Background checks are an important part of any company’s hiring process. Being aware of a job candidate's criminal records, including potential arrests, convictions, and incarcerations, in particular, are no exception. There are many ways to search for an individual’s criminal record, but some are more effective than others.
Here are five different ways to look up criminal records on employees.
Perform a Basic Internet Search.
One way to find information about a prospective employee is to perform a basic online search on that individual.
Here are some search tips:
Put quotation marks around the individual’s full name. Double check the spelling.
Consider where the individual resides and attempt to eliminate individuals with the same name.
Cross-search using multiple search engines including Google, Whitepages, Glassdoor and LinkedIn.
Pros: Fast and free.
Cons: Internet searches are not 100% reliable. While you may find results for the candidate, you are very likely to also find several other individuals with the same name. Additionally, there are not many ways to verify that you have, in fact, found the right person or that the information that you have found is accurate.
Perform a Public Records Search.
Another way to collect information about a job candidate is to perform a public records search. This can be done through online databases on government or court websites.
How to search public records:
Get a list of states, counties and cities where your job candidate held residence.
Perform a Google search for the phrase “criminal records” plus the location name.
If the location does not have an online database, you will need to access hard copies of the records in person.
Pros: More accurate than an internet search.
Cons: Public record searches can be time consuming, and you may incur a fee for copies of courthouse records if you have to search them in person. Furthermore, unless you start with the information, you will have to also research the residences of the candidate.
Hire a Professional Background Check Agency.
Because negligible hiring has real consequences, choosing a credible background screening service to perform your job candidates’ criminal records checks is important. Once you choose a professional agency to perform criminal record checks, your job is largely done. So the important lesson here is how to choose, not how to do it yourself.
Here is how to determine if an agency meets your company’s screening needs:
Consider Your Company's Needs: The size, needs and resources your organization has are relevant to the background screening company you choose in the end.
Consider the Services and Quality Offered: Do you just need criminal records checks? Additionally, faster and easier is not always better. When it comes to hiring, accurate is better.
Consider Credibility: Affiliation can add to a provider’s credibility. Ask for references, read reviews and research industry connections of a given service background check provider.
Consider Carefully: Take your time making this decision. It is not a quick fix but a partnership with an organization who will provide you with accurate information that can help you hire the right individuals to support your company.
Pros: Accurate results, timely turnaround, credible, and as a bonus, perform comprehensive screening services - not just checks for criminal records.
Cons: Hiring a professional background check agency to research a job candidate’s criminal background is not a quick fix, but a partnership.
Triton offers comprehensive background screening services, including criminal record checks. While you can perform a basic internet search or chase down public records to determine whether a candidate has a criminal record that may or may not impact their ability to work for your organization, the surest way to obtain accurate criminal records is to hire a professional background check provider.
To learn more about Triton’s services and free, no obligation trial offer, reach out to us today.