Employment Background Checks
See how our platform provides simply better employment screening for you and your candidates.
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 & Industry
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
Explore GoodHire’s 100+ Background Checks and Screening Services
Select from our pre-bundled packages, or customize your own.
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
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn More About
Employers use background checks to verify a candidate’s work history, experience, and education, as well as search for any past criminal activity. Conducting employment background checks helps employers make smarter hiring decisions as well as mitigate risk to the organization, its workforce and customers. As an employer, it’s important to ensure your background check process is consistent, legal, and fair. Let’s take a look at some common questions about background checks and how to use them in the hiring process.
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 shows up on a background check?
A background check can reveal a wide range of information about an employee’s past relative to their work history, education, criminal history, credit report, and more. There are many types of checks available, so what shows up on a background check will vary based on the type of searches an employer chooses to conduct. The type of background check is often based on the position and the type of information necessary to make an informed hiring decision.
What does a background check show? Each type of search uncovers somewhat different personal background information. It’s important for both employers and job candidates to understand what kind of information is included in each type of background check, and how that information can be used. Learn more about common background check search results below.
A pre-employment background check often includes a search of a candidate’s criminal history. When conducting a criminal background check, employers can choose to search national, federal, state, and county databases in the United States, as well as sex offender registries and watchlists, to gain insight into a candidate’s criminal history. An FBI background check may also be used to screen candidates for jobs with federal government agencies and companies that work with and for them.
Employers and job candidates alike often have questions about background checks, such as: Do misdemeanors show up on background checks? Do arrests show up on background checks? Let’s take a closer look.
What shows up on a criminal background check? Criminal background checks will reveal felony and misdemeanor criminal convictions, any pending criminal cases, and any history of incarceration as an adult. Arrests pending prosecution may also be reported, and in some cases, arrests that did not lead to a criminal conviction may also appear. Records of juvenile convictions and detention that have been sealed by a court typically do not appear in a criminal background check. Some states also forbid disclosure of criminal convictions after a certain period of time.
Another common question is, do warrants show up on background checks? Open arrest warrants and bench warrants generally do not appear as records in background checks. However, once a warrant has been executed, it becomes part of the candidate’s criminal history, and its existence may be reflected in a criminal background check.
Do background checks show employment history? A pre-employment screening may include an employment verification, also called an employment background check. This search is used to confirm the accuracy of the information provided by a candidate and ensure their skills and experience are sufficient to meet the position’s requirements.
What does an employment background check show? Current or previous employers are contacted directly to verify the candidate’s employment details, including dates of employment (start and end dates) and job title(s).
Sometimes referred to as an education background check, an education verification is used to confirm educational experience at high schools, universities, colleges, and vocational schools. An education verification involves contacting the academic institutions provided by the candidate to verify:
- Dates of attendance
- Type of degree, of certificate, obtained
- Major completion status
- Graduation date
Reviewing a candidate’s driving records and public safety data may be important for positions where employees, volunteers, or contractors will operate a motor vehicle or machinery for business purposes. To maintain safety protocols and minimize risk, employers may conduct a driving record check, also called a MVR report.
This screening searches a state’s department of motor vehicles (or similar entity) and may include the following information:
- Driver’s license status (valid, suspended, expired, etc.)
- Class (commercial driver’s license, operator, etc.)
- Felony and misdemeanor convictions (DUI, DWI)
- Moving violations, suspensions, and restrictions
Employers in regulated industries, such as those with commercial vehicle drivers, may be required to run pre-employment and annual employee MVR reports under regulation by the US Department of Transportation. In some states, safety-sensitive positions such as school bus drivers or ride-hailing services, may also be required to submit to MVR background checks, both prior to employment and annually thereafter.
How to run personal background checks
If you’re interested getting a background check on yourself, you may request and obtain your public records by contacting state and county courthouses. Costs vary by state and municipality, but they can range from a few dollars to more than $25, per record. If you’ve lived in multiple states and jurisdictions, the time and cost of retrieving your public records can quickly add up.
It may be worth using a commercial service to run a self background check, which can help streamline the process and save valuable time.
If you decide to use a commercial service to run a self background check, how do you decide which service to use? Ideally, you’ll want to use a service comparable to the one used by a potential employer or landlord. While it’s virtually impossible to know exactly which screening service a potential employer or landlord will use, it is possible to narrow the field to services that are similar. Here are a couple of guidelines to consider:
- Find a provider that also supplies background checks to employers and landlords. Background screening services that cater only to consumers may not have access to the proprietary resources and specialized databases many employers require, and they won’t show you the same depth of information.
- Eliminate services that do not comply with the U.S. Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Pre-employment and housing screenings in the U.S. must comply with the FCRA, which specifies the nature of the information that can be included in background checks, and defines your rights concerning the use of that information.
When you order a personal background check, you’ll need to provide basic personal information, like your name and Social Security number, in order for the background check provider to quickly and accurately match you with your records. Finding out what shows up on your background check report is a great way to address potential errors that may appear. If you discover and address potential errors before an employer or sees them, you could save yourself from missing out on a great opportunity.
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?
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). View the full report.
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.