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FAQ: What’s on my “Permanent Record?”

permrecordRemember when you were in school?  Did a teacher ever tell you to behave or else your shenanigans would be added to your “permanent record?”  The threat of a single file folder that houses all your misdeeds is intimidating.  In adult life, however, things are not so simple.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no single database which houses all of your background information. No one agency, be it the FBI or local law enforcement, keeps track of everything an employer might be interested in when running a background screening check.  Even different courts (criminal court, civil court, bankruptcy) may house their documents on separate databases, even if those entities exist in the same courthouse!

Employers may also be interested in more than just your criminal history.  Often they want a fuller picture of how you conduct your business affairs which means looking at how you appear in various aspects of your life.  There is no “one size fits all” approach to conducting a background check since every company and position’s needs are different.

Your background check report is compiled from a variety of different sources which may include:

 

  • Criminal records
  • Civil records
  • Public registries
  • DMV records
  • Bankruptcy filings
  • Social media
  • Media mentions
  • Watch lists

Don’t believe those crime shows on television: There is no one document that can be called a “permanent record.”  Given the time it takes to investigate these myriad sources, many employers will save time and man hours by hiring a reputable screening service that will be able to better navigate the complicated waters of a potential employee’s history.

A reputable background screening service knows that it may take a fair amount of digging to create a realistic picture of a potential employee.  They will also be sure to cross-check and verify each piece of information before including it in a final report to make sure a record truly belongs to you.  Not every record is organized in the same manner (by name, Social Security number, Driver’s License number, etc.).  It is therefore essential that a screening service takes special care to make sure you are you!

Do you have a question about background screenings or the hiring process?  Let us know by leaving your questions in to comments field below!

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