Lost People

I got an email from an ex-colleague that I have not been in contact with for years.  She sent it by Facebook (which I personally hate now but didn’t at the time I set up my account), and her message was her charming, lovely self, essentially “Hiya,… finally found you…!, etc, etc”.  Well sweetheart, if that’s as hard as you were looking, you could have found me ages and ages ago.  The thing is finding people that want to be contacted is relatively easy.  If you’re looking for someone that disappeared off the face of your earth, go on Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, or just Google them and see if they haven’t set up their own business recently or created a website or maybe published something, or maybe even got themselves in the newspaper for running a marathon or winning 1.3 million in the lottery.  I’m easy to find.  I could have been found ages ago.  I know if I Google today, right now, I get at least one hit which leads to an email address.  I actually don’t want to Google myself because I’m happy thinking that I’m the only one writing things about me on the web.

It’s the people that don’t particularly want to be found, like the dad who’s run out of state to avoid paying child support, or the ex-business associate who didn’t show up for work, two days after the safe was emptied, that are hard to find.  Then you can Google them all you want, but good luck.  It’s interesting to remember that people with criminal intent are often professionals.  Just as Joe-the-honest-guy-down-the-street has mastered the art of getting up, and going to work every morning at 7 am or 8 am,  Tom, or Sally, or Dave, who lies or cheats or steals, has mastered this trade.  I’m not a criminologist here, but would you steal if you thought you’d get caught?  Probably not.  So these guys know enough to at least try not get caught, and that means hiding all traces of them.

 

Look for your friends online yourself, let PeopleSearches.com help you track everyone else for you.

Criminal Checks For Free??? – WIFM if I do? – WIFM if I don’t?

I find it fascinating really, the number of people that want to do a background check or a criminal check on someone else ‘for free’.   Sure you can find no-cost options for criminal checks online, but you get what you pay for, and when it’s for free, that’s what you’re getting.

If, you’re opting for the safety and security of your own self or your employees or your family and loved ones, does it make sense to stop at 75%?  Not really.  An obvious drawback of opting for any service for free is accountability.  Who can you turn to when you realize that the service you received but didn’t actually pay for was sub-standard?

In these economic times, people change.  An honest, trust-worthy individual, who can’t pay the living expenses for his or her family, may resort to choices that are not part of their normal demeanor.  An honest person under adequate stress may steal or cheat or lie to survive.  I heard recently from a small telecoms operations owner that one of his employees was fired because he started to keep part of the earnings he was generating for himself, each month, before turning in his revenue receipts to the boss.

If, you are conducting a background or criminal check to answer the question: “Can I trust this person?”, then ask yourself, “Can I afford to not pay for this service?”   As with all decisions, one easy viability test is to do a quick outcomes check – WIFM if I do?  WIFM if I don’t?  (WIFM stands for What’s In It for Me?).

What’s in it for me? If I use a professional provider, specialists in background and criminal checks, and I pay for the service.  Quite simply, accountability and even more so if you chose a reputable company with accredited services.  What’s in it for me if I don’t?  Well certainly, I won’t be sleeping any easier at night, knowing that maybe the people that checked in Johnny’s background don’t actually have a team of professionals who know who the ins and outs of criminal checks as well as criminals know the ins and outs of living a life of crime undetected.

Contact PeopleSearches.com today.

The Legalities of Background Checks

Your X, Y, or Z reason you’ve decided that you want to delve a little deeper into the background of a particular individual that you are in regular contact with, in a professional context.  Maybe it’s the business associate you’re thinking of bringing on board as your new partner, maybe it’s your son’s coach, or maybe it’s your financial advisor.  Whoever it is, you’ve got an intuitive feeling that you want to know more.

The thing is you actually have to be careful when conducting a background check because in some cases you need to have consent, while in other cases you don’t.  This is one of the arguments in favor of always going through a professional service provider for your background checks.  You don’t want in your attempt to protect yourself from a potentially fraudulent person, to end up being the wrong-doer in the situation.

Here are a few ground rules to abide by.

1:  It’s fair game to go on any of the top search engines and social networks to hunt for information about an individual.

2: Corporate Background Checks

You’re allowed to conduct a corporate background check without the individual’s consent.  The problem, though, is that it’s against the law to not hire someone or not take someone as a tenant, on the basis of any background check information you obtained, without their consent.

