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The Importance of Background Checks: Tips from a PI on How to Protect your Business

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Business today is much different from what it used to be fifteen, ten or even five years ago. The reason for this is in part due to the changes in the economy. More and more people strike out on their own to try and break into different industries. While this is great news for entrepreneurs, it does make expanding or growing a business tricky. Why? Well, hiring employees to take on work is a pretty big deal. Not only does this increase financial responsibility, but the pressure to make the right hire for the business increases as well. This is why we think background checks are so important. A simple background check can really help to tell you whether or not someone is honest or a good employee candidate. To help you in your decision to invest in PI provided background checks, we’ve used our twenty plus years of experience to put together a few tips to help you protect your business.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a Background Check?

A background check requires a private investigator to look into an individual or company for anything that might make them a bad asset or fit for your business.

For example, what happens when you want to hire a babysitter for your children? You won’t hire the first person that responds to your ad, and when you think you’ve found the right person, you will want to make sure they have the right experience. Getting a background check will identify any ‘red flags’ or issues that might impact your children.

Here’s another example, and one that affects your business. Let’s say that a small startup company is looking to hire a new executive salesperson. It can be incredibly costly to hire the wrong person. It is for this reason that even a company should perform background checks on potential hires. A background check will reveal any issues or problems before the individual is hired.

Now that you better understand what a background check is, it’s also helpful to know that private investigators provide excellent background check services. Using a well-trained professional (like a private investigator) is one of the best tips we can offer to help you protect your business.

Private Investigators & Extensive Background Check Services

A private investigator has access to many different databases and tools to perform a thorough background check. Items a private investigator can and will look for include,

  • Birth records
  • Employment records
  • School records
  • Driving records
  • Previous and current
  • Criminal records

When it comes to your business, you might need background check services for many different reasons. Here are some tips on some of the ways in which background check services will benefit your business:

Potential Employee Check

Before you or your Human Resources team hires an employee, it’s quite often a pre-requisite that the potential employee receives a background check. Again, the reason for this is primarily to protect your business. If you hire someone without a complete picture, you could end up bearing the brunt of a bad decision.

Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) for example, must have a clean criminal record. After all, the position allows the individual to come into close contact with your business’s financial resources. The last thing you want to do is hire someone with an odd financial history. If you don’t get a private investigator to run a background check, you mind find your new CFO is funneling your business’s cash funneled into his or her account.

Potential Business Merger

Larger companies often look to invest in or buy other companies to help boost product or even the business at large. Mergers happen often and can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions). It is because of this cost that companies often contact a private investigator to run a background check on the company and its current financial state.

The reason why a company should request a background check, in this case, is that sometimes you don’t get what you pay for. Whether the company is misinformed about financial statements or the overall value of the business they wish to purchase, a background check will provide peace of mind. After all, purchasing another company or merging businesses is a big decision.

A private investigator will uncover it all. The best part is, once your business can see the complete picture, you can make the best, most informed decision. This tip in particular, will certainly save you a lot of heartache in the future.

Potential Business Partnership

In other situations, businesses go into partnership with other businesses. Perhaps the relationship is a sponsorship, or even purchasing product. It is in your company’s best interest to make sure that whomever you make a deal with makes good on their promise.

Here at the Smith Investigation Agency, we’ve seen a few cases where a business partnership does not go smoothly. In one instance, we worked with a client who purchased product from a company and paid upfront for the majority, in good faith. The client did not request a background check on the company, nor did they do much research. As you can imagine, the client felt duped when the company took the upfront payment and disappeared—without delivering any product.

The tip here is that you need to protect your business. This includes transactions and interactions with other businesses. Hiring a private investigator to dig a little deeper when things seem a little too good to be true will save your business both time and money.

What’s Illegal?

A good private investigator will not engage in any illegal background check activity. Unfortunately, some private investigators take their background check work too seriously. If, for example, a private investigator decides to hunt through trash, or break into a car or home to gather background information—this is absolutely illegal!

To help you to know which behaviors to look out for, we’ve got a few tips. When it comes to background checks, a private investigator cannot:

  • Bug or monitor an individual without consent
  • Dig up bank statements
  • Research medical details or other related information
  • Search for information unrelated to the job
  • Complete the background check without consent from the potential employee

The good news is, there is plenty of good, professional private investigator out there who want to get the job done right. These professional private investigators know which databases to search, and which questions to ask to make sure your business gets the information they need to make an informed decision.

Hiring the Best Private Investigation Agency

It’s so important to hire the right private investigation agency (or private investigator) for all your background check needs. As mentioned, some private investigators seem more interested in gathering information illegally. Other private investigator agencies just want to make a quick buck. Our tips for finding the right private investigator or private investigation agency include,

  • Searching for reviews online
  • Check out the Better Business Bureau
  • Call and ask questions about background check services
  • Ask for references
  • Complete a general Google search
  • Word of mouth

It is our hope that these tips (and any others you might think of!) will help you to select the best private investigator or private investigation agency for your needs.

Our Big Tip: Understanding The Value of Background Check Services

If you own a business, you might think that background checks aren’t necessary. You might also think that you or your Human Resources department can rely on references or a quick Google search to find any suspicious ‘red flags’. For some industries, this might be true. However, the biggest tip we can give you is to protect yourself and your business. The way in which you can do that is to go ahead and hire a private investigator that can readily provide you with background check services.  

Still, don’t believe us? With over twenty years in the industry, we’ve really seen it all. For example, we’ve heard stories of nurses hired by private health care companies without a proper background check. As a result, unqualified and even dangerous persons have been given access to those who need protection the most.

Therefore, it is in our opinion, that the most important thing for you to understand is the value background checks bring. You will save time, money and valuable resources over the long-term. Ultimately, isn’t that what you want for you and your business?

Want more information on background check services? We’re always available to answer any questions! Contact us at: or 1-888-950-4113

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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