FAQs About Criminal Record Checks


A bad hire is a liability. It is a waste of resources and a threat to the organization. According to the US Department of Labor in 2003, a bad hire costs the company about 30% of the employee’s salary in the first year. Losing thousands of dollars because of a single employee is no laughing matter. The figures are overwhelming, and no business wants to suffer because of a bad hire.

Although bad hires are not 100% preventable, you can significantly lower the risk of hiring the wrong candidate through criminal record checks. By conducting this check as part of your recruitment process, you can identify the applicants with a criminal history, and move on to interview those who passed the check.

A criminal record check is the process of obtaining information on a person’s criminal history which includes warrants, convictions, and arrests. This is most commonly used by human resource managers for recruitment.

HireRight estimates that in 2017, 85% of hiring managers spot false declarations on applicant resumes. What are the odds that one applicant or two has a criminal record? Criminals are now so elusive, and those with a past troubled record can be very evasive even when they have been off the hook.

You need to know why a criminal record check is so important today, and why you should do it as part of a comprehensive selection process. Here are frequently asked questions about criminal record checks:

“Are criminal record checks and person background checks the same?”

Both checks contain information on an individual’s criminal history or absence thereof.

However, criminal record checks are more comprehensive because they focus exclusively on criminal history. If you need an overview of an applicant’s overall background such as educational qualifications, past employment, credit history, and criminal records—a regular background check will do. If your concern is on the criminal history alone, a criminal record check will provide you with the information you need to look into the individual’s previous or current offenses.

“What is the significance of criminal record checks?”

Complacency is the silent killer of business.

You may think that no person with a criminal record will ever have the guts to apply for a job, but don’t be surprised if a criminal record check on one of your applicants generates a hit for workplace theft.

Through criminal record checks, you avoid employees with convictions like violence, theft, fraud, embezzlement and substance abuse. The goal is to determine any past or present criminal record that threatens your organization and employees. You need to prevent potential losses due to worker theft, and avoid lawsuits for negligent hiring and workplace violence. A safe workplace is the best workplace.

Conducting criminal record checks also speaks a lot about your company as far as recruitment is concerned. Do you do a routine check during the selection process? Do you repeat the check when offering a promotion to a current employee? Do you conduct a check every few years or so? Hiring and maintaining employees with zero criminal history mirrors the quality of employees, increases your company’s success, promotes your brand and magnifies your revenues.

“What are the limitations of criminal record checks?”

One disadvantage of criminal record checks is that some states do not disclose all information pertaining to criminal records. California, for example, only displays the convictions and not the arrests of the individual concerned. The extent of information disclosure depends on the policies of a certain country or state.

This is why it’s recommended to employ third-party experts in criminal record checks. If your company’s legal department is unable to obtain criminal record checks, trained investigators can do so on your behalf. Not only are they knowledgeable about where to get information, but they are trained to obtain records legally. They also have access to other resources that are otherwise not available to the public.

“What can you expect from criminal record checks?”

A criminal record check is an effective tool used by investigators and security experts to make sure that you practice reasonable care and due diligence in your selection process. Criminal record checks are so thorough, that you are able to get hold of information that a regular background check may not reveal.

A typical criminal background check starts with the person’s personal details, such as the complete name, aliases, physical description (height, weight, skin color, eye color) and distinct characteristics (moles, tattoos, scars). Results reveal all these details including outstanding warrants, convictions, arrests, and prison terms.

Investigators obtain records from courts, police and law enforcement agencies. They can also get information from international agencies such as that from INTERPOL to verify international warrants.

Once you have the information at hand, then you have the confidence to make an informed decision about the applicant’s chances of getting hired.

“Do I need to conduct criminal record checks?”

Small and medium enterprises need to protect their businesses as they can be an easy target for criminals to apply, believing that criminal record checks are too costly for small business owners. Although many countries allow their own people to conduct criminal record checks on themselves, these records do not often display the details of the offense committed, if any.

For large corporations, criminal record checks should not be neglected. A bigger company entails a bigger brand to protect, and an even bigger name to carry. It only takes one bad hire to tarnish the organization’s reputation and risk the safety of all employees.

