When you hear the term background check, you might think of a prospective employer checking your criminal history or credit score. Or maybe you think of a landlord checking to see if you’ve ever been evicted. In reality, a background check is any screening that gathers information about a person. This can be done through public records, commercial databases, references, or social media. Keep reading to learn more.
What is the background check process?
When someone is looking to hire a new employee, one of the essential steps in the process is conducting a background check. This is to ensure that the person being hired does not have any criminal convictions that would make them unsuitable for the position. Several different things can be included in a background report.
A person’s criminal record is one of the most common items that are checked. This can include both felonies and misdemeanors. It can also include any arrests that have been made and whether or not they resulted in a conviction. Another thing that can be checked is a person’s driving record. This includes information such as motor vehicle accidents, traffic violations, and license suspensions or revocations.
A background check can also include checking into a person’s credit history. This can give employers an idea of how responsible the potential employee has been with their finances in the past. It can also show if they have any outstanding debts or judgments against them. Employment history can also be checked, verifying previous employment dates, job titles, and salaries earned.
How often should I get a background check on myself or my employees?
There are many reasons why an individual might want to order a background check on themselves. Perhaps they are starting a new job and want to ensure their criminal record is up to date, or they are applying for a loan and need to know their credit score. Regardless, ensure you understand what is included in a background check before ordering one.
A typical background check will include information such as the individual’s name, date of birth, Social Security number, address, and employment history. It will also have a search of criminal records and public records databases. Some background checks may also include a search of credit reports and sex offender registries.
Typically, employers conduct background checks on potential employees to assess their eligibility for the job. However, individuals can also request background reports on themselves to ensure the accuracy of their personal information. They can include criminal records, driving records, education verification, employment verification, and reference checks.
The frequency with which you should get a background report on yourself or your employees depends on the type of position being filled and the level of risk associated with the position. For example, suppose you are hiring a nanny for your children. In that case, it’s advisable to conduct a more comprehensive background check that includes criminal and driving records than if you are hiring someone to work in your office. Similarly, suppose you are hiring for a high-risk position such as a security guard or bank teller. In that case, you will probably want to conduct regular background checks on employees even after being hired to protect your business from potential harm.
What to do if there are errors on your background check report?
If you find errors on your background check report, the best thing to do is to reach out to the company that conducted the check and ask them to correct it. You can also contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) if the errors are related to your criminal history. Sometimes, you may need to provide documentation proving your innocence or clears up any misunderstandings.
A background check can help employers or other organizations make informed decisions about individuals they may be considering for a position or additional opportunity. By having access to information about a person’s criminal history, for example, employers can be better protected from hiring someone with a propensity for criminal behavior. Similarly, a background check can also reveal information about a person’s credit history, which can be indicative of that person’s trustworthiness and financial stability.