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Why a Social Security Trace is needed to a Perform Pre-Employment Background Checks

Background Screening

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A social security trace is an essential tool used in most pre-employment background checks. There are many components and different searches that can be used to paint a complete picture of an applicant’s past. However, the information used to search an applicant’s history is provided by the individual and is usually collected through the application process. This means, searching for critical information about an applicant or employee depends on that individual’s full disclosure of accurate information.

One of the most important things to understand about a social security trace is that it does not confirm the validity of the social security number given by the applicant or employee. The social security trace is not an identity verification tool. When conducting a social security trace, the applicant submits their nine-digit social security number that is used to discover all locations in which the individual has lived. The information returned from the social trace is derived from utility bills, credit card inquiries, rent bills, and many other forms of reoccurring financial statements that pin point the individual to certain locations. By knowing where the individual has lived in the past, you can proceed with additional searches such as a National Criminal Check or County Criminal Check.

A National Criminal Check does a vast search across countless different jurisdictional data bases. Some of these sources include county courthouses, state court support agencies, local correction departments, and other government agencies. The purpose of this wide-ranging search is to get an understanding of one’s criminal history. When a red flag arises within the National Criminal Check, you must investigate further by conducting a County Criminal Check. A County Criminal Check includes thorough details on the cases progress and outcome. With a County Criminal Check, the records are physically pulled from the specific courthouse which provides the details a National Criminal Search may lack. The Social Security Trace plays a key role for the adjudicator who is analyzing the background check results by revealing where an individual has previously lived and providing clues that show where to investigate further.

Common situations that can be confusing for the untrained eye are identifying data base entry errors such as typos and misspellings as well as additional names being associated with one Social Security Trace. Names of individuals such as parents, spouses, close friends, or family members may appear. This is due to situations such as a parent co-signing on a loan for their child. Both names are documented on the loan and therefore will populate two names. In some cases, there will be no data associated when a social security trace is ran. This can happen if an individual has lived with their family or friends, doesn’t own a credit card, or has never paid rent or a utility bill. Lastly, if an applicant has something to hide, they may lie and give the wrong social security number, this type of fraud would result in the wrong data or no data being discovered.

Origin Can Help

The background screening process is not as simplistic as it may seem. On top of knowing how to interpret background check results, properly storing this data is essential to staying compliant and organized. Companies like Origin offer a helping hand. They can structure the background screening process to a pass or fail grading scale structure. Meaning, you can assign weight to the categories that mean the most to you and less weight to those less important. For instance, if you do not wish to see any misdemeanors such as traffic tickets, then those can be over looked. This grading system leaves the extensive analyzing process to the experts and allows you to make executive decisions based off the results you are looking for. Origin can store your results while adopting a paperless system that eliminates tedious tasks. Get to know your applicants like the back of your hand by trusting Origins elite software and experienced staff.

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