As a former business owner, I understand full well the importance of conducting background checks on individuals you might consider employing. At the same time, I have some reservations about the degree to which personal information has become a commodity.
I once hired a manager for one of my businesses who talked one hell of a game in the interview. He claimed to be a Desert Storm vet, that he had seen people die in combat, and that he was glad to be back in the States, where he could pursue employment that was less dangerous.
Both my wife and I were quite impressed with this ex-soldier, and we hired him on the spot.
He neglected to tell me a few things, like the fact that he was a cokehead, that he'd been fired from more jobs that he could count, and that he had quite a lengthy arrest record. It took several months - and at least several thousand dollars in embezzled funds - before I learned the hard way that I had hired a first class con artist.
And the only reason I started looking more closely at this individual was that a fellow employee casually mentioned that they had seen him pocket a relatively insignificant trinket on the way out of my office. He is now, by the way, in an Ohio jail for - surprise! - embezzlement from an employer after me.
If you are in a position to hire people for your company, consider the Instant Background Checks services offered EasyBackgroundChecks.com, which sponsored this post. The money you spend up front to weed out problems might save you hundreds of times more in the long run.
I also had another "trusted" employee who bilked my company out of several thousand dollars. This young man was so convincing I even hired him once to paint the picket fence at my house. Through under-ringing of sales, he snagged over $1,000 one weekend, although his greed was what sank him, as he might have stayed under the radar if he just kept nickel - and - diming me.
This dishonest employee, too, might have been avoided had I taken advantage of the services of a background check firm.
Still, we live in an age when - for just a small amount of money - people can learn a great deal about you in an instant, and I am not sure what this bodes for the future. Especially of concern is the confidentiality of medical records, which are increasingly finding themselves in the marketplace of commodified information.