Nov 15, 2018


Whether you are considering a new hire, a new tenant, or vetting volunteers, a criminal background check can help you determine whether an applicant is truly a good fit for your needs. If you think that finding a criminal record and understanding someone’s past mistakes is as easy as a search engine entry, however, you may be in for a surprise. Getting relevant, accurate information requires effort, diligence, and access to the right resources. 3rd Degree Screening has all of that and more, and we are here to help you learn what you need to know about every potential candidate.

If a criminal background check isn’t as simple as searching for someone’s name, then you may be wondering what is involved. In today’s blog post, we walk you through the process of inquiry and investigation to give you an inside look at what 3rd Degree Screening does on your behalf. When you’re ready to take the next step in vetting your most recent applicant, call us, and we’ll help you get started!


Receive The Applicant’s Information

First, the applicant signs an authorization for a criminal background check. This gives 3rd Degree Screening legal permission to conduct a criminal record check on behalf of your company, and the paperwork often includes the information we need to start our search, including the candidate’s name and social security number. As an employer, you may also want to request a form of identification, as this can help us if any of the information on the form is incorrect or outdated.

Trigger An SSN Trace

Criminal background checks often start with an SSN trace, which is a trace run on the candidate’s social security number. This searches credit reporting databases to gather more information about the candidate’s history and identity. In this step, we may sift through loan applications for a car or home, credit card applications, magazine subscriptions, and even loyalty programs. This is an important step that can help us confirm the identifying information we have on the candidate, as well as start to sketch out their history, including previous addresses.


Cast A Wide Net

The next step of a criminal background check is doing a broad search for records relating to your candidate. The team here at 3rd Degree Screening will identify the applicant’s address history, employment history, and any contact they may have had with law enforcement. This can help us narrow down the search area if we need to further investigate any red flags. Criminal records, for example, are often sorted by county.

Look For Criminal Activity

In most cases, a search for someone’s criminal record will begin in the county in which they live and work. From there, background check services like 3rd Degree Screening can expand their criteria to search through state, nationwide, and federal criminal records using the candidate’s social security number or other credentials. In this step, we will look for any mention of your applicant in places like sex offender databases and terrorist watchlists. While it’s important to know if your candidate appears in any kind of criminal database, that listing may not provide the full story, and your screening service should dive deeper to ensure that you get relevant, accurate, and complete information.


Learn More

Any step of researching your applicant is likely to include some footwork, but this step in particular is where the progress we have made in the digital age starts to taper off. Your team at 3rd Degree Screening will further investigate any possible history of a candidate’s wrongdoing, and that often requires a significant amount of time and legwork, as well as the help of court researchers.

Confirm Our Findings

We will look for more information on potential criminal records pertaining to your applicant. This can include a myriad of tasks, such as confirming that the person named in a certain incident is indeed your candidate and learning whether or not they are considered guilty of a crime. We may not always be able to legally report what we find, but we’ll work hard to make sure that not only do you receive the answers you need to know to make an informed decision about your applicant, but also that the data you receive is accurate.


When you need a criminal background check on a potential employee, tenant, or participant, let 3rd Degree Screening do all the legwork. We are an experienced background check service with the tools, the team, and the resources we need to give you a report you can use, as well as the expertise to navigate the legal ramifications of handling someone’s personal identification information. We are also dedicated to offering the best customer service in the business — when you call 3rd Degree Screening, you’ll speak to a real person, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions and help you move forward! Take the first step today toward a safer, more secure future for your business — contact 3rd Degree Screening today!

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