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What Screens are Included in an Employment Background Check?

Posted by Ryan Howard on Mon, Apr 15, 2019

What Screens are Included in an Employment Background Check

Every individual has numerous points of data that can be accessed in a background check. When hiring a new employee, you might assume that you should just "run all the checks". You don't have to. You can save the wait time and the money buy only running the screens necessary for that particular job. 

If you're looking to protect your business, running an employment background check can help minimize the risk of negligent hiring claims and high turnover.  Let's look at a basic employment background check and determine which screens you should include when hiring. 

What screens are included in an employment background check?

What Are the Minimum Screens Necessary to Protect My Business?

There are certain background checks that can both protect your business and narrow down your hiring pool. These screens are recommended as a starting place and should be run to determine if the candidates qualify as potential employees:

  • Identity Verification - An instant background search that verifies full name, social security number, date of birth, known aliases, and prior address history.
  • National Criminal Database Check - Criminal records obtained from court records, department of corrections, felonies, misdemeanors and traffic court records.
  • National Sex Offender Search - A search of federal and local court records to determine if the candidate has registered as a sex offender.
  • County Criminal Court Search - Records are manually and electronically researched at selected County Court(s) for criminal convictions including felony and misdemeanor offenses.

Many employers ask how to save money and time on background checks. If you're trying to decide between two or more candidates, the above checks can help make the choice a little easier, where the costs are minimal and the turnaround time is nearly instant.

Learn How to Save Money on Background Checks

What Else Should Be Included in an Employment Background Check?

After reducing the number of applicant choices, your employment screening policy should include any security clearances or job descriptions necessary for the position. As an example, if you know that the job requires driving or operating heavy machinery, you would include driving records and drug screening as an additional background check for this position. 

Other screens to include in a second round of employment background screening - especially if security clearance is required or they will have access to financial records:

  • Federal, State and Local Criminal Court Records
  • Most Wanted / International Watch List
  • Credit History Report
  • Employment History
  • Education History
  • Professional License Verification

These screens take a little bit longer than the initial screens and are therefore a little more costly. Due to the cost and time involved, it is recommended that employers create a screening policy to determine which screens are necessary and also consider running background checks on current employees.

How Can My Business Stay Compliant When Screening Employees?

When choosing a professional background screening company for employment background checks, your screening partner should be talking to you about FCRA and EEOC compliance. You should be using a background check decision matrix before denying employment based on criminal records. You should follow adverse action procedures as well, if your new hire failed their background check. Screening employees is only one way to protect your business. Compliance is important for reducing the risk of lawsuits and paying punitive damages. 


Have any questions about employment background checks and compliance?
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Topics: Types of Background Checks, Employment Background Screening