People and companies run background checks to verify someone’s identity, check for a criminal record, and verify employment or education history. We learn more about these and other reasons to run a background check from the screening authority site UnMask.
Who can run a Background Check?
Most commonly, employers, leasing or renting agents, lenders, the government, and attorneys are the ones running background checks. Here are some more details about each group.
Employers have to conduct background checks on all potential hires in the name of safety. The checks help them establish whether a candidate’s work history is valid and they will be capable of carrying out the tasks and fulfilling the responsibilities delegated to them. Employer background checks typically focus on employment and education verification, the existence of criminal history, character references, citizenship status, and sometimes drug screening.
A recent CareerBuilder survey showed just under three-quarters of employers screened applicants using social media before and after the interview. About half use social media to screen existing employees. Legislatively, this is a grey area.
Before they let a prospective customer rent a car, house, or apartment, companies run background checks to look into their credit and rental history. Then, this information is used to determine if the person can be expected to pay on time.
Before offering a loan, a lender wants to make sure that a borrower can be relied on to make timely payments. They run background checks to look for evidence of a stable financial history. Poor credit scores and negative financial histories have an impact on interest rates. In more extreme cases, they might prevent the lender from offering a loan.
It’s often the case that government files contain confidential and sensitive information. Employees must receive security clearance before they can access such files. This clearance necessitates an in-depth background check.
Attorneys perform background checks to look for information they can use in court. Usually, this information refutes or verifies testimonies. They can also use it to determine the extent of someone’s credibility.
Other Reasons for Screening
The professionals listed above aren’t the only ones who can run background checks. In fact, absolutely anyone can choose to run one on you. It can be a potential partner, a client, or a contractor. It’s a good idea to run one on someone you’re considering hirings, such as a housekeeper or babysitter.
Screening a Nanny
Every parent wants to be sure their kids are safe when they’re not with them. They get some much-needed peace of mind by conducting a background check on a prospective care provider.
Romantic partners can have secrets from each other. Someone who wants to be sure they can trust their significant other might decide to run a background check. This can protect them from heartache or complications going forward. Someone might look for your marriage or divorce record to confirm your marital status. You need to obtain a marriage license to get married. A background check can reveal a divorce because all actions granted by a judge are public record.
Investors run background checks on brokers when they’re concerned about how safe their money will be. It’s not reasonable to hire a broker before doing some research because their job comes with great responsibility. A screening can help protect your interest as an investor by letting you see any red flags to act on.
Background checks are one area, in which curiosity won’t harm you. Run a self-check to see what information a lender, prospective employer, or another professional will get if they conduct a background check on you. Looking into your own history can help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the line and make you better prepared for the future, which might involve purchasing a home, renting one out, or looking for a new job.
Getting Information About Bankruptcies
A person or company might run a bankruptcy search to make sure an entity they’re thinking of doing business with hasn’t gone bankrupt in the past. A standard search will return outstanding debt, foreclosure, liens, and judgements as well as one or more of the following:
- Debtor name, alias, and address
- Court and court locations
- Filing data, type and status
- Record case number
- Record type