How to Conduct a Criminal Background Check Before you Hire your Next Professional

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When hiring someone, you’re at an obvious disadvantage if you don’t do your research. If the person you hire has a criminal record, that can be disastrous later on down the road and cause many problems for your company. Thankfully, a criminal background check isn’t hard to do. In the past, companies would invest heavily in employee background checks. Today, with the advent of the Internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to uncover an applicant’s legal history. Conducting a criminal background check yourself has never been easier or more affordable.

This article will explain how to conduct one to ensure you put the right person in place for your company.

Get Informed

The first step in conducting a criminal background check is to get informed. The best way to do this is to talk with people who already run background checks in your office or industry. They can tell you what type of information they look for, how they find it, and what they do with it once they get it. 

You may also want to talk with some legal experts who can give you insight into what legal limits exist on what kind of information you can ask for. You can also inquire about how to use the information once you have it.

  • Ask them about what types of issues could come up when conducting a criminal background check and how those issues might affect your business.
  • Ask about their experiences with applicants and situations that might require an investigation. For example, if you’re looking for someone who will be working with children or animals, you’ll want someone who has experience doing that type of investigation.
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Chances are good that your potential employee will have done some research on this subject as well — so be prepared!

Collect Their Personal Information

Before you look into their past, you need to collect their personal information to cross-check it against public records. This includes their name, address, Social Security number, and birth date. 

You should also ask for their driver’s license or state identification card number to verify who they say they are during your search for criminal records. You’ll also need their phone number to contact them once your search is complete and discuss any results with them before making a final decision.

Check Criminal Records

Once you have collected this information, it’s time to start searching for any criminal activity that might come up. You can conduct background criminal check online through websites like radaris, which provide comprehensive reports on an individual.

The report will show if they have been arrested or convicted of any crimes in the past years. It will also show any other details that might determine whether they would suit your company’s needs.

Consider the Timeframe of Your Check

If you’re doing a routine background check for any reason other than criminal history (for example, because of an upcoming promotion), then it’s likely that your prospective employee won’t mind giving you access to their records.

Some employers use third-party companies that specialize in conducting these types of checks — which can be expensive but also thorough and fast (usually within 24 hours). You can also hire an attorney or private investigator with access to court records and databases used by law enforcement agencies across the country.

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Use a Reputable Service

Another step is choosing a reputable service that will provide you with an accurate free background check online no charge about your candidate’s past. While there are many options available, some are better than others.

If possible, find an organization that has been around for some time and has proven trustworthy. A good place to start is with your state’s department of labor or division of occupational safety and health. 

The agencies often have lists of trusted companies in their areas that can help with background checks. You can also ask other businesses in your industry or community which services they use and recommend as reliable sources of information.

Have Them Sign a Consent Form

When conducting a background check on a potential employee, you need to gain permission from the individual before obtaining any information from them or anyone else about them. This is known as obtaining consent.

There are several ways to obtain consent, but it’s best to have the person sign written consent if possible. That way, there’s no question about whether or not someone gave permission for the search.

If the individual doesn’t want to sign the consent, ask them why not — maybe there’s something you can do to alleviate their concerns. If they say no and don’t explain, then don’t pursue it further with that person unless there’s another way (such as using social media) that won’t require signed consent.”

Ask for Police Reports

If the person you’re considering hiring has been arrested or charged with a crime, you can request copies of police reports related to those incidents. It’s important to note that just because someone has been arrested doesn’t mean they are guilty. Sometimes people are falsely accused. However, if there is evidence that supports the arrest or charges filed against them, then there may be cause for concern about their character and suitability for employment.

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Check Social Media Profiles

Another thing you should do when conducting an online criminal background check is looking at social media profiles. There are many sites where people can list their interests and hobbies, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

You should check these sites for anything that might cause concern, such as alcohol abuse or drug use (especially if these things were mentioned on a resume). Also, check for any posts that could be considered offensive or inappropriate. If there are any red flags present in these profiles, then it may be time to move on to another candidate.

Takeaway!

Once you have gathered information about your client, go over it once more to see if there are any red flags. If you’re reasonably sure this person is not a threat, perform the background check.

 

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