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New Hire Background Screening: What is NEEDED and What is OPTIONAL?

You’re bringing on a new employee and wish to conduct a background screening on them. But what things should you be checking for? What’s absolutely necessary and what’s optional? 

The answer isn’t as cut-and-dry as you may think. The truth is that companies have a range of choices when it comes to conducting background screenings – there is no standard set of required screenings and others that are optional. However, there are a few checks that make sense for almost any new employee, and some that may benefit you but aren’t always necessary.  

Let’s examine what’s needed for a new hire background screening as well as some other types of checks that might be useful depending on the circumstances.  

What’s needed for a new-hire background screening?

Certain elements of a background check tend to make sense across the board, no matter what industry you’re hiring in, what level of employee you’re bringing on, or what kind of work the employee will be performing. Components of a background check that are almost always needed include: 

  • Identify verification – A social security number search, address history searches, and other basic identify verification checks are useful for establishing that an employee is in fact who they say they are.  
  • Employment verification – Verify where and for how long the individual worked in their previous places of employment. Employment verification can also include past salaries and reasons for leaving the job.  
  • Academic verification – This kind of check verifies that an employee graduated from the institution listed on their resume. This includes high school and higher education institutions. You can ensure that the individual has the training and/or education they need to do the job effectively.
  • Criminal records check – This check investigates a candidate’s criminal history and can be run at the local, state, and federal levels. Criminal records checks can uncover felonies, misdemeanors, pending court cases, arrests, warrants, and incarceration history, among other information. Note that depending on the state the check is being conducted in, certain elements of criminal record checks may not show up after a certain period of time or under certain circumstances.  

What’s optional for a new-hire background screening?

There are plenty of other components of a background check that a company may choose to include or not choose to include, depending on their needs. Examples include: 

  • Credit report – Credit reports are sometimes included in background checks, and sometimes they’re left out. Credit report checks often make sense for employees who will be dealing with company finances or accounts.  
  • Drug screening – Drug screening is sometimes included as a part of a new hire’s background screening process, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending on the type of work that will be performed and the industry, drug testing might be needed, but it’s not necessary in every case. 
  • Professional license verification – Background screenings can investigate whether a candidate has certain professional licenses or certifications needed to do the job. This can be very helpful for a company that is hiring someone for uniquely specialized work or a hard-to-find skill set. 
  • Motor vehicle record searches – If a candidate will be driving a company vehicle, or the job in question is in the transportation industry, a motor vehicle records search might make sense. This kind of search can uncover past driving violations, accident records, and more. 
  • FBI Fingerprint Database – This kind of check is used more commonly in certain industries than others, such as childcare and healthcare. It searches the FBI’s national database to find criminal history information, military service records, naturalization, and any record of federal employment. 

How can I know what to include in my new-hire background checks?

Wondering what you should include when having new-hire background screenings conducted? At the end of the day, what’s needed and what is optional is up to you. But you don’t have to decide on your own. Working with a Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA)-accredited business like Metrodata Services doesn’t just mean you’re getting reliable background check services at a reasonable price. It means you’re getting a partner in your background screening that can work with you to decide what you need – and what you don’t. We’ll also help you to interpret the results of your background screenings to make sure you understand the information you’ve received. 

Get Started With Metrodata Services Today 

For thorough, professional background screening services in Western New York, turn to the region’s premier provider: Metrodata Services. Our PBSA-accredited screening agency will help you determine what you need out of your background checks so that you can rest assured you’re hiring the right people. Contact our team today to get started.  

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