Background Investigations

Whether you're applying for a job, a government program, or for school, background checks are an essential part of the process. They are a way of showing potential employers that you are a trustworthy candidate for a position. They are also another way to show proof that you have no criminal background or are engaged with criminal activities.

While the purpose and importance of a background check are well-known in any industry or program, how does the process of a background check work? What is included in a background check? We break down these details so you can make a more informed decision about background checks, and why you should let us handle your background check.

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Process of Background Checks

A desk with a potential employee is filling out criminal background check information.

In general, the goal of a background check is to see whether or not a specific candidate will become a liability or danger to a workplace environment. Typical background checks focus mainly on criminal backgrounds. There are two options available to individuals seeking a criminal background check: the FBI or a private third-party firm.

With the FBI, the candidate can opt to either receive their background check electronically or as a physical file. Candidates would have to mail in their fingerprints and could have their fingerprints done at the post office or the police station. However, this process is typically time-consuming as the average number of weeks it takes for the FBI to respond to a background check request ranges roughly from three weeks to one month and a half. Furthermore, candidates that choose to receive their fingerprints at a local police station may have to schedule an appointment, pushing the schedule of their background check further.

With a private third-party firm, a background check is more streamlined. Private Background check firms can access public records as well as process your fingerprints in one appointment. Within ethical practices, we can complete background checks without making you go through extra hurdles in the process. We can deliver your results electronically or you can pick up your results from our office, meaning less waiting time for snail mail.

What Is Included in a Background Check?

If you want a reliable, efficient background check service today, you may be wondering: what is included in a background check? A background check may sound complicated to process, but it's straightforward in reality. At our private investigation firm, we take the following into account with every background check:

Criminal History

The most important part of the background check is criminal history. Criminal history involves any previous charges as well as whether or not one has been involved with illegal activity. When checking a client's criminal history, we typically look through the following databases:

A person is sitting at their computer typing in background investigation requests.

We run a thorough scan through the above databases so no matter the industry you're planning to work in, we have all bases covered. We seek to make the background check as seamless and easy as possible for you.

Civil History

While many are familiar with the phrase "criminal history," civil history is a little more complicated. The civil history of an individual is different from criminal history because a civil suit involves a wronged party bringing another to court. The wronged party then proceeds to sue the other party. Civil suits usually involve financial penalties whereas a criminal suit, on the other hand, happens when a party is brought to court due to a crime against the state, and can involve both jail time as well fines.

Electronic investigations

Civil suits can be checked within one's county and federal court records. They can cover a wide range of court proceedings, including divorces and child custody, but the civil suits we examine for include particular items such as breach of contract or liens.

The reason why your civil history may be checked is to reduce the risk of employee theft. For example, according to the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in 2014, 64% of small businesses have experienced theft. Furthermore, the amount of money stolen was around $20,000—considering these numbers, it's understandable why employers want to reduce their company's risk profile and thoroughly vet every possible candidate.

A civil history background check must be run differently than a criminal history one, and we understand the process of collecting information for a detailed background check involves a lot of leg work. However, that's why you leave it to the professionals to make your day and background check easier.

Bankruptcies

Bankruptcy is a legal process where a debtor can attempt to get relief for their debts if they can't repay them. Contrary to popular belief, bankruptcies are not part of your civil history background check as bankruptcies are processed through the U.S. federal district rather than a court. To know whether or not an individual has filed for bankruptcy, you must request a bankruptcy report. Once a bankruptcy report is filed, you can learn of the following details:

bankrupcies

In some cases, companies may ask candidates to provide a credit report, and a credit report will list any bankruptcies you have filed for. If you have filed for bankruptcy, and need to supply a bankruptcy report, our company is more than happy to comb the records for yours and provide it in one streamlined service. Background checks are time-consuming, and multiple background checks can be a hassle, but with our company, we put in the work so you don't have to.

Liens

A lien is essentially a security interest over a specific piece of property to ensure the payment of a debt, or the meeting of a different obligation if applicable. While you can get a lien for cars, liens are most common in real estate, especially in the form of a mortgage. In some cases, liens may be of a more involuntary nature in which the homeowner must pay them off before being able to sell the property.

A closeup shot of deed forms ready for signing.

The reason why some employers look to see whether or not a candidate has a lien is that liens can sometimes signal if someone is in debt. When checking for liens, the process is similar to checking for loans on real estate: looking through the county as well as local records. In some cases, however, county records may not be available online to check for liens—in these situations, one must go in-person to check with the county clerk.

Instead of going yourself, you can simply let our company know that you need a check for liens. We will send one of our professional, well-experienced investigators to perform the check in your stead, helping you save time, money, and energy.

Background checks are an essential part of the job hiring process

They are helpful tools in supporting your candidacy for a position and for employer's who want peace of mind when making hiring decisions. While the types of background checks required by an employer are determined by the industry, we believe in transforming background checks into an easy, seamless process. Contact us for a free quote today and how we can help you with your background check.

Three business people review background paperwork for a potential employee.

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