Background Checks

In this day and age, when there are so many lawsuits and many types of crimes being
committed, it's not enough for companies to simply rely on reference checks. Many
companies now require background checks before candidates are hired, and those checks
are usually conducted by an outside agency that specializes in this type of service.

Some of the information that will be checked is in the public domain so permission isn’t
required for an employer to investigate them, but the candidate's permission
is required to
check many aspects of their background. So what are they looking for in conducting a
background check? Your potential employer may decide to have some or all of these items
checked:

  • Your employment background, including dates of employment, employers, and job titles
  • Verification of educational background
  • Criminal background and other court records
  • Driving record
  • Social Security number verification
  • Worker’s Compensation claims
  • Credit report including bankruptcies, civil suits, etc.

Background checks typically cover either the last three, five or seven years, but higher-level
positions or special types of positions may require a check to be conducted for a longer time
period. The cost of the background check increases as an employer has a greater number of
items checked or for a longer period of time, so a company will typically not check more than
is necessary.

While these are aspects of a formal background check, much can be learned by an employer
when conducting reference checks, as well.
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