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The Different Types of Background Checks

PSI Team | Industry Expertise

From quick examinations to thorough investigations, background checks are crucial to the hiring process. If you want to welcome the right people into your company, you must learn more about the candidates who apply for your job openings. To help you feel confident in your hiring decisions, we created a comprehensive guide that outlines the different types of background checks employers can perform on their prospective employees.

Credit Checks

If your company seeks candidates for banking or managerial roles, then credit checks are necessary. With your applicants’ permission, you can determine if they’re financially responsible, especially if they will handle money that isn’t their own. Credit reports allow companies to view applicants’ spending habits and see how they manage bills. Perhaps the candidate has late payments, or maybe they’ve filed for bankruptcy. Regardless, credit checks, or “soft inquiries”, provide companies with a little more insight into an applicant’s financial history. Of course, if an applicant has poor credit and they plan to work in a financial role, then they may not be the best fit for the position. Often, businesses use a third-party company to help them retrieve any data related to the candidate’s financial health.

Criminal History Checks

As the most common background check, criminal checks protect company employees and their clients from potential threats; businesses should always prioritize hiring trustworthy individuals. Criminal checks are essential because your company will face consequences if they hire somebody who committed any crimes. They allow companies to search the sex offender registry, as well as local and national databases for past arrests, felonies, misdemeanors, court records, and other pertinent information. It’s also possible to examine a person’s criminal history through a fingerprint check. Some organizations will analyze prints, especially if they offer aviation, government, or school jobs.

Drug Tests

Drug screenings allow companies to see if their applicants are under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. They can search for these substances in blood, hair, saliva, sweat, and urine. For many industries, drug tests are vital to find the right candidates. For instance, if a company’s future employees must operate machinery, then it should focus on drug screening. These people put their safety on the line, and impaired workers may only increase the likelihood that they’ll injure themselves or others.

Education Verification

Every business wants to offer their open position to a well-educated candidate; their education can speak to their familiarity with the industry. Companies should examine their candidates’ education. Many applicants fudge the amount of experience they possess on their résumés. An education background check can confirm academic degrees, and typically, the candidates’ alma mater can let a company know whether they attended the school. Performing this check can also help companies authenticate supplemental training.

Employment History

Verifying previous work experience is paramount to the hiring process, as it can help employers predict an individual’s future performance. Before offering positions to exceptional applicants, companies may choose to call their past supervisors. In most cases, they call simply for the truth. They want to verify how long the candidate held the job, their salary, and their responsibilities.

Medical Records

Some employers may need to assess a candidate’s physical abilities—this is because, depending on the job, companies must take into account whether applicants can perform the assigned work. A person’s medical records can prove to a business that their medications and overall medical history shouldn’t negatively affect their performance.

Motor Vehicle Checks

If the job you must fill includes driving responsibilities, you want to make sure you don’t hire somebody who practices unsafe driving behaviors. Through a motor vehicle check, your company can confirm if the candidate possesses a valid driver’s license as well as a clean record. Businesses can look for driving violations, license suspensions, and other motor vehicle-related offenses.

Reference Checks

Reference checks can help businesses better understand candidates’ behaviors, work ethic, and skills. Employers can talk with those who know the candidate well and discuss performance with the companies they worked for in the past. Often, applicants’ references are former coworkers, friends, neighbors, or teachers.

When references’ responses unanimously agree, it can make it easier for a company to come to a hiring decision. Without feedback from an applicants’ personal contacts, the employer must solely rely on work history to make a hiring decision.

Social Media Checks

Social media profile checks continue to increase each year; in fact, a 2018 survey confirms that over half of employers nationwide research applicants on popular social media sites. Companies will check their applicants’ profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms to conclude whether they could seamlessly fit into their teams. This way, they can immediately detect unacceptable behavior and pass on those candidates.

Social Security Number Verification

You need to know exactly who joins your company. By investigating an applicant’s identity, you can determine whether they told the truth about their identity. Companies can verify who applicants are by confirming their name and address with the provided social security number. This check also confirms whether the candidates can legally work in the country—if they can’t, hiring them could cost your company a significant amount of money.

You don’t have to collect all your candidates’ information on your own, as it takes time to do. Also, you may not even know which background checks could benefit your search for new employees. Fortunately, businesses can look into background check services performed by the experts at PSI.

Our firm values the relationships we have with our clients, so we always prioritize excellent customer service. Furthermore, our investigations comply with federal and state laws, and you can expect a short turnaround time from us. Plus, our team also won’t speak to you through a kiosk—in fact, our personable staff will make you want to recommend us to others.

Finally, every investigation that PSI completes will undergo a quality control process. Like our relationships, accuracy is incredibly important to us. If you’re ready to work with one of the most reputable names in the industry, contact us now.

Background Checks Guide