Creating a safer workplace, avoiding employee theft and reducing lawsuits are just some of the benefits of conducting criminal background checks. However, employers may be leaving themselves vulnerable by not understanding the many criminal background check options, and may even be conducting the wrong background checks for their specific workplace needs.
Unfortunately the many different jurisdictions responsible for reporting crimes do not corroborate with each other. For example, crimes committed in Arkansas, will not show up in a state criminal record for Missouri. Hiring a reputable background check company, such as Victig, will help you cover all your bases.
- County/Sate/National Criminal Records: Crimes may be reported in different records. Be sure to check all states that your applicant has be a resident in. Many criminals whose past crimes would make them ineligible for certain jobs have been hired because their current state background check was clean, while they had a record from a previous home state. National crime records should be conducted in addition to local checks to cover your bases.
- Federal Criminal Records: Certain crimes, such as tax fraud, embezzlement, mail fraud, etc that are prosecuted by a federal court will not show up in your county, state or even national criminal records.
- Sex Offender Registry Check: This search is especially important if the job or volunteer work deals with children. Many sex offenders have evaded their past by moving, make sure you check nationwide to see if the applicant is a registered sex offender.
- Federal Bankruptcy Records: You’ll want to make sure your applicant hasn’t been declared bankrupt, especially if the position they’re applying for requires financial responsibilities. Having a bankruptcy on record may indicate lack of money management skills.
- Driving Records: Many employers check applicants driving records to look for unsafe driving practices—especially if the job specifically involves some driving on the job.
- Civil Court Search: Although not all court cases or lawsuits will be applicable to the job, if you find an applicant the center of a breach of contract or product liability case, you may think twice before hiring the applicant.
- Prohibited and Restricted Parties Search: Some criminals are on a “do not hire list” or are subject to other restrictions for illegal activities such as terrorism, trafficking narcotics, trading illegal weapons, money laundering. You can get obtain a list from certain government agencies.
- International Search: If an applicant has a foreign background, you’ll want to do a thorough international search. Thankfully, West Virginia University conducted a background search when they were vetting assistant professor Arnoop Shankar, otherwise they wouldn’t have discovered that he did not have the degrees he claimed to have.
Obviously not all of these criminal searches are necessary for every job, but knowing your options will help you understand which ones will help you hire a safe and qualified applicant.