Top Reasons Employers
Conduct Background Checks
Background checks help you build a team you can trust, while also mitigating risk and protecting your company’s reputation. Using pre-employment background screening during your hiring process helps you:
- Make fair, informed decisions and hire qualified candidates
- Maintain a safe work environment and protect company assets
- Protect your organization against liability claims
- Comply with federal, state, local, and industry regulations
Simpler Background Checks. Trusted Results
Building a great team starts with a trusted partner that delivers the easiest end-to-end pre-employment background check workflow in the industry.
- Automated Workflows
GoodHire takes you step-by-step through an intuitive, paperless workflow
- Simple To Understand
Hire faster with easy-to-review results and clear record details
- Worry-Free Results
Advanced data engineering and industry-leading data sources deliver reliable results with a dispute rate of <0.1%
Employment Screening For Every Size Business In One Easy-To-Use Platform
GoodHire is easily configurable to fit the way your company recruits. Whether you’re a large company managing screening for multiple locations, or a small business needing to run a background check occasionally, we’ve got you covered.
Add checks to your workflow with pre-built integrations to leading ATS platforms.
Manage recruiting complexities across multiple locations, departments, divisions and/or clients with central control and consistent processes.
Choose from pre-built packages to save time, or design custom packages to fit specific needs.
Customers Love GoodHire. But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It.
The convenience of having all our different pre-employment services in one place just makes things so much easier. It cuts down quite a bit of time for our Human Resources Managers.
There’s flexibility there. It wasn’t like, ‘this is our program, like it or not.’ If we wanted to adjust something, we could ask the GoodHire team to throw some engineering at it and update it the way we wanted it
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Employment Background Check Laws By State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
What is a background check?
A background check is a process a person or company uses to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other past activities in order to confirm their validity and make informed decisions. Whether you’re applying for a job, looking for a new apartment, or purchasing a firearm, you may have to undergo a background check.
GoodHire is an accredited professional background screener and FCRA-compliant consumer reporting agency (CRA) offering background checks for employment—employers use our screening services to make informed hiring and employment decisions about job candidates and employees.
How do background checks work?
Background checks start with verification of an individual’s identity based on the information they provide, including date of birth and Social Security number. Then searches are conducted using a variety of public databases and court records depending on the type of information sought.
In addition to database checks, some searches will require specialists to manually contact employers and other organizations, such as educational institutions. To ensure maximum possible accuracy, GoodHire’s team of specialists manually reviews results with alerts, providing extra assurance that employers are making decisions based on accurate, legally reportable data.
GoodHire’s process is customer- and candidate-friendly. It uses a user-friendly digital and mobile-optimized process that includes candidate consent, ongoing updates and easy access to information for both employers and candidates.
With GoodHire, both employers (HR teams, hiring managers, recruiters) and candidates receive status updates and full copies of results. A user-friendly dashboard makes it easy to review and understand results so employers and hiring managers can make informed decisions. Candidates also have the ability to dispute any inaccurate information and to append additional information to the results to provide context or explanation.
What can be revealed in a background check?
A background check service can reveal a wide range of information about an employee’s past relative to their work history, education, criminal history and more. Since there are many different types of checks available, employers will choose which checks to run based on the positions they’re hiring for and the type of information that’s important for them to make an informed choice.
- Employment verification to determine whether the employee actually held the jobs they indicated.
- Education verification to ensure the employee received a degree or credentials related to the job they applied for.
- Criminal history background checks to see if there is anything in the applicant’s history, including felony or misdemeanor convictions, that might indicate a risk to the employer, its other employees or customers.
Background screening may also be used to check an applicant’s credit history; determine whether they hold certain professional licenses required for the job; test for illicit drug use, etc.
Which compliance laws should I know about?
All employers conducting background checks need to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), follow Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance, and adhere to state and local ban-the-box laws, where applicable.
The FCRA requires employers to receive permission from candidates to conduct a background check in writing. The FCRA also has requirements related to adverse action rules employers must follow if the report reveals information that may negatively impact the hiring decision.
EEOC guidance seeks to prevent employers from conducting background checks in a manner that could deny equal opportunity to job applicants in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, based on protected categories such as age, race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity, as the Supreme Court recently ruled), religion, and disability.
Ban-the-box laws emerged in 1998. Hawaii was the first state to pass a law prohibiting the practice of employers asking job applicants about their criminal history information until after a conditional offer is made. Since then, a number of other states have followed, with a focus on removing barriers that make it difficult for people with criminal records to get jobs.
Compliance laws vary by state; it’s important to be aware of the laws that impact your company based both on its locations and where employees live. GoodHire eases the burden of compliance by automating many compliance workflows, saving you time and giving you confidence that nothing will be missed.
What are the safest and least safe cities in America?
Employment background checks are a key part of the hiring process and an important step in building a team you can trust. Background checks often include a criminal records check, which may reveal a candidate’s criminal history and can help you make an informed hiring decision. In some industries, a criminal background check is required by federal or state regulations, such as education, child care, and healthcare. Background checks may also help maintain a safe work environment for your employees, customers, vendors, and management team.
