, especially if you have employees who might be vulnerable to discrimination claims based on their former illegal activities. Third-Party Background Screening is a more cost-effective way to conduct background checks, and you’ll get access to a wide variety of online databases that you wouldn’t be able to find yourself.

4. Hire a Private Investigator


A private investigator conducts background checks and promptly gives you the results. A private investigator can provide you with the details you need to decide on the performance of your new hire. The benefits of hiring a private investigator include having access to an exhaustive online database of criminal records; this means you can check your candidates for offenses that may not be public records, such as juvenile convictions and arrests. Private investigator costs can add up quickly, but the personal touch often yields more accurate results. A private investigator will typically check public records and, if necessary, physically go to the person’s home to speak with relatives, friends, or neighbors to learn more about them.

5. Contact Candidate References

Anybody who previously worked with or knew the candidate could be considered a reference. Depending on the level of contact, each one may be able to provide different information about the candidate. You can find out if the candidate has a record of being dishonest or unreliable or if they have ever been fired from previous positions. Therefore, you must ask a few questions before using them as references. For example, how much contact did they have with the applicant, and how long? Did they ever witness any inappropriate behavior or bad attitude towards their coworkers? Did they ever see them exhibit any signs of depression?

6. Use Social Media to Look for Offenders


Social media background checks can be helpful tools for finding out about someone’s personality and background. Although most social media sites have privacy policies, you can often find a link to their privacy policy. This will allow you to get more information about the person if they are willing to be identified. You can check their Facebook and Twitter accounts to see what kind of person they are and check for photos of illegal activity. On social media, you’re likely to find information about the person’s interests and personal life, which could help determine whether they are suitable for employment at your company.

7. Use Credit Reports

Credit reports are a popular way to learn more about a prospective employee’s background. You can search for unpaid debts, credit card defaults, and other issues affecting your business. You can use credit reports to check out the candidate’s financial history and whether they are financially responsible enough to manage personal economic problems that may arise in the workplace, such as medical emergencies or family expenses. Such reports will allow you to see if the candidate can pay their bills and if they have a history of filing for bankruptcy.

8. Ask the Candidate To Take a Drug Test


If you’re worried that your prospective employees might be seeking employment with the sole intention of stealing information or money from your company, it may be best to check their drug test results. This is especially true if they have been fired from a previous employer for drug testing. All employers are legally required to follow these guidelines, so it won’t be difficult for you to make this request of them. The candidate will usually have an opportunity to provide a urine sample for you to see what substances are in their system. A drug test helps determine what substances the applicant has been consuming over the past few months.

Although background checks are not 100% accurate, they can help you decide the prospective employee’s suitability for employment. An employer is required to provide a consumer with a copy of their report upon request but must redact personal information before release. These are just a few ways officials can conduct employee background checks. These tips will help you run a thorough and accurate criminal background check on your job applicants.