What does it mean when a Business says Background Checked?

As our relationship with technology advances, there has been a real increase for on-demand type services. You can have your groceries, wardrobe, meals, and loved ones brought to your door with the swipe of a finger. With the increase of the presence of these services, there has also been an increase in the use of the term “background check” -- but what exactly does that mean? As it turns out, there is more than one answer, and it varies from company to company. Many companies with on-demand services for drivers, babysitters, and pet-care require their prospective employees to pass a background check. While every state has its own regulations for background-checks and employment, major companies often use either a company called Chekr or Sterling Talent Solutions. 


What I've found in my research is that certain background-check companies screen applicants by using Social Security numbers to identify associated addresses. It then reviews driving and criminal histories in national, state and local databases. Those databases include the U.S. Department of Justice, National Sex Offender Public Website, and ones that flag suspected terrorists. On the other hand, other companies conduct "digital background checks." While these digital background-checks utilize similar databases, it came to my attention that the digital background checks offered by certain companies are simply not as thorough as those that use Social Security numbers.


For the well-vetted employees of Doggie Dreamz, I background-check each prospective representative using a local private investigative agency called The Solution Group out of Van Nuys.  The background check I receive is extremely detailed, including any major and minor infractions nationally and internationally. In talking with the private investigator of this firm, he informed me that for companies like his, they will additionally go to each individual county that the applicant has lived in and check the Criminal and Civil databases as well as the sex offender database. As you can imagine, this can be very time consuming; especially, if the applicant has lived several places in the past 10 years. For this reason, using these type of companies can be more expensive and thus, many companies use the less expensive background groups like Checkr and Sterling Talent to cut costs. Unfortunately, this cost-cutting decision also limits the amount and extent of information available for applicants. This means criminal records from other counties, countries, or from more than 3-5 years ago may be overlooked, putting the consumer at risk. When it comes to safety, hindsight is 20/20. Don''t take shortcuts when it comes to the well-being of yourself and your fur-family members.


I feel it is important to let as many consumers as possible know that just because a company claims to utilize background-checks, that doesn't automatically equal safety and security. Take the time to find out what companies your on-demand groups are using for background checks and how extensive is the data provided.  As a business owner, I take my clients' safety very seriously, so I only hire someone I trust and who has passed a full and thorough background check. This puts myself and my clients at the best kind of ease. Better safe than sorry! 


Let me know if this has been helpful in the comments below.


Edited by Tara Rico