background checks

Background checks for employment

Find out how Checkr’s advanced background check platform makes employment screening more efficient so you can hire faster.

Remoov

Checkr Customer

Top reasons employers conduct background checks

Reviewing a candidate’s background check helps you hire the most qualified person for the job.

Make fair, informed decisions

Employment background checks help you assess a candidate’s qualifications based on reliable information.

Comply with industry regulations

Some federal, state and industry laws require a background screening as part of the hiring process.

Maintain a safe work environment

Background checks help you manage risk and protect your organization against liability claims.

Modern background check technology

Easily manage your background screening process with Checkr’s advanced background check platform.

Get faster turnaround times

98% of nationwide criminal checks complete within one hour.

Improve efficiency

Automated workflows eliminate manual processes so you can hire faster.

Maintain compliance

Built-in tools help you stay compliant with the FCRA and local laws.

Employment background screening for every size business

Every business has different employment screening needs – whether you’re an enterprise organization needing to hire at scale, or a small business screening a few employees throughout the year, Checkr’s platform is built for flexibility.

Customizable workflows

Easily customize your workflow with detailed permissions settings, audit logs, and view configurations.

ATS/HRIS integrations

Increase efficiency by adding background checks to your existing systems with our pre-built integrations.

Pre-built and customizable packages

Choose one of our affordable background screening packages, and add-on checks that meet your hiring needs.

Customers love Checkr,

"Wonderful software solution for a variety of businesses"

"Simple platform for reliable background checks"

“Checkr has been one of the best partners”

“We need minimal manual intervention and as much self-service as possible. Checkr has enabled us to improve the overall experience for all the new hires by automating a manual process.”
TalentBurst
Brad Talwar, Founder & CEO
“Checkr has been one of the best partners to work with from an agility standpoint. They’re always looking ahead and collaborating with our teams.” 
Delivery Drivers, Inc.
Aaron Hagerman, CEO

Checkr’s background check services

Checkr makes it easy to carry out fast, efficient pre-employment background checks while remaining in compliance with applicable Federal and state background screening laws, including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). With Checkr, your candidate’s background verification goes beyond a simple criminal record check.

Criminal records checks

Find out about a candidate’s criminal history with a comprehensive, easy-to-read report of their publicly available and legally reportable criminal records directly from the courts. National, federal, state, and county checks are available.

Education verification

Verify candidates’ academic history to ensure your new hires have the skills necessary to be an asset to your growing team. Checkr searches public education databases to authenticate degrees earned in the US and in more than 200 countries.

Employment verification

Build a trusted team by confirming the information provided by a candidate is true, and verify work history to ensure they have the experience required to fill your position. Checkr makes a manual, time-consuming process quick and easy.

Motor vehicle reports (MVR)

Review candidates’ driving records to identify qualified candidates with safe driving records. Checkr’s MVR reports confirm whether a candidate’s driver’s license is valid or has been suspended, and may reveal any driving-related violations.

Drug testing

Support a safe workplace with an employment drug screening program. Checkr’s drug screening options are designed to meet your company policy and drug-free workplace obligations, while helping you maintain regulatory compliance.

Civil search

Review a candidate’s civil court records to learn about relevant non-criminal legal history, such as restraining orders, tax claims, interstate disputes, and more. County and federal civil court searches are available.

Employment background check laws by state

Navigating the complex web of state and local laws can make it difficult to manage compliance when conducting background checks in the US.

Checkr’s guides to employment background check laws by state are designed to help you understand which federal, state, and local laws may apply.

Ready to run background checks with Checkr?

Frequently asked questions

Learn more about
background checks

Background checks search public records, and access other sources, to gather and verify information about individuals. Many employers use background checks to help evaluate a candidate’s qualifications for a job, make smarter hiring choices, and mitigate risk.

What is a background check?

A background check or background screening is the process of examining public and private sources to collect information about a person. Background checks may be used by employers, landlords, or volunteer organizations.

The information included in a background check will vary depending on the purpose of the screening. However, background checks often include some or all of the following:

  • Criminal history checks
  • Employment verification
  • Education verification
  • Driving record checks (MVRs)
  • Civil court checks
  • Credit checks

What is a pre-employment background check?