This means, that you might be in an awkward position of knowing something that works against the individual, and confirms your concern, but then you have to act almost as if you don’t know.   If you want to be able to factor in a person’s corporate background check, then you need to have their consent prior to the check.

3: Consumer Background Checks

You’re allowed to conduct a consumer background check without the individual’s consent.

When you go for any background checks, think in terms of existing criminal records, aliases, liens/judgments.

Go through professionals to ensure your corporate and consumer background checks are thorough, follow best practices, and industry standards, and that they outcome of these checks can be used.

Contact PeopleSearches.com today to talk to them about your particular situation, and to determine how they can assist you.

Employee and Tenant Vetting Is Really a Compliment

A friend, Mary, asked me to help her screen a few potential tenants for her flat in city center which had suddenly become vacant.  She said it had been a while since she’d had to rent it out and then she felt a bit rusty.  So Wednesday evening was dedicated to the viewing of the flat.  The first two girls seemed just fine to Mary, so she didn’t even ask me what I thought.  And then came a man, his partner and a good friend.  And as soon as he’d left, Mary turned to me and said, that she didn’t like the man.  I, personally, preferred the second applicant over the girls, who seemed too keen about the local nightclub scene.  But I know Mary, and once she’s made up her mind, it’s made up.

Really, you could say that my evening, as the landlord’s vetting assistant, had been wasted because my opinion wasn’t required in either case.  Instead it fuelled a few interesting reflections.

Most importantly, I’m left with the thought that when I own my next home, and choose to rent, I’ll do the screening myself, but then I’ll do the background check through a professional vetting service.

Professionally vetting someone, be it an employee or tenant, is really the highest of compliments.  Whoever is doing the vetting is going for the best, and they’re using best practices to ensure that’s you.

In my last role, I was asked to do a background check through an external company, and I happily complied.  I knew I was dealing with professionals who wanted the best, and at that time it just happened to be me.  The process was relatively fast, maximum two weeks, and I was given a ‘stamp of approval’.  Having to provide proof of my credentials, and references, along with my ID, and residency status, etc., didn’t leave me with any negative impressions about my employer.  Rather it made them seem more credible, more solid.  And it reassured me.  Think about this for a moment, if you weren’t vetted at your current employment, who’s that sitting beside you, or at the front desk, or in the CEO’s office?  You can’t really be sure, can you?

Always use professional vetting services.  Contact PeopleSearches.com today.

Leaving the Back Door Unlocked

Just recently, a friend of ours, Bryan, rented out a self-contained unit beneath his, in his 3-story home.  We were round visiting when the maybe-tenant-to-be stopped by with his girlfriend to meet Brendan for the first time.  This would have been a couple of months ago.  And everything seemed to be going just fine, because next thing we saw was Bryan turning over a set of keys, and shaking the fellow’s hand and saying ‘see you soon’.  Within two weeks, there were comings and goings at all hours at the flat, and a lot of yelling and arguing in the middle of the night.  Brendan told us that he figured his tenant was dealing, and that he clearly wasn’t getting on with his girlfriend either.  It was when the police stopped by asking for the tenant, that Bryan asked the tenant to leave.  He said, it was a ‘helluva hassle’, no nicer way to put it, getting the tenant to actually leave, and having to do a thorough cleaning and scrubbing of the unit to get it show-worthy again.

An experience like that is bound to make you take a different approach in choosing and screening a tenant.  You don’t want to go through the experience of evicting a tenant, and neither do you need to, to get good at tenant vetting.

Reality check:  Would you ever leave your backdoor open when you go out?  I’d only hope, that you reply in indignation “No.  Never!”.  The thing is your parents may have.  This is a classic example of how times, and trust have changed.  You want to be up-to-speed, and to be on the safe side, you want to go through a professional vetting service.

PeopleSearches.com will do a background check on anyone you’re thinking of giving a set of house or apartment keys to, before you actually give them the keys, of course.  This way you’ll know if they really are who they say they are, and you’ll have confirmation of their employment, income and reference checks.  Anything less is like leaving the backdoor unlocked.

