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What Are the Different Types of Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 4/2/2018

The term “background check” is sometimes confused with “criminal background check.” A criminal screening is just one type of background check. At backgroundchecks.com, we are proud to offer many types of background checks, including criminal searches. Here are some of the different background checks we offer:

  • Criminal: We can search criminal history at the countystate, and federal level. We also have our own multi-jurisdictional database, which contains 550 million criminal records from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Washington, D.C. Our multi-jurisdictional database includes data from terrorist watch lists and sex offender registries—background checks that are often separate from criminal record searches.
     
  • Alias/Address History: Since most background checks are name-based, it can be useful to learn whether an employee or candidate has gone by different names in the past. An alias search will yield names and addresses associated with a certain Social Security Number.
     
  • Identity Verification: Identity verification checks can take a few different forms. If you are screening a job candidate and want to make sure they are being truthful about their identity, then an SSN-based alias/address history check is your best bet. If you are running a background check on yourself, then backgroundchecks.com will perform an online identity verification to make sure you are accessing information pertaining to you and you only. Consumers who fail the identity check will not be allowed to access their personal background checks.
     
  • Driving History: driving record check will pull information from a person’s driving history, including violations, license points, suspensions, and revocations.
     
  • Credit History: credit history check will include details about credit limits, past due amounts, balances, and more. Some employers use credit checks to assess a candidate’s financial responsibility. Note some states and local jurisdictions have laws banning or limiting this type of background check in employment situations.
     
  • Bankruptcy: This type of background check can determine whether a person has ever filed for bankruptcy.
     
  • Civil History: Employers can check a candidate’s civil history at either the county or federal level. These background checks yield details about any civil lawsuits in which the subject has been involved. Matters might include contract disputes, defamation, divorce, child support, nonpayment of debt, property damage, personal injury, and violations of constitutional rights.
     
  • Verification Checks: These days, lies and stretched truths tend to be more common than ever on professional resumes. Verification checks are designed to determine whether an individual is telling the truth about their educational and professional background. Common checks include employment verificationsreference verificationseducation verifications, and professional license verifications.
     
  • Drug Screenings: Though not technically “background checks,” drug tests are an increasingly important part of the screening process for many businesses.
     
  • Social Media: Social media background checks are becoming common in many employment settings. Employers use these checks to learn things about candidates that background checks typically can’t reveal. For instance, if a candidate has a bad habit of badmouthing employers online, then a social media background check would help reveal that information. There is a range of problems with social media background checks—including false positives, discriminatory information, and even illegality—that employers should be aware of before conducting this type of check. We do not offer social media background checks at backgroundchecks.com.

If you need help designing a background check process for your business or are wondering how to screen for a certain type of data, feel free to contact backgroundchecks.com directly. We can walk you through the different types of background checks we offer.


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  • July 12 Seeking fresh employees for businesses, some states seek to reduce the number of people denied employment based on old or nonviolent crimes.
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