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What is Name Variation?

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There’s more to name variation than just AKAs. Searching AKA (also known as) names is a best practice in background screening.

It’s much more of a rarity these days for someone to have only one name considering most women who marry do take their husband’s surname. Then there are nicknames: Robert could be Bobby, or Victoria may be Vicky.. Other individuals may legally change their name for various reasons.

Background searches reveal AKAs through an Address History Trace and should be used in screening – don’t depend on your applicants to provide AKAs. Too many times, stories and reports in the news reveal that applicants or volunteers had records under AKAs that were not searched.

But there’s more to name variants than just AKAs. Names can be misspelled or can be keyed in various ways if they contain spaces, apostrophes or symbols. For example, the last name O’Conner may be recorded differently depending on how the system used treats the apostrophe. It could be OConner, O Conner, O-Conner or Conner. How is it possible to search using name variation? Algorithms have been developed that automate name variation, expanding the search parameters even farther.

Always consider a vendor who can search via Name Variation Algorithms so that you can have the best chance of finding records that could have otherwise been missed.

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