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11 Detailed Steps in a Background Check for Employment

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When it comes to running a business, companies want to make sure the people they hire to help are trustworthy enough to handle the responsibilities they will be given. Background checks are a good resource for this. The professional background screening allows employers to confirm that a potential employee’s past does not bring up any red flags, which gives the company faith that they are making the right decision.

Below are eleven detailed steps in a background check for employment:

1. Inform the employee or potential employee

If background information will be used to make the decision to hire the individual, the employer must inform the applicant. The same goes for if the individual already works for the company and is up for a promotion. It is the applicant or employee’s right to know, and they must provide written permission that they agree to have their background checked.

2. Address history

A background check for employment will confirm the previous addresses where an individual lived. It can help corroborate information in their application in regards to jobs and education, and it can be helpful in locating individuals to talk to or interview who were not listed as references on the application. This helps to provide a lot of information about an applicant, including whether they were a responsible tenant.

3. Criminal record

A background check will often include a criminal record check. Using an individual’s personal information – usually their full name and date of birth – a company is able to see if that person has ever been convicted of a crime. Certain information may not appear in a criminal record check after a certain period of time, but it is dependant on the person’s case specifically.

4. Employment

Part of a background check for employment may also include confirming that the jobs listed on a person’s resume or application are, in fact, places they have worked. The company will confirm that the dates listed on the resume are correct, and that the person did actually hold the positions listed.

5. Credit history

In jobs where the individual will be dealing with large amounts of money, the company may wish to confirm a credit history check on the person. This does not give information regarding the individual’s specific credit score, but it does show the state of their accounts, amount of credit they have, and information regarding their payment history.

6. Drug use

A drug test will show both illegal and prescription medication. For prescription medications, the employer is at liberty to ask for proof that the individual has been prescribed that medication, to ensure their employees are not abusing it. It is up to the employer to decide which drugs they want to look for.

7. References

The background check for employment also involves contacting the references listed on the individual’s application. This is to find out information about their character. It can also help the employer to learn information about the individual’s work ethic and performance.

8. Identity

This is a pretty crucial step in the background check for employment – confirming that the person applying for the job is who they say they are. In this step, the identification of the individual is verified, to ensure that it has not been falsified in any way, and that the person and their identification match up.

9. Education and licenses

Any education and professional licenses that have been listed must be confirmed during a background check for employment. The educational and licensing institutions will be contacted to confirm that the education or license was achieved as noted in the application. This is especially important for individuals who are applying for jobs where a specific license is required in order to legally do the job.

10. Motor vehicle records

For jobs that require the individual to be driving a company vehicle, the company will likely have the person’s motor vehicle records checked. In order for the company to be able to insure their vehicles and their drivers, they need to be assured that their drivers are responsible.

11. Asking about issues

Some information may appear in the background check which would remove the individual as a candidate for the job. If this occurs, the person should be given an opportunity to explain or dispute the claim. It happens, sometimes, that information that turns up in a background check is inaccurate, so it is only fair to discuss it with the potential employee.

Using the background check

Background check information can not be used to eliminate a person from the running for a job position if the reason in any way discriminates against that person in regards to their age, gender identity or sex, race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. In addition, information cannot be selectively used. For instance, if applicants of different genders had background checks that both showed a bad credit history, the company could not hire one and not hire the other under the pretense that that applicant’s credit history was bad.

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