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Background Checks: What Do They Reveal?

13October, 2015

Background checks are a necessary endeavour to help individuals and businesses make informed decisions about people they’re considering hiring or trusting with particular privileges.

Before the offer for a job, loan or business transaction can be made, institutions need to do background checks to ensure the person they are starting a relationship with is trustworthy, reliable and fiscally responsible.


Who Carries Out Background Checks?


Most background checks are conducted by employers who are assessing candidates for employment. The employer could be parents hiring a nanny, or the government hiring office staff. Background checks are also carried out by banks assessing loan applications and spouses looking into behaviour of their partners.


Private investigation companies carry out very detailed background checks on the behalf of clients who can’t do the investigation themselves. Background checks are on a spectrum of cost and complexity starting with simple online search engines and social media, to getting more in-depth research with private investigation firms.


Online Searches


Information that comes up on social media websites is information that an individual has chosen to display about themselves. Information on a profile will show friends, hobbies and interests through using likes and follows.


This information gives an idea about the character and personality of a person. This is especially useful if you’re meeting someone in person for the first time after connecting online or if an employer is taking applications for a new team member where it is important they fit in with the current team.


Using search engines you can find news articles about an individual. News articles have a unique perspective because they are not controlled by the person you are searching whereas their social media accounts are. Internet searches only cost the time to carry out the search and the information gathered is relatively broad and superficial. For a deeper look into a person’s history, you must look into government records.


Government Records


Through contact with the appropriate authorities, a person or company can request reports on particular aspects of an individual’s history. Accessing public records will list birth, death and marriage certificates as well as information about the property a person owns. This kind of information is needed to prove an individual’s identity when making certain applications such as home loans and high profile job applications.
Background checks - what do they reveal?
There are separate agencies within the government that keep records of everyone’s past. The police keep records on criminal activities, convictions and legal proceedings. The police offer record information in two packages: standard or enhanced. The standard package shows all previous arrests, court appearances and warrants listed on national record. The enhanced option shows the national records and, if relevant, local records too.


By checking government records, an employer gets information about how trustworthy a candidate is. Other agencies carry information such as past drug test results, credit history or driving offences.


Due to the cost of creating a report, they are only purchased when they have relevance to a situation or application. For example, a delivery company wanting to hire a new driver wants to ensure they’re not considering a thief or dangerous driver. Signed consent from the person being investigated is required when undertaking a Criminal Record search.


Particular details about a person’s history may not be accessible without use of a third party investigation company. A private investigator will have particular accreditations and licenses to obtain the information on behalf of a client. Results of investigations can differ between private hire companies, depending on their resources and methods of getting the reports.


Private Investigation


Private investigators have the means to carry out physical investigations into people. This type of background check is the most expensive, due to time and the resources used to collect data. They can involve one investigator following a target individual, or a whole team gathering information. Being the most expensive background check, the data is extremely specific as it is limited to a single context unlike the broad and superficial data from a web search.


The client will need to choose investigative methods offered by the private investigator, making the data revealed dependent on the client’s motives for investigation. The data obtained from surveying a person in public may differ from data found through electronic monitoring or collecting discarded documents.


Background checks reveal snapshots into people’s lives. Through a simple web search you can find news articles, likes and dislikes, building a generalised picture of people. By increasing the money and time spent on the investigation, the information gathered gets increasingly more detailed and specific.
To learn more about North Court Investigations background checks, get in touch with us today by calling 0800 567 7006 or email us here for a confidential chat.