Background Checks: Everything You Need to Know

When you hear the words 'background check', what comes to mind? Most people think it's about uncovering a person's criminal history. However, that isn't always the case. A private investigator in Knoxville may do a background check for a variety of different reasons. You can even ask for one to be done on yourself! Let's take a closer look at background checks and what a private investigator in Knoxville can find out for you.

What is a Background Check?

In simple terms, a background check is gathering and analyzing data types to create an in-depth profile covering an individual's personal, professional, and often financial history. It can be used for a number of purposes, including proving identity, determining fitness for a job, or building a picture of their character. A private investigator in Knoxville will pull from various information to build up as accurate a profile as possible. Some of the information that they use may include the following:

  • Personal Information - The foundation of any background check starts when the private investigator in Knoxville gathers basic personal information such as the target's full name, date of birth, social security number, and address history.
  • Criminal History - While not every background check is for criminal reasons, a private investigator in Knoxville may pull a criminal record, including past convictions, arrests, pending charges, and driving offenses.
  • Employment History - A private investigator in Knoxville will often be asked to do a background check as part of a pre-screening process for employment. They will pull the target's employment history, including their job titles, responsibilities, and reasons for leaving.
  • Education Records - A background check can also help to verify an individual's education and confirm that they have the appropriate credentials for a job. It can also go a step further and determine if they have valid memberships, licenses, or certifications from relevant professional bodies.
  • Financial Records - Depending on the reason you have a private investigator in Knoxville run a background check, they may also examine the individual's finances, including their credit history, bankruptcy, and tax liens.
  • Character References - In the case of employment pre-screening, a background check may include contacting character references or conducting interviews with acquaintances.
  • Social Media Presence - Employers increasingly use Social Media when making hiring decisions. In fact, a recent survey found that 90% of employers review candidates' social media platforms when hiring, and 80% of those employers have rejected applications based on the individual's social media behavior. That's why a private investigator in Knoxville will also look at what the target has going on with their social media when performing a background check.

Who Needs to Run a Background Check?

There are a number of different reasons why someone would hire a private investigator in Knoxville to run a background check. Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  • Pre-employment screening - Employers often conduct background checks on potential employees to verify their identity, education, employment history, and criminal record. This helps employers make informed hiring decisions and ensure the safety and integrity of the workplace.
  • Tenant Screening - Landlords may perform background checks on prospective tenants to assess their rental history, creditworthiness, and criminal background. This helps landlords identify reliable and responsible tenants.
  • Loan approval - Lenders may use background checks to assess an individual's credit history and financial stability before approving a loan or credit application.
  • Security Clearance for Government & Other Sensitive Positions - Individuals applying for government jobs, particularly those requiring access to classified information, may undergo extensive background checks to assess their loyalty, trustworthiness, and potential security risks.
  • Adoption - Individuals seeking to adopt a child may undergo background checks to assess their suitability as adoptive parents, ensuring the well-being and safety of the child.
  • Professional Licensing for Regulated Positions - Some professions, such as healthcare, law, and finance, may require individuals to undergo background checks as part of the licensing process to ensure public safety and adherence to professional standards.
  • Volunteer Opportunities - Nonprofit and volunteer organizations may conduct background checks on volunteers, especially if they will be working with vulnerable populations, to ensure the safety of those they serve.

Should You Background Check Yourself?

Background checks are not just about finding out information about other people. You may also hire a private investigator in Knoxville to run a background check on yourself. It seems like a strange thing to do, but it can be beneficial for a number of reasons. The main benefit is that you can see what information is associated with your name. This gives you the opportunity to correct any inaccurate public records. It also gives you a good overview of how you will be perceived by potential employers, landlords, or other individuals who may choose to run a background check on you in the future.

If you are interested in running a background check on either yourself or another person, we can connect you with a private investigator in Knoxville who can provide you with the information you need.

Uncover the truth!


Ken Shull served as a Special Agent with the FBI for almost 25 years and was head of the FBI Polygraph program until his retirement in 2001. At that time he set up the Kendall Investigations practice as a private investigator in Knoxville, TN offering Polygraph services, private investigations, and security guards. Ken is a member of the American Polygraph Association and The American Association of Police Polygraphists.

The Truth is Still the Truth Even if No One Believes it, A Lie is Still a Lie Even if Everyone Believes it.