Drug Testing Screenings occupational health

PART 1 - Employment & Background Checks: What Should I Know About The Process?

Why Is My Employer Asking For A Background Check? 

Background checks are often a prerequisite to employment and volunteering in order to confirm any claims being made by the applicant. They are common in every sector from construction and education to Christian ministry. According to HR.com, “organizations are utilizing professional background checks at a near-universal rate” as a way to “help safeguard today's increasingly globalized workforce.” That means that in almost any position you seek, paid or otherwise, a background check can be expected. 

What Personal Information Can Be Searched in A Background Check?

The organization requesting a background check might ask for a universal background check or a combination of more specific work/life history, as it pertains to the industry for which you are applying. Driving records are relevant for work in transportation, whereas credit history is a determining factor in the financial sector. A background check will provide information from the previous 7-10 years. They are usually run at the time of employment, but other types of screening can be continued post-hire.


Click here  to read why it benefits the workplace to continue post-hire screenings.


How Long Does A Background Check Take?

From the perspective of the employee/potential employee, background checks are a relatively easy and painless process. Once you have been properly informed that you must complete a background check (see info below), you will be given a link to the background check provider. You can electronically complete the form and submit your signature to begin the verification process. Once you submit the form, the results from the background check are typically available within five days, unless otherwise prolonged due to state laws. Depending on the type of background check, Workplace Safety Screenings can return results within 1-3 business days. 

What Are My Rights Regarding a Background Check? 

Background checks cannot be acquired without your consent. When you apply for a position an employer can take your basic personal info, such as your social security number, name, and address to search for your information. Your written consent is also required. To make sure the process is fair and unbiased, the organization conducting the background check is obligated to meet the criteria as outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.


This federal protocol for background checks ensures that: 

  • Candidates receive written notification that a background check will be conducted and the results of the background check can be used to inform decisions regarding hiring, internal advancement, or termination.
  • Candidates must give written consent to the background check. 
  • Candidates are given a copy of the background check report to dispute any errors or provide additional information regarding information discovered in the process. Along with the results, candidates are given a copy of their rights as outlined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 
  • Employers are required to submit an adverse action record to any employee who, based on information in their background screening, is being rejected as a potential hire. At Workplace Safety Screenings, we have automated this process to help employers ensure they are in compliance with federal law. 

I’m a Freelance/Contract Employee. Why Do I Need A Background Check? 

Like every other aspect of our lives, the Covid19 Pandemic has changed the nature of business. As numerous jobs become permanent work-from-home positions, employers can now pursue talent from any geographical location. This new trend is completely transforming the hiring process and workplace culture. With interviews being conducted remotely and with candidates being considered from all over the country and with fewer personal recommendations, it is even more imperative that freelance and contract candidates be vetted before being given access to confidential or proprietary information. 

What Else Do I Need To Know About Background Checks? 

Looking for more information regarding background checks before giving your consent to a potential employer? Stay tuned for the next blog from Workplace Safety Screenings to get all the information you need regarding the types of background checks you might be asked to submit to and how each of those are conducted.


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