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Background Screening and Risk Mitigation: Simply Put

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October 3, 2013 Return to News & Events

Background Screening and Risk Mitigation: Simply Put

Background screening is a process of vetting potential employment candidates prior to being hired by a business or organization. The process of background screening is relatively straight forward but the ultimate goal is risk mitigation. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of states: "Background screening greatly assists a company in protecting the company, their employees, and their customers. Background screening is a valuable tool in risk mitigation."

Risk mitigation might be defined as "limiting and/or managing risk within a given environment." It may sound simple but it is not.

Beyond the primary qualifications and requirements of a given position, HR managers have three core responsibilities in hiring an individual.

1. Hiring an individual that will not adversely damage a company

2. Hiring an individual that will not adversely affect other employees within a company.

3. Hiring an individual that will not adversely affect customers or other individuals one might come into contact while working for a company.

Simply put, the point of background screening is to provide information and data that will allow hiring managers and HR personnel make informed decisions on candidates during the vetting process. Essentially, risk mitigation.

Background screening reports typically utilized in this process are:

Social Security Number Trace

County Criminal Records

Consumer Credit Reports

Motor Vehicle Reports

Sex Offender Registry Checks

When one considers each report within the context of risk mitigation one can see the importance of each document.

Social Security Number Trace - This report provides information on an individual's social security number and residence by county. Subsequently, county information drawn from a trace informs a researcher which specific county records should be checked for potential criminal history.

County Criminal Records - Records drawn at the county level are the most current public records available. Based on county of residence, acquired from a SSN Trace, researchers can search for criminal history. A county criminal records search should be conducted on all candidates as allowed in a given city, county, or state.

Consumer Credit Reports - These reports may greatly assist in a protecting a company when a candidate is being hired for a financial role.

Motor Vehicle Reports - Potential employees that will operate a company vehicle should be vetted with a DMV check, thus providing further protection for the company and the general public

. Sex Offender Registry Checks - Certainly this report is self-explanatory but an important tool in vetting a candidate.

The use of public records drawn for purposes of pre-employment should be specific to the role an individual is being hired. For example, if one is hiring for a warehouse position, that role may not require a credit check or Motor Vehicle Report.

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of, states: "Background screening is an important tool in risk mitigation, but one that must be used in a compliant, non-discriminatory fashion. Businesses should work with third-party background screening companies that are current and well-informed with recent legislative changes to the use of public records in background screening."

Almeida adds: "Companies large and small should use background screening. When considering the protection of company assets, employee safety, and customer security, it becomes clear that background screening is a tool that will greatly assist in any risk mitigation endeavor." is a full-service third-party background screening company with access to a wide-variety of databases and county courts, and can provide the depth of information required to make a safe and thorough decision. With continued changes in the rules and regulations that police the use of public records for the purpose of employment, as well as other areas, using is smart choice, and a safe one.

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