If you run a business dealing with children or seniors, or operate a trade in health care, pharmaceuticals and financing, a criminal record check is an absolute necessity.
A simple criminal or police clearance from your local government is not enough. Rather, a comprehensive investigation by a trained security provider is essential. A thorough check will provide you with information not found in state databases, such as that from academic institutions, previous employers, professional and civic organizations, and other establishments for any record of misdemeanors.

Results of criminal record checks can be analyzed with findings of pre-employment screenings, person background checks, online dating background checks, and nanny background checks to gain a deeper insight on potential employees and their relationships with other people.

The cost of criminal record checks vary, starting from roughly $100 and may increase depending on factors such as the location where records are obtained, cost of records, the extent of the check, and difficulty of the investigation.

By now, you may be contemplating how much it will cost you to perform routine criminal record checks. The cost is quite steep, especially if you are still starting—but it’s a small price to pay. What do you get in exchange for the accuracy and reliability of criminal record checks? You get the best hires for your organization.

Press Release, March 27, 2018: Privatimus´ information platform and themed homepage www.pre-employment-checks.com goes online


Aim of this platform is to provide an initial insight into Pre-Employment Screening (PES). Company owners, security experts and HR managers can utilize this platform to learn about current legal and professional aspects for a legally compliant applicant review.

Privatimus, a German security consultancy specialising in strategic protection concepts and protection strategies for NGOs, family offices, asset management and their wealthy private clients as well as corporate clients, is launching a new thematic and information platform.

“The process of applicant pre-employment screening and background checks is still in its infancy in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.” Sven Leidel, Partner and Head of Intelligence at Privatimus GmbH, explains. “Statistically speaking, it is estimated by the faculty and PES experts that almost half of all applicant CVs show inconsistencies or are fabricated in some way. Background checks for candidates from non-European countries is also increasing, which can pose a real challenge especially for German SME’s with a limited international orientation and network,“ says Zeeshan Nasir, also a partner of Privatimus GmbH and Head of Operations.

“Procedures for applicant verification in Germany, Austria and Switzerland are very different from those in the USA, for example. Post-employment screenings are not feasible in accordance with the law, and certain checks are simply taboo due to strict data protection regulations and personal rights,“ adds Sven Leidel.

The new portal of Privatimus GmbH closes the information gap for non-experts as well as those responsible for Corporate Security, HR and Management who engage in pre-employment screening on an occasional or regular basis, depending on the requirements of their clients.

Answers to questions such as: What is allowed? What is not allowed? Where are the limits? How far can a pre-employment check go? How does a Best Practice look like? -and more, are provided on www.pre-employment-checks.com

About Privatimus GmbH

We are a company with integrity and extensive expertise. Since 1993, our experts have been concentrating on servicing an exclusive clientele. With our worldwide network of experts, we support our customers nationally and internationally. In this way, we ensure that the best possible support is provided across national and cultural borders and that the business interests as well as the highly personal private interests of our customers are protected.

UNHWI Security, HNWI Security UNHWI protection, Ultra High Networth Individuals Security


Very few people will even be familiar with the term HNWI or UNHWI, the differences are negligible. And, even fewer yet, will have ever been in contact with one or even be one themselves. UNHWIs or Ultra High Networth Individuals, meaning, in simpler terms, very, very wealthy people, will generally not be found in a local Walmart or Tescos.

In many cases, UNHWIs will be more or less completely removed from ‘commoners’ lives, and that is a fairly vital part of their security. With greed and envy being the most human of emotions, those who have a lot need to be wary of others taking it. This means protection. Protecting one’s belongings has been a concern for humans since we stopped living in caves and it hasn’t become any easier since then.

Nowadays, people hardly protect their own anymore, they hire others to do it for them. This can take the shape of security firms, individual bodyguards, security systems and all kinds of alarms. Naturally, the wealthier someone is, the more they have to protect, the more they need UNHWI Security.

The approaches to this particular branch of security (as with HNWI Security) are varied. There are standards, like cameras, that will be found in almost all properties, and bodyguards during high-risk events or in larger crowds, however even those aren’t guaranteed to be around. No, it is simply up to the individual what kind of security they go for.

UNHWIs will, as a rule, know enough about their personal situation to be able to make somewhat informed decisions and those who don’t will hire professionals to do it for them. Security is no longer a one-man-job, instead various people, organisations, and technologies will work together to protect the Ultra High Networth Individual.

