An overview of Background investigations

Background investigation is the process in which an individual’s or organizations criminal, business or monetary status is assessed and compiled. People in the United States who want to understand the law on background investigation can make reference to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The background checks are mostly used by employers during the hiring process.

To have a background check during recruitment process the employer can contract a government agency or a specialized private company. Essentially, background checks are carried out to reduce the risks by people working within the organization. Background investigation can also be a basis of confirming that the applicants of a job have given truthful information in their application.

The government laws requires people in careers that involve carrying a weapon, working with vulnerable groups and driving a vehicle to have a background check prior to them being given a job. Background checks is also common for people being hired to occupy positions of authority in large companies. Background checks can also be conducted by a financial institution prior to lending money to customers.

Hiring new people in the company can is very expensive to the employers and may at other times expose the business to some level of risk. Although conducting a background check mean that the employer has to incur an additional cost in the short term the result in the long-term is rewarding. When the company employees people with a history of upholding integrity the chances of them continuing to conduct their work with high levels of integrity is also high.

The background checks requested by employers can either be government agency investigation or commercial investigation. With FBI checks investigation is primarily conducted by cross-checking the criminal records reported by law enforcement agency of the State as well as the federal government against the fingerprints. Commercial background checks primarily rely on information of the individual and scrutinizes its validity by comparing it with the records by the police or court both at the state and federal level.

The FBI checks are often precise and accurate. FBI records have a limitation in that even when the crime committed by the applicant was not serious it will take a longer time to investigate.

With background checks conducted by private entities, the applicant is not required to be fingerprinted. Commercial vendor give their reports after a shorter time compared to the government agency. However, these reports by commercial vendors are susceptible to false results.

Reports given by commercial vendors vary in accuracy depending on their expertise yet it may be difficult to determine the vendor that is not accurate. Employers should therefore be prudent when contracting either a government agency or a commercial vendor to do a background check on the recruits.

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