criminal background check

What Does a Criminal Background Check Look For?

A recent study found that over 96 percent of hiring businesses use background checks. With the help of a background check, business owners are able to vet a person before bringing them aboard. Whether you are using a background check during the hiring process or you are having a background check performed by a potential employer, educating yourself about what this entails is crucial.

Are you curious about what types of things are assessed during a routine criminal background check? If so, check out the useful information below.

Social Security Number Validation

When filling out an application for a potential job, you will have to provide certain information that verifies your ability to work in the United States. One of the main things an employer will need to know to verify this information is your Social Security number. With this number, a potential employer can verify that you are an American citizen.

Your Social Security number will also provide a breakdown of addresses you have lived at in the past. If you are a business owner looking for the right tools to perform comprehensive background checks, then using resources provided by companies like Background Hawk is crucial. Taking the time to learn more about the background screening tools at your disposal is a great way to choose the best ones for your company.

Criminal Records Will Show Up on a Background Check

One of the main things business owners want to know when conducting a background check is whether or not a potential employee has a criminal record. If a person has been convicted of multiple crimes, then an employer may want to avoid hiring them due to the problems this can cause later on. During a criminal background check, certain things will show up like:

  • Records of incarceration
  • Court orders, decrees, and judgments
  • Arrests
  • Felony/misdemeanor convictions
  • Sex offenses

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) prohibits records involving civil suits from showing up in standard background checks. This law also keeps arrests that have happened over seven years ago out of these reports.

Employers Can Pull Credit Reports

Before hiring a new team member, the average business owner wants to know as much information as possible about their background. This is why most background checks include credit reports. With a snapshot of a person’s financial history, a business owner can assess how responsible a person has been in the past. The credit reports a business owner receives during a background check will include information about:

  • Outstanding loans
  • Accounts currently in collections
  • Bankruptcy filings

The FCRA prohibits any collection over seven years or older from showing up on background checks. There are also rules in place that prohibit bankruptcies older than 10 years old from showing up.

Fingerprint Background Checks

Another way someone may look into your background is through your fingerprints. Just as the name implies, this uses a person’s fingerprints and personal information to find out about their history. One of the biggest benefits of this type of search is that all records definitely belong to the person in question.

The purpose and nature of the fingerprint will vary. It depends on what type of information has been requested from the person who wants the background check. In most cases, these checks involve the use of the FBI criminal records database. Another option is the AFIS database system. This can be searched along with or instead of the FBI system.

Misdemeanors and Arrests on Background Checks

When someone conducts a criminal background check, it will usually show any misdemeanor criminal convictions, along with any pending cases that are going on. It is important to note that misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, and they don’t carry the extreme sentences that felonies do. Some examples of misdemeanors include disorderly conduct, public intoxication, trespassing, and vandalism.

With arrests, things can get tricky. If the arrest did not result in a conviction, it could appear on some of the criminal background checks that are run. This is true if the filing for the case was within the prior seven years. This is allowed by both state and federal law. However, some employers exclude these to ensure EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) guidelines are met.

Some people believe that criminal convictions more than seven years old will not appear on background checks. This isn’t the case for most states. While some restrict the release of these records (if they are over seven or 10 years old), others don’t. If you are concerned about this, it is best to find out the rules in your area before applying for a certain job.

As you can see, you can find a lot of useful information in the standard criminal background check. With this, employers can figure out if a candidate is right for the position. The key to getting a comprehensive background check is working with the right provider.