How to Conduct a Background Check

A background check is a way to see whether someone has ever had a criminal record. It’s a vital tool to help employers make informed decisions about hiring new employees.

When done properly, a background check can save a company time and money by eliminating bad hires. It also helps a business avoid liability.

The process can be conducted manually or by a third-party screening provider. The latter often costs a few hundred dollars per candidate.

In addition to criminal records, the background check will reveal other important information about the applicant. This can include social media information, credit scores and traffic tickets.

Usually, it will also show any misdemeanor convictions and pending cases. While these are not as serious as felonies, they still have a negative impact on an employee’s future and reputation.

It will also show the person’s aliases, date of birth and relatives. This information will be useful in determining the applicant’s past and present.

Most companies use a combination of these types of background check to find the best possible match for their needs. Typically, these searches include:

County Criminal Search

The “gold standard” in background checks, these searches are conducted on county courts where the applicant has lived. These searches return infractions, misdemeanors and felonies such as DUIs, theft and assault.

These are the most accurate and affordable types of searches available.

They are most often used to assess applicants for positions with a higher risk of violence. They can be especially helpful for security and surveillance jobs.

Generally, these types of checks are conducted online and in person. The results are compiled into a report and sent to the client.

When conducting a background check, be sure to follow all of the laws and regulations for pre-employment screenings. This includes the Fair Credit Reporting Act, ban-the-box laws and other relevant state and local laws.

The background check must be performed in a fair and impartial manner. It may not be applied selectively based on the job candidate’s age, ethnicity, sexual orientation or veteran status.

If the results of the background check are not favorable to the company, then the employer must be notified and offered the opportunity to review the information prior to making a decision.

This notification must be provided in writing.

It’s always a good idea to get the consent of the applicant before running a background check on them. This will prevent a potential employee from being banned from employment.

You can also ask the candidate to provide a written statement of the results of the background check, which can be used in a court of law if needed.

In the event of a hiring decision, you must keep the results of the background check in your recruitment and personnel files. This information must be maintained for the duration of the applicant’s employment and indefinitely afterward.

Several studies have found that a background check has a positive impact on hiring and employee retention. However, it is important to note that background checks are not without their flaws. There are many issues that can cause a background check to be unreliable and not give an accurate picture of the candidate.