What’s included in a National Social Security Search?

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

October 6 2015

Pre-employment background screenings are an essential tool for human resources professionals. Background checks provide hiring managers with crucial information about candidates that must be factored into staffing decisions.

The foundation of a background screening is the criminal history search. Hiring managers need to know if an applicant has a criminal record and if so, how the charges and convictions might relate to the job for which the candidate has applied.

Hiring managers can magnify the power of a criminal records search by also conducting a National Social Security Search. Read on to find out what’s included in a National Social Security Search check.


Criminal Record and Social Security Number Searches

There are several reasons why criminal record searches are crucial for businesses:

  • Candidates with certain criminal histories may not be eligible to work with vulnerable populations.
  • Candidates with criminal records may expose your employees and customers to unsafe behavior and violence.
  • Applicants with criminal backgrounds may leave your business at risk for potential fraud and theft.
  • Your businesses can be held liable for the actions of your employees. If an employee with a criminal record commits a crime during their employment, your company may be sued for negligent hiring.
  • Sometimes job applicants provide prospective employers with fake or invalid Social Security numbers to conceal negative information about their background.

Each of these scenarios applies to candidates for both full- and part-time positions, as well as both permanent and temporary workers. Running a Social Security Number Search can help you identify these risks and avoid fraudulent, negligent, and costly hiring practices.


How Do National Social Security Searches Help Businesses?

Pre-employment background checks can help protect your business, employees, and customers and ensure that you have the best talent at your organization. Criminal record searches must be comprehensive in order to obtain the most complete picture of a candidate’s background.

The National Social Security Search broadens the scope of a criminal history search. This search helps you identify additional names or aliases associated with a candidate’s Social Security Number (SSN), as well as jurisdictions where an applicant may have lived and worked that they may not have disclosed.

The National Social Security Search matches an applicant’s Social Security Number to the issued name and can provide known aliases. This search can help uncover crimes perpetrated by an individual who has changed their name or taken a married name.

A National Social Security Search can also reveal additional undisclosed places where the applicant has lived. The National Social Security Search provides the applicant’s current address and multiple known addresses over a seven year period. This is an excellent way to ensure all the jurisdictions where an applicant has lived are included in the search for criminal records.

The National Social Security Search may also reveal fraud. For example, an applicant may attempt to use a Social Security Number that has never been issued in an effort to hide their past. In other cases, identity thieves may try to use a number that belongs to someone else entirely.

Overall, the National Social Security Search is an effective way to discover critical information about employment applicants and can reduce hiring risk. This search provides an inexpensive means for obtaining a more complete and accurate profile of your potential employee before you bring them into your organization.

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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