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A Typical Background Check and Best Practices

Conducting a background check can take as little as 48 hours, or may take as long as a week. The cost is generally $60 - $80.

Best Practice: If there is great time pressure to fill a position, consider running background checks simultaneously on the two or three finalists, rather than on a single candidate who has received a contingent offer. That way you can avoid potentially waiting out two or three background checks consecutively.

Background investigations generally involve determining whether an applicant may be unqualified for a position due to a record of criminal conviction, motor vehicle violations, poor credit history, or misrepresentation regarding education or work history.

A standard background check can cover the following areas:

  • Verification of a job candidate’s Social Security number
  • Consumer credit reports to help you decide whether the applicant’s financial status might pose a risk in handling money or exercising financial discretion.
  • A motor vehicle records check listing license status, license class, expiration date, traffic violations, arrests and convictions for driving under the influence, and license suspensions or cancellations.
  • A county and/or state criminal records search.
  • A national criminal records search, including sex offender records
  • Verification of the candidate’s past two employers
  • Verification of a candidate’s educational background, including the highest degree received

Best Practices Summary

  • Limit consumer credit reports to positions meriting credit scrutiny, namely those that involve financial responsibility.
  • Always check the driving record of any individual who will operate a company vehicle at any time, or who will drive personal or rental vehicles on company business.
  • For criminal records, search all counties of residence for the past seven years.
  • Verification of past employment, references, and education records provides excellent information regarding the knowledge, qualifications and skill level of applicants.

    If you have any questions or would like to learn more, contact us
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