How to create an effective applicant background check.

Who needs a background check? Employers, Contractors, Governments, and Volunteers groups.

The possible areas of concern are as follows: Prudent people will not allow their children to be associated with a high risk because of potential influence, harm or threats to the child. Therefore our modern society can screen for historical behavior in a fast and efficient manner.

Major areas of concern. Most employers and volunteer groups will not allow employees nor volunteers convicted of “Operating a vehicle while impaired”, “sexual misconduct”, “larceny”, “physical threats”, “credit and financial stress” into their organization for fear of repeat history.

Diligence: Depending on the organization will determine the
emphasis, in a specific area, where to look and determine what a reasonable risk is when the profile is completed.

Longevity: How far back do we look? The organization must determine how far back, in history, will they be concerned about. Does a DWI from 10 years ago violate your policy? It will if you are working with children or elderly. Does a “Sexual Assault” felony conviction in which the applicant was just released from jail one year ago after a twenty year sentence?


Data validation is imperative. Confirming the applicant/volunteer personal data is accurate. Many sex offenders will change their name, address, documents and states to distance themselves from the incident that occurred long ago.

Answer: Photo Identification and processing an “SSN” search. Verifies accuracy, determines the address history, and verifies the “SSN” is valid and assigned to the right person. A wrong date of birth invalidates everything you have just prepared. With it the process can no longer be effective.

Time factor: How long will these requests take? It’s worth doing this profile correctly but everyone is considered with duration so they can plan accordingly. Asking for a “Turn Around Time” is within reason.

Answer: In most situations one to two business days is typical. Many states are quicker and some states are slower. Knowing the “Quality” of the information is more important than completion time.

Criminal history: Understanding what services are available is
imperative to the customer. The USA has more than 3000 local governments in the 50 states. Not every state allows access to the local level of arrest and conviction records.

Answer: After looking at the SSN address trail of the adult will determine where the applicant has lived. Obtain original “Live” record searches at the county or state government level. Most states offer a statewide criminal repository but not all repositories is 100% accurate and needs to be monitored for such.

Sex Offender: The sex offender registry originates at a
county or state level. One more place to double check something was not missed the first time. Example: A sex offender can live in NY, go on a 2 week vacation at a child-like resort in Florida or California, assault a child and go back home to NY.

Answer: Check all US States and US Territory sex offender registries for all combinations of birth given names as well as nick names and other variations or name changes. Most offenders have aliases.

Sanctions: Specific government sanctions may impact an
organization depending on its needs. IE: OFAC or The “Office of Foreign Assets Control” is operated by the US Treasury and is popular to check terrorist from obtaining and directing funds for illegal operations.

Answer: Determine what government sanctions work best
for your organizational needs. BestHire will be able to provide answers within this field. OFAC, HHS and GSA are very common.

Federal Crimes: Don’t forget to check US Federal courts. The FBI can arrest a person for bank robbery, the suspect be convicted in Federal court and the results would never show up in local court. Departments like the FBI, IRS, CIA, NSA, ATF, ICE are just a few found in US Federal court.

Answer: Search the US Federal Court. Many charges
such as embezzlement, immigration, racketeering, money laundering will appear in federal court but not in state courts.

Federal Law: Don’t forget to observe US Federal Law/Regulations
such as: Fair Credit Reporting, Americans with Disabilities act, and bureaus like “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Answer: Work with a company that complies with laws, experience,
and standards forged by industry associations.