The Different Types of Background Checks Explained

Wondering about the different background checks employers use, their role in the hiring process, and what to expect? You’re in the right place! At Mind Your Business, we know how vital comprehensive background checks are to ensure your workers are safe, reliable, skilled, and vetted. 

Check out the seven most common types and why they matter below: 

  1. Credit Checks Credit reports list your bill payment history, loans, current debt, and other financial information. They show where you work and live and whether you’ve been sued, arrested, or filed for bankruptcy. This type of check is not always performed as part of employment verification and usually saved for specific job roles – such as those in finance, or government positions. 

Types of jobs that usually do credit checks:

  • Military
  • Accountants and Financial Planners
  • Prison Workers
  • Lawyers
  • Law Enforcement, Border Patrol and Government Jobs

Why it matters: Credit checks are a part of staff testing that will recognize any individuals with a poor credit record – to the extent that it may affect their work performance. Too much debt could be a red flag in more sensitive jobs due to the risk of embezzlement or theft. Think about it: who would want their financial planner to be in heaps of debt themselves? 

  1. Motor Vehicle Checks Motor vehicle record checks are a type of background check for those who work in the transportation or driving industry. Accident reports, traffic violations, license suspensions, vehicular crimes, and driving record points will show up in this type of background check. 

Types of jobs that usually do credit checks:

  • Truckers
  • Bus Drivers
  • Cab Driver
  • Delivery Drivers

Why it matters: It will ensure that the individual’s driving record is clean, and they will be safe and responsible while in charge of a motor vehicle on the job. 

  1. Education Verification A type of background check that you can expect in almost all job application processes is an education verification check. Information found on resumes is often embellished and sometimes even purely fictitious, and this check guards against that.

Types of jobs that usually do education verification: 

  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Nurses
  • Any field requiring specific training

Why it matters: This type of background check ensures the applicant is honest in their application – and will, therefore, be trustworthy as an employee. It also verifies candidates have the education and skills required for the job and minimizes liability risks if employees do not have the appropriate training for a job.

  1. Reference Check This is the easiest and most common employment check. As with education verification, a reference check will ensure that an applicant is honest with their history, and gives valuable feedback on past performance in a team. 

Types of jobs that usually check references:

  • Nearly every job across the board

Why it matters: Such a check means you can talk to those that have worked with and above, this applicant before, and will verify their work ethic, character, and value. Reference checking can avoid bad-fit hires and low performers. 

  1. Drug Screening Drug screening is a type of background check that should be reserved for individuals pre-employment and should be considered for current employees. Full panel drug testing can screen for a wide variety of substances. 

Types of jobs that usually drug screen:

  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation
  • Safety and Defense
  • Transit and Aviation 
  • Hospitals
  • Media Corporations
  • Schools and Universities
  • Federal, State, and County jobs

Why it matters: It’s a cost-effective and valuable way of discerning whether any of your employees or job applicants are involved in drug use, which could affect their work abilities. 

  1. Social Security Number Tracing This check determines whether the applicant’s social security number is legitimate and used by the proper person and verifies their address history. 

Types of jobs that do SSN tracing: 

  • Nanny
  • Housekeeper
  • Jobs handling sensitive information or in close contact with vulnerable populations
  • Farm and Construction Workers

Why it matters: It helps avoid identity fraud, aids in verifying previous addresses and can raise red flags on why a person would claim to be someone they’re not. 

  1. Criminal Checks The most apparent check that could be performed is one of your criminal background. This info comes from national criminal databases, sex offender registries, county criminal courts, domestic and global watch lists, federal and state criminal records.

Jobs that run criminal checks: 

  • 73% of all employers run criminal checks nowadays, so that’s the majority!

Why it matters: Employers want to ensure that the applicants they are considering are trustworthy, honest, and law-abiding citizens. These are the main types of background checks that employers can perform and that applicants can expect during the pre-employment process. If you have any further questions about this post or background checks as a whole, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article or contact MYB.

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