Hire a Professional Screener

You’ve probably heard this, that it’s a lot easier to marry than to divorce, to get a new employee than to fire one, and to take in a new tenant than to evict one.  This is possibly because people are getting more savvy about their legal rights.  And, on top of that, the dishonest ones, who are trying to use the system, often how the wherewithal of a lawyer or team of legal experts.

As un-romantic as this may sound, to those of us who like to operate on the principle of trust and good word, you really want to hire a professional screener.  I’d almost go as far as to say that when letting anyone into your intimate space, trust is over-rated.  No, really.  It’s almost laughable.  Would you go to a doctor because you feel you can trust him?  Perhaps, what I’m trying to say here is, trust alone, without a paper trace, is not enough.  I might not ask to see my doctor’s credentials, but seeing a medical degree framed on the wall is reassuring.

To me, the equation is a relatively simple one.  If you want to be as sure as possible about your new employee, tenant, and maybe even your partner, you need to do the vetting through professionals.  The trick is to be upfront about your intentions.  It’s easy enough to explain.  You can say you prefer to systematically do a background check through an agency because that’s what they do best.  Or you might just say that you prefer to go through an agency because it’s a timesaver.  And the list goes on and on.  In the long-run, it’s more costly not to do a background check than to do one.

Contact PeopleSearches.com today, tomorrow, or whenever you might be in need of their services, and they’ll be happy to act on your behalf.

Background Checks

A background check involves accessing publicly available information on a particular individual.  If you love detective movies, it might sound fishy, like you’re about to conduct an illegal bust.  But rest assured, background checks are well-within your legal rights.

Here are a few pointers on Background Checks:

Go through a professional service provider.  The money invested will be well paid off, when you calculate how much time it would have taken you to access the same information yourself.  It’s well worth remembering that we are usually more than happy to pay for results, until we hear that we can get them for free.  But zero cost is not the same as zero cost and time.  Ask a lawyer to write you a contract and they’ll do so in a fraction of the time it takes you to understand enough contract law to write your own contract.  And even then, you can’t be sure it will hold in court.  The same thing applies for background searches.  Ask a professional to conduct a background search on someone else, and they’ll know the loopholes to go through.  Try figure that out yourself, and you’re giving the person, a generous head-start to leave town if they want to.  Again, free is not just about money, it needs to be about time as well.

Expect to be asked why you want or need to conduct a background check.  This just makes good business sense.  If a company wants to provide you with the best service possible, they’ll need to do a needs’ assessment of sorts.  For example, you might not opt for a criminal check for your mechanic, but you certainly should consider this as a necessity if you’re an employer wanting to hire employees with clean backgrounds.

Expect to uncover the individual’s full name, address of residence, business address, workplace, as a bare minimum, but do stipulate at the outset if you want a criminal check to be included in the background check.  Don’t take the criminal check as a given, and assume that you’ll find out about the person’s traffic violations, or misdemeanours.  It will actually depend on what type of background check you opt for.  The most thorough check, includes a criminal check, and that’s the one any professional service providers should be recommending.

Here at PeopleSearches.com, we welcome your queries.  Shop around, but come back to us.

Pay For Your People Search

If you’re reading this, you probably Googled “People Searches”, which suggests you are looking for someone, or looking for information about conducting people searches.  This is a paid service but we invite you to read on nonetheless.

Here are 3 recommendations to help you with your People Search:

Ignore the offers for free people searches.   If you’re looking to find a person, a significant other, a friend or family that you’ve lost contact with, a child of legal age, an ex-business associate or a former employee, do not entrust this matter to a free service.  Absolutely not!  We’re in an odd era, where the Internet has given us global access to gy-normous quantities of information, about any topic imaginable, and it’s often free for the taking.  You name it, you Google it and it’s free at your fingertips.  But so what?  Really!  How are you supposed to sieve through all the information out there and discern what’s relevant and what isn’t?  If you Google People Searches, today you’ll find 451,000,000 matches.  Imagine that these matches were people.  Imagine trying to find the person you’re looking for in amongst a crowd of 451 million.  It’s going to take some time.  Call me old-school, but there’s something about paying for service that suggests it’ll be done properly, by a professional working in his or her domain of expertise.

Research the professional People Search company.  Find out how long they have been in existence.  Request testimonials from the search provider.  Send a general enquiry about their services, and see how quickly they get back to you.  Ask about guarantees and their refund policy.

