Most people understand the basic background check concept. You’re hiring a company to get them to find out about a person. You might learn all kinds of information about that individual when you get back the report.
You may have many different reasons for doing a background check on someone. However, if you learn something about them that surprises you, you may not know what to do with that information. We will talk about some options for what you can do in this scenario right now.
How Do Background Checks Work?
First, you should understand how background checks work. Information.com can help you learn about an individual through a background check. All you do to start the process is go to their website, pay the fee, and type in as much information about this person as you have.
Maybe all you have is a first and last name. Perhaps you know the city in which they live, or you have a physical address. You might even have their social security number if this person applied for a job with your business.
Then, the background check company goes to work. They use that information to find out about this person, and they get back to you with a detailed report. They will check anything that’s public record, but they might also use social media profiles or anywhere else on the web where they can learn more about this individual.
When you get the report, you can know things like this person’s marital status and whether they have any kids. You can see whether they owe any child support. You can find out whether they have a criminal background and what crimes they committed.
You might find out whether they ever got a drunk driving arrest. You can learn whether they have outspoken political beliefs or whether they graduated from a particular school. You’ll get a wide-ranging look at their life, both their past and present.
What to Do with That Information
Once you get that background check report back, you can decide what to do with that information based on the reason you ordered the report in the first place. Your reason for wanting to find out about this person and what the report revealed will indicate the most prudent path forward.
We’ll go over a few different scenarios and talk about what you might do with the information you find.
An Employment Background Check
Checking into someone’s life because you’re thinking about hiring them happens all the time. These days, it’s standard practice to do a background check before you allow someone to become part of your team.
Some businesses even have longstanding relationships with background check companies because they use them all the time. It is similar to having a lawyer on retainer if you know you need legal services a lot. If you run a huge company like Apple or Google, you might need to do background checks on people several times every week.
That background check can sometimes reveal things about a job candidate that they would prefer to keep hidden. Now you know about these details, though, so you can decide what to do about them.
Maybe the background check shows that this person has a criminal history. If the cops busted them for recreational marijuana use several years ago, you might not disqualify them from the job for that reason.
However, maybe this person committed sexual assault or manslaughter. Maybe they mowed down a child while driving drunk. If you learn about something like this, you may feel like you don’t want to hire them based on this knowledge.
Certain bills are working their way through the American legal system to prohibit a potential employer from doing a criminal background check and not hiring someone because of their felonious past. Some lawmakers support these bills, as do some potential employers. Others feel like you should have the option to learn about someone’s criminal history.
Wherever you fall on this issue, at the moment, background checks that can reveal a person’s criminal history remain legal. As long as that’s true, you can use this tool and hire someone or not based on what you find out about them.
A Dating Background Check
You might also do a background check on someone because you’re dating them. Maybe you don’t know all that much about this person because you met them through a dating app or website. Perhaps you met them through work, or they approached you at a bar.
You might feel connected to them early on, but you don’t know whether to take things further. Doing a background check on them isn’t a bad idea in this scenario. You might find out that they’re concealing things from you that you would much rather know.
Much like the employment background check situation, you can decide what to do with this person based on what you learn about them. Perhaps you’ll find that they have a family already, and they’re just stringing you along for sex, or they’re playing with your emotions. That’s awful, but it happens fairly frequently.
You might also learn that this person has a ton of debt, and they’re trying to get close to you because you have money. You don’t want to think the worst about a person, but if you have dated them for a while and they have not brought up their financial status, it’s at least worth talking about it with them.
When you learn about this person you’re dating through a background check, you can decide whether to confront them with what you learned or not. If you found something pretty damning, you will probably want to hash it out with them.
If you found out something potentially troubling but not something that you feel should automatically disqualify them from dating you, you might want to tell them about what you found to see what they say. If they can explain the troubling issue in a way that satisfies you, you might stay with them.
Background Checks to Confirm Identity
You might do a background check because someone enters your life and claims to be someone, but you don’t know if it’s a con or not. You might have money or live a comfortable lifestyle. Someone may show up claiming a blood or familial relationship, but you don’t know if that’s true.
Say you have someone who says they’re your half-sibling. Your parents are no longer alive to confirm that story. This person might have details about your life and your family that you feel make them credible.
You can’t know for sure, though, and you want to find out the truth before you welcome them with open arms. If they’re destitute, you might suspect fraud.
A background check will probably reveal this person’s real identity. You might learn that they’re not who they claim, and they’re only trying to swindle you for financial gain.
If so, you’ll likely want to cut them out of your life, and you might even call the police. You don’t want this person doing the same thing to someone else who’s more gullible than you.
Choose Your Next Move Carefully
If you decide to run a background check on someone and learn some things about them, it’s entirely your prerogative what you choose to do with that information. However, you should think carefully before you act.
Maybe you’re in that scenario where you’re dating a person, and you learned something about them that bothers you a little, but it’s really not all that terrible. You should think about whether you want to torpedo the relationship because of this minor detail.
If you confront the person and they have a reasonable explanation for what you found, they’ll know you did a background check on them. Maybe they won’t have a problem with that, but perhaps it will bother them quite a bit. They’ll understand that you didn’t trust them, and they might break up with you because of it.
The same thing might happen if you did a background check on someone you suspect was not who they claimed. If you find out they’re the real deal, you might not want to mention that you did the background check. If you do, you might make them sad or angry. They might feel you’re an untrusting person, and they may think less of you because of it.
You can use background checks for many good and legitimate purposes, and if you find out something crucial about a person, you may feel justified that you acted the way you did. If you don’t find out anything incriminating, though, or you learn something relatively minor, you may choose not to ever reveal that you conducted the check.
That’s entirely up to you, but think hard before you act. You don’t want to ruin a relationship with someone because you checked up on them and then thoughtlessly told them about it.