What do Employers Need in a Background Check?

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What do Employers Need in a Background Check?

The basics of a background check

Nowadays, employers are more cautious than ever when they hire new staff. Running a background check on a potential candidate to make sure that everything is in order is not only smart, it’s down-right essential to ensuring your new hire is the right fit. However, what an employer needs to know about a candidate depends on the type of job they are trying to fill.

Background checks can range from a verification of a candidate’s basic information, to a more in-depth checking on their background with previous employers, education verifications, to driving records. Here are some of the essential things that an employer should ask in a background check.

1. Education Verification

In certain professions, such as law and medicine, employers may verify the degrees, majors, dates of degrees of job candidates, to make sure that they have the right qualifications and experience for a position.

2. Previous Employment Verification

It’s not uncommon for candidates to exaggerate their employment history on their resumes. The only way to be certain a candidate truly have the experiences and skills that they list on their resume is to verify that the employment history with previous employers. Background check companies will do this for you as part of most standard background checks. Peace of mind in knowing the sales manager you’re considering hiring actually has the experience to be qualified for the position is priceless.

3. Reason for leaving a company

In addition to verifying previous positions held at a company, confirming the reason for leaving is critical. If a candidate switched jobs a lot, and the work duration for each job was short, will you be investing in someone who may not be around very long? Was it because the candidate was hard to get along with? Or was it because the candidate was terminated for other reasons? In order to build an idea about why a candidate has a history of changing jobs, someone must contact former employers to find out why they left.

4. Credit History

For positions that deal with money or any other type of financial information, employers may run a credit check and financial history on job candidates, as they do not want to hire candidates with poor credit ratings. However, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), an employer must obtain a candidate’s written consent before doing a credit check. In addition, if an employer decides not to hire a candidate based on his or her credit history, the employer must let the candidate know of the right to challenge the credit report.

5. Driving Records

If a candidate is applying for a position that requires a lot of driving, the employer may check the candidate’s driving record to make sure that he or she has not committed any previous driving offences. If driving is involved in the role, the employer will want to know that they can trust the individual and that they are not a reckless driver. Motor vehicle reports (MVRs), like credit reports, are typically an add-on report when requesting a background check on a candidate with an employment screening company.

6. County Criminal Records Checks

Perhaps the most important reason for running background checks on job candidates is to verify they do not have a criminal history. A lot of job applications require the applicant to declare whether or not they have a criminal record. However, some applicants with a criminal history may not disclose some or all of their criminal past truthfully. National Criminal Database checks are the most common and inexpensive check–they are also the least accurate. A good background screening company will run a 7-year county court records search.

Employers must obtain written consent from the candidate before they are allowed to perform any criminal record checks.


Conducting thorough and accurate background checks is vital to hiring lasting employees that bring value to your organization. The resume is designed to make a candidate look as desirable as possible, not verifying the accuracy of the information provided could be detrimental to a business.

Using an employment screening company like HR TruCheck makes running these essential background checks effortless for employers. We will even customize screening packages to your hiring needs. So if you hire a lot of drivers, HR TruCheck can build a package that includes MVRs instead of making you request them separately. Bottom line, don’t make the mistake of hiring the dream candidate’s resume, have the peace of mind that you are hiring your dream candidate.