Are you looking to start background screening but don’t know what should be included in an employment background check? Or perhaps you’re getting ready for a job interview but you’re a little nervous about what might come up in your background check?
We’re here to help you out! Exactly what’s included in an employment background check is up to the employer. However, depending on industry and job position there are different things that an employer might want to include. Employment background checks can range from a simple verification of your social security number to more complex searches that include your work history, credit, driving records, criminal records, bankruptcy information, education history, and reference checks.
Let’s go over some of the things that are most commonly found in employment background checks and then show you additional add-ons that can be included.
1. Social Security Validation
This is almost guaranteed to be included in every employment background check. A social security validation is run to ensure that an applicant’s social security number is legitimate. This check will also help find all names, aliases, dates of birth, and address histories associated with that social security number. This may also help employers find locations that an applicant has lived under other aliases that can reveal criminal records that wouldn’t have been found otherwise.
2. Criminal Records Check
Criminal records checks are also very commonly included in employment background checks (including our National Baseline Search). These checks will search both national and county records for any criminal history. What does that mean? Any felonies or misdemeanors that are on your record will show up here.
However, just because you have a felony or misdemeanor doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be discounted from a potential job. In fact, ban-the-box laws are in place in many different states and counties to help prevent discrimination based on criminal history. This law prevents employers from asking an applicant about their criminal history before making a hiring decision.
Criminal record checks can be very important! Depending on the records found and job position, certain positions of trust and security can strongly benefit from knowing and discussing an applicant’s criminal history.
3. Address History & Identity Checks
Address history and identity checks are included in our National Baseline Search and generally performed to ensure that all of an applicant’s information is correct. These searches help find any addresses, DOBs, or birth/death indexes that match with the applicant. One important aspect of these checks is they help verify findings from other searches or uncover hidden aliases/addresses that an applicant may try to hide.
4. U.S. Terrorist Watch List & International Most Wanted List
Searches of these two lists are included in our National Baseline Search and most basic employment background checks. These searches help weed out candidates who could potentially be threatening to your organization and are especially important for security and high-profile positions.
5. Sex Offender Registry Search
A sex offender registry search will check both national and specific state’s live sex offender registries against an applicant’s information. This search is included in our National Baseline Search and very common in most employment background checks. A Sex Offender Registry Search is especially crucial for positions of trust or those that deal with young children. Running this search is pertinent for employers to protect themselves from negligent liability suits.
(This search is also crucial for volunteer screening! Sports, nonprofit, and religious groups should be performing screening as well to protect their organizations and volunteers.)
6. Employment & Education Verifications
Employment and education verifications aren’t always included in employment background checks, but are very useful to employers. These verifications often include a phone call to verify previous employment and education history is correct and/or searches of databases that house this information.
7. Social Media Check
This is a search that has becoming increasingly common to find on employment background checks. Social media checks go through a potential candidate’s social media accounts to look for any potential red flags. These red flags could include finding hate symbols or images of violence, frequent posts complaining about their current or past jobs, or images of themselves partying really hard.
The main idea behind social media checks is that it helps employers find details that are often missed in a traditional hiring process. Social media checks can help employers get a better understanding of an applicant’s true persona. Please make sure that your social media checks are being performed by screening professionals that can perform FCRA-certified and legally compliant searches.
Have more questions about employment background checks? Or are you looking to start background screening soon? Please don’t hesitate to reach out, we’d be happy to help!