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Background checks employers can perform on any job applicant

types of background checks to screen their job cTypes of background checks employers can perform on a job candidateandtyidates.


In order to ensure a safe work environment, employers use multiple types of background checks to screen their job applicants. We will be discussing the most prominent screening types in this article.

What is a background check?

The purpose of a background check is to verify that a person is who they claim to be. An employer typically runs a check on their new employees to confirm that all the information provided on an application or resume is correct. The individual’s criminal history, education, social security, and employment history are researched in order to do so. Some employers require extensive checks and some require more basic screenings.  This all depends on the position and specific employment requirements. 

How to apply for a background check on yourself

Why do all new employees need to be screened? 

A new hire is a liability for the company. The employer can greatly mitigate risk by screening all potential hires. Through the employment screening process, a candidate’s true eligibility for a position can be reliably determined. The employer is liable to guarantee a safe working environment for all co-workers. A background check provides reassurance to the employer that he/she is not hiring individuals who could contribute to an unsafe workplace.



4 Levels of Background Check

For convenience, we define background checks into four levels of depth and detail. The first level is more automated with database information; level two includes state and national fingerprint-based tests, moving up to level three, which includes criminal history, education, previous employment verifications, and reference checks. Level four has people involved to find real-time information about someone’s criminal history and past.


Types of background checks

There are many different kinds of background checks available which the employer can use to investigate the prospective hire. The depth and detail of background checks can vary depending on the needs of the employer.  Each state has guidelines, which employers must follow when making hiring decisions. It is unlawful to make decisions on information that does not comply with the requirements of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The following are common types of background checks that employers can perform on any job applicant in 2020:

Criminal background check

Criminal background checks include reports on past arrests, convictions of felonies and misdemeanors, court records, warrants, sex offenses, incarceration records on a county, state, and national level.

Tenant screening 

Tenant background checks are for landlords who are interested in screening their potential tenants. Tenant checks involve calling all the previous landlords/references, criminal records, and necessary credit reports.

Childcare background check

Childcare background checks include state criminal background, state and federal fingerprints, child abuse and neglect lists, state and national sex offender lists.

Gun sales background check

Gun sales background checks would go through the national instant criminal background check system. A purchase can only be made by individuals who comply with this background check. 

Security clearance check

A security clearance check includes extensive searches, face to face interviews with investigators, and criminal background checks.


In this type of background check, the department of homeland security database is used to verify a valid social security number and citizenship of the applicant. E-Verify is a more extensive option as compared to the I-9 verification.

International check

An international background check includes a criminal check, education verification, and employment history in specific countries of interest.

Credit background check

A credit background check includes payment history, civil judgments, tax liens, bankruptcies, unpaid bills in collections, and recent credit inquiries. This report consists of information collected Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

Professional license and certificate confirmation

The professional license or certificate of a candidate is verified. 

Driving record background check

A driving record includes traffic accidents, driving record points, current driver’s license status, DUI’s in public record history, other traffic law violations, convictions, and fines.

Social security number trace

The social security number trace allows the employer to know whether or not an individual is who they say they are.  Name and address histories are received from a search of the individual’s SSN.

Social media and internet check

In this type of check, research is conducted on the internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn).

Sexual offender registry check

The sexual offender registry check reviews the history of past sexual offenses. When hiring for positions that deal with minors, schools, education, or daycares, this check is helpful. It reduces a company’s risk of workplace sex offenses and violence. If not conducted, it could lead to accusations of negligent hiring or retention lawsuits in the event of employee misconduct.

Education verification

Education verification involves contacting the institutions where the education was completed to verify the dates and degrees earned.

Employment verification

Verifications of employment involve calling previous employers and verifying the position and employment dates.

Professional and personal reference verification

This check is a check of references provided to the employer by prospective new hires. 

Professional references could include previous co-workers who can provide details such as how the employee behaved in the workplace and their level of skills. Personal references could include friends or family who can give insight as to the employee’s character.

What is the difference between Peopletrail background checks and other checks? 

Peopletrail believes in including ‘people’ as an integral part of the screening process. The human touch added by the team sets the background check reports apart from other screening companies. All background checks are submitted and personally reviewed by an analyst who assesses the reports manually to ensure accuracy. The clients at Peopletrail® are treated with respect and provided with the best customer service possible. 

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