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Private Investigators & Background Checks: What’s the Point?

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A background check isn’t something that’s widely discussed in a lot of circles. Many people believe that background checks prevent people from getting good jobs. Others believe that the past is the past, why dig it up? Therefore, you might be left wondering, what’s the point of hiring a private investigator to run background checks? 

The point of a background check is to make sure that you work or associate with people who don’t wish to do harm. While the majority of the population is made up of good, honest people, there are some who just can’t seem to do the right thing. Unless these people seek help, it’s difficult to justify giving them a job or a place in your home. Therefore, a background check will reveal information about a person that will help you to make a decision. The decision you make will benefit you personally, or even your business. 

Think about this: if you don’t do a background check, you run the possibility of hiring a money launderer as your CFO. And what about your new online boyfriend or girlfriend? Does he or she have a history of violence? How do you know that they aren’t married in another province? Hiring a private investigator to run a background check will ultimately help to answer these questions and give you peace of mind. 

What Information does a Background Check Reveal?

A background check can reveal a lot of information about a person. For most background checks that a private investigator runs, the information comes back clean. However, sometimes a background check can reveal red flags. 

But what information does a background check include? Here’s a list of some of the items: 

  • Education History
  • Driving History
  • Relationship status 
  • Warrants
  • Sex Offences
  • Arrests
  • Convictions

What a private investigator can legally look into really depends on the province and the city. This is why it’s so important for a private investigator to know the law wherever they’re working. For example, in some cities, a private investigator can look up credit information. In other cities, a private investigator would require written consent to run a credit check. 

As you can see from the list, a background check takes a look at an individual’s history. Based on the information the private investigator reveals, the client can make a decision. In the case of hiring an employee, that decision would be whether to hire the individual or not. 

Why Some Industries and not Others?

In the real world, not every industry requests a background check from potential employees. Most businesses will do is call references to check up on employment history. This seems fairly standard, as some provinces in Canada have different laws about when and how you can do a background check for potential employees. However, the one industry where all employees are required to provide a clean background check is education and childcare. 

Anyone who works with children requires a background check. Even if you are just hiring a babysitter or nanny, you have to ask yourself: what is this person’s history with children? The last thing you want is to hire a child predator or someone who is prone to violence. This is why background checks in the childcare or education industry is so important. 

Keep Your Children Safe!

Children really are the future. This is why it is so important to run background checks on all employees in all industries that work with children. Can you imagine if this didn’t happen? Teachers, daycare providers, nanny services, babysitters and more would simply hire whoever they thought best for the job. This reality is, the best person for the job on paper, isn’t necessarily telling the truth. A teacher with a criminal record that involves children isn’t anyone you want to hire. 

A Background Check Example . . .

Here’s an example of why a thorough, private investigator run background check is so important. 

According to CBC News, a teacher was suspended due to an incident in his classroom where he allegedly struck one of his students. The mother of the child was only made aware of the incident after another parent emailed her earlier this year. When the mother confronted her child, she found out that the teacher punched him in the chest, grabbed him by the shirt and forced him back into his seat. The child had only left his seat to show the teacher his work. 

The child’s mother told the school of the incident, but no action was taken. The mother took her complaint to the police, and the teacher was suspended. However, the school has told the mother that the teacher is suspended “for the time being”. 

That’s Not All . . . 

Then the mother received some shocking news. Someone sent her a police report that involved a teacher with the same name as her child’s teacher. She discovered that trial information isn’t available in Quebec, like it is in Ontario. 

What the police report revealed is that in 1998, that teacher was “found guilty of professional misconduct for picking up teenage girls for sexual purposes in Hamilton”. Three years later in 2001, the same teacher “participated in sexual acts with three other adolescent girls, aged 15, 16 and 17 — in each case, engaging in sexual touching after they got into his car”.

In May of 2019, the teacher was charged in the assault of the child in the Quebec classroom. However, the question we have to ask is, how did the school board even allow this teacher in the classroom in the first place? It’s clear that someone did not do his or her due diligence and a thorough background check was never completed. 

Bad Private Investigators Provide Bad Results

If a background check was completed by a private investigator, he or she certainly did not do a good job. However, the one thing a private investigator needs to consider when running a background check on someone is that they can’t take their investigation too far. 

Many bad private investigators will steal people’s trash, hack into computers and even break into homes to try and get the dirty details. What these private investigators should know is that their tricks and techniques are illegal and if caught, will result in the suspension of their license. In addition, if you hire a bad private investigator, the individual you wanted the background check on will come looking for you. That’s a whole other situation you shouldn’t have to deal with. 

If you’ve had this experience personally, don’t let one bad private investigator intimidate you. You simply need to make sure you hire the right private investigator to get your background checks done right. 

Effective Background Checks: Ask a Good Private Investigator

Good private investigators aren’t hard to find, but you do need to put in a little work. Asking for references and doing a bit of research about the company or the private investigator will yield better results. Most private investigators in Ontario and throughout Canada will have a website. If the business is legitimate, it will also appear in the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) inventory. You will see reviews and comments from clients and customers. If the reviews are good, you’ve likely found a good private investigator. 

In the long run, hiring a private investigator to do background checks for whatever reason will only save you heartache later. It prevents you from making the wrong decision or hiring the wrong person for the job. With a private investigator’s help, you can ensure that you protect yourself, your family and/or your business. 

Interested in our background check services? Call us today with all your questions and concerns. We are happy to help!

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About the Author

Whitney Joy Smith

Whitney Joy Smith is a prominent figure in the field of private investigation and security, serving as the founder and CEO of The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., Smith Security Inc., and Training Centre Canada, as well as a sitting politician.

With a remarkable journey that began in the early 2000s, Whitney's professional background as a private investigator is underscored by her unwavering dedication to the role. Born in Canada and having spent her early years between Canada and the United States, Whitney possesses a unique perspective shaped by her experiences in both countries. This background equips her with an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of private investigative laws, regulations, and operational standards in North America.

Throughout her career, Whitney has garnered numerous industry awards and accolades. She takes great pride in working closely with her continually expanding agency, striving to elevate industry standards, maintain compliance, and effectively meet the diverse investigative needs of clients.

Whitney actively engages in various membership, committee, board and support roles, demonstrating her commitment to the industry and professional community. She is affiliated with all local chambers, associations and more.

Whitney's wealth of experience is not limited to her professional achievements; her thought-provoking articles have been featured in publications ranging from Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and Mens Health to Business News Daily. She constantly seeks to redefine standards and push the boundaries of excellence within the private investigative and security fields.

To discover more about Whitney Joy Smith and the dedicated team at The Smith Investigation Agency Inc., visit our website to learn more.

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