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  • Writer's pictureSteve Navarrete


Background checks are an important tool for employers to assess job candidates and make informed hiring decisions. The specific components of a background check can vary depending on the industry, position, and company policy, but there are several common elements that employers should consider.

Employers may want to conduct a criminal background check to determine if a candidate has any prior convictions that could impact their ability to perform the job duties or pose a safety risk to other employees or customers. In fact, some states require a criminal background check for certain jobs.

Employers may verify a candidate's previous employment to confirm their job title, duties, and performance. This information can help assess whether the candidate has the necessary experience and skills for the job. According to (Source below), there is a distinct difference between a company’s internal policies regarding what they can say about a former employee, and what is legal. There is no federal law that dictates whether employers may disclose or withhold information about past employees so long as the statements are "honestly held opinions about a former employee or states a documented fact about that person..." However, state laws and the extent of information they can provide vary.

Employers may verify a candidate's educational background and any professional licenses or certifications they claim to hold. This can help ensure that the candidate has the necessary qualifications for the position. Most universities or educational institutions will not release information without an authorization. Most employers place the onus of proving the applicant’s education history on the applicant by asking them to provide transcripts in a sealed envelope from the educational institution. Some even require the employee to have the transcripts mailed directly to the employer while most employers are happy with unofficial transcripts provided electronically by the applicant.

Employers may check a candidate's credit report to assess their financial stability and responsibility. This may be especially relevant for jobs that involve handling money or sensitive financial information.

Employers may require candidates to undergo drug testing to ensure that they are not using illegal substances that could impair their job performance or pose a safety risk.

Employers may review a candidate's social media accounts and online presence to assess their character and reputation. This may include checking for any red flags such as discriminatory or offensive comments or posts.

It Is important for employers to comply with relevant laws and regulations when conducting background checks, such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and applicable state-specific laws. Additionally, employers should obtain the candidate's consent before conducting a background check and inform them of their rights under the law.


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