Background Checks for Employment: A Complete Guide 2023

It can be challenging to find the ideal candidate to fill a job in your firm. There are resumes to pursue, interviews to conduct, possibly a couple of them and, if everything goes well, a background check on the employee. Though it may be more daunting for them than for you, this complete guide on how to run a background check for employment will help ease any anxieties you have about the background check process.

In fact, according to a report from 2022 analysis, 95% of the organizations surveyed said they use one or more types of job history background checks.

Although we can’t promise you’ll like what you find on your prospective employee’s report, after reading this article you’ll know how to conduct legal background checks on possible job candidates.

Let’s start now.

What is a Background Check For Employment?

A background check is a method of finding out specific facts about the past of a possible employee. A professional background check offers more details about the applicant’s past than a resume or other personal information the candidate may divulge during the interview. It gives you information about their past, allowing you to make wise employment choices. Even while it’s against the law to discriminate against someone based on their race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability, doing a background check is completely permissible. The fact that you should never inquire about a person’s age or medical history.

Background Investigation Process for Employment

Background checks are often performed when you’re ready to make an offer, but some employers will run a report on multiple prospects to aid in making hiring selections. To achieve compliance, the following four actions should be followed:

1. Disclosure: Candidates must be made aware that a pre-employment screening is a requirement before receiving an offer.

2. Approval: The candidate must give written consent and be informed of their FCRA rights as well as the name of the company doing the check.

3. Investigation: The report is put together utilizing pertinent sources when the candidate has given approval and enough personal information.

4. Review: You will be given the report to look through. It will normally be marked either “clear” or “consider”, indicating if something should be taken into consideration or not.

Why Are Background Checks for Jobs Important?

We’ve included three troubling facts below to highlight the significance of doing background checks before you make employment decisions.

1. Drug Tests Failed at Highest Level

Pre-employment drug testing is frequently a requirement of employment. Drug tests assist employers in lowering accident rates and ensuring the safety of their workplaces. Quest Diagnostics reported in its annual report that 4.2% of applicants had positive drug tests from urine tests. Since 2004, when the ratio was 4.5%, there have been more positive drug test results than ever before.

2. Cases of Internal Retail Theft Increased in Value

Internal theft is a significant issue for organizations. Employee theft might result in considerable losses for the organization. Fewer workers were discovered stealing during the COVID-19 outbreak. The average cost of each occurrence, however, climbed by 3.8% from the cost of employee thefts in 2019 to 2020. Retail theft cases involving employees had an average case value of $1,219.61. 26,463 dishonest employees in total were found out, and $32 million was taken from them.

3. Very Common for Resumes to Lie

Although most people are aware that candidates occasionally lie on their resumes and applications, you might be surprised to hear just how common this issue is. 75% of HR managers claim that they have found lying on resumes, according to a CNBC research. Verifying the facts people claim on resumes is important since it enables you to validate their claims and ensures that you only hire trustworthy workers.

How to Prepare for a Background Check

Knowing what data an employer might find is the best way to get ready for a background check:

1. Obtain a credit report

Get a copy of your credit report in advance to check for any inaccuracies in your background information. If there is inaccurate information, you should challenge it with the creditor or another source.

2. Examine your records

By requesting a copy of your driving history from your state’s department of motor vehicles, you can check your driving history. The same should be done with your other records, such as those from your education, court case(s), and more.

3. Personnel records

Ask your prior employers for copies of your personnel files if they are still available. Make sure you are aware of the potential feedback from your references.

4. Protect Your Privacy

Additionally, you should exercise caution when posting on social media and other internet venues. There is a great likelihood that someone will discover material that could be detrimental to your job.

5. Be truthful

Most importantly, make sure all of your applications and resumes are true and accurate. If you lie, you might not immediately be discovered; nonetheless, the truth will ultimately surface.

Don’t forget to document your experience. Once you have it, make a list of your employment history and save it. Keep updating frequently. You can always use this list as a guide when you submit an application for a job in the future.

5 Reasons Why A Background Check On Employment History Is Important

You may make educated selections by using Employment Verifications as a component of a thorough pre-employment background check process. Added assurances that you are selecting the most dependable, qualified applicants for open positions.

  • Decrease Exposure

An employment history background check may also be used to determine whether a candidate is qualified for the position they are currently vying for.  By examining the candidate’s employment history and establishing their eligibility for employment. Additionally, you might lower your chances of engaging in dishonest behavior and selecting subpar personnel.

  • Reduced Long-Term Costs

Each company loses, on average, more than 5% of its annual sales due to workplace fraud and employee dishonesty. Additionally, one in five fraud cases causes losses of more than $1 million, and occupational fraud frequently does the greatest harm to smaller organizations.

The production, reputation, employee morale, and public trust of a corporation are all impacted by employee dishonesty and theft. Background checks on employment history are quite effective at lowering employee dishonesty.

  • Recognize any skill gaps

If the employment history contains any gaps, you can find out why by checking the candidate’s employment history. hiring someone who is incapable of performing things adequately due to a lack of knowledge and capabilities. Resulting in high turnover rates and a negative reputation for the business.

  • Safety and Protection

Employment background checks reduce the possibility of future workplace violence by weeding out applicants who potentially endanger the workplace. A thorough investigation will turn up historical facts that might provide crucial hints about prospective issue behaviors in the future.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) estimates that a £42,000 middle management hire gone wrong may end up costing the business more than £132,000 in total. That represents a sizable change.


Employers perform employment background checks on potential hires to learn more about them. Depending on the reports they buy, a variety of information about your academic, driving, credit, employment, and criminal history will be made public. To satisfy the demands of both small enterprises and individuals during the recruiting process, we provide a one-stop background screening solution.


Is a database of employment histories available?

When interviewing with potential employers, job seekers frequently ask if background checks may be done to find out about any prior employment that isn’t listed on the résumé. The short answer is no, there isn’t a single database that compiles a list of every job you’ve ever had.

Do employers look over every employment history?

If an employer conducts a background check on you, they are not restricted to the information on your application materials. They could review every aspect of your professional background, and if they do, they might be concerned if they find any omissions that could be used against you.

Do employers look over every employment history?

If an employer conducts a background check on you, they are not restricted to the information on your application materials. They could review every aspect of your professional background, and if they do, they might be concerned if they find any omissions that could be used against you.

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