Employment background check what do they look for

Background Checks For Employment What Do They Look For

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You can get your background check in one of the following states:

West Virginia (WV), Maryland (MD), California (CA), Oregon (OR), Nevada (NV), Wisconsin (WI), Texas (TX), New Hampshire (NH), Hawaii (HI), Vermont (VT), New Mexico (NM), Iowa (IA), Connecticut (CT), Missouri (MO), New York (NY), Montana (MT), Alabama (AL), Louisiana (LA), Kentucky (KY), Rhode Island (RI), Utah (UT), Arkansas (AR), Michigan (MI), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Minnesota (MN), Georgia (GA), Massachusetts (MA), Florida (FL), Maine (ME), Ohio (OH), New Jersey (NJ), Idaho (ID), Kansas (KS), Nebraska (NE), Alaska (AK), Indiana (IN), North Dakota (ND), Wyoming (WY), Arizona (AZ), Mississippi (MS), South Carolina (SC), Virginia (VA), Colorado (CO), Puerto Rico (PR), Illinois (IL), North Carolina (NC), Oklahoma (OK), Washington (WA), Pennsylvania (PA), Delaware (DE).

Also you can do a background check in one of the following cities:

New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Huntsville, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, Bellevue, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, Beaumont, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Columbus, College Station.

Also you can get criminal background check in any of the following counties:

Los Angeles County, Wayne County, Alameda County, Allegheny County, Honolulu County, Erie County, Macomb County, Multnomah County, Suffolk County, Hudson County.

Choosing a Background Check Service: A Buying Guide for Businesses

Looking for a background check service in 2017? Here's everything you need to know about the different types of services, what each offer and how to choose one. If you already know what you're looking for, visit our best picks page to see which ones we recommend, as well as a complete list of others that might work for you.

Background Check Experts We Interviewed…
  • Mike Aitken Vice President of Government Affairs

  • Society For Human Resource Management
  • Aitken says: "It can be a red flag to the employer if the person is being less than honest [on their resume or job application]."
  • Bigley Ranish, LLP
  • Bigley says: "It is worth noting that much of the information on these [DIY] websites is wildly inaccurate, thereby limiting the utility of the process anyway."
  • Briggs Law Group
  • Briggs says: "If the employer has inappropriately relied on something like an arrest report to deny an applicant a job, they can be in big trouble."

When you're choosing a background check service, the first question to ask is, what kind of service do you want to use? There are two distinct types:

  • Full-service background check companies that do all of the investigation work for you.
  • DIY background check websites that provide instant results and allow you to conduct online searches on your own.

Here are more details on each type.

  • Pre-employment background check companies offer a comprehensive screening solution.
  • The providers do all of the research for you. They search online databases and make in-person courthouse visits to check for criminal history. They can also verify past employment and education, as well as dig into a variety of other areas of a candidate's background.
  • The specific types of screenings employment background check services conduct include the following:
  1. Misdemeanor and felony criminal records searches at the county, state and national levels
  2. Sex-offender status searches
  3. Social Security number traces and validations
  4. Employment verifications
  5. Education verifications
  6. Professional license verifications
  7. Reference checks
  8. Credit report checks
  9. Civil records checks
  10. Motor vehicle records checks
  11. Military records verifications
  12. Workers' compensation history searches
  13. Health care sanction checks
  14. Address history checks
  • These companies abide by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which governs how background checks must be conducted. This includes requiring the job candidate's consent to conduct the background check and giving the candidate the opportunity to review the final results.
  • Most companies use a cloud-based system that allows employers to request background checks and review finished reports online.
  • Full-service companies typically charge $50 to $100 per report and take between two and five days to complete the search process.

Pros and cons: The biggest benefit of using these companies is that they comply with FCRA laws. Using services that don't abide by these laws leaves your business vulnerable to lawsuits and fines. Another advantage is that these services don't rely solely on information found online; they visit courthouses, and contact past employers and educational institutions. The biggest downsides of these services are the cost and time they take to complete the search process.

