There has been a lot of talk about background checks in recent years. Most of what we hear about these checks is in regards to gun control laws, but there are a lot of other reasons for the rise in the number of background checks being performed for varying uses.
Background checks are useful tools for businesses wanting to know about potential employees, they’re good for finding out about the past of someone wanting to purchase a dangerous weapon, and they’re good for just checking someone’s history out that you met online and might be meeting up with. With so much of what we do being tied to the Internet and online world, why not use that world to find out who you’re dealing with sometimes?
What Does a Background Check Give You?
There is a common misconception that when someone runs a background check on you, they’re only looking to see if you have a criminal record out there anywhere. That’s just simply not true. Background checks look at a lot more than criminal histories.
Let’s say you apply for a job that requires you to have a skill set and knowledge that you would have to gain through a degree program at an establishment for higher education. On your resume, you put that you had attended college at such-and-such, and you received a degree in something related to what the job requires. But the truth is, you started attending that school and never finished the degree program. If the company you’re applying to decides to run a background check on you, they can find the information in your school records proving that you lied during the application process.
Background checks look at things like education history and employment history. Yes, it is true that they will provide you with the information from someone’s criminal record too, but that’s not all you’ll get from these. You can use a background check to make sure someone is who he says he is.
What Should You Know Before Performing a Background Check?
Employers have some pretty stringent rules to follow that are held up by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA. Companies have to be careful to stay within their legal rights for looking into an employee’s background. There has to be a clearly expressed permission given by the potential hire, and the check can only be performed at the time the expression was made.
People like you and me though, don’t have to follow the same set of laws. We do have some rules to consider, however. There are things that you can and can’t do when you’re using background checks on people. Make sure you know what those things are before you just go snooping around however you want to.
Employers and Background Checks
As we mentioned above, employers have to adhere to stricter guidelines when it comes to performing background checks on their prospects or other employees. There are companies that continue to run additional checks on their people from time-to-time. Here’s something interesting though, some employers won’t have to manually run a whole new background check periodically to get an update on an employee. There’s new technology for that.
The latest trend for background checking is continued surveillance. So, the employer starts you off with your original background check, but then puts you into the system for Continuous Check, which is software that keeps updating your history even after you start working for that employer. Sounds a little nuts, right?
It kind of is, but it’s real and it’s already out there. There are definitely some rules for this kind of background checking, but things are so new with this technology that there may be some toes stepped on along the way. There are a few different companies starting to offer this kind of service. This is the future of background checks, which means there are some muddy waters to trek through before the clear ground rules are determined surrounding the use of continued background checking.
Should You Run Background Checks?
Some people think that background checks are bad things. If you consider why someone might think that, it might make you start to understand why you should perform these kinds of checks. Here’s something to consider, people who have nothing to hide, hide nothing. So, if someone protests against you wanting to run a background check on them, that should be cause enough to push harder for the permission to do so, or just throw that fish back into the sea, and look for someone else to hire. It’s better to be proactive in today’s world rather than reactive.
Technology That Serves You
Background checks can save you time, money, headaches, stress and even heartache, in some cases. It’s important to know who someone really is. All you’re doing with a background check is making sure this person is being forthright with you, and that he is in fact who he says he is. You can get background checks done quickly and at little to no cost. It’s better to know what you’re working with than to possibly be in the dark.