What's in a name? As far as background screening and criminal records go, possibly more than you'd expect. Today, we'll explain why acquiring the true, legal name and aliases of your applicants and/or employees is crucial in locating criminal records.
Backgrounds Online conducts the majority of criminal research at the county level, which involves the dispatch of a field researcher to courthouses within the counties your applicant or employee has resided in the past seven years. Unfortunately, courts do not retroactively update criminal cases when an individual's name is altered or abbreviated.
Example: "Jane Doe" may have a convicted criminal offense on her record from a year ago, but she's recently been married and her legal name is now "Jane Smith." Jane Smith applies for a position with your company and documents her legal name as such. Our field researchers will utilize that name when touching down at the courthouses, and any case related to Jane's maiden name will go unreported - this is where alias research comes into play and save you a significant amount of trouble.
Our first step in background screening any individual is to confirm their name and date of birth match the Social Security number which is an easy way to discover maiden names, name variants and aliases. If you've chosen to opt-in to alias searches during Step 5 of the ordering process, we'll research any other names we discover. Additionally, if your applicant has provided you with an alias, you can communicate this to our team by entering other names into the provided "Known Aliases" field. This is a surefire way to make sure the criminal portion of your background screening is as thorough as it can be. As a reminder, be sure to process your requests in a uniform manner to avoid any claims of discrimination.
If you'd like more information on alias search options, contact your Dedicated Account Manager or any of our helpful background screening professionals. We look forward to answering any questions you may have.