What the experts say: In addition to providing a much higher level of professionalism and integrity than online search engines, full-service background check companies conduct much more thorough searches, said Mike Aitken, vice president of government affairs for the Society for Human Resource Management.

"Outside entities not only, in most cases, do electronic searches; they also go right to the source," Aitken told Business News Daily. "They actually do research and [personally] search the jurisdictions."

Editor's note: Looking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

Our best picks include three full-service background check services and one online background check service. For more full reviews of less expensive, DIY online background check services, visit our sister site Top Ten Reviews. See the box below to understand the difference.

  • Online background check websites are cheap and simple to use.
  • After entering the name of the person you are searching, you are instantly provided with a variety of details, including the following:
  1. Misdemeanor and felony criminal convictions
  2. Sex offenses
  3. Details on arrests and plea deals
  4. Bankruptcies
  5. Civil legal judgments
  6. Address history
  7. Marriage records
  8. Social Security number verification
  9. Social network profiles
  • The majority of DIY websites are not FCRA-compliant and have specific language in their terms of use stating that they are not to be used for pre-employment screening.
  • Costs run $10 to $50 per background check , depending on how much information you want to look at.

Pros and cons: The biggest advantage of these websites is that they provide instant results for a very low cost. They also allow you to do the searching on your own. The downsides are that they are not FCRA-compliant, often provide incomplete or error-filled results, and do not include education or employment verification services.

What the experts say: Sean Bigley, an attorney whose law practice focuses entirely on background investigation issues, said businesses that use do-it-yourself websites for pre-employment background checks do so at their own risk.

"It is worth noting that much of the information on these websites is wildly inaccurate, thereby limiting the utility of the process anyway," Bigley said. "Given the wealth of information available on these websites, I can also foresee claims of age or race discrimination."

With so many background check services out there, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your business. Our experts highlighted a number of things you should look for when shopping for a service:

  • Does it have the ability to find all of the information your business needs to make your hiring decisions?
  • Does the service comply with and understand the Fair Credit Reporting Act?
  • Are the costs reasonable?
  • Is there an online portal where you can place orders and review results?
  • Does the service provide you with the necessary authorization forms for job candidates to fill out? Does it go a step further and offer electronic consent forms that can be signed digitally?
  • How long does it take to get results?
  • Does it provide clear, accurate and complete written reports?
  • Is the company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners?

Now that you know the basics, you might be ready to make some decisions. If so, check out our best picks for background check services.

Still not sure if you even need to conduct background checks or which type of service is right for you? Here are some questions and answers that might help you come to a decision.

Q. Why should I conduct pre-employment background checks?

A. Businesses that don't use background checks when hiring new employees are putting themselves at risk. When a new employee who hasn't been properly vetted is hired, employers are basically welcoming a stranger into their business.

"That stranger has access to your customers, your cash, your IT – everything," said Lester Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources.

He said hiring someone solely based off how they come across in an interview is a recipe for disaster.

"It would make as much sense to do that as it would to walk down the street and give the keys to [your] front door to a total stranger just because when you talk to that stranger, they look good or sound good," Rosen said.

Q. Background checks seem more useful to large businesses. Do small businesses need to conduct background checks?

A. Small businesses have just as much, if not more, to lose from a bad hire. Bringing in someone with a criminal past who steals from the company or puts co-workers in danger could end up putting a small organization out of business for good.

A study from HireRight, a pre-employment screening firm, found that 73 percent of small businesses conduct background checks when making new hires.

Q. Does conducting background checks send a message to potential hires that you don't trust your employees?

A. Running background checks doesn't mean you are assuming everyone who applies for a job at your business is a bad person.

"The idea is that, as they used to say in politics, 'You want to trust, but verify,&#3&;9quot; Rosen said. "You want to hire based on information, as well as instinct."

Q. Do background checks give any insight into what type of employee the candidate will be?

A. Although a simple background check might not tell you how hard job candidates would work if hired, it can give some insight into their character by giving you an idea of how much you can trust them.

"It can be a red flag to the employer if the person is being less than honest [on their resume or job application]," Aitken said.

