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Background Check Consent: 3 Ways to Make Authorization Easier

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The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires written consent from candidates before you run a background check. But getting written consent can be challenging, especially if candidates don’t have access to a printer, fax machine, or computer.

Learn about the three forms of consent GoodHire offers and how they can minimize background screening delays and streamline your hiring process.

To build successful teams, you need to make quick and effective hiring decisions about candidates. Background checks are an important part of the process.

But receiving written consent can be challenging for some employers, especially if candidates don’t have access to a printer, fax machine, or computer to fill out consent forms. A delay in getting consent can slow down the hiring process.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires written consent from candidates before running a background check.When you consider that running background checks involves sensitive information that could affect candidates’ chances of getting a job, it’s easy to understand why. Companies that run background checks without getting consent from candidates can face significant legal trouble.

Before performing a background check or submitting personal information to a consumer reporting agency (CRA) like GoodHire (or any background screening agency), employers must notify the applicant/employee in writing. The notice must explain that the results of the background check will be used for hiring, promotion, or retention purposes.

After disclosing the intent to perform a background check, employers have to get written authorization from applicants/employees acknowledging that the report may be used for employment decisions. If employers plan to screen employees for the duration of the employment period, this must be indicated in the authorization.

Once an employer receives the written consent, information about the applicant/employee may be securely provided to the CRA or screening company.

To help minimize delays and streamline your hiring process, GoodHire now offers three forms of consent that comply with the FCRA.

1. GoodHire E-Consent

E-consent makes the whole process easier for both employers and candidates. Employers simply provide GoodHire with a candidate’s name and email address, and we contact the candidate to electronically sign and confirm their consent to run a pre-employment background check.

We’ve also optimized the e-consent processes for mobile devices. Candidates can electronically sign and verify their consent through their smartphones, making it easier and more accessible for candidates to move through the process quickly.

2. GoodHire Consent Form

GoodHire offers an FCRA-compliant consent form for candidate disclosure, authorization, and consent for the procurement of consumer reports.This form is best used when you have a candidate onsite so you can get their consent right away without waiting for them to sign and send in the consent form. This consent form complies with federal law, but additional state laws may apply based on your location and your applicant’s state of residence.

3. Custom Employer Consent Form

If you prefer to use your own consent form, you can set up custom text. This approach makes the most sense if your company has its own legal department.

To use your own consent form, contact our sales team and provide the form text as a Word document. GoodHire will review the form to determine if it meets our acceptance criteria. If your form meets all requirements, we’ll use your custom consent form for your future background screening.

Getting candidate consent is essential to a compliant background screening process. That’s why GoodHire gives you options. After all, background screening isn’t your full-time job. GoodHire handles consent (and the rest of the process) so it doesn’t have to be.


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.

About the Author


The GoodHire team keeps customers informed about important news relating to background checks and employment screening.

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