Background checks are searches through registries, databases, and other private and public sources that gather information on a person’s past. While they are not always 100% complete or accurate, they can be very helpful in making decisions on hiring, or other collaborations, since they can uncover any potential warning signs about prospective candidates. Whether you are hiring an employee, dog walker, babysitter, or senior care provider, a background check can help you make an informed decision, reveal things like driving infractions, civil court cases or criminal conduct.

Employee Background Checks

Employee Background Checks

Below, we look at four things that are included in a typical employee background check:

  1. Employment Criminal Background Checks…These include:
    • County criminal records check (Misdemeanor and Felony): Most criminal cases are prosecuted at county courts and the records stored there. These cases are often violations of criminal codes and should be used as the basis of inquiry into an applicant’s criminal history/
    • Federal criminal records check: Federal crimes, are prosecuted in federal district courts. This check is used to broaden and make more complete inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history.
  2. Employment, Education, and License Verifications…These include:
    • Education verification: Due to the large number of applicants who falsify educational claims, this search ensures that an applicant has the requisite training for the position sought. It also acts as a vital honesty check.
    • Employment history check: Verification of employment history is essential in building a defense against any negligent hiring claims, even where a prior employer only verifies minimal information. Such a report is crucial in helping to verify employment history besides checking for inconsistencies between the information contained in an application and the statements of prior employers such as job title, dates of employment, salary and reason for leaving job)
  3. Credit Reports and Other Checks: Credit reports not only show debt load, but payment history, as well. They also include public record information (judgments, liens, bankruptcies, and collections). Such checks are used to reveal significant financial pressure or a history of bad financial management.  Note that any perspective employee much sign a release authorizing a review of their credit history.
  4. Employment Drug Screening: Drug-free workplaces provide reduced tardiness, turnover, and absenteeism; increased productivity, reduced health insurance costs and a safer work environment. To achieve this, the Department of Labor helps employers build tailored drug-free policies and also provides guidance on developing comprehensive drug-free work programs.

What is included in background checks depends on the needs and concerns of the employer and the position for which the applicant is being considered. By carefully using the information provided by a quality and accurate background check, an employer can eliminate or greatly reduce serious employee and legal problems.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.