When making hiring decisions, it’s always a good idea to check references and screen backgrounds to ensure your potential employee has represented themselves accurately during the interview process. But what type of screening should you do? A criminal record check? Civil background check? Both?
Here’s what you need to know about civil background checks.
How Are Civil Searches Different From Criminal Searches?
A civil search is conducted at the county level and will help you discover whether a potential hire has had any lawsuits brought against them. Depending on the type of search conducted, a civil search may reveal:
- Breaches of contract
- Tax liens
- Debt collections
- Restraining orders
- Personal injury cases
Civil charges are filed by the wronged party and often result in financial awards and/or a judge’s orders. Criminal cases are filed by a federal, state, or local prosecutor and may result in jail time and/or fines. Criminal background searches may uncover:
- Felony convictions
- Misdemeanor convictions
- Pending criminal cases
Why Should You Run A Civil Background Check?
Many employers will run a criminal background check before hiring a new employee. Exploring an applicant’s criminal history will identify significant areas of concern, however, it doesn’t present all the information. A civil background check can protect your company’s reputation and help prevent liability and risk by indicating whether an applicant has been involved in civil cases. This can be particularly helpful if you are hiring employees with access to sensitive information or financial records. For example, if you’re hiring for an accounting position, it might behoove you to know if your applicant has declared bankruptcy or has debts that have been sent to a collection agency.
When Should You Run A Civil Background Check?
A civil background check can give you valuable information about a potential hire’s values, judgment, and behavior, but extensive screening adds time to the hiring process. Not every role requires extensive checking, particularly if the position is entry-level, part-time, or has limited responsibilities. Whether you need to run a civil background check depends on your industry and the level of the role. When hiring for upper-level management positions or roles that have access to confidential information and financial documents, it may save time, money, and hassle to do a civil search.
Considering a civil background check?
Working with Metrodata Services can speed up the process and provide peace of mind regarding the trustworthiness of potential hires. Let us help you make the right hiring decisions by providing efficient and effective civil record searches. Contact us today for hassle-free pre-employment screening services.