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Why You Should Run A Background Check On Your Contractor

People all over the world rely on contractors for renovations to their homes or business. As a customer, you expect the job to be done correctly and for the workers to behave professionally.

Furthermore, you’re trusting a contractor and his workers with access to your home or business. It’s an extremely vulnerable position to be in. This is why it’s important to perform a background check on your contractor. Doing so ensures that you hire the right contractor — someone that you can trust and who will get the job done right.

A background check is a process that a person or company uses to certify that an individual is who they say they are. It provides an opportunity to check a person’s criminal record, employment history, education, and other past activities. There are a variety of background checks that can be performed. The most common are:

  • Criminal

A criminal background check is usually required when a person, business or organization needs to know whether a person has been convicted of any crimes. This check can tell you whether someone has been convicted of a major crime such as violent or sex crimes, fraud, embezzlement or a felony conviction. Criminal background checks are most often used to determine whether a person may pose a threat to others or create an unsafe work environment.

  • Employment

Employment background checks often include but are not limited to, an individual’s work history, their education, their credit history, their driving record, their criminal record, their medical history, their use of social media and any drug tests they may have undergone. This type of check is most often used by employers.

  • Credit

If the person you’re looking to hire will be handling money, a credit background check will give you an idea of whether a person knows how to handle money responsibly and whether they might be tempted to take advantage of your trust. This process looks at a person’s credit-to-debt ratio, demonstrating how a person has managed their credit and bill payments in the past. This report shows a person’s full credit history, including payment history, civil judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, unpaid bills in collections and recent credit inquiries.

  • Professional Licenses

A professional license check, also known as an education verification check, establishes whether an applicant actually possesses a valid license for the work they’re applying for. Some industries need a professional license check in order to ensure that the people working for them have the necessary experience, knowledge, and credentials to perform their job.

  • Fingerprint

Fingerprint background checks are most often used in combination with other background checks. Most government-run institutions, like schools, airports, law enforcement agencies, hospitals and fire departments, require a fingerprint check. Certain professional licenses also require fingerprint checks. These include jobs in real estate, medical care, finance, casinos, and pharmacies.

A person’s fingerprints are run through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS). As fingerprints are nearly impossible to fake this allows you to get an accurate account of a person’s criminal history.

The checks that are most useful for hiring a contractor are the employment check and the professional license check. An employment check includes the information from the criminal and credit checks, as well as allowing you to check references from previous employers. You’ll want to make sure that previous customers were happy with the job and take note of any issues they may have had.

A professional license check is important to avoid hiring an unlicensed or unqualified contractor. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you’re taking an unnecessary risk. Additionally, if your contractor is unlicensed you become the de facto general contractor. This means that if the contractor breaks a sewer line or if a worker gets hurt, you’re responsible. Furthermore, unlicensed contractors don’t usually have insurance. Insurance protects you if something doesn’t go according to plan.

The reason for background checks is to provide useful information about an individual’s history in order to determine whether or not they pose a threat to yourself or others. If you’re going to be letting someone into your home or business this is an important step to take. Although a person’s previous actions don’t necessarily predict their future actions, the information from a background check will help you make the best choice possible.