What does a background check look for? The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the type of background check and the company preparing the report.
Let’s start with criminal history checks, the most common type of pre-employment background check. In the simplest terms, these checks are looking for criminal history. More specifically, these checks are looking for information about criminal convictions. At backgroundchecks.com, our criminal history screenings typically report the defendant’s name, the charge, the case number, the filing date, the degree of the
Where these checks look for this information varies depending on the check. There are criminal checks that focus on county records, state records, federal records, and multi-jurisdictional databases.
Other types of checks can widen the scope. For instance, the backgroundchecks.com US OneSEARCH service incorporates searches of sex offender registries and terrorism sources into a criminal background check. Driving record checks are typically meant to identify violations, suspensions, or other red flags in a person’s background that might make them unfit to fill a job that involves driving. Verification checks—including employment verifications, education verifications, and professional license verifications—are intended to check the information a person has presented on their resume and make sure it is accurate.
Employers use background checks to form a fuller and more nuanced portrait of who their candidates are. As a result, the answer to a question like “What do background checks look for?” is not as simple as a one or two-word answer. Background checks can be used to uncover many different types of information about a person. In hiring, employers use this information to determine whether a candidate is a smart or safe hire.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments