A background screening is a way for an employer to learn more about a job applicant. It can reveal criminal records or other aspects of a candidate’s history. Depending on the type of job, it might also include verification of education, professional licensing, employment history and financial information such as credit card debt and mortgages.
The first step in most background checks is identity verification, which confirms that a person is who they say they are. This includes name matching and a search for records that indicate the individual has a social security number that is valid in the United States. It may also include verification of address, another indicator that a person lives where they claim to live.
Background Screening: The Key to a Secure and Reliable Workforce
A criminal background check can search national, state and county records to uncover misdemeanor and felony convictions. It can also include pending, acquitted and dismissed charges as well as domestic and international watchlist status. Civil court records are also searched, revealing small claims and personal injury cases and any restraining orders or judgments.
Some jobs require a background investigation that can include fingerprinting and the results of a public trustworthiness evaluation. This process determines whether a person can have access to sensitive or confidential information and federal facilities. Unlike other types of background checks, this one requires the applicant’s consent. Many employers rely on a third party to conduct these searches because they don’t have the resources and specialized databases to do it themselves. Choosing a provider with the right level of expertise and experience in meeting federal and state regulations is critical to avoid legal risks.