Depending on the area in which an organization is hiring, a criminal background check may become even more important. Certain cities are home to more crime than others and some by a wide margin. A criminal records check for applicants in these areas might have a higher likelihood of revealing violent crime records, property crime records, sex offender registries, and much more.
To help businesses understand their importance and to reveal the cities where criminal background checks might be more useful to business owners, GoodHire analyzed the 100 largest cities by population size to uncover the safest and least safe cities in America.
To do so, GoodHire reviewed FBI Crime Data — property, violent, and society crime — and ranked each city by its rate of offenses per 1,000 people for each of the three offense types. GoodHire then assigned a total rank that weighted crimes against persons and crimes against property at 40% and crimes against society at 20%.
The final safety score is a weighted sum of the ranks for the three offense types. The safest city in America receives the lowest safety score (up to 100) and the least safe city receives the highest safety score (up to 100).
Now, let’s get into the key findings to learn more about the safest and least safe cities in America.
The safest cities in America
Above you’ll see that Cary, NC is the big winner, with the best safety score — 1.2 out of 100 — among all US cities. McKinney, TX, St. Paul, MN, Frisco, TX, and Sterling Heights, MI round out the top five safest cities in America.
Joining the top five group as some of the safer cities in the country are three more Texas cities — Pearland, El Paso, and Laredo — while Surprise, AZ, and Alexandria, VA, just outside the Washington, DC area, also land on the top ten safest cities list.
Overall, Texas proudly boasts eight of the top 20 safest cities overall, while the Midwest region showcases four in the top 20.
When it comes to city population size as it relates to safety, the top ten list includes three large, two midsize, and five small cities.
The least safe cities in America
On the other end of the spectrum, Salt Lake City ranks as the least safe city in America with the worst safety score — 94.8 out of 100. Joining Utah’s capitol city on the top five least safe cities list are Springfield, MO, Chattanooga, TN, Memphis, TN, and Little Rock, AR.
Rounding out the top ten least safe cities in the country are Akron, OH, Cleveland, OH, New Haven, CT, Lubbock, TX, and Detroit, MI.
This list is populated by an array of different-sized cities, including three large, five midsize, and two small cities.
The safest large, midsize, and small cities in America
When broken down into population tiers — large, midsize, and small — you’ll see a wide array of cities from different parts of the country making up the top ten lists.
Starting with large cities, Texas shines once again with three of the top four safest large cities — El Paso, Laredo, and Plano — all trailing the safest large city which is St. Paul, MN.
Within the midsize cities list, Texas again leads with the top two — McKinney and Frisco — along with the sixth and eighth-ranked cities in Grand Prairie and Garland. Overland Park, KS, Madison, WI, and Gilbert, AZ also join the top five for midsize cities.
The safest small cities in America are situated across the country. Cary, NC, the overall winner, leads this group and is followed by Sterling Heights, MI, Pearland, TX, Surprise, AZ, and Alexandria, VA, all of which are represented in the overall top five as well.
Finally, let’s take a look at the full rundown of all US cities and how they stack up in terms of safety. Businesses can use this list to monitor potential criminal activity during the employment hiring and employment process.
The full list of the safest and least safe cities in America
|City||Violent crime |
|3||St. Paul, MN||4||6||13||6.6|
|5||Sterling Heights, MI||14||4||1||7.4|
|9||El Paso, TX||18||8||37||17.8|
|12||Overland Park, KS||16||26||24||21.6|
|13||Virginia Beach, VA||15||13||57||22.6|
|16||Grand Prairie, TX||9||18||72||25.2|
|25||Fort Worth, TX||35||33||19||31.0|
|34||Cedar Rapids, IA||21||55||59||42.2|
|35||Colorado Springs, CO||24||64||41||43.4|
|37||Grand Rapids, MI||73||22||29||43.8|
|46||Athens-Clarke County, GA||72||35||33||49.4|
|55||Oklahoma City, OK||40||76||36||53.6|
|62||Sioux Falls, SD||57||48||71||56.2|
|69||Newport News, VA||76||30||98||62.0|
|71||West Valley, UT||51||59||95||63.0|
|73||Des Moines, IA||74||72||39||66.2|
|75||Kansas City, MO||84||74||17||66.6|
|78||Corpus Christi, TX||79||61||74||70.8|
|93||New Haven, CT||92||79||89||86.2|
|96||Little Rock, AR||99||98||63||91.4|
|100||Salt Lake City, UT||90||100||94||94.8|
For more information on GoodHire’s research or to request graphics from this study, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To rank America’s safest cities, GoodHire analyzed FBI Crime Data using the National Incident-Based Reporting System Tables for the 100 largest cities available by population size. The data was analyzed based on property crime, violent crime, and society crime. Each city was ranked by its rate of offenses per 1,000 people for each of the three offense types and was then assigned a total rank which weighted crimes against persons and property at 40% and crimes against society at 20%. The final safety score is a weighted sum of the ranks for the three offense types resulting in the safest city in America receiving the lowest safety score between 1 and 100 and the most unsafe city in America receiving the highest safety score between 1 and 100.
The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. We advise you to consult your own counsel if you have legal questions related to your specific practices and compliance with applicable laws.