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Question: What Does a Background Check Consist of?

Most people know companies conduct background checks as part of the hiring process. But they may ask: What is employee screening? Does it review criminal history? Driving records? Credit reports and more?

The answer depends on the needs of an organization. Employee screening can be basic, extensive or somewhere in between. Businesses usually choose to run one of more of the checks listed below.

Criminal Background Checks

According to a 2018 report, 86% of organizations conduct background checks to protect their employees and customers. Therefore, even basic screening packages often include a criminal record search. This can uncover major criminal activity, violent or sex crimes, embezzlement, and felony convictions by investigating national criminal databases, sex offender registries, county criminal courts, domestic and global terrorist watch lists, and federal and state criminal records.

Motor Vehicle Record Searches

If driving is an essential part of a job or if employees use company-owned or company-rented vehicles, a Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) may be required by law or for insurance purposes. An MVR provides information about license status, license class, insurance lapses, traffic violations, accidents, suspensions, and revocations as well as arrests and convictions for driving under the influence. Some organizations automatically run MVRs on all employees, because DWI and DUIs may indicate other possible safety issues.

Credit Background Checks

A credit report offers insight into how an employee manages credit and bills. A credit background check shows a full credit history including payments, civil judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, unpaid bills in collections and recent credit inquiries. As with MVRs, many companies run credit reports to exercise due diligence. In other cases, credit checks may be recommended or required especially for employees who have access to or manage money.

Professional License Verifications

Some industries, such as healthcare and education, require employees to have a license or special certification. To protect themselves from negligent hiring lawsuits and their customers from harm, these businesses must make sure workers are qualified. A professional license background check involves contacting the industry or state licensing board to verify the worker holds the necessary certification and to ensure the license is up to date and free from restrictions.

Academic Verifications

Falsifying degrees earned or institutions attended is one of the most common resume lies. Without proper vetting, this can go unnoticed for years. An education history background check confirms all degrees directly through secondary schools, colleges, and universities.

Employment Verifications

As with education history, candidates sometimes lie about or embellish their work experience to make themselves appear more marketable. They may misrepresent their employers, skill sets, dates of employment, job titles and/or roles. Conducting an employment background check, once again, involves contacting employers directly to make sure everything is accurate and current.

How Should Your Organization Screen Employees?

If you aren’t sure, Metrodata Services is here to help. We can make expert recommendations and design a customized package based on your needs. Check out the services we offer today!

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