The Basics of Conducting a Background Check

If you’re in the business of hiring, it’s a good idea to conduct a background check on any applicant. This will help you verify their identity, their criminal history, and their previous employers. Performing a background check is also a good way to ensure that you’re not wasting your time or money on a candidate who could be a bad hire for your business.

The Background Check Process

Most background checks include the same things, and they can be grouped into a few different categories: County Criminal Records Searches, State Police Reports, and Employment Credit Screening. These searches can reveal a variety of information about a candidate, including arrest records, court dates, and convictions.

County criminal records searches are considered the gold standard of background checks and should be included in every program. These searches look up the courts in a candidate’s area and return infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies, such as DUIs, DWIs, assault, theft, and burglary.

State police reports are similar to county criminal searches, but they focus on crimes that happen within a specific state, and they usually show more serious offenses. These reports also include information on pending charges and paroles.

Employment Credit Screening

This type of background check can include a candidate’s credit history, including payment history and outstanding balances. The information in this report can go back seven or 10 years, depending on the candidate’s state laws.

The background check process includes requesting the candidate’s consent to run their reports and providing them with a disclosure, consent and authorization form. This is a legal requirement under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

If the background check shows that the candidate has been convicted of a crime, it will be reported to you as part of the background check process. This will likely affect your decision whether or not to hire the candidate.

When deciding which criminal records to check, it’s important to consider the type of job the candidate is applying for. Often, federal government jobs and security positions will be more likely to require criminal history searches.

Expenses and Benefits

The cost of background checks depends on the type of information you’re seeking. They range from free to a few hundred dollars per candidate.

These are usually conducted when a company is considering paying someone a salary. They’re also common in positions that involve heavy physical work, such as truck driving or security guarding.

They can also be used in other situations, such as when a company is interested in learning if the candidate will be able to follow instructions.

Some companies will also use these types of background checks to check on the potential employer’s compliance with certain laws. The law varies from state to state, but most of them prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

Regardless of the background check type, it’s important to be familiar with the law before you start the screening process. The EEOC is an excellent resource for finding out what your rights are and what to do if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly due to a background report.