Articles on Investigation from Research Etc., Inc.


Why Should an Employer Pre-Screen Prospective Employees?

Many employers feel that they can judge whether a job applicant is a good candidate just by meeting with them and calling a few references listed on the application. This practice can not only be dangerous, it can be costly. The old adage “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is especially true when hiring someone to work in your office or represent your company. 
It is a well known fact that some job applicants, who don’t want their potential employer to discover a criminal history or bad driving record, will change their Social Security number or date of birth by a digit, thinking it will throw the background check off track. Many times, this works - particularly when an employer is doing the background check themselves through an Internet data provider. When an employer uses one of these do-it-yourself services, they input the data provided by the applicant and run it through a database. If the information is incorrect, or the database provider has outdated records, the applicant comes back with “No Records Found” or “Clear.” Often, the employer has no idea where a particular applicant has lived in the past and only checks in the county or state where the applicant is applying for a job. Again, “Clear.” The problem with using these quick, do-it-yourself databases is that there is not a person who is checking for inaccuracies and most of the time, the company doesn’t provide a phone number or have live help available for the employer.
In our experience, we’ve seen job applications come through our office that look terrific at first glance. Of course, we give more than a “glance” at an application! As licensed Private Investigators, each pre-employment screening is treated with the same high standard of care we use with all of our cases. At Research Etc., we take a hard look at each job applicant – we make sure that an individual’s information matches with what is on their application. We check to see where that individual has lived in the past and can check records in those locations as well. Most importantly, we provide personal service – we are live people giving personal and in-depth professional attention to you, our valued customer!
We have found that many job applicants don’t have criminal history or bad driving records in the state in which they are applying for a job. Often, they have had to move to a new state to get a job because they have less than stellar records in their previous state. We find that many of the worst criminals are applicants who apply for jobs in the medical field (great for access to prescription pads or narcotics!) or in the home security or home service industry (great for access to people’s homes!). Our mission is to make the employer and the existing employees feel secure in knowing that any new hire has been thoroughly checked out and has passed a background check. Not only does this make an employer feel sure they have done everything possible to ensure security in the workplace, it also cuts down on employee turnover because the employer is hiring quality individuals who are stable and likely to stay at their jobs for longer periods of time.
Whether applying for an upper management level position, secretarial or office work, driving company vehicles or laboring on the dock, each of our background screening packages will be custom tailored to suit the individual needs for your particular applicant. 


  Yahoo launches SearchScan from McAfee  - - Bad Decision for Yahoo!

This letter is in reponse to Yahoo’s Yodel Anecdotal blog regarding SearchScan from McAfee now being used to flag "risky" sites when using Yahoo's search engine - posted May 5, 2008:  “Do you know where your mouse has been?”



Dear Yahoo, 

We are very upset that McAfee has put a red flag on our website listing when searched through Yahoo: "Warning: Unsolicited E-mails." This is totally misleading, as when you read McAfee's report explaining this note, they state thatat they submitted their email to us and it was posted on our site... Read Full Article

20 Sep 2007    Sex Offenders, Pedophiles & Predators

By Kristen Hamilton

Research Etc.

When Research Etc., Inc. began back in 1995, we had no intention of investigating convicted sex offenders, much less, pedophiles. We were simply in the business of adoption searches and skip tracing. However, as our business has grown and evolved to include pre-employment and personal background screenings, we found ourselves coming across these individuals more and more often. We wondered, incredulously, how some of these convicted sex offenders were running around loose and undocumented in our communities, and so we started to gather facts about the registry system, the court system and the tactics used by of some of these criminals.

I was recently watching a recent news story of a convicted sex offender who was paroled from prison, only to rape and molest again, this time killing the victim. I marveled as the TV “experts” hashed and rehashed the question as to why this person was loose on the streets. I realized that none of the commentators had any real answers – they were blaming the inept judge, or the parole board, or the law enforcement agencies that let him slip through the cracks. True, these are valid issues, but there is so much more that people should know, we are simply uninformed about how the system works. Chances are, unless you have been directly affected by a sex offender, or have become an advocate against these predators, you may not know certain things about them – things that can help you protect yourself and your loved ones. Frustrated, and armed with a forum to do so, I decided that I should share what we at Research Etc. have learned...

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3 Apr 2007    The HP Criminal Charges Damaged The Wrong Group

By Leroy Cook

The culprits behind the HP fiasco have been mis-identified. Private investigation did not cause the HP problem. The pretexting of phone company employees was done by information brokers. Most people do not make the distinction but there is a clear difference.

Information brokers sell information. Private investigators sell their time and have to use good judgment in the way they spend their time. Information brokers sell units of information like the corner store sells merchandise. Private investigators use imagination, creativity, good human relations skills, determination and long hours of hard work to get information for clients...

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