Background Investigations: Where To Start?

I need a background check and I want to know...

Why do you really want a background investigation? Do you know what to ask for? Have you considered relevance and context of asking a private investigator for a background investigation?

We will dig a little deeper into these questions.

What Is The Background Investigation For?

Knowing what your background investigation is for is not the same as knowing who you are investigating. Often, we speak with clients who have never been presented with the first step — why?

  • Before you hire someone?

  • Before you enter into a personal relationship?

  • Before you engage in a business alliance?

  • During a dispute or family problem?

  • After something negative has happened?

Before is always best. It means that prior to entering any of these situations you first have the forethought to dot your I's and cross your T's.

Before you begin, do so with knowing the big picture.

Background Investigations In Business

It's not hard to understand why someone would want to background check a potential spouse, babysitter or love interest, but when it comes to business, many facets are often overlooked? Have you considered a background investigation prior to:

  • An acquisition or merger?

  • Engaging a new customer (KYC)

  • Starting a joint venture (JV)

  • Vendor relationships

  • Third Parties representing your product or service

  • Executive C-Level appointments

  • Appointing management

  • Hiring staff

Not conducting a background investigation can have negative consequences and place an enormous amount of liability at your door.

A criminal history check won't reveal a sexual harassment civil suit. A review of LinkedIn won't reveal that the subject omitted job history. Or that a potential vendor lost a contract with another supplier because of fraud won't just show up without a bit of due diligence. Use your imagination, but you get the point.

Anything can have a negative consequence on the future continuity of your venture, deal or business relationship — especially where public interests are underlined.

Background Investigations In Personal and Familial Matters

Found your one true love? Great! We hope you have, but would it hurt to validate some really important information?

Like, where exactly have they lived - cities, counties, states and countries? This matters. Why? Because they may have left a past that isn't as charming as the last time he brought you roses or she brought you a bowl of Cheerios while in bed. Some people have stuff they would rather not share, and this may be important — really important!

Perhaps you have children. Would't it be good to know for a fact if the person has lead a moral life, free from abuse and other factors that could place your own children in harms way?

Just like conducting a business background check, you are entering into a very delicate and important personal relationship. Think of all the things he/she has told you — how much do you know is an absolute fact?

What Information Is Available in a Background Investigation?

There is a plethora of information to chose from when asking for a background investigation, but again, knowing why will help steer you in the direction of where to start and what may be the most important.

Here is a smattering of things we can look for in any background investigation:

  • Who are they really? - verify their identity

  • Where are they from? - from the start of their life to present

  • What is their true education? - has it been embellished?

  • Is this really every job they ever had? - look for omitted places of employment

  • What are they really saying in personal social media? - racial slurs, true facts of their life?

  • Do they have a criminal history? - fraud, sexual offenders, violent past?

  • Have they been in a law suit? - sued for sexual harassment, breach of contract, landlords?

  • Been involved in regulatory sanctions?

There are many more points to review, but these will be decided upon when you meet with us and as we build a background investigation that will give you the appropriate context when completed.

Just to Reiterate

In closing, there is no one background investigation. A good private investigator will help you to narrow the focus to the reason and then move on to what will help you get a complete picture within the focus of the investigation.

The 101 of a background investigation starts with the why you need it and then connects the dots with best practices in your investigation. You are left with the context of the investigation and thus able to make important decisions moving forward.