Become Your Own P.I.


Become Your Own P.I.

How to run a background check

By Julie Myhre of for


Finding the right babysitter, renter or housekeeper can be a stressful experience. How do you know if they are reliable or safe? What is the best process for screening your candidates? While nothing can replace meeting and interviewing candidates for yourself, performing a background check is a good way to supplement the information you already have.


Despite common beliefs, companies aren’t the only ones running background checks on people they might want to employ. Anyone can run a background check from the comfort of their own home. Whether you’re thinking of hiring a nanny, choosing a roommate, or just looking for someone reliable to clean your house, a background check can help screen potential candidates.

Background check expert Michelle LaRowe, editor in chief of and executive director of Morningside Nannies, said it’s important to run a background check on individuals coming in contact with you or your family. “Background checks are one of the many screening tools available to parents to gather information about the individual they are considering hiring to care for their child,” she said.


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What information does a background check reveal?

Background checks can reveal everything from a person’s date of birth to their criminal history, depending on the service and option you choose. Basic identity or people searches usually only reveal general information about a person — such as a person’s date of birth, address, phone number, relatives, home value and income — while advanced searches reveal more in-depth information about a person — such as national/federal criminal record, bankruptcies, liens, previously owned properties, marriages/divorces and partial Social Security numbers.

How do you perform a background check?

There are a lot of different services to choose from when running a background check on someone. Most background check services range in price from $1 to $50, depending on the depth of the background service provided. One of the best ways to make sure you're getting accurate information on a background check is to get it from two different companies and compare the results.

LaRowe mentioned that one of the most important things when purchasing a background check is to understand what the service is offering you. "Parents have many options for running a background check," she said. "The most important thing they must remember is to inquire what they're purchasing."


This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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