Background Checks Broadly Defined

Criminal background checks are run by prospective employers to verify information provided by candidates. The investigation of these details determines if the candidate is qualified for the position, and if they’re a good fit for the company. Through a comprehensive Background Check, employers avoid circumstances that could prove costly.

Information Found in a Background Check

The key focus of a background check is analyzing the candidate’s criminal background. The screening or check identifies all convictions associated with the candidate. It also presents criminal infractions for which they were charged but weren’t convicted. Some employers prefer candidates without any criminal records; however, the screening isn’t so much about the records found, but the nature of the crimes. It helps evaluate the risks associated in hiring the candidate.

Employment and Education Verification

The candidate’s complete employment and educational background appear on these reports. It enables the employer to verify the details provided by the candidate on their resume or application. It includes information such as prior employers, dates, positions held and eligibility of rehire. It also includes education level achieved along with dates and all programs and certifications achieved.

Driver’s License and Motor Vehicle Records

Job positions that require the candidate to drive for the employer require information about their driving record and status of their driver’s license. A background screening shows their record of any auto accidents, moving violations and litigation. The type of driver’s license the candidate holds is also verified through a MVR search.

Credit History

The employer accesses the candidate’s credit history through the background screening. They have access to one or more of the three credit bureaus to acquire this information. A credit history is needed to identify any financial risk associated with the candidate. A poor credit rating is a clear indication of a potential financial loss for the company.
Background Check Turn Around Time

The turnaround time for background checks vary greatly. Generally, a nationwide criminal background screening is completed within one day. However, certain elements could slow down the process. The need to investigate adverse information ensuring accuracy increases the wait time.  The retrieval of any employment or educational records increases the waiting time for reported results. Additionally, backlogged courts slow processing of court documents. The backlogs may present hindrances that limit access to the files until they are updated.

Adherence to the FCRA

Employers are required by law to obtain a signed consent form from the candidate before performing a background check. The consent form needs to be separate from any other document. They need a request form completed by the candidate to obtain all transcripts, financial aid documents, and additional degree program data. Additionally, privacy laws prohibit access to military records for all members of the armed forces. The employer must acquire separate legal consent to access these files.

During the assessment, the employer cannot request information related to the candidate’s race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender. Employers who make decisions about employment associated with these details is in violation of federal employment laws. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission penalizes any employers who commit these violations.

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