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What Is the Difference Between a Background Check and a Criminal Record Check?

Difference Between a Background Check and a Criminal Record Check

When businesses screen their employees, they almost always investigate criminal records. So, is that all a background check includes? Or is there a difference between a background check and a criminal record check?

Are Background Checks and Criminal Record Checks Different?

In most cases, background checks DO differ from criminal record checks! Basically, the phrase “background check” is general term. A background check may (or may not) incorporate a criminal record check. However, it could also encompass credit checks, motor vehicles searches, drug testing and more. On the other hand, a criminal record check, is a specific piece of an overall background check.

What Is a Background Check?

As the name implies, a background check verifies or checks someone’s background information. Companies conduct different types of background checks based on the industry and the employee’s position. For example, let’s say an investment firm is hiring a new accountant manager. Minimally, they’ll probably run a criminal record search, a civil record search and a credit report.

Other types of background screening include:

What Is a Criminal Record Check?

A criminal record check is a type of background check that only investigates someone’s criminal history. Criminal record searches may uncover felonies, misdemeanors, infractions, pending cases, arrests, active warrants and a history of incarceration. Yet, keep in mind, federal, state and local laws can impact what information appears. For instance, usually, juvenile records are sealed or destroyed and, therefore, do not appear on a criminal record check.

Which Type of Screening Should My Company Run?

It depends. Although sometimes a criminal record check is enough, other times, you’ll want (or need) to conduct more comprehensive screening. Generally, the more responsibility an employee has, the more thoroughly you should check their background. Additionally, sometimes, the federal and/or state governments require certain screening standards. This especially holds true for industries, such as healthcare, education and transportation, where an unvetted employee could cause considerable harm.

Do Your Business Need Help with a Background Screening?

Metrodata Services is here for you! As WNY’s leading pre-employment screening service, we’ll develop customized background check packages to best meet your organization’s needs. Learn more about the advantages of partnering with Metrodata Services today!

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