's 21 Frequently Asked Questions About Background Checks - Employer Edition - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

About This Presentation
Title:'s 21 Frequently Asked Questions About Background Checks - Employer Edition

Description: has compiled a list of the 21 most frequently asked background check questions by employers and put them all in one place. Perfect for the HR professional who wants to conduct pre-employment screening, background checks, and employment screening. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:125


Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title:'s 21 Frequently Asked Questions About Background Checks - Employer Edition

21 Frequently Asked Questions About
Background Checks
1. Do I need a background check?
  • YES you do!
  • Unless youre hiring very young people often, you
    will want to perform checks. Even fast food
    restaurants ask about prior convictions on their
  • Performing checks protects your business and your

2. Are background checks required by law?
  • In some cases, YES.
  • For example
  • Positions requiring contact with children
    require a criminal background check to avoid
    hiring a sex offender.
  • Check with your state laws for other requirements.

3. What liability can I open myself up for if I
don't perform a check?
  • If a new worker injures another and has a violent
    history, you could be sued for not performing due
    diligence before hiring.
  • Investors could also sue if a new employee
    embezzles from the company and threatens their

4. What checks do I need to perform?
  • The law may require you to perform certain
    checks, but for most positions you will only need
    to perform ---
  • a standard background check
  • a criminal background check
  • and possibly a drug test

5. What types of background checks are there?
  • The types of checks include
  • Standard checks (prior addresses, prior jobs)
  • Criminal background checks
  • Credit checks
  • Military background checks
  • Drug tests
  • There are more options available!
  • Check at for more details.

6. Which types of jobs require credit checks?
  • Credit checks are used on people in finance
    positions or executive positions.
  • If a new hire is going to have significant access
    to a companys coffers, its probably wise to run
    a credit check on them.

7. Which types of jobs require criminal
background checks?
  • Most employers will run a criminal background
    check on candidates as a matter of due diligence.
  • In some cases you may be required to do so
    because of the job.
  • Jobs in security, pharmaceuticals, the military,
    and working with children generally require
    greater scrutiny.

gtgt You will want to check your state laws for
details. ltlt
8. I want to run a polygraph test. Can I?
  • If you have to ask, the answer is probably NO.
  • EXCEPT for certain positions, running a polygraph
    test is illegal.
  • Positions that require contact with
    pharmaceuticals and armored car drivers are
    notable exceptions.

9. I saw an ad for a free background check.
Should I trust it?
  • It may seem like a great deal, but its TOO GOOD
  • Most online checks only search through publicly
    accessible databases for information.
  • Reputable companies will go much further for you.
    You will also receive no customer support or
    compliance advice from a free site.
  • Its worth it to pay the fee to have a
    professional company perform the check. They will
    be able to get you both more and more accurate

10. What is a good turnaround time for a
background check?
  • This depends on how many checks you want to run
    and how far back in time you wish to check.
  • It also depends on the institutions that the
    background check company has to work with.
  • For example Different courts run at different
    speeds for turning around information. Some types
    of checks require a phone interview. Turnaround
    times can vary from 3 business days up to two

11. Can I perform a background check on my own?
  • It is possible, but it will be VERY inefficient.
  • Most companies dont have the resources or the
    time to contact court houses and dig through
    public records to gather all the information and
    check it for accuracy.
  • You would also have to comply with laws about
    gathering information.
  • Having a third party perform your checks also
    helps protect you from legal liability. It is
    best to hire an outside company to do your checks.

12. Which checks do I need to get permission for?
  • All checks require information and permission
    from the candidate before you can run them.
  • But some require specific paperwork and
  • The background check company you use will have
    all the forms and information you need to legally
    run your checks.

13. Can I use social media information in my
hiring decisions?
You may have heard about hiring managers asking
people for social media passwords so they can
check their activities. Best practice right now
is to not do this, at least until the courts have
made their decisions. There are several cases in
the court system right now about this issue. Some
states have already decided that this practice is
illegal. However, anything that is publicly
accessible on the internet is considered a public
record. Have the right person before jumping to
14. Where can I get more information about my
state's background check laws?
  • Talk with a business lawyer
  • Or view this document from the Society for Human
    Resource Management

15. How far back should I check?
  • This entirely depends on your companys policies.
  • Seven years is a good standard.
  • Some go back as far as ten years.
  • Others only check the past three.
  • Your state may have limitations on how far back
    you can go, or how far back they will retain
    certain types of information.

16. Is background check information ever wrong?
Sometimes it is, but not frequently. Clerical
errors or fraud from other people cause errors in
databases. If you do deny a candidate on the
basis of a background check, you may be required
to disclose the report and where you got the
information from. The candidate may counter with
records of their own, and they can file a dispute
with the background check company. You do not
have to wait for the candidate to prove the check
wrong before hiring someone else once you have
advised them of your decision.
17. Do I have to reveal to the candidate what I
learned from the background check?
If you deny them based on background check
information, the answer is YES.
18. What do I need to run the check?
  • You need the full name of the candidate and their
    date of birth.
  • You may also need their SSN, but in most cases
    you do not need this. Criminal records arent
    kept by SSN.
  • Your background check company will let you know
    what is required for the types of checks you want
    to run.

19. How long can I retain the information I
receive from a background check?
  • The federal policy for this is to hold it for 1-2
    years if someone is not hired, and to hold it for
    six years after termination for anyone who is
  • There are no laws regulating how long you need to
    retain background check information, but some
    companies do it as a matter of course.
  • The information should be held in a separate
    location away from their personnel file. However,
    some companies destroy the information as soon as
    someone is hired.
  • Your state may have specific laws on this matter
    as well.

20. Should I automatically reject a candidate
based on a background check?
  • Not necessarily.
  • You may be required to in some circumstances, but
    every hiring manager has to weigh the information
    theyve received.
  • For example
  • Someone forgetting their exact address from 10
    years ago doesnt necessarily mean theyre a liar!

21. Am I legally obligated to deny someone
employment based on their background check?
  • Only in cases where it is required by state or
    federal law.
  • This is mostly a concern when the position
    involves contact with children.
  • Check your state laws for more details.
Write a Comment
User Comments (0)