Now we know the true identity of Barrack Hussein Obama and where our 44th President was born. Was "the big reveal" really necessary? The Secret Service, FBI, and other government agencies conduct a lengthy background check before candidates are even allowed to run for a seat in the White House. Background checks are an important part of the qualification/hiring process no matter if you are running for President or you’re an employer trying to fill a position for your company. Background checks can spot potential liability, security risks, and validate work experience and education to ensure that your new hire, or even existing employee, is the right fit for the right job.
Verification of a subject’s Identity is a key component of a background check, and we all know that you’re not going to obtain a copy of a candidate’s birth certificate when they apply for a job. However, understanding key components like a candidate’s complete name, social security number or foreign identification number, and date of birth are critical components used within the screening process. I remind all employers to fully understand the proper process for inquiring about such information, up-front, so as not to violate Title VII provisions, state statutes or even international laws. There are laws and regulations around when and how to gather such information and this is certainly a discussion you should have with your corporate legal counsel to ensure proper compliance.
Gathering as much information as possible and providing it to your background screening provider can certainly increase the quality and accuracy of the information returned on a background check. A subject’s identity and the use of identifiers are key components of the entire screening process and should be the cornerstone of a comprehensive background check.
Your background check provider will use electronic resources to identify your subject through a variety of databases which will include the identification and confirmation of a subject’s name, date of birth and social security number. Background screeners use electronic database information from national credit bureaus, the U.S. Postal Service, marketing databases, utility agencies, publishers and numerous other databases to cross-match this data. This search is typically referred to as a Social Security Number Trace (SSN) and is also used to validate the SSN number and cross-reference a national death index and fraud alerts for previously used or forged SSN information. This search also confirms information provided on a job application and provides residential address history and movement patterns of the subject, so a more in-depth criminal records search can be conducted within an area of where an applicant has lived and even worked. Additionally, AKA (Also Known As) information is also noted and proves helpful in further identifying criminal activity of an individual who uses or has used an alias name. Many criminals will fudge their name, date of birth or other identifiers to throw off background screeners and hide past criminal history.
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