Yes, to a ‘normal’ person this can seem fairly costly, and, in absolute numbers it often is, however compared to the risk of being robbed, kidnapped or extorted, it is a comparably small price to pay. Protection of assets as well as people is what allows UHNWIs to lead normal lives without needing to hide away completely.

Especially for those who have a family and children, wealth can become as much of a hindrance as an advantage children may feel ostracised and hindered in their daily lives by their parents’ security measures, taken as they are to ensure their safety. From a protection standpoint, being an HNWI is certainly not easy.

Background Checks Companies, Background Checks Individuals, Business Partner Finance & Compliance Checks


Background checks are usually considered uncomfortable. The person being checked will often feel intruded upon or mistrusted. Despite that feeling of being uncomfortable it is largely accepted as a necessary evil. After all, who wouldn’t rather have background checks done for people who work with children, for example?

The legal background varies greatly from country to country. In America for example, very nearly everyone can conduct a background check on someone if they have the necessary information. In the UK on the other hand, the person being checked needs to give permission and the check is then being done by a government agency.

Now, in what kind of situation are background checks common? Many countries require them for people who want to work with children. Banks and larger companies like to know if their employees have a criminal background as well, before employing them. However, background checks aren’t just done on potential employees, but also on, for example, new business partners. Business partner finance checks have a very obvious purpose-to give information about whether or not the potential partner is lucid and therefore a viable partner.

There are several kinds of different background checks-some are really more identity checks, while others give a full scale criminal record, credit check and a list of former residences. In most cases, someone that requests such a check will do so with a certain intention and therefore only check certain things. Typically, it’s governments that will perform more in-depth searches into potential employees or persons of interest.

A bank’s interest into potential clients is equally obvious-it will perform individual credit checks to see if someone is eligible for credit or an account. The reason to do this needs no elaboration-a bank cannot simply give credit to anyone, they first need to see if the person can be trusted with the responsibility.

As far as performing the actual checks goes, they can be done by several parties, for example background check companies, the government, a government backed organisation, or the police. Background check companies will need to be certified and adhere to a lot of rules and regulations concerning the dealing with personal information. Respecting privacy while performing these checks is an essential checkmark in these situations and one of the few comforts possible for people that feel intruded upon by the checks. The companies are usually liable for leaked or misused information and will never give the information to anyone not allowed access to them.

Panic Room, Safe Room, Secure Room


A panic or safe room is something most of us only know from movies or what we imagine is located under the White House in Washington. That is, of course, most likely true. However, panic or safe rooms aren’t exclusive to the President of the United States of America. They serve a variety of purposes, the primary one revealed in the name itself ‘Safe Room’. Generally, it’s a safe-like room that can be locked from the inside only, for protection purposes. There are several variations of the theme, though the ones displayed in the media are usually fairly unrealistic. While it isn’t impossible to have, for example, a room that locks down completely on the press of a button, it is incredibly impractical. More common are underground rooms with one or two possible exits that are closed mechanically.

A good safe room will have necessary facilities, water and rations as well as a phone connection outside. Similar to a bunker, they can be used to protect oneself from threats like robbers, kidnappers, terrorists or the like. While they don’t come as standard equipment with most houses, they are certainly popular in certain circles, for example with politicians, celebrities, HNWI´s and UHNWI´s.

Large organisations like the U.N. have panic rooms too, in case of, for example, a terrorist attack, for the protection of the visitors. While the benefits of a safe room seem relatively self-explanatory, there are certainly drawbacks as well. First of all, the costs of having one installed, even if there is sufficient space, can be incredibly high, since it requires special planning permission, and resources.

Generally these rooms are built to be very sturdy and strong, able to withstand a theoretical attempted break-in. Ventilation, storage and facilities have to be planned and accounted for, upping the price of construction even further. In today’s day and age, this kind of bunker-like room is hardly necessary for an every-day home, panic rooms have a long history. During the Second World War, a variation of them, bunkers, were very, very common and used during bomb alarms. They were only used for short time stays until the alarm and immediate threat was over. As such, they were much simpler and often intended for use by several people at once.

Modern panic rooms can usually hold between one person and a family, as they are more built to last for time rather than space, for example until help arrives in the form of police. These rooms often have an actual safe in them as well so that small items of value can be taken to safety as well.