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Most Common Background Checks for Employers

Which employment screens are best for your organization? Know your options.

When people think of background checks, basic criminal history reports come to mind. However, there are lots of different employment screens that you can run based on your needs. Below, we provide an overview of the most common background checks employers use.

Criminal History Checks (National, Federal, County, etc.)

The most common background checks for employers are criminal record searches. To run a criminal record search, you have several options to choose from:

County Criminal History Search

County criminal history searches are the most common form of criminal background check. These searches allow employers to pull reports from court records of specific counties. Information that can be obtained from county criminal background checks includes the degree of the offense (felony, misdemeanor, infraction, etc.), the date of the offense, the disposition code, sentencing details, and other information regarding the case.

National Criminal Database Search

The national criminal database search allows you to expand the scope of your criminal background check. Rather than only searching the counties or states where a candidate has lived and worked, the national criminal database search enables you to search databases from all 50 states, Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico.

Federal Criminal Database Search

The federal criminal database search pulls records from all 94 U.S. federal courts and will return any violations of Federal laws. Federal violations include white-collar crimes, fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, illegal sale of firearms, pornographic exploitation of children and so on. Because of the nature of these crimes, federal criminal background checks are often performed on C-level executives, CPAs, financial and banking staff, and other employees with access to financial information.

Social Security Number Trace + Address History

The Social Security Number Trace and Address History search allows you to confirm that your candidate is who they say they are. The social security trace returns all of the names (including aliases) and addresses associated with a given SSN.

It is important to note that SSN trace findings are not part of the consumer report and the findings can’t be used as a basis for employment decisions. The SSN trace serves only to establish the true identity of a candidate and helps you to locate the jurisdictions where you should search for public records.

Education and Employer Verification

How certain can you be that a candidate has in fact accomplished everything that they claim? Education and Employer Verification checks allow you to be certain that your candidate “walks the walk.” Through education background checks, you can verify the dates that a candidate attended an institution, the majors that they studied, and the degrees that they earned. Employer background checks can be run to confirm employment history, unveiling information such as the dates of employment periods, titles held, and salary levels attained.

Other Common Background Checks for Employers:

  • Professional License Verification
  • Motor Vehicle Records Search
  • Employment Credit Check
  • Drug Screening: 5-Panel and 10-Panel Urine Tests
  • Sex Offender List Search
  • Domestic and Global Terrorist Watch List Searches

How Do You Manage the Collection of All This Sensitive Information?

With so many different options for background checks, finding the right provider to meet your needs is time-consuming. Once you choose a provider, coordinating with them to track the progress of your background checks can be a major hassle. To add to this, if you do not have a safe and systematic approach for handling data, you can end up storing personally identifiable information (PII), which can get you in serious trouble.

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