Provide as much information about the missing person as possible to the People Search company.  The more information you can provide about the person, the better.  Set up a file where you record any information or clues that you think of.  Name, age, last address, last employer, where they said they grew up, an old phone number you have in your address book, an email address, anything you can think might be useful.  Leave it up to the professionals to determine what actually will help them because this way you are not second-guessing yourself and censoring information that might be fundamental in locating the person.

Don’t leave your People Search to ‘hit and miss’.  Go with a professional provider, like PeopleSearches.com. And expect to pay for results.

Online Criminal Records – It’d be Criminal Not To

Last year, my husband and I rented an apartment, with nothing else requested of us, except for the bank details for a direct debit and our signatures on the lease.  No ID, no reference checks, no proof of employment.  That’s all, Sally.  12 months later, we’re changing city, and when I chatted with the landlady, her approach has done a 360 degree turn-around.  She wants the new tenants coming into the apartment to provide her with two written references, and proof of their studies.  And she’s right.  This is the way to go.  But why stop there?  Why not pay to get a criminal check done at the same time? PeopleSearches.com can help you with that.

Pick up any newspaper and read the headlines.  There are plenty of people that won’t read the daily paper because there is too much violence reported.  Forget about the crime rates, and whether they are on the rise in your city, or on the decline.  The questions you want to ask yourself is: “How well do you know the people to whom you have extended trust – be it your employee, the child minder, your mechanic or the renter?”, and “Do you have peace of mind, that these people are in your life?”

I surprise myself by having become an advocate for criminal checks.  Why leave yourself vulnerable to the kind of mishaps that may arise, from not knowing who you are dealing with adequately?  A person can easily write: “No criminal record” on an employment form, but unless you check the accuracy of this, what do you expect the person to write?

At times, I get home late at night, and I am suddenly grateful that I made it home safely, and that no harm happened to me on the way.  What if the harm is closer to you than you think, in the safety of your home, your office, or the flat you’re renting out?

An interesting approach is as follows. Tell anyone that you are hiring, in a professional context (a future employee) or in semi-professional context (the house cleaner, or part-time babysitter), that you always ask any employees to undergo a criminal check.  Look at them direct in the eyes.  Their reaction already will tell you something about them.  If you don’t hear back from a person, because you’ve made this request, you probably didn’t want them in your employ in any case.  Professionals will understand.  People with criminal backgrounds may not.

Employers Err on the Side of Caution: Do that Background Check!

Times are changing.  If you’re a small business owner today, you really have to think carefully about you who take on board as a new staff member and potential liabilities.

Written reference checks can be easily falsified with some effort.  And even verbal references can be given by friends or ex-colleagues who are in the know.  On top of this, data protection legislation has made some employers reluctant to say exactly how bad an ex-employee was for fear of it will get back to them.  An individual who feels that he has been given an unfair reference may choose to ask to see what exactly was said, and what support documents or proof the ex-employer had.

What does this mean for the employer?  He might find he’s hired someone who he thinks has good and honest references, but who turns out to be far from employee-of-the month.   And this is a costly mistake for any business to make.

Here’s a tale that advocates proper background checks.   A friend of mine who works for a recruitment agency put forward a candidate for a sales role and an offer of employment was made, conditional to references.  Two days later, the employer-to-be withdrew his offer of employment.   Now this a sticky situation for any employer, even if there’s a recruitment agency and an in-house HR Manager involved in the process.  Sure bad references are bad references but the real concern lies in how everything was documented.  At worst, the candidate may opt to exercises his rights under the Data Protection Act, which leaves the ex-employer to substantiate what you said with hard evidence.

Whether you’re a one-man business or have an HR department, it pays to go through a professional service which can conduct your employee background checks.  Hiring someone is costly enough as it is without having to fire them in short success.

PeopleSearches.com is synonymous with high quality background checks.  They have access to many different public record databases.  They can verify not only the personal data that a potential employee provides, but also conduct a criminal check.   And it’s worthwhile to note, that there are many an individual who will not apply for employment with a company with stringent background checks because they know they won’t get past the checks.

Be one of those companies whose hiring practises are associated with reputable specialists in background and criminal checks.  Contact PeopleSearches.com today for more information.