Many problems can be prevented by conducting a thorough background check. Criminal records are the first thing to look at, including both felony and misdemeanor convictions.
We also recommend checking criminal history for all AKA (Also Known As) names and additional counties the person has resided in. Many criminals know that if they move from one county to another that many companies will not check for the prior counties of residence. This information will show on the person’s social security number trace. Many people have additional names, this includes people who use their middle name instead of their first name, an adopted parents’ name, other legal name changes, and maiden names.
We recommend reviewing an applicant’s driving history—do they have a suspended or revoked driver’s license? Do they have drug or alcohol abuse problems showing up on their driving history? Have they ever been convicted of any violence-related offenses such as road rage or concealed weapons violations, or other issues such as evasion of police or reckless driving? Many serious issues and convictions appear in driving histories that are not found in criminal records at all and do reflect information about the applicant’s personality traits and behaviors. In particular, violence-related issues may be a concern for many positions of responsibility.
Driving histories in most states provide date of birth as ancillary information. Date of birth is a key identifier needed to obtain accurate criminal records and help identify that you are searching for the correct person, not someone else having the same name. There are many common last names; only date of birth helps you to identify which is the John Smith that you are hiring rather than a different John Smith. This helps to avoid false negative criminal results (that is a clear criminal history reported when the person may have been convicted of a crime).
Note: Social security numbers rarely ever appear in criminal histories and with respect to criminal records are only useful in determining which names an applicant has used and which counties they have lived in.
Social Security Trace & Address Verification
Social security number verification shows the applicant’s residence history, various names they may be known by, and confirmation that they have a valid social security number. This check is necessary to determine which names to check for criminal records and in which counties to look for those records. It is possible for a person to be convicted of a crime in a different county than the one they live in, or for the name to be different than their legal name.
Infortal recommends checking at least the two most recent prior employers for the applicant’s work history, dates of hire, job title, and salary. and pay attention to whether or not the employer would rehire them. Always ask for references and spend the time checking these, see below.
Check the applicant’s degree to be sure they have graduated from the university or college that they are claiming. Typically this includes the name of the university, degree major (and minor subjects), type of degree (BA/BS/MA/MBA, PhD, etc) and the year the degree was awarded. Most universities will confirm whether the person only attended for a few semesters if they did not graduate or completed coursework but did not pay their tuition.
Most universities will also confirm whether a degree certificate was issued by them or may be a forged document; it is in the university’s interest to do so in order to prevent degree fraud.
Remember that background checks only review a “snapshot” of information available in the public records domain. To be more thorough we highly recommend conducting reference interviews with at least 6 people that know the applicant. These references should be people that know the person well and should not include friends or family members.
We recommend that you conduct these reference interviews in person, however, Infortal has skilled investigators that can conduct them for you if you choose.
If the position requires a professional license this can also be verified.
Sex Offender Searches:
Infortal’s Sex Offender searches help businesses and individuals to screen out people convicted of sex crimes and other violent individuals. The National Sex Offender Website hosted by the Department of Justice includes such crimes from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the District Of Columbia, and participating tribes. Sex offender registration information is retrieved directly from the individual jurisdiction where a sex offender is registered. Infortal has the ability to conduct all types of public records searches. For additional component searches, please click here.