Q. How many businesses actually find a red flag when conducting background checks?

A. A separate HireRight study revealed that 85 percent of employers have found applicants who lied or misrepresented themselves on their resume or application.

Q. If a background check turns up a criminal record on a potential candidate, can you immediately eliminate that person from consideration?

A. Mark Briggs, of the Arizona-based Briggs Law Group, said that to disqualify a candidate from consideration because of a criminal history, employers must have a clear connection for why someone's criminal record makes them unfit for the job for which they are applying.

"For example, having five speeding tickets in the past two years may be a valid reason to not hire a delivery driver, but their misdemeanor vandalism conviction 10 years ago probably is not," Briggs said. "If the employer has inappropriately relied on something like an arrest report to deny an applicant a job, they can be in big trouble."

Q. What is the purpose of running a credit check on a potential employee?

A. Credit checks can provide an overall financial picture of a candidate. However, they should be considered only for candidates applying for roles in which they would handle large amounts of money or assets, such as a chief financial officer, according to Aitken.

"They aren't trying to play &#3&;gotcha' and say, 'They fell behind once or twice on their credit card payment or have an outstanding student loan debt,&#3&;9quot; Aitken said of why a credit check would be conducted. "It is to check their overall ability to meet their financial obligations."

You can read more about conducting credit checks on employees here.

Q. Do you need a different type of background check service depending on your industry?

A. It depends on the background check service. Some services have a comprehensive selection of screenings that cover a wide range of industries, while others are more limited or specialized in what they offer.

There is really only a handful of industries where standard employee background checks might not suffice. For example, those in the health care industry need to conduct some additional types of searches. Another is the transportation industry, which often requires a more extensive look at a candidate's driving record.

When you're choosing a service, it is important to talk with the background check provider to make sure it conducts all of the screenings your business requires.

Q. What does it mean for a background check service to be accredited?

A. The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) offers background check services the ability to participate in the Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program.

"The NAPBS accreditation program is widely recognized as a seal of approval due to its commitment to achieving excellence through high professional standards with accountability that results in continued institutional improvement," said Melissa Sorenson, executive director of the NAPBS.

The accreditation program reviews background check providers on several key areas:

  • Consumer protection
  • Legal compliance
  • Client education
  • Researcher and data product standards
  • Verification service standards
  • General business practices

Sorenson said that to become accredited, background check services must demonstrate initial and ongoing compliance with the accreditation standard prepared by the Background Screening Credentialing Council.

"Compliance is demonstrated through rigorous desk and on-site audits, all of which are completed by an independent third-party auditor," Sorenson said. "Firms must document each of their policies and processes as required in each of the areas within the standard and demonstrate visible compliance with their policies to the auditor."

Accreditation lasts five years. To remain accredited after that, the company must repeat the review process.

Q. With the popularity of social media, shouldn't part of the background check include examining job candidates' social network accounts?

A. Although employers might be tempted to check out a candidate's Facebook or Instagram page to learn more about his or her judgment and character, they could be opening themselves up to lawsuits by doing so.

"An employer might learn from a person's Facebook page that they belong to a particular religious group or have a disability that is not visually apparent," Briggs said. "Knowing that information can open up an employer to liability, because they are not allowed to ask about those things in an application or interview for a job, and once you know something, you can be accused of considering that information illegally when making the hiring decision."

Jonathan Segal, a partner at Duane Morris LLP in the employment, labor, benefits and immigration practice group, said that to limit the potential for a hiring lawsuit when conducting social screenings, businesses need to provide their background check service provider with clear guidelines.

He said you should tell the background check firm what type of information you are looking for and, more importantly, what you are not looking for, such as medical or personal information.

You can read more about the pros and cons of using social media as part of the background check process here.

Q. Do I need to conduct background checks on any of the freelancers or temporary workers I hire?

A. Mary O’Loughlin, managing director of Healthcare at HireRight, said since many contingent workers are granted the same type of access to company facilities, data, other employees and customers as full-time employees, they should be screened in the same way.

