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What’s in a Name?

Posted in Frequently Asked Questions on 11/02/2009

Have you ever wondered why BackTrack contacts your company or your applicants to get a correct spelling of a name or to ask if the applicant has used any other names in the past?  Simple.  Most records are still stored by your applicant’s name.  Criminal records, school records, and many employment records are matched first and foremost by name.

Criminal records are still filed in our court system mainly by name.  If your applicant has had more than one name, searches should be run under all names, as records generally will only be found in that court under the name that was used at the time.  This works for both first and last names.  If you are considering a background check for someone by the first name of Richard, you need to see if they go by the name of Rick, Dick, Richey, or Rich.  Court records will be searched by Richard, and records may not be found if the applicant’s docket information is under an alternate first name.

This is a frequent problem with schools as well, particularly high schools.  If you are trying to verify that a female applicant is a high school graduate, the name that appeared on her high school diploma is imperative.  If we do not have that, the school will be unable to locate your applicant as high schools do not update their records to reflect the applicant’s current last name.

When we speak with companies, supervisors or other references to verify past employment or to gather additional information on your applicant, we need to know what name the applicant used at that time.  Once again, if the respondent does not know the applicant’s current or legal name, we may be unable to gather the information you need.

For more information on this topic, contact BackTrack at 800-991-9694.