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Employee Background Check Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Employee Background Check

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Background checks are governed by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), but you should know that there are an array of other laws that affect them, depending on state and region. Companies are not required to perform them by law. Checks should be applied to all employees consis­tently and fairly.

Basic Background Check

1. Criminal records check
Provides criminal history for the applicant. Especially important for positions of trust/­sec­urity. Should include national and county records.

2. Social security valida­tion.
Ensures the candid­ate's social security number is legitimate and finds all names, including aliases and variat­ions, dates of birth and address history associated with the social security number. This shows employers if the candidate has lived in undisc­losed locations or under other aliases, which may reveal criminal records that wouldn't have been found otherwise.

3. Address history check
Traces previous addresses for the candidate. Finding out where a candidate has lived will make it easier to verify other research, and may reveal jurisd­ictions where criminal background checks should be performed.

4. U.S. terror watch list check
Most background checks will look to see if the candidate is on the U.S. terror watch list. Especially important for security jobs.

5. Sex offender registry check
Extremely important for positions of trust, this check is included with most background checks.

Background Check

Additional Background Screening to Consider:

Want to go more in-depth with your background checks? There are several other types of checks you can do to get additional inform­ation that may be important depending on the job you're hiring for.

Character Refere­nces: Great for seeing what a person is like to work with. Remember, asking for these falls under FCRA rules - get legal advice first.

1. Driving records
Hiring a driver? You'll definitely want these.

2. Student transc­ripts
Need to verify an applic­ant's school perfor­mance? Transc­ripts are helpful, but you'll need applicant permis­sion.

3. Credit report
Gives you perspe­ctive on an applic­ant's history of meeting financial obliga­tions, as well as previous address inform­ation.

4. Military service records
Helpful if an employee's military service plays a big role in your decision to hire them. You'll need permission for this.

5. State licensing records
Double check to be sure candidates have the state licenses they need.

6. Profes­sional license records
Check to be sure candidates have profes­sional licenses they need.

7. Workers' compen­sat­ion
Employers may want to check a candid­ate's past workers' comp claims. This may be subject to legal restri­ctions - get legal advice.