Background Check Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A background check can be nerve wracking.
We’re here to help.

General Questions

Learn more by visiting the Help Center.

What information does GoodHire collect to run my background check ?

GoodHire collects different information depending on the type of background check ordered.

To deliver accurate results and ensure your privacy, we require:
  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential address
  • Social Security number

If the background check includes an employer or education verification, we collect past employer and school details (such as name and phone number).

Why do you need my Social Security number?

Your Social Security number helps us return accurate background check results. First, we check to make sure the number you enter belongs to you. Then, we use it to identify any aliases or name variations associated with that SSN.

Next, we use your SSN to find your most recent addresses and places where you’ve applied for or used credit. For example, if a car rental agency checked your credit when you rented a car, the county where you rented might show up in the list of addresses, even though you never lived there.

All these details help us make sure we return information that’s actually about you, rather than someone with a similar name. Recent addresses are particularly important because they help us identify the counties you’ve lived in or conducted business in. Searching for court records in the counties where you lived returns more accurate and complete information than searches that only check state or national databases.

That’s why we encourage employers to order background checks that include county-level searches (though not all employers do). Likewise, if you’re checking your own background and you think you have a criminal record, we suggest you order a background check that includes a county-level search.

Here’s how we protect your SSN:
  • We make sure that the only GoodHire employees who can see your SSN are those who need it to fulfill background check orders or to resolve customer service issues.
  • We keep a digital record of every time a GoodHire employee accesses someone’s SSN information, so we know who has looked at your SSN, when, and why.
  • We encrypt your SSN to protect it from unauthorized use.
What do I do if I have questions about records on my background check results?

If you have questions, please call our customer support team at 888-906-4284. They’re available weekdays from 8am to 8pm ET.

If your results include errors or inaccurate information, you may be able to get that information corrected or removed. Please see our consumer dispute process for more information.

How long will my background check take?

Depending on the type of background check ordered, turnaround times range from a few hours to a few days. Our basic checks search national criminal databases quickly, and the results are nearly instant.

Searches of county-level records can take longer because not all counties make their records available online. If records aren’t available electronically, we send a professional court runner to the county courthouse to research records in person.

Global Watch List searches can extend the turnaround time. Employer and education verification, which require specialized agents, can take up to five days to complete.

As soon as we know, you’ll know. We update your background check results as we get information and send you an email as soon as all results are in.

Why didn’t my criminal record show up on the background check?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and specific state laws, some offenses can’t legally be shown in background check results. This includes, but is not limited to, arrests older than seven years. GoodHire