Everything You Need To Know About a Background Check

As an employer, landlord, or business owner, you need to know who you’re dealing with.

A background check can give you a complete picture of someone’s past and help you decide if they’re suitable for your organization.

A background check is basically a look into someone’s history. This can include their criminal record, employment history, credit history, and more. 

Because of the kind of information a background check can reveal, it has become very popular.

In fact according to Statista, in 2021, a total of 38.87 million background checks were registered by the FBI.

So if you want to learn more about background checks then in this article we will give you an overview of what a background check is and how to conduct one.


What Is A Background Check?

A background check is when a person’s private and public records are examined.

Employers conduct background checks to verify that candidates’ resumes and applications are accurate.

Landlords use them to screen tenants, and businesses use them to check out customers or business partners.

By conducting a background check, you can determine if someone has a criminal record, employment history, credit history, and more.

This information can help you decide if someone is the right fit for your company or organization.


Hear it From Reddit Users

What exactly is a background check?
by u/throwawaycheck555 in cscareerquestions

What Information Does A Background Check Show?

What Information Does A Background Check Show

Background checks are of different types, which we have discussed below.

Depending on the kind of background check report you want, the information you will obtain will be different.

Still, to give you an idea, you can expect to find information about a person’s:

  • Education
  • Family
  • Name
  • Address & phone number
  • Criminal record
  • Marriage & divorce records
  • Social media profile
  • Liens, taxes
  • Credit report
  • Driver license report
  • Rental history


Types of Background Checks

Types of Background Checks

There are mainly three types of background checks: employment, criminal, and credit. 

1. Employment Background Checks

Employers conduct pre-employment background checks to verify that they choose the right person for the position and avoid hiring anyone who may be a problem to the company.

During the employment process, 96% of workers complete one or more background checks.

Employers need the candidates’ full name, SSN, current or former address, and birth date. In most cases, they will need the candidates’ permission to run a background check on them.

2. Criminal Records Checks

You can use Criminal record checks can in multiple ways. For example, landlords may use them to screen potential tenants, or employers may use them to screen job applicants.

With a criminal record check, you can find out if someone has been convicted of a crime. This information is a public record and can be accessed by anyone.

Where are criminal records searched?

  • National criminal database
  • Federal and State criminal databases
  • Sex offender registry
  • Domestic watchlist
  • Global watchlist
  • County criminal courts

3. Credit History Checks

Landlords typically use credit history checks to screen potential tenants. With a credit check, landlords can see if the tenant has a good or bad credit score. 

Credit scores are based on a person’s credit history. The higher the score, the better the credit history.

A good credit score means that the person will likely make payments on time and not default on their lease.

4. Fingerprint Background Checks

This type of background check is often done as a part of pre-employment screening.

You may be asked to appear for a fingerprint background check for jobs related to the field of education, security, police, medical care, casinos, etc.

This background check reveals information about a person’s:

  • Past criminal record
  • Military service
  • Federal employment history

5. Rental Background Check

Landlords do a rental background check to screen their potential tenants.

This type of background check helps the landlords in accessing if the applicant is fit to lend their property or not. This background check shows details about a person’s:

  • Eviction reports
  • Previous rental history
  • Credit report
  • Education
  • Personal information, etc.


How to screen tenants?

6. Pre-Employment Background Check

Read: What Does A Background Check Show?

Read: 10 Best Advanced Background Check Sites

What Are The Benefits Of Background Checks?

Benefits Of Background Checks

Background checks offer many benefits, such as:

1. Ensures Quality Control for Employers

For workplace safety, companies must follow certain recruiting guidelines. If someone has something to hide, they won’t apply for a job requiring a background check.

Implementing job screening with a background check can help maintain a high quality of employees.

2. Ensures Security And Safety

Background checks help reduce the risk of violence in the workplace by weeding out potential offenders before they are hired.

A comprehensive background check will analyze an applicant’s criminal, civil, employment, and educational history.

3. Less Turnover

So background checks can help you immensely in finding the right person for the job, leading to less turnover.

Turnover is costly and time-consuming, so it’s important to find the right person for the job the first time around.

4. helps in Finding Reliable Tenants

Getting a background check on potential tenants can help you find reliable renters.

So with a tenant background check, you can see if the person has a good credit score, criminal record, and employment history.

This is important information to have when you’re deciding on who to rent your property to.


Read: What Does Decisional Mean On A Background Check?

Different Types of Background Checks & The Time It Takes

Each type of background check takes different amount of time. The timing depends on your chosen background check platform, type of information you need, etc.

  • Social Security Trace – Instant
  • Statewide –18-36 Hours
  • Education Verification – 72 Hours
  • County Criminal Records – 48 Hours
  • Professional Qualification Verification – Instant
  • Fingerprint Database – 48 to 72 Hours
  • Verifying DOT Employment – 30 Days
  • Healthcare Reports – Instant
  • OFAC – Instant
  • Sex Offender Registry – 4 Hours
  • Driver’s License Records (MVR) – 72 Hours
  • Employment Verification – 72 Hours
  • Terrorist Watchlist – Instant
  • National Criminal Record Database (NCRD) – Instant
  • Professional Reference – 24 to 48 Hours
  • Credit Check – Instant
  • Global Watch List Checks – Instant

Final Thoughts

Background check is an essential tool to use when you’re hiring someone, renting out your property, or doing business with someone.

They can help you verify a person’s identity, criminal record, employment history, and credit score.

So by conducting a background check, you can make sure that you’re making the best decision for your company or organization.

People Also Ask For

Is it legally required to run background checks?

No, it is not legally required to run background checks except for certain jobs that deal with national security, police, education, etc.

For many other professions, it is up to the company if they want to run background checks or not.

Are free background checks reliable?

There are all kinds of background check services available out there, and not all of them can be trusted.

Free background check services might be used to simply look up a person out of curiosity.

However, a free background check service might not be reliable for employers and landowners.

What is the use of background check?

A background check can help in the following:

  • Accessing the compatibility & past record of a potential employee.
  • It can help tenants in keeping themselves safe.
  • It can help people moving into a new neighborhood to access the background of their neighbors.
  • It can help in keeping your family protected from a new acquaintance or friend a member may have made.
  • It can help companies in accessing the driving records of employees.
USW Overall Rating

Leave a Comment