Prior to hiring an employee, companies perform background checks to ensure the candidate is suitable for the job. Background checks include a thorough examination of an applicant's criminal history, education, and employment history, as well as credit checks and more. An employment background check is used by employers to verify information provided by the candidate and to ensure that the candidate meets the required criteria for the position.

What is an Employment Background Check?

An employment background check is a process through which employers verify information given by a potential employee. The investigation is conducted with the goal of finding out whether the candidate meets the requirements for a specific job. Employers usually hire a third-party background screening company to conduct the investigation and deliver a report detailing their findings.

When is an Employment Background Check Conducted?

Employers will conduct an employment background check before offering anyone a job, particularly in roles that require high trust and responsibility and require a lot of interaction with customers or handle sensitive data. Other roles that typically undergo background checks include finance and health care roles.

What Does the Employment Background Check Cover?

Employment background checks involve a number of areas of inquiry into the candidate’s background. Some of these areas include:

1. Criminal History Check: Employers conduct criminal history checks to verify that the candidate does not have a criminal record. Depending on the job and the company, the check covers federal, state, and local criminal records, as well as sex offender registries.

2. Employment Verification: Employers verify the candidate's employment history to ensure they're truthful about their previous positions and work experience. This information includes a candidate's job title, start and end dates, salary information, and reasons for leaving each job.

3. Education Verification: Employers verify the candidate's educational background to ensure they have the qualifications and skills listed on their resume or cover letter. Verification also includes verifying that the candidate's degrees and transcripts are genuine.

4. Professional Reference Check: Employers will use references to verify previous work experience and obtain outside perspectives of the candidate's work style, communication, and general character. However, it is important to note that references may be partial since they're provided by candidates themselves.

5. Credit Check: Credit checks are often required in jobs that have access to large amounts of money or sensitive information. Credit checks inform the company of any existing debts, bankruptcy, or other financial issues, which might be a red flag, particularly in financial roles.

6. Drug Tests: Employers also conduct drug tests to verify that a candidate does not use drugs.

How can employers use an employment background check?

1. Compliance with laws and regulations: Employers perform background checks to comply with legal requirements. For instance, employers may require candidates to pass a criminal history check before working in certain industries such as banking, healthcare, or government.

2. Determine eligibility for employment: Employers perform a background check to assess a candidate's eligibility to work in a company. This includes verification of education, work experience, and criminal background, as well as other relevant factors.

3. Reducing the risk of criminal activity and other liabilities: Employers use background checks to ensure that candidates are trustworthy and have no criminal history that might affect their job performance. This is important in roles that require access to sensitive information, financial transactions, or positions of high trust.

4. Protecting the company’s reputation: Conducting background checks helps protect companies from the risk of negative publicity and litigation. Negligent hiring can expose employers to risks like lawsuits, theft, and criminal activity as well as reputational damage.


Employment background checks play a critical role in helping employers determine the suitability of candidates for various roles. The checks also protect the company's reputation and mitigate the risks of criminal activity, theft, and fraud. Therefore, the process of conducting background checks in screening candidates is beneficial for both the employer and the potential employee, in ensuring a safe and productive work environment.

What is an Employment Background Check and How is it Used by Employers?

When you apply for a job, the company that you have applied to will require you to go through an employment background check. This is because employers need to ensure that they are hiring people who are trustworthy, competent, and do not have any hidden skeletons in their closet. Employment background checks are becoming increasingly common among employers, but what are they, how do they work, and what do they entail?

What is an Employment Background Check?

An employment background check is a process that companies use to verify the information that you provide them. It includes several different checks, such as criminal records, employment history, educational qualifications, credit history, and even social media activity. The aim of the background check is to ensure that the person that they are hiring is who they say they are, and to screen out any potential risks.

How is it Conducted?

Employment background checks can be conducted in various ways, depending on the company's preference or requirements. Most commonly, employers will use third-party companies that specialize in conducting background checks. The company will provide the third-party company with your personal information, such as your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. The third-party company will then use this information to run various checks and compile a report for the employer.

What Does it Entail?

An employment background check will usually include several different checks, depending on the nature of the job and the company's specific requirements. Some of the checks that may be included are:

1. Criminal Records
This check involves searching for any criminal records that you may have, both locally and nationally. The check may reveal any convictions, charges, or arrests that you have had in the past.

2. Employment History
The employer will want to confirm that the information you have provided about your work history is accurate. They may contact your former employers or request a copy of your employment records.

3. Educational Qualifications
The employer will want to verify that the educational qualifications you have claimed are accurate. They may contact your former educational institutions to confirm your qualifications.

4. Credit History
The employer may want to check your credit history to assess your financial stability and responsibility. This check will show any debts, loans, or bankruptcies that you may have.

