Private Investigations and Personal Security/Background Check Question


Thanks for your answer....very quick and thorough.  One thing though...the HR folks dont do the background check...they employ Sterling Testing Systems.  But was the HR lady being honest in saying all they look for is convictions? She did say to me "you worked for the District Attorney, so it shouldn't be a problem."  

Everyone close to me says I'm being overly paranoid.  Am I?

Followup To
Question -
Just hired by a lawfirm contingent upon a successful background check.  The form I signed said the firm may interview people whom I know to get background info on me, yet the firm's HR person said theyre looking for convictions.  I have a squeaky clean criminal background (worked for 2 prosecutors' offices...never had a background check problem).  Here's where it gets interesting.

I was "asked to resign" from my last job for what they claim was misconduct.  Since theyre a municipality, they told me they would tell future employers only the dates of my employment and that I resigned. Potential government employers, however, would be told the truth.

The firm I'm applying to is a private company, and has said the background check takes 72 hrs.  What, in your view, are they looking for? What can they gather in 72 hours? And do you think my past employment history will bar me from passing the check?
Answer -
I do a lot of pre employment screening. I do not know what they are looking for but I do know what they should be looking for.

Vertification of your data\education and previous employment. Criminal convictions etc. This is all governed by the FCRA. They should have had you sign a waiver and they must provide you with a copy of any negative findings and instructions on how to verify or follow up on this. The law is VERY complex and all the burden is on the employer and most HR people are CLUELESS about this.

I have NEVER seen an HR person that knows how to condcut a thorought background. They just do not know what is out there.

I can do a half assed background in 72 hours or I could do a real background and that long as it takes.

No one can state the effect your past employment history would have. It depends upon what it was ..................and what you told the prospective employer about it.

Yuo can and should ask for copies of their results. If they say no po9int them toward the FCRA.

I can not really answer whether or not she is being truthful. Only the company she hired could answer that.

The "Testing Systems" on the and of their name makes me wonder.............................This sounds more like an investigation.

Most states requre a license o do this sort of thing.

As far as your parnoia from your friends, all I can say is that if there is nothing to find then they will find nothing and only you would know this. But if you are paranoid/worried it would stand to reason that you are worried about............
something, like...............what they would find.

Criminal convictions are a simple public record check. Checking with employers is a lot tougher. Each employer has their own policy on this.

My sense is that you are quite worried. Thus the question worried about what.  

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John M. Healy


Licensed, bonded and insured investigator and security consultant. Retired State Police Lt. President New Hampshire League of Investigators, President New England Council of State Investigator Associations. I have over 28 yrs experience in the public and private sector. I author numerous article regarding the profession that have been re-printed in industry publications. I can answer any questions regarding professional investigate services, the role of the investigator, how to choose a professional, and other related questions.

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