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Conducting Background Investigations and Reference Checks

by Conor Adan

When you’re looking for a new employee, it’s important to do your research. Not only do you want to make sure the applicant is the right fit for your company, but you also want to be sure they have the right qualifications and references. Fortunately, conducting an employment background check is a relatively easy process that can help you get all the necessary information before deciding on how to select one.

What are Background Investigations and Reference Checks?

Background investigations and reference checks are two important employment background check steps. Conducting a background investigation on potential employers will help you determine if they have any past criminal activity or ethical issues.

To conduct a reference check, you’ll need to gather information about the person being reference-checked. You can do this by contacting people who know them well, reading their resumes, or conducting online searches. It’s important to find out about the person you’re checking references against to have an accurate picture of who they are.


Background investigations and reference checks can provide many benefits for businesses. They can help to ensure that the people who work for or contract with a company is reputable and qualified, protect the company from fraud, and keep employees safe.

Background investigations can help to identify any criminal history or other relevant information about a person. This information can help determine whether someone is suitable for employment or contracting with a company.

Reference checks can also help to verify the credentials of prospective employees or contractors. These checks can include reviews of education and work experience, as well as a review of personal references. Reference checks can help to ensure that the people who work for or contract with a company is qualified and honest.

When conducting background investigations and reference checks, it is important to ensure that the information obtained is accurate and up-to-date. This information should be verified through additional channels if necessary.

Steps involve Background Investigations and Reference Checks

Begin by researching potential candidates. The more information you have about a candidate, the easier it will be to select the best one for the job.

Gather contact information and interview references. Take the time to know your potential candidates and ask questions that will help you to decide if they would be a good fit for the position.

 Conduct a criminal history check. That is one of the most important steps in conducting a background investigation, as it can disqualify someone from being hired or further investigated for the position.

Review personal documents, such as transcripts, degrees, and licenses. Make sure everything matches what is documented online and in other sources.

Check social media profiles and websites. Checking out a candidate’s online presence gives you an idea of their character and how they might behave in a work environment.

Who Can Conduct a Background Investigation?

Employers typically conduct background investigations and reference checks, licensing authorities (such as the Department of Motor Vehicles) or other organizations that require a criminal background check. Anyone can conduct a background investigation, including private citizens and non-profit organizations.

A background investigation typically includes gathering information about an individual’s history, education, work experience, and personal life. Investigators may contact public records repositories and law enforcement agencies to gather information about an individual’s past. They may also speak with friends, family members, and acquaintances to get a complete picture of the person’s life.

Investigators may use a variety of sources to gather information about an individual. They may contact individuals who have known the person for years or know directly about their past. Investigators may also contact people who have had negative interactions with the person – such as criminals or witnesses to crimes – to learn more about their behavior.

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