5. Social Media Activity
Employers may review your social media activity to gain insight into your character and behavior. They will look for any posts or activity that may contradict your job application or indicate any unsavory behavior.

What are the Benefits of Employment Background Checks?

Employment background checks offer several benefits to employers, including:

1. Risk Mitigation
Employment background checks help employers assess any potential risks that a candidate may pose to the company. This could be anything from a criminal record to a history of fraudulent behavior.

2. Improved Hiring Decision Making
Employment background checks provide employers with an added layer of insight into a candidate's suitability for the role. This helps them make more informed decisions when hiring.

3. Compliance with Legal Obligations
In certain industries, employers are required by law to conduct background checks on potential hires. Employment background checks help ensure that companies are complying with these legal obligations.

Are There Any Downsides to Employment Background Checks?

While employment background checks offer several benefits, there are also some downsides to consider:

1. Invasion of Privacy
Employment background checks may involve gathering information that candidates may deem to be private, such as their credit history or social media activity.

2. False Positives
In some cases, employment background checks may flag candidates for negative information that is not entirely accurate or relevant to the job at hand.

3. Cost and Time
Conducting employment background checks can be time-consuming and costly, which may not be feasible for some employers, especially smaller businesses.


Employment background checks are becoming an increasingly common part of the hiring process. They offer several benefits to employers, such as improved hiring decision making and risk mitigation. However, there are also downsides to consider, such as the invasion of privacy and the potential for false positives. As a job applicant, it is essential to understand what employment background checks entail and how they may affect your chances of getting the job. By understanding these checks, you can ensure that you present yourself as a trustworthy and reliable candidate.


In today's competitive job market, employers are more cautious than ever when it comes to hiring new talent. Employers want to ensure that they are making the right decision in hiring new employees for their business, so they conduct an employment background check to get a better understanding of an applicant's history.

An employment background check includes a variety of components, including verifying educational qualifications, checking criminal records, and verifying employment history. This article will explain what an employment background check is, how it works, and how employers use it in making employment decisions.

What is an employment background check?

An employment background check is a process in which an employer investigates the history of a job applicant. The employer checks different aspects of the applicant's history, including criminal records, driving records, credit history, and employment history.

Employers conduct background checks to verify that applicants have been truthful in their resumes and job applications, and to ensure that they are qualified for the job. Additionally, background checks help employers identify potential red flags that may indicate issues relating to reliability, honesty, and character.

Types of components in an employment background check

Each employer can choose different types of components they want to verify in a background check, depending on the job position. Here are some of the most commonly checked components.

Verification of educational qualifications

Employers often verify the educational qualifications of an applicant to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge required for the job. The verification process involves contacting the educational institution where the applicant earned their degree to confirm the degree earned, the dates of attendance, and the graduation status.

Criminal records checking

Checking criminal records is one of the most important background check components for employers. The process involves accessing information typically held by state agencies to verify if an applicant has been convicted of a crime. This includes felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic violations.

Drug testing

Many employers require applicants to undergo drug testing as part of the background check process. Drug testing is meant to identify applicants who are using illegal substances, or who have used them in the past and may be likely to use them again. This is especially prevalent in jobs where safety is critical.

Employment history verification

Employment history verification helps employers determine if an applicant has been truthful about their previous job positions and work experience. Employers typically contact past employers to obtain information about job title, dates of employment, and job responsibilities.

How an employment background check is used by employers

Employers use background checks to assess an applicant's qualifications and suitability for a particular position. This is especially important for jobs that require a certain level of trust, such as working with children, the elderly or vulnerable populations.

Companies can use the information gathered in a background check to make sure that they are making informed decisions about an applicant's character and experience. Employers can also use background checks to monitor their employees' behaviour after employment begins.

For example, companies will perform criminal records checks to ensure that their employees do not pose a risk to their clients, customers, or colleagues. However, not all criminal records will disqualify an applicant from employment. Each case will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if it is relevant to the job in question.

On the other hand, some jobs may require specific licenses and certifications that require strict qualification verification. This is where the verification of educational qualifications becomes very important. In addition, employers use employment history verification to confirm that applicants have the required experience and job skills.

Employers may also use background checks to validate the information provided by applicants. Many job applicants exaggerate their qualifications and experience on their resumes and job applications. By conducting background checks, employers can quickly identify any inaccuracies and eliminate candidates who have intentionally misled them.


Employment background checks help employers make informed decisions about their potential employees. The checks provide insight into an applicant's criminal, employment and educational history, and can reveal any red flags that may disqualify them from the job. Employers can use the information they gather to evaluate candidate qualifications, reduce hiring risks and ensure compliance with job requirements. In the end, the goal of an employment background check is to help employers make informed decisions about hiring the best candidate for the job.

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