"Best practice is that you should be screening your contingent laborers with the same level of diligence that one would screen employees who have the same responsibilities," O’Loughlin said.

The HireRight study shows that screening temporary workers has become commonplace for many organizations. Specifically, 86 percent of employers now screen contingent workers before hiring them for any assignment, up from 45 percent in 2012.

"Employers are increasingly becoming aware of the risks that unscreened contingent labor can bring, and they want to ensure that this workforce has the same job skills and background as their employees," O’Loughlin said.

When screening contingent workers, it is important to still follow all of the FCRA laws, according to O'Loughlin.

"Best practice is to screen all freelancers who you directly employ in the same way you would screen an employee, including FCRA laws and state regulations," she said. "For contingent laborers that are not direct employees, employers should work with their contingent labor firm to set the specific background screening and decision guidelines that they want applied to any contingent laborer within their contract."

Q. What penalties do you face if you don't follow the FCRA background screening laws?

A. The two biggest repercussions of not following the laws are being sued by a job applicant and being investigated and possibly fined by a government agency, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the National Labor Relations Board.

"Defending against a government investigation or lawsuit is time-consuming and expensive," Briggs said.

Q. Is it really worth it to spend money on a full-service background check company when I could just as easily do an online search on my own for a fraction of the cost?

A. There is great danger in doing just a haphazard online search, Aitken said. The information you come across might not be accurate or complete. In addition, the information might not be relevant to the job. Making hiring decisions based on those factors could come back to hurt you in the long run.

"Yes, there is a cost, but there are ways to structure that to make it more affordable," Aitken said. "This is just part of the investment into making a good hire."

If you think a background check service or website is best for you, we encourage you to check out our best picks page to see the providers we think are best for various types of businesses, our reasoning for picking each, and a comprehensive list of background check services and websites.

Editor's note: Looking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

employment background check what do they look for


Employee background check questions, what do they mean to you ? Anyone that works for someone else for a living may find out the hard way! Background checks are becoming more intrusive in the workplace. Hello I'm Yancey and I typically update this page with answers to your employee background check questions.

This is a procedure for looking up business and formal records of an individual. Checks are typically conducted on job seekers requiring security clearance like a school or a bank. Background checks normally consist of the following:

  • past employment
  • credit worthiness
  • criminal history
Performing these checks is essential to making informed decisions about an individual, particularly in hiring. Unfortunately illegal and inappropriate use can involve violation of privacy and identity theft.

employee background checks questions

If I’m looking for a job, I don't want to be blindsided by the unexpected and neither does the potential employer. Here are the steps I would take beforehand.

  • Conduct my own background check. I want to know what a company may be looking for about me. I can verify whether the information is true or false and correct it. I can hire a company or go online and search for what employers would look for.

  • I would tell family, friends and associates, they may be contacted about me. That way they won’t be leery of a stranger questioning them out of the blue about me.

  • Look for any court records. If there have been problems, such as any arrests, convictions, etc., be sure the records are accurate.
  • employee background check questions
    • Try to get a copy of your personnel file from former job. California law allows you to access to personnel files for year from the date of last employment and affords you the opportunity to make copies that have your signature on them. Your state may have a similar law that gives access to your employee files.

    • Get a copy of your credit report. I can’t stress this strongly enough. I can’t begin to tell you the trials and tribulations I’ve gone through because of erroneous information on my credit report. If there is anything that looks strange or false, dispute it with the credit bureaus. Things like the wrong name or incorrect social security number can be listed. I want to be aware of possible identity theft and protect my privacy rights.

    • Carefully review before signing. Companies can be very clever and intimidating in how they conduct the application process. You be asked to sign a release for a background check when you hand in the job application, if you decline you may not get the job. I'm going to make sure to ask questions and get clear answers before I sign anything.

    • Verify driving records. DUI an DWI are not considered to be misdemeanors. Don't forget to check yes to the question on the application about conviction of crime or misdemeanor, even if it was a long time ago. I would get a copy of my driving record from the Department of Motor vehicles.

