How To Do a Background Check - All You Need To Know

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How To Do a Background Check

Wondering how to do a background check? It’s an important part of every pre-employment routine to prevent wrong hires. So, you should know how to do one on yourself to get first-hand knowledge of what an employer could find out about you.

This procedure also helps verify people’s identities, discover sketchy behavior, and ensure that our environment is safe and free from potential harm.

This article explains how to do a background check for personal and professional reasons, so let’s get into it.

What Is a Background Check?

A background check is a form of identity verification for professional and business purposes that checks if an individual’s information is correct.

It involves searching through many public records like criminal records, sex offender lists, credit history, driving records, traffic offense lists, etc. The result is a comprehensive report about the person’s history. It enables you to determine the quality of their character and suitability for personal or business relationships.

For personal use, a background check helps uncover hidden information about your potential partner or a new friend you just met.

On a professional level, it helps to check whether the information compiled into a resume by a job seeker is true and accurate. It also highlights any red flags.

However, there are laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels protecting people’s rights and the extent to which certain information on background screenings can be applied.

How To Do a Background Check?

how to do a background check

Conducting a background check differs based on the purpose, but you can try online services.

Checkr, for example, has legal access to billions of public records at the state and national levels to help companies run background checks for employment purposes.

Others, such as Intelius and Spokeo, are great for screening people for personal purposes, such as getting more information about a new date.

Here’s how to do a background check on a candidate for employment purposes:

1. Check the State’s Regulation About Background Checks

It’s important to check what the laws and regulations of your state say about the information you can access about a candidate as an employer. You can access them on the website of your state’s Department of Public Safety.

2. Have a Clear Policy About Background Screenings

Having a clear policy about background checks helps you conduct them without sentiment or prejudice. There should be no hidden bias that may put your company at risk of legal sanctions.

3. Inform Candidates

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates employers to inform the candidate that they’ll be conducting a background check. You’ll need written and signed permission from the candidate to proceed.

4. Review Records Using a Background Check Service

You can use many background check service providers to search through available public records databases.

Checking through criminal and court records reveals any history of conviction and criminal activities by the candidate and other public records.

However, it’s important to note that these services usually aren’t free.

Moreover, the service you use for a pre-employment screening must be duly accredited by the FRCA as a Consumer Reporting Agency. If it’s not an FRCA-accredited service, its reports can’t be used for employment, tenancy, or other legal purposes.

5. Contact the Candidate’s References

This is to further ascertain the candidate’s eligibility or suitability for the job in question. You can email or schedule a phone or video call with each reference to clarify any questions you may have about the candidate.

6. Schedule a Drug Test

Drug testing is essential in the hiring process for jobs that require operating heavy machinery equipment, driving, and working with children, old, and other vulnerable people.

This helps to ensure they’re mentally and psychologically fit for the job and to establish the safety of customers and colleagues at work.

7. Review All the Results

All that’s left is to review the results and determine the candidate’s suitability.

Based on the report at hand, you can decide to let them go while proceeding with more suitable candidates.

Here’s how to do a background check for personal purposes:

All you need to do is visit any social search website and enter your search query to start your check.

It’s less complicated than the process for professional purposes because you don’t need to obtain consent from the person in question.

You can anonymously conduct a personal name-based check on your new friend, acquaintance, crush, suitor, or neighbor.

How To Check My Criminal Record?

how to check your criminal records

You can check your criminal records by going through the local, state, or federal systems with an online background check.

Doing this will help you stay two steps ahead of your employers or anyone who wants to look into your criminal history.

The reports usually contain identifiable information like your name, date of birth, height, weight, nicknames or aliases, crimes committed, date of arrests, and details of convictions.

 Also, having your crime records sealed or expunged can boost your employability.

The FBI houses crimes registered with your fingerprint. All you need to do to check their records is fill out an applicant information form.

Proceed to send an original fingerprint card with your name and DOB printed on it, alongside an $18 processing fee.

For felony and misdemeanor convictions, you must contact the state or local authorities where the arrest or conviction happened.

Wrap Up

Overall, performing a background check for personal reasons is straightforward and can be done anonymously. On the other hand, screenings for employment reasons must comply with the FCRA, which mandates that the candidate must consent to any checks.

Either way, this post has detailed all you need to know about how to do a background check. So, you’ll have no trouble getting access to anyone’s records whenever the need arises.


How Do I Do a Background Check on Someone for Free?

Unfortunately, there’s no totally free background check. You’ll be required to pay before you can get any valuable information.

Alternatively, you can input your target’s name and surname into Google and other social media platforms such as Linkedin, Facebook, and Instagram to get some information for free.

How Do I Do a Background Check on Myself?

You can do a background check on yourself by inputting your name into a screening website. It’ll generate a list of individuals with your name. Click on your profile and go through the report.

Can You Do a Background Check on Someone Without Their Permission?

Yes, you can do a background check on someone without their permission if you’re conducting it for personal reasons. For example, when you need to know more about your new date.

However, if you’re doing it for employment purposes, you must get their written and signed consent before proceeding.

Can Anyone Perform a Background Check?

Yes, anyone can perform a background check for personal or professional purposes as long as they’re at least 18 years old.

However, employers can’t perform a background check without the candidate’s consent as they’re bound by the FCRA.

Read the rest of this article for more info on how to do a background check.

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