Private Investigators In Virginia

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Background Checks–Mistakes

Posted by Bill on May 31, 2008

  Business Week recently published an article entitled “The Trouble with Background Checks.”  Click for Story Here

The article points out that the “$4 billion business of background screening is booming.” Professional investigators know that “background checks” includes many things, and some checks may be very thorough or be shallow and produce mistakes. Many companies are looking for mass produced, inexpensive “background checks” to decide hiring employees. The prospective employee must consent to a background check of unknown origin and unknown detail.

Business Week points out that background screening companies profits have soared over 40% last year. The trouble with many background checks is making sure the information is correct, accurate and up to date. In addition, it is very nice to know the competency of the employees actually doing the background check. These type of background checks are generally just a search of computer data bases of various kinds. Some “screeners” will interview references. But will some reference dislike the applicant and tell vicious tales about the person? Who knows? Will the “background screener,” who is likely underpaid, be able to discern from the conversation the truthfulness of the reference’s statement?

I have been contacted by some government contracted background investigators who were checking on applicants for government jobs. i was not impressed with the method, nature or thoroughness of the interview. I could have told the investigator that the applicant was personally known to me to be the devil, and I do not think that would have slowed down the questioner.

If you are having background checks done by one of the larger companies, make sure you know what you are getting in return for you $24.95, $54.95 or whatever the amount you pay for the background check.

Bill Lowrance
President PIAVA

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One Response to “Background Checks–Mistakes”

  1. I am a great fan of background checks in my business but not all of them are of good quality of course. But when deciding over a small monthly membership fee or a several thousand dollars employee just to do background checks the answer was easy to find. I only do my checks online these days…

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