Understanding Background Investigations and Background Checks
Background investigations are basically the act of compiling together certain records that are indicative of a person’s standing in society. The information gathered may include criminal records, financial records, commercial records, credit reports and, if applicable, juvenile delinquency records.
These types of background checks are most often done in the proceedings of a criminal investigation, private detective investigation or during the hiring process of a company. This is especially useful if the person is being hired into a job or position that requires that they be trustworthy human beings, such as jobs where children or the care of other people are concerned or where important or sensitive information is a security issue. For example, a person who is a registered sex offender and has a criminal record will not be hired as a pre-school teacher once the background investigations are completed, for obvious reasons.
Generally, it is only people who we meet in a professional level whose backgrounds get thoroughly investigated. It would be considered poor social form to do background checks for no reason whatsoever on people like your neighbors or your mailman. As a matter of fact, if a person catches another person doing background checks on them for no reason, it can actually be grounds for filing a case of "invasion of privacy" against the person who is conducting the background search.
Types of Background Investigations
There are many types of background investigations that can be done, whether you do them yourself or through somebody you hire. It can be for employment purposes, where employers do background checks on potential employees. It can be for civil cases, where the person’s personal history is essential to his/her reputation in court. Also, it can be done for completely personal uses.
Here are some different ways that you can conduct background investigations today, such as:
- The most common type of background check is looking up the person’s criminal record. Sometimes, some employers only look at this when they are hiring someone who is not going into a very high position, because all they need to know is that the person that they are hiring is not a convicted felon and are bondable.
- One of the other things that people investigate when looking at someone's background is the person’s legal history, known as civil court records. This covers all cases that are not considered criminal cases, such as divorces, custody battles, liability cases, etc. This is most often the second thing that employers look for when conducting background investigations on potential employees, because it reflects the personal life of the applicant and it can reflect their type personality type.
- Employment history, while it may not be useful, can still prove to surprise every now and then. Especially for people who are applying for a new job, this part of the background investigation is very useful to people who are looking for specific employment background information.
- Drug testing is also a type of background check, because it tells of the very recent drug history of the person, which is what matters in most cases. It is very possible for a person to have taken drugs in the past, but this is may no longer be a problem if it was more than 12 months ago. There are many situations where drug testing can play a role in an important decision.
Aside from the above examples of the different types of background checking, there are many other ways in which a person's integrity can come into question. Some of these include landlord/tenant queries, applying for a credit card, loans, purchasing a home and sometimes even an ex spouse using a private investigator to dig up dirt for a divorce case.
At one point or another, the majority of people around the world will have had some type of personal background check done on them. As well, there are many different people, companies and private parties that are carrying out these searches on a daily basis. In any case, it is important to be informed about how and why background investigations are conducted in today's society.
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