How to do criminal background checks

If a consumer report contains information that dissuades you from hiring a person, then FCRA regulations require that you inform the person of this fact. You must do the following: Inform the person that there is negative information in the report. Inform the person which agency you used to prepare the report.

Allow the applicant an opportunity to rebut the information in the report. Method 2.

Steps to Take Before Doing Background Checks:

Search online. You have the best search engine at your fingertips: the internet. A number of websites allow free searches: Google. Always be mindful of the fact that the information found by performing a basic internet search may not be verified and could easily be false. Pull public records.

Background check

To uncover information about arrests, convictions, and incarcerations a criminal background check , most information will be in the public record. To find this information, visit court and other government websites to access these documents. Remember to search documents in all states where your subject has lived. If you do not know where a person has lived, you can search on a website such as Intelius.

Register to Access

Don't forget to search county and city websites for records of convictions on the local level. Additionally, some counties do not maintain online databases: in this case, you will need to pull the records from the county courthouse, where there should be hard copies. Some counties charge a small fee for copies of the records, while some offer copies for free. Ask for information directly from the person. There are a lot of records you cannot legally access without the permission of the subject—such as a credit report, school records, or military records.

If you want to obtain certain information about someone, you may need to ask them to provide you with the information. If you are considering a new roommate, for instance, you may want to simply ask if they have ever been arrested or in trouble before making your decision. Understand that they do not have to give you access to or copies of their information. However, if they are not forthcoming with information, then you can certainly base your decision on your lack of information.

References and Background Checks

For example, if a potential roommate refuses to state whether he or she has been arrested, then you can choose not to live with that person based on the lack of information. Use a commercial web-based search engine. Hire a professional. Unlike landlords and employers, a private citizen is allowed to hire any legal service to run background checks, including criminal background checks.

Nevertheless, you should research any company before hiring them. There are a lot of scam artists out there. Read online reviews of any background check company that you may want to use and see if people are satisfied with the results. It depends on what you want to learn. You could always order your own criminal background check to see what it contains. Yes No. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Can I legally obtain a criminal background check on an employee of a company contracted to me?

That depends on the company you use to run the background check and the law in your state. If it's a licensed consumer reporting agency CRA , it's likely you can run the check, but you might be required to get consent from the person to run the check and inform them of the results. While individuals have always been able to petition courts for expungement, the new laws make that easier. Sometimes, expungement is automatic. Applicants are not asked about any criminal history on the job application or until they are deemed qualified for the position based on education or experience.

In this way, the process is similar to handling disabled applicants under the Americans With Disabilities Act ADA and similar state anti-discrimination laws.


When determining whether to use criminal history in the hiring decision, employers should consider the following:. Background checks can also open other cans of worms. Any investigation that reveals a family medical history or other genetic information cannot be used in the hiring decision. Employers must treat all applicants the same.

Employers should determine what background information is necessary for each open position. The same information is then obtained for all applicants for that position. When deciding on the appropriate background search for each position, consider any federal, state or local requirements for the position. Gauge the exposure for each job. For example, a position with no fiduciary responsibilities and little interaction with the public poses a low risk.

A position with fiduciary responsibilities and engagement with vulnerable populations would represent high employer exposure.

How to do a background check for pre-employment screening

Once established, the employer could then explore costs for conducting the appropriate background check for each position. Many vendors offer discounted rates for high volume users. Federal law requires criminal background screenings for many positions. Most law enforcement positions including prison guards are exempted.

Background Checks

Additionally, teachers or other jobs working with vulnerable populations will still require criminal background checks. Vulnerable populations usually include children, the elderly and the disabled. In one, researchers sent out 15, fictitious resumes to employers in New York and New Jersey. Each set of resumes contained last names common among whites and those common among blacks.

Employers should avoid this trap. A study found that black applicants were hired at higher rates when employers conducted criminal background checks on all applicants. When people say background check, they usually have in mind criminal records, warrant searches, arrest records and other criminal information.

Believe it or not, almost all of this information is public record by law, and is available to anyone who is willing to make the effort to search for it. Some jurisdictions make it incredibly simple, and have dedicated web portals that allow you to search. Others are stuck in the paper age, and often require an on site search in the county courthouse. Should I search myself or use an online background check provider?

Online background check services really shine in two ways. They spend a fortune sucking up all the data available, something that might take you years or you might not even be able to accomplish with a limited budget at all. We try to be unbiased about these things. Every provider has its strengths and weaknesses, depending on how they collect their data and what kind of algorithms they use.

Free background check - does such a thing really exist?