Low cost background checks may save a company money in the short-run, but “going cheap” can backfire when executives involved in mergers and acquisitions are not properly screened.
“Comprehensive background research is critical to the due diligence process if a company wants to avoid potentially damaging, costly and embarrassing mistakes,” says Michael Levien of LexPro Research LLC.
“Low cost background check providers try to save money by only searching for select information, such as bankruptcies or only criminal records in one jurisdiction, potentially leaving the client with a false sense of security.”
According to Levien, “There are $99 background checks advertised on the Internet, but they are probably not even worth $0.99 in our opinion.”
Here are some problems Levien sees with cheap background checks:
- They often do not include name variations, multiple jurisdictions, or manual searches.
- For common names, a company may simply get a “data dump” with numerous “name match” records that do not relate to the person of interest.
- Many services advertise a “nationwide criminal record search,” although no such search exists.
- Some firms are outsourcing background checks to China or India, abandoning all local expertise and knowledge.
According to Levien, a proper background check should include the following:
- Full identification of the individual, including name variations or prior names or aliases.
- Civil litigation and regulatory searches, as well as professional license and educational degree verification (if applicable), and comprehensive media searches (not just “Googling” someone).
- Determining the jurisdictions in which the person has lived and worked, and then conducting proper research in those jurisdictions including manual searches.
“Manual searches are vital,” says Levien, “because many jurisdictions do not make their records accessible electronically or online. To do it right, a trained researcher must physically search the records by hand.”
LexPro Research is a leading provider of domestic and international risk mitigation background checks, and business intelligence services to the corporate, financial and legal communities. For information on LexPro Research, call 203-921-1281 or visit www.LexProResearch.com.