When we’re asked what comes up in a background check, our standard answer here at GroupOne is, “Everything!” Of course, we then follow that statement with a laugh. Granted, not “everything” comes up in a background check, but in this day and age, there are few secrets.
Here’s a standard guide to understand what can rise to the surface after a screening. Essentially, there are 13 avenues to explore during a background check. Not every avenue is used for every job candidate. The employer informs us which of these 13 avenues to take. Here’s what we can potentially review during a background check.
1. Criminal History
Legal history, past convictions or pending charges will be discovered, especially if they’ve taken place over the past seven years (the standard though not universal time frame). It helps employers gauge whether a candidate poses a potential threat or risk.
2. Employment Verification
It’s necessary to verify a candidate’s employment history to include former job titles, dates of employment, and even past performance evaluations. Not every company will provide evaluations due to legal concerns, but all will list dates and titles.
3. Education Verification
Educational history can be easily verified during a screening. This includes degrees, certificates and licenses earned and where they were earned.
4. Credit History
For someone planning to purchase a car or rent an apartment, a credit report can reveal how well they manage their money. This type of check will provide a person’s credit score and payment history.
5. Identity Verification
To avoid fraud, companies perform background checks to make sure a person is who they say they are. And you would be surprised how common fraud is.
6. Driving Record
If a person applied for a job that requires driving, this screening will reveal their driving record. This will ensure the candidate’s safety as a driver and especially the safety of co-workers and customers around them.
7. Professional Licenses and Certifications
When a person applies for a role that requires credentials, to include doctors, nurses or lawyers, this type of check will verify licenses and that all certifications are valid and up-to-date.
8. Reference Checks
This involves contacting references to include people the candidate knows personally or has worked with in their professional lives.
9. Drug Screening
Drug testing may be required for some jobs to prevent accidents, truancy and other risks.
10. Social Security Number Verification
When a company requests a background check, the candidate’s social security number will be immediately verified to ensure its validity.
11. Sex Offender Registry Check
If a candidate applies for a role requiring them to interact with vulnerable populations, such as children or the elderly, a screening to uncover whether they’ve been placed on the sex offender registry will ensure the safety of others.
12. Bankruptcy Filings
For financial and employment background checks, a bankruptcy filing will reveal how financially stable a person is.
13. Global Watchlists
Reviewing whether a candidate has been placed on a global watchlist or terrorism database is part of some checks to ensure a person has no ties to dangerous groups and operations.