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.
Automated workflows eliminate manual processes so you can hire faster.
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.
Easily customize your workflow with detailed permissions settings, audit logs, and view configurations.
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.
“Checkr has been one of the best partners”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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.
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.