How to Conduct Employee Background Checks

The employee background check examines a candidate’s driving and criminal records. It also checks whether the person is on a terrorist watch list. The background check usually involves a credit check and credential checking.

What steps should you take before doing background checks?

A consistent policy is essential.

It is much easier to document this in a flowchart so that everyone understands which step they need to take and where each one should end. You can have legal problems if you apply only certain steps for candidates with a particular background.

Get legal advice.

Background checks can uncover sensitive information. However, it is not possible to obtain certain information in all states. Consult a lawyer to ensure your background check does not cause any legal problems.

Offer candidates the chance to correct any mistakes.

It is why it is better to work with a search company nine times out of ten. You will pay less than $80 per candidate and you can trust the information. Also, it will keep you from seeing information that you do not need.

*** If you are a victim of Human Trafficking, please click on this link to see your rights in regards to your background screening report. ***

The background check information can contain errors. It can be a good idea to give candidates the chance to read information. This will help save you from losing a talented candidate.


FCRA compliant background screening services should be used.

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), outlines what you are allowed and prohibited from doing as part of background checks regarding credit information. This summary provides an overview of how information should be handled from the viewpoint of the candidate.

While the FCRA is the most common law governing background checks, you need to be aware that other laws may also apply depending on your state or region. In some states, it is legal to do credit and criminal background checks on anyone, while in other places you are restricted from doing these checks on certain types of workers.

You should not take the background checking process as a routine.

Sometimes, even the most routine steps of a background check will reveal critical information. Hire managers should take this seriously and pay close attention to all the information they find.

When verifying employment history, do not ask questions about the character of your coworkers.

Once you begin asking questions, such as those about character or attitude, it is time to start getting opinions. An investigative consumer report should be done. Federal law applies to this situation. You will need to inform the applicant of your intention, provide them with an opportunity to request details, and follow up on their requests. You should seek professional advice if you require this information.

What is a basic employee background check?

1.     Criminal record check.

It provides information about the criminal record of an applicant. Particularly important for those in positions of trust/security. It should include records from both the national and regional levels.

2.     Social security verification

This verifies that the candidate has a valid social security number and searches for all possible names including variations and aliases as well as dates and addresses associated with this number. This allows employers to see whether the candidate has ever lived in other locations or used other aliases. These may expose criminal records that would not have been discovered otherwise.

3.     You can check your address history.

Tracks the addresses of previous candidates. Knowing where the candidate lived in the past will help to validate other research. It may also reveal areas where it is necessary to conduct criminal background checks.

4.     U. S. terrorist watch list.

Many background checks check to determine if the applicant is on the U.S. terror watchlist. This is particularly important when applying for security positions.

5.     Register of sexual offender.

For positions of trust, this check is especially important.

Employee Background Check


What is found during a background check?

General background checks include identity verification, credit history, and criminal records. Qualification confirmation is also included. It all depends on which type of background check you wish to have.

How should background screening for employees be done?

  1. Notify the applicant you will be doing a background check.
  2. Find out which information is allowed according to state laws.
  3. Choose a registered Consumer Reporting Agency.
  4. Check that the CRA you choose is FCRA-compliant.
  5. Ask for a report by a CRA.
  6. Make a hiring choice after reviewing the background report.

What are the best ways to conduct background checks?

  1. Maintain a consistent background checking policy.
  2. Get legal advice.
  3. You should give candidates the opportunity to respond to all information you find.
  4. Only use FCRA-compliant service providers.
  5. What is the difference between consumer reports and reference checks?
  6. Do background checks on all applicants, not just a few.
  7. Pay attention to the information.
  8. If you are trying to verify facts, do not ask questions about character.

What information is required from potential candidates for a background investigation?

For background checks, you will need to know the employee’s full name, social security number, birth date, and other details. For credit reports, school transcripts and military records, you will need to have the permission of the employee.

Is it allowed to do background checks on employees?

Background checks are covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, but there are other laws that may apply depending on your state or region. The law does not require companies to conduct background checks. Employees must be held accountable for their actions.

Does my employee have to consent for me to conduct a background search?

For any reason, such as to hire an outside company for investigation, credit reporting, school transcripts access, or military records access, you will need written permission. If you make a reasonable request and the employee declines permission, you can legally withdraw the candidate from consideration.

What is the average time it takes to complete an employee background check?

According to popular employee background check services, it takes one to five business days to verify social security numbers, addresses, and check criminal records in national and local courts, as well as to check the U.S. terrorist watch list.

Do I need to do my own employment screening?

You can do your own background checks if you only need extremely basic information, or the background check will not have a significant impact on hiring decisions. This is a good option if you only have a brief glance at the information available on Google and social media.

This method has a problem. It is difficult to be 100% sure that you have the right person. You might also see information that is not legal to be used in your search for a new employee.

It is why it is better to work with a search company nine times out of ten. You will pay less than $80 per candidate and you can trust the information. Also, it will keep you from seeing information that you do not need.

*** If you are a victim of Human Trafficking, please click on this link to see your rights in regards to your background screening report. ***

Employee Background Screening Services – The Big List