    • Try to get a previous background check copy. You may elgible to receive a copy, if the check involved the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). The request can made to the employer who made the check or the background check service hired by the employer.

    The internet allows companies to gather a large amount of information themselves. However, this can cause problems if the employer uses a website that advertises about expertise in looking up anyone. Some of these online services may comply with state and federal guidelines concerning background checks.

    In a nutshell, employers want to know that you are who you say you are. The degree of background check depends on the what job your are seeking. Airport and school employees undergo extensive screenings.

    I routinely update this page so check back often. Please feel free to let me know what employee background check questions and answers you want to see by contacting me.

    What matters to me. is to help my fellow employee!

    This Is What Really Goes On During the Background Check Stage of the Interview Process

    Employment background check what do they look for

    If you’ve ever filled out an application for an apartment, you’ve probably been subject to a background and credit check. A potential landlord, understandably so, wants to make sure he’s not going to end up chasing down his rent money, and so he does his due diligence by calling references and checking your credit score. By learning about your past payment history and hearing what previous building owners have to say about you, he can determine whether you’re going to be a responsible tenant.

    An employment background check is quite similar when you think about it. Once you’ve applied for the job, gone through the interview process , and submitted a list of professional references , you may be told that a background check is the next (and typically last) step. If you pass that, and we’ll get into what “passing” means soon, then that’s usually when you can expect to receive an offer .

    Because a company that does background checks most often employs a third party, it’s unlikely that an organization is going to initiate this step unless it’s pretty certain you’re the best person for the job. Congrats—you’re so close to landing this job.

    So, What Happens Between Now and That First Day at Work?

    Along with fact checking your education and work history, the background check pulls up criminal records. (Oh, and when there’s a urine test involved, you can bet you’re being drug tested—but you probably figured that one out on your own.) However, another thing that most people don’t realize is that your credit history and score might also get assessed.

    Now, assuming you’ve been truthful about your previous employment and where you obtained your degrees or other certifications and when, you’ve little reason to be concerned.

    What Happens if You Have a Bad Record or Bad Credit?

    Obviously, if you have any kind of criminal record—be it a misdemeanor when you were a senior in high school or a tax fraud charge five years ago—you may be understandably anxious. However, depending on the job description and the criminal charge, an employer could be in trouble if it automatically rejects you as a potential hire based on a certain conviction or record of arrest. This is according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission , and you’d do well to review your rights if you’re concerned about a blemish on your criminal record. With that said, because recreational drugs, such as marijuana, are still illegal in most of the United States, if you fail a drug test and find yourself waiting around for an offer that never surfaces, well, there’s probably not much you can do about that.

    If you feel confident about breezing through the criminal check portion as well as the drug test, but are concerned about the repercussions of bad credit history, there’re a couple of things to keep in mind. For example, the purpose of this part: A prospective employer’s looking to hire a responsible person, so if it finds that you have messed up credit and insane debt, it might decide that you’re not fit for the job, even if the position in question isn’t directly related to money management. Fair? Not always. But something that you’re judged on? Unfortunately yes.

    For starters, know your credit ranking and do your best to determine if it’s accurate. If you’re over-the-moon about a job and are at the employment background check stage of the process, perhaps you can try speaking up if something slightly unsavory is likely to pop up on your review. If you got your first credit card the day you turned 18 and had a two or three year learning period where you totally mismanaged your money, you might talk about that as an educational experience and what you’ve done to get on strong financial footing. Honesty can mean big things for your professional advancement. That mortgage payment you defaulted on with the partner that you lived with shortly after college? Surely, you learned a lot of lessons there; can you find a way to spin the story so that it demonstrates your problem-solving skills ?

    Read and observe the job situation and the hiring manager’s explanation of the background check. Educate yourself as much as you can about this next step in the process. Some large corporations may simply be ruling out anyone with a felony, or they may just really want to make sure you graduated cum laude from Dartmouth in 2013. Try to get a sense of how upfront and direct you should be about any little misstep that’s likely to show up.

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