How to Get an Employment Background Check

By Larry Amon

  • Overview

    If you have a small business and need to run an employment background check on perspective employees, or if you want to run a background check on yourself to see what potential employers might see, here are some important things for you to keep in mind.
    • Step 1

      Determine the legal issues. Find out if your type of industry requires a background check and exactly what kind of issues may legally keep you from hiring someone. If you intend to use a criminal background check for employment purposes, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires you to obtain written permission from the applicant in a clear and conspicuous manner. Research all of the rules of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and research any local and state laws that may apply (see Resources below).
    • Step 2

      Be prepared to provide a copy of the report, the report company's contact info and a written summery of an individual's rights under the FCRA, if you use the report to affect someone in an adverse way such as firing or not hiring. This must be done in advance of taking the action.

    • Step 3

      Contact one of the following firms to run the check: Sentry Link, Intelius or Hire Right. This is just a list to get you started, as there are many others out there (see Resources below).
    • Step 4

      Run a background check on one person through several different agencies and compare the results. Understand that each company may not be able to provide all of the same or even all of the data that you need.
    • Step 5

      Find out what types of checks each company runs and be sure to run a criminal check as well as simpler checks, like address verification and work history verification.
    • Step 6

      Get the applicant to fill out a consent form and make sure you have all of the relevant information you need, such as full legal name, date of birth, place of birth and address history.
    • Step 7

      Make sure you properly and legally dispose of the records you have obtained, so that they do not fall into the wrong hands and that you are not held liable for mishandling the information.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Warning:
    • This information is not legal advice or a substitute for legal advice.

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