We’re living in the background check age. More information exists about people than ever before. They volunteer some of it themselves through social media, but public records can reveal more about a person’s identity and what they believe.
We’ll talk about background checks and why you might do them right now.
Employment Screening for Sexual Misconduct or Violence
You can do a background check on someone for different reasons. However, pre-employment background checks happen more frequently than most other kinds.
Say that you’re a hiring manager or someone who’s considering hiring a particular individual and making them part of your company. Maybe you’re the business owner, and you’ll work closely with this new hire.
You know you’ll need to trust them, and it’s hard to do that if you don’t know them very well. When you hire someone, you’re always rolling the dice. If you learn as much as you can about this person before bringing them on board, that should give you peace of mind.
Their resume will only tell you so much, and you can also get an impression from their interview. You know this individual will represent your company, though, so the wrong hire can prove disastrous for many reasons.
This person could steal from you if they’re dishonest. Their lifestyle choices could contradict what you want your company to represent. If the public finds out that this person works for you, that could quickly turn into a public relations disaster. This person might also have a violent background or have committed sexual misconduct.
You might do a background check on this person with all this in mind. You can approach a background check company, submit this person’s name, and see what comes back.
You can find out about past criminal convictions that indicate this person’s character. You can find out whether they have posted anything hateful or controversial on social media. Very few people have no social media presence these days, so you’ll likely learn information about this person that they volunteer themselves.
You can take everything you learn into account when you decide to hire this person or not. At least you’ll have some indication of whether they might make a good fit, though hiring anyone remains a gamble, whether you do a background check or not.
You Feel This Person is Not Who They Claim
It’s also not uncommon these days to meet someone who says things about themselves, but you’re not sure they’re telling you the truth. For instance, someone might approach you and say they know you from the past. Maybe they claim they’re an old friend you lost track of many years ago.
They might also say they’re related to you by blood or marriage but through a tenuous or distant connection. Maybe they’re telling you the truth, but perhaps they’re lying.
This sort of thing sounds like the plot of a dramatic TV series, but it’s a reality that scammers exist, and they’re always coming up with new schemes. You might have someone who hears you have money or sees that you live a comfortable lifestyle, and they want to get close to you to take financial advantage of what you have.
You might sniff out this person immediately, but maybe they have a convincing story that gives you pause. Perhaps they know details about your life and those around you. Some scammers can charm you with their personality and intimate details they learned from public information.
You might want to believe this person’s lies, but you’re still wary about what they say. If so, you can do a background check on them and find out if they’re running a con on you. If you see that they have a background where they perpetrated fraudulent acts, you can blow them off and continue with your life.
You Can Comply with the Law
If you’re thinking about hiring someone, you might want to run a background check on them to put your mind at ease. However, if you’re running certain companies, you’re required by law to do it.
For instance, maybe you run a company in the banking field. Perhaps you run a childcare business. You need to do a background check to hire anyone in those fields. Public transportation applies, as does healthcare or education.
When you consider it, it makes sense that you would want to do a background check on someone if they want to drive a bus or train for you. You want to know about them if they’re around children as well. Maybe they have a sexual misconduct history regarding children.
You want to know someone’s trustworthy in banking because they’re around money all day long. You certainly want to trust someone in the healthcare industry, like a doctor or a nurse. Patients will trust them with their very lives and their privacy as well.
You’re Dating Someone and Want to Learn About Them
You might choose to do a background check on someone if you’re dating them and want to find out more about them. You can always trust them when they tell you about themselves. In the modern era, though, maybe that’s not enough, especially if you’re thinking about taking the relationship to the next level.
You might meet this person through an online dating app or website. Maybe you know them through work, or a friend set you up. If so, you know a little about them, but probably not all that much.
That’s a time when you might choose to do a background check on them to find out whether they have any troubling secrets about which you should know. If you’ve known this person all your life, and you only just started dating them, maybe you won’t find this move necessary. If you’re dating someone and you don’t know what they did for many years of their life, though, you’ll probably find a background check worth it.
That check might reveal they’re actually married already, or they have certain political beliefs that don’t correspond to yours. You might find out that this person says angry or disturbing things online. If they act like a troll when they’re on social media, you know that’s a part of their personality.
Based on what you find, you might move forward and marry them or move in with them. If you learn things that bother you, though, you may choose to end the relationship based on that knowledge before it goes any further.
You Can Find Out Whether Someone Faked Their Credentials
If you’re thinking about hiring someone, we have discussed how you can find out about things like a violent past or sexually inappropriate behavior. Checking their credentials is another reason to do a background check before hiring someone.
You might have an individual who claims they have a degree from some prestigious university. You can probably find out about that through a background check relatively easily.
That information exists as part of the public record. Maybe this person fakes a graduate degree and produces an official-looking physical copy of it. If you do a background check, though, you can find out whether the university has ever heard of this person.
If someone faked their credentials, then you obviously can’t trust them. You can expose the lie and send them on their way before hiring someone unqualified for a prominent company position.
You Can Figure Out Whether You Should Give Them Money
Maybe you’re an angel investor, and you wait for individuals to approach you with company ideas. You give money to people who have valid business notions but need capital to get them off the ground.
They might come to you with a solid business plan, but you don’t know this person. You’ve never met them before. You don’t know whether they have failed company ideas in their history.
It should make you feel much better to learn about this person and their background. If you see that you’re dealing with an MIT grad who’s intelligent and capable, you’re much likelier to put up the money to fund their company. You know that they have a legitimate business notion, and you will likely see an investment return.
Background checks can reveal all kinds of things about people, and more than anything else, they deliver peace of mind. Whether you want to know about an individual because you’re dealing with them personally or professionally, it’s tough to take them at their word.
Technology exists now that can delve into someone’s past and tell you about their present as well. If you approach a company and tell them you want to do a background check on someone, you’re doing your due diligence. Whether you’re dating this person, hiring them, or you know them for some other reason, you can probably find out whether to trust them and to keep them in your life.
If the background check reveals the worst, you can sever ties with this individual.
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