The Merits of Professional Background Checks

Nowadays, it’s gotten easier and easier for individuals to mask their identities, or rather to have many masks to their identity.  Take emails for example.   The husband who wants to have an affair can easily set up different gmail or yahoo accounts, under variants of his name.  This means there need not be any messy overlap, with the communications ending up in the wrong hands.  And the child-minder who has had a deviant background will, most probably, know how to cover at least some of their tracks.  People that act in lesser than noble ways, do not, in most cases, actively seek to be found out.

So what’s the best approach in these, and similar cases?  In a perfect world, you speak with the person where you’ve started to second-guess their actions and behaviors, and you ask them straight out what’s going on.  The likelihood though is that you’ll most likely walk away no further ahead because they would imply a willingness to have such a dialogue that was not there before.

You do not want to start second-guessing everyone in your intimate circle, but you do want to make sure that the trust you invest in those close to you is reciprocated.  Maybe the best way is to lay the trust card on the table with anyone you meet, that you will be doing business, either professional or personal business with.  You can simply say, “Look I want to make sure that the people in my life are the kind of people I can entrust the care of my children or my business or my partner to…”  Ask someone if you can count on them leaves a lot up to interpretation.  Ask someone if it’s ok to conduct a personal background check on them, and you’ll know for sure.

Conducting personal background checks may not yet be mainstream practice but maybe it should be.  If you are aspiring to be the best you can be, would you want to associate yourself with anyone who might pull you down or slow you?   Would you seek to be best friends with a person with an alcohol or drug problem if you were choosing a new best mate?  Probably not, especially if you have a family and children to take care of.

There is value in knowing who you are dealing with, and even more so, in exploring the niggling doubts that you may have about the person.  It’s either that or you risk finding out, three years down the road, that your gut feeling or intuition was indeed right.

Consult with and see what they recommend.