Before you enter into the market for a background check make sure you know what results you want to achieve.  Background checks vary cagreatly in scope and price, and the extent of the research depends on what you need to know. Ask yourself, “What do I want the information for?”  Is it for pre-employment or to obtain information on a person or company you are considering doing business with?   Are you hiring a business partner or hiring a salesperson? Whatever your reason, you need to have it clearly identified before proceeding.

A background check can be as simple as a check for the existence of an arrest record and as complex as a full field investigation verifying everything on an application including address, education, employment history, professional memberships, and references from former employers and neighbors. There are many sources for fee-based background investigations. Internet-based services charge a fee (typically under $100) for a “data dump” of information pertaining to the name you specify. What you see is what you get, and there are no frills for the fee; you simply receive the raw data you pay for. The information is neither collated nor analyzed, and many times, the seller uses the purchase as a “gateway” to try to sell you more sophisticated and specific data. A fee-based background investigation may save you time and money if all you’re looking for is basic, superficial information. But if you need anything more in-depth, it is beneficial to consider a professional investigator.

The primary advantage of a professional background investigation is having the investigator’s skill at your disposal. In addition to collecting background information, a good professional investigator will analyze it for you at no additional charge. As he or she progresses through the process of gathering information, he/she is also verifying and cross-referencing one piece of information with another.  For example, was the social security number issued in the state where the subject lived at the time? Do the vehicle registration and driver’s license show the same address?

Another advantage of working with a skilled and experienced investigator is the evaluation of each piece of information as it is being obtained.  Quality investigators know what kind of results to expect from various sources and are able to recognize where information received is atypical and should be given further scrutiny.  This is often called “discrepant information.”  For example, the claim of an advanced degree from a suspected diploma mill that does not correspond with work history, arrests in a state where the person never lived, or a Social Security Number issued in a state where the subject never lived.  Many such differences give rise to deeper searches that result in significant findings.

Before proceeding with a background check, carefully consider what you need to achieve.  A good background check can provide you information and insight that gives you a much-needed advantage.  A bad one is a waste of time and money and can damage your reputation. A professional background Investigation gives you more than a glimpse of the character of the person under investigation. It also serves as a road map of where and how to continue the investigation if necessary. Trust your family and your business to an experienced professional investigator who will tailor a background search to fit your situation rather than strive to sell you a package of prepared information.  Background checks are important, and they are important to get right. A poorly done background check is not much better than not doing one at all. When you need background checks performed, be sure to call Cadfael Investigative Group, Inc.