Saturday, June 02, 2007

How to Conduct a Basic Background Check

by Joe Hoover

In the not-too-distant past, people were raised and spent their lives in small towns or localized city neighborhoods, often living among the same neighbors for all or most of their lives. Everyone knew his or her neighbors, and that personal intimacy lasted a lifetime.

Today’s world however, is highly mobile. Few people live in the same locale for very long, and so many of our interpersonal relationships grow out of cyberspace where a person can become anyone they wish to be. In such a transient society, trust is no longer a matter of faith, but often must be verified, especially in matters of the workplace, business relationships and property rental. 

Background investigations are performed for business or personal reasons, and the depth and breadth of information available can often make the difference between success and failure in a variety of relationships. The reality of 21st century interpersonal relationships requires informed decisions to enable the protection of companies, employees, families, property or investments.

Business background checks are most often performed when hiring employees, managing rental property, conducting business with other companies, investing in a business venture or attempting to collect on a business debt.

Personal background checks are essential when an individual is going to be given access to one’s home or property as a result of performing a service or being hired as an employee.

The unprecedented access to technology enables people to either steal or manufacture identities with great ease. Therefore it is essential to utilize background checks, gleaning as much information as possible to confirm an individual’s identity before becoming involved with them. The old expression “it is better to err on the side of caution” has more meaning today than ever in the past.

The steps shown below provide the procedural basis for conducting background checks, whether for business or personal use. However, keep in mind that when conducting a business background check, most often there is a signed application permission form that enables access to certain specific records that otherwise cannot be accessed.

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