If you find yourself in the position to conduct a background check, you'll have many different options that might work well. You may hear of the FBI fingerprint check or some check from your state authorities. You may even hear about free online services that promise to make things as easy as possible. What do these services have in common and how are they different? Before you pull the trigger on a background check service, understand what you'll be getting. Read up on criminal background check reviews to get a sense of the function and value of each service.
Free criminal background checks
For the company on a tight budget, it might pay to start off with a free background check service. There are plenty of services online that will compile basic background check information. Most of these services then offer to do more for you for an additional fee. The basic service will provide conviction records that are readily available online. You'll get a good sense of what a person has done in the past, but you'll need to dig deeper to get the full picture of what a person has done. These checks can be a starting point.
County-based background checks
If you have information on where a person lives or has lived, you can conduct your own check with that particular county. Many employers will check both the place an applicant currently lives and where the person lived in college. Depending on the county, you may be able to access this information online. In some cases, counties with low budgets will maintain their records physically rather than digitally. When that's the case, you may have to pay a fee for a physical records search. When you use this type of search, you'll have to put in more legwork, but you can expect more detailed results about the charges and dispositions of any criminal activity.
FBI fingerprint background checks
Companies that want to dig deep will use the FBI's database in some way. The FBI is tight-lipped and does not like to give out information unless it has to. This means that you may have to go through your state authorities to get the FBI's information. FBI information tends to be more reliable. You'll get detailed reports on what happened, when it happened, and how the courts dealt with it. Understand that you may pay more for this service. Some people are willing to pay the extra money because they get more reliable and thorough information on a given job applicant.
When it comes to conducting background checks, match the service you use to your own personal needs. If you're just trying to get a sense of what your new neighbor is all about, you may settle for the free resources out there. If you're paying lots of money to hire a new person right of college, then it may make sense to invest in a more comprehensive check. Just how important is your personal or business security?