Background Checks: The Different Types and What They Reveal

Background Checks: The Different Types and What They Revea

We usually hear the term “background check” when we are applying for a job or looking to hire someone. They say that it is an essential part of hiring and is highly necessary. Before anything else, a background check is a process that a person or a company conducts to check and verify a person’s history and activities that happened in the past so that they could confirm its validity. Whether you are applying for a job, purchasing a firearm, or looking for a new house, you may have to undergo a background check.

There are different types of background checks that are used for different cases. To help you understand what each of them entails, we have here a list of the most common type of background checks and what they reveal.

Criminal Checks

The term “background check“ is always confused with “criminal background check”. But a criminal background check is just one type of a background check. This type of checking searches criminal history at the county, state, and federal level. This is conducted to verify if a person is a law-abiding citizen. Certain websites now allow you to conduct criminal record checking like this site.

Identity/Alias/Address Checks

The purpose of this check is to determine whether the candidate is being truthful to their said identity. Employers may do this by checking the provided social security number (SSN) at the Social Security Administration. It can also be done by conducting alias/address checking which checks on names and addresses related to a certain Social Security number. This could help avoid identity fraud and aid in verifying addresses too.

Credit Checks

This type of checking is not always done on all employment verification. It is only conducted for specific job roles such as government positions or in finance. Credit checks include credit limits, past due months, balances and more. This is to assess a candidate’s financial responsibility. It is worth noting that some states and local jurisdictions have laws that prohibit or limit this type of background check in employment situations.

Driving/Motor Vehicle Checks

Driving or motor vehicle background checks are mostly done for those who want to work in driving or transportation industry. This checking will pull information from a person’s driving history, including license points, violations, suspensions, and revocations. This will verify if a person’s driving record is clean and is safe and responsible while in charge of a motor vehicle.

Reference Check

Reference checks are used by employers to verify your work ethic, character, and value. This will help them get a feel for what you’re like in the workplace, your performance and fact check on what you have stated on your resume. It is good practice that you reach out to your given references to let them know they’ll likely to get a call. Not for the purpose of coaching them or anything, but more of a professional courtesy.

Drug Screening

This type of background check is used to determine if illegal drugs are being used by the candidate. It can only be done with permission, and usually with some amount of prior notice. This checking is pretty self-explanatory - if drugs are being used, it will definitely show up in the test results.

Education Checks

This type of checking is also called an education verification check. Sometimes, applicants tend to embellish their resume’s with fictitious achievements. This type of background check will verify if a candidate is honest with the level of education they claim as well as where that education came from.  It also covers other training and certifications that the candidate has. This checking is considered as a valuable honesty check as it helps protect an employee against negligent hiring claims.

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