Pre-employment background checks are screenings conducted by employers as part of the hiring process. They may involve a criminal history check, credit check (if the role is finance-related), driving record check (if the position involves driving), and employment or education verification. Employers may also choose to conduct reference checks, drug testing, or other additional screenings. In some industries, such as education, healthcare, and commercial transportation, pre-employment screening is required by law.

Employers use pre-employment background checks to help make more informed hiring decisions, mitigate risk to their business, and protect their organization against liability.

How do background checks work?

Pre-employment background checks typically start by notifying the candidate of the intent to conduct a background screening and obtaining their consent. Employers then gather the job applicant’s personally identifying information (PII), such as full name, date of birth, Social Security number (SSN), and current or past addresses.

Background check services, like Checkr, use the candidate’s PII and SSN to conduct the specific background screenings the employer requests, such as criminal records checks or driving record checks. Depending on the type of screening, this process may include searching online databases, making phone calls, or physically visiting courthouses or motor vehicle departments to gather records. When the screening is completed, the employer receives a background check report with the requested information.

Federal laws and guidelines, as well as state and local laws, regulate how and when background checks are conducted, what information can be included in the background check report, and how that information can be used in hiring decisions. For example, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) specifies how companies can obtain and consider the information in consumer reports (which include background checks), and outlines the adverse action process employers must follow if they decide to deny employment based on a candidate’s criminal record. Further, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) offers guidance to employers for preventing discrimination by considering the results of a background check in the proper context, called an individualized assessment.

What can be revealed in a background check?

Background check results can reveal different information about an individual, depending on which searches are included. State and local laws as well as FCRA requirements may dictate what kind of information can be legally reported in a background check report, too. What do employee background checks look for? Here are some examples of the types of searches included in a background check and what information employers may see:

  • Criminal background checks may search national, federal, state, and county records to see if a candidate has a criminal history. Criminal records in the report generally include misdemeanor and felony convictions. If applicable laws allow, background screening results may show pending, acquitted, or dismissed charges in someone’s criminal history. Criminal background checks may also reveal sex offender registry status or domestic or global watchlist status.
  • Civil court checks examine the records of upper and lower civil courts to find information such as small claims or personal injury cases involving the individual, as well as any restraining orders, judgments, or liens.
  • Credit checks are sometimes used for roles with fiscal responsibility or positions in industries such as banking, lending, or securities trading. The results provide a modified credit report, showing tax liens, bankruptcies or accounts in collections, as well as account information and amounts owed.
  • Driving record (MVR) checks, often used for positions that involve driving, report the candidate’s driver license status and class, recent violations or restrictions, and other information about the candidate’s driving record. Depending on state law, MVRs may reveal convictions for DUIs and other criminal offenses.
  • Employment verifications can confirm a job applicant’s work history, and may also include dates of employment, titles held, employment gaps, and salary when available.
  • Education verifications confirm a candidate’s academic history including schools attended, dates of attendance, and degrees or certifications, up to the highest degree earned.
  • International background checks are performed for candidates who either live or work outside the US or have previously done so. International background checks may include a criminal background check or adverse media search, global watchlist search, education and employment verification checks, and identity document verification (IDV).

In general, background checks search criminal and court records going back seven years; however, some types of screenings may go back further. For example, bankruptcies older than seven years may show up on a credit check. State, local, and industry regulations may also impact how far back an employer can search.

Background check results you can trust

Using a background screening service can simplify the hiring process for both you and your candidates. To help ensure legal compliance, you can partner with a qualified, FCRA-compliant provider like Checkr.

Checkr’s advanced background check platform improves speed and accuracy for more efficient employment screening. Built-in compliance tools help ensure your screenings conform to applicable federal, state, and local laws and automatically generate the required forms and communications, minimizing the need for time-consuming manual processes. Easy-to-read reports and automated workflows streamline the background screening process, so you can hire quickly and confidently.

Your candidates will benefit from simplified screening, too. Our mobile-optimized candidate portal guides applicants through every step of the process, while built-in FAQs quickly answer questions and address concerns.

We’ve built the most advanced background check toolset in the industry to make hiring faster, easier, more accurate, and lower risk–get started today.

Recruitment realities: Insights from business leaders on hiring challenges 

In 2023, businesses faced a myriad of hiring challenges that stemmed from the evolving landscape of work. A significant hurdle is the ongoing talent shortage driven by a lack of workers available to meet the hiring demand.

As the competition for top talent continues, companies are grappling with the need to attract and retain skilled professionals. Additionally, the shift toward remote and hybrid work has introduced new complexities in assessing candidates' adaptability, communication skills, and ability to thrive in virtual environments. 

Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals are bracing for more challenges ahead. They know that the process can be long and strenuous — reviewing applications, conducting interviews, performing background checks, onboarding, and other aspects — and difficulties can creep up along the way. To prepare for what lies ahead, it’s helpful to get insights into the current landscape of hiring challenges from business leaders across the country.

To help hiring managers and companies prepare to attract, hire, and retain top talent, Checkr surveyed 1,000 business leaders across America about how they feel about the current hiring landscape, what it takes to compete for top talent, key hiring strategies, the importance of background checks, and what they’re looking forward to in 2024. 

Let’s get right into the data. 

Hiring overview

Before we dive into the detailed hiring challenges that are facing business leaders, we first wanted to reveal how many companies struggled with hiring in 2023. We asked respondents if their businesses faced hiring challenges within the past 12 months and an overwhelming 72% said yes. 

To dive deeper, we then asked respondents to share their greatest challenge during the hiring process, and the most common answer, with more than 36% of the vote, was that there are simply not enough qualified candidates. 20% of respondents said their biggest challenge was difficulty identifying the right fit for the role, and 18% cited competition with other companies as their biggest struggle. 

Companies across the US are looking for quality candidates, and many of those companies have important hiring goals to hit each year as businesses grow. With this in mind, we asked respondents to share whether or not their company met hiring goals in 2023, and nearly half (44%) said they failed to meet hiring goals, while another 22% were uncertain; only 34% said they met hiring goals in 2023.

How badly are business leaders struggling with hiring challenges?

*Data from Checkr proprietary survey of 1,000 American business leaders

We know that failing to meet hiring goals can be a major stressor on business leaders, but what else do they worry about when it comes to hiring? When asked, respondents said that the most stressful parts of hiring are: 

    • Finding and acquiring new talent (51%)

    • Lack of financial resources (14%)

    • Lack of training (13%)

    • Struggles with compliance (12%)

Our survey results show the majority of business leaders faced hiring challenges in 2023 and the stress is building. Now let’s dive deeper into their biggest issue — competing for top talent. 

Talent acquisition

Hiring top talent can be difficult, especially if a shortage of qualified candidates exists. To learn more about the availability of qualified candidates, we asked business leaders how they would describe their search for talent. An overwhelming 63% said it’s either difficult or very difficult to find qualified candidates, or few or no qualified candidates exist. On the other hand, just 37% said it’s easy to find qualified candidates.

When candidates are available, it’s important to capitalize and find a way to attract them to your company. With this in mind, we asked business leaders to share their best strategy for attracting talented candidates and beating their competition. When asked, here’s how respondents ranked their best strategies:

    1. Offer work-from-home (WFH) or flexible work arrangements

    2. Showcase clear job requirements

    3. Provide clear career development opportunities

    4. Offer full salary transparency 

    5. Offer higher salaries

Another important aspect to pay attention to within the labor market is how different generations are making an impact — Gen Z’s impact might be felt in a much different way than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, and this can create unique challenges for those involved in the hiring process. 

To expand on this, we asked respondents to share more information about which generation they find it most difficult to source qualified candidates from, and the clear-cut top answer was Millennials, while Baby Boomers seem to be the easiest generation to find candidates within. 

Next, let’s dive into the detailed tactics companies are using to bring in top talent. 

Key hiring tactics

Above, we learned that attracting top talent has been tough, and many companies are not finding a large enough candidate pool. They even shared with us their top strategies to get talented individuals in the door for interviews. But when it comes to finalizing a hire, what matters the most?

We asked respondents if they believe compensation is the single most important driving force in terms of hiring top talent, and a significant majority (68%) said they agree with that statement, with only 3% saying they strongly disagree. 

Is compensation the single most important factor in hiring new talent?

*Data from Checkr proprietary survey of 1,000 American business leaders

While compensation is paramount, respondents previously told us that their smartest strategy to beat the competition during the hiring process was offering WFH or flexible work arrangements.

We dove a little deeper by asking respondents if they prefer to avoid these arrangements, but don’t think they’d be able to compete without these flexible work offers. When asked, 65% of respondents said they agree or are on the fence, showing that while flexible work arrangements are helping them attract candidates, it’s not always the most preferred strategy by the hiring company. Companies know what works and may make sacrifices to hire the most talented candidates possible.

Lastly, we wanted to see if companies are committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) during the hiring process as a strategy to broaden their candidate pool and provide opportunities for all people. The answer here is yes, as nearly 77% of respondents said their commitment to DEI during the hiring process is good or excellent — a great sign from business leaders that hiring from different backgrounds and diverse candidate pools is a positively impactful business decision.

Next, let’s take a look at how business leaders feel about background checks and how they’re utilizing screening to make smart hiring decisions.

Background checks and screening

Hiring is a complex process, and the need for numerous tools and technologies is now more clear than ever. One of the most complex parts of hiring is the background check process. This became more evident when we asked respondents what they thought were the top hiring tools and technologies that would best help their organization meet hiring goals in 2024. Here’s what they told us:

What hiring tools will best help organizations meet hiring goals in 2024?

*Data from Checkr proprietary survey of 1,000 American business leaders

Business leaders know that background checks are an important part of the hiring process and that it’s extremely important to have the tools you need to ensure you’re conducting these background checks properly and efficiently.

While background checks are a key aspect of the hiring process, one strategy that remains under scrutiny is social media screening. According to the Harvard Business Review, “70% of employers check out applicants’ profiles as part of their screening process, and 54% have rejected applicants because of what they found. However, much of what they dig up is information they are ethically discouraged or legally prohibited from taking into account when evaluating candidates–and little of it is predictive of performance.”

With this in mind, we asked business leaders if their company had rejected a candidate due to what they found when social media screening, and 42% said yes, while another 23% said they were unsure. 

When used compliantly, background checks are an important tool for making informed hiring decisions. Employers use background checks to determine if candidates are qualified for a role and may use several types of background checks to perform a comprehensive screening, including a criminal records search, driving records check, or professional license verification, among others.

Looking forward to 2024

The data gathered in this survey shows a clear issue at hand — hiring challenges are negatively impacting businesses' ability to meet their hiring goals. But what do business leaders expect as we move into a new calendar year? Will things improve? Will hiring issues get worse? 

When asked what they expect in terms of hiring challenges in 2024, only 19% said they expect them to worsen, 33% said they believe the challenges will remain the same, and another 45% said they expect improvement.

Additionally, when asked if they think candidates will have leverage over employers during the hiring process going forward due to labor shortages, 68% of respondents said yes, while just 11% said no, and another 21% said they were unsure. 

Overall, business leaders expect fewer challenges in 2024 but still believe that candidates have a strong position in salary negotiations due to a labor shortage. 

Predicting the specific details of the labor market in 2024 is challenging, as the market is influenced by various unpredictable factors such as global economic conditions, technological advancements, geopolitical events, and societal changes. However, hiring trends and expectations can be considered based on existing patterns, including remote work, diversity and inclusion, and much more.

In the end, hiring the right way is the best place to start to mitigate challenges. This starts with salary transparency, accurate job descriptions, conducting fair interviews, committing to diversity, equity, and inclusion, conducting proper background checks, and more.

Survey methodology

All data found within this report is derived from a survey by Checkr conducted online via the survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,000 adult American business leaders were surveyed. The respondents were found via Pollfish’s age, employment, and organizational role filtering features. This survey was conducted over a three-day span in November 2023, and all respondents were asked to answer all questions as truthfully as possible and to the best of their knowledge and abilities.

Disclaimer

The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.

Keep reading

How To Run A Background Check For Employment

How Far Back Do Background Checks Go?

Ready to get started with Checkr?

We’ve built the most advanced background check toolset in the industry to make hiring faster, easier, more accurate, and lower risk. Contact a sales associate to learn more, or get started today.