What Is A Good Background Check?

What Is A Good Background Check?

Best practices, the basics, legalities, and modifying a background check to your needs.

absolute background search what is a good background check

Trust and safety is paramount in the workplace and conducting a thorough background check has become increasingly important. Whether it’s for employment screening, tenant verification, or simply proper due diligence, a good background check can show vital information about an individual’s history.

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all background check. Each search should be tailored to fit your company needs, and the needs of the role you are hiring for. We’ll explain our essential components of a “good” background check so that you can better make an informed decision on who to hire.

The Basics of a Background Check

Generally speaking, a thorough background check consists of a few basic searches that, together, can paint a better picture of an applicant. These searches include, but are not limited to:

1 – Identity Verification:

  • The first step in any background check is to confirm the applicant’s identity. This can include verifying their full name, date of birth, and social security number. This process establishes a foundation of accurate data for further investigations. Reliable sources for identity verification include official documents like government-issued IDs, passports, and verified databases.

2 – Criminal Record Check:

  • One crucial aspect of any background check is assessing an individual’s criminal history. This typically involves searching national, state, and local criminal databases to uncover any past convictions or pending charges. Access to reliable criminal record databases, such as law enforcement agencies or commercial providers, ensures accurate and up-to-date information.

3 – Employment and Education Verification:

  • Confirming an applicant’s employment and education history is essential for assessing their qualifications and integrity. Contacting previous employers and education institutions helps to verify the accuracy of information provided by the candidate. This step allows you to ensure that the applicant possesses the necessary skills and experience for the position that needs to be filled.

4 – Credit History:

  • A credit history check provides insights into an individual’s financial responsibility and reliability. While primarily used in tenant screening or financial industry applications, it can also be relevant in certain employment contexts. Accessing credit reports from authorized credit bureaus can help determine an individual’s financial stability, debt obligations, and payment history.

5 – Professional Licenses and Certifications:

  • For positions requiring specific qualifications or credentials, verifying an individual’s professional licenses and certifications is crucial. This may include checking with relevant licensing boards or regulatory bodies to confirm the validity of their licenses, as well as assessing any disciplinary actions or sanctions against the individual.

Laws, Rules, and Regulations on A Background Check

There are many rules and regulations surrounding background checks, according to the FTC.

The legalities surrounding background checks play a critical role in shaping their effectiveness and outcomes. Various laws and regulations, such as those governing privacy, equal opportunity, and data protection, directly impact the process and utilization of background checks. Adhering to these legal requirements ensures fairness, safeguards individuals’ rights, and promotes responsible use of personal information. 

For instance, laws may dictate the types of information that can be considered during a background check, the methods of obtaining consent, and the processes for handling and storing sensitive data. Violating legal obligations can result in legal consequences, poor reputations, and loss of trust as a business. On the other side, strict adherence to the law helps maintain the integrity of background checks, ensuring that they provide accurate and reliable information while respecting the rights and privacy of individuals involved.

Employment Screening Based On Need

We always recommend tailoring background checks to not only the needs of your business, but the needs of the role as well. For instance, if you’re hiring a data entry specialist, you most likely don’t need to include a driving history or conduct a tenant background screening. In this instance, you may ant to stick to the basics like criminal record search and employment verification. 

However, if you’re hiring, say, a doctor, you would certainly want a much more thorough background check to include education history, employment verification, professional license check, criminal records, drug screening, and maybe more. 

In short, there is no universal background check. Each search should be tailored to your needs and the responsibilities of the job, this way you can thoroughly vet each applicant properly without being intrusive or lax while performing due diligence.


A comprehensive background check combines various components to ensure a thorough assessment of an individual’s history. By incorporating our different employment screening searches, you can make informed decisions while minimizing risks. Remember, we always comply with applicable laws and regulations, including data privacy and anti-discrimination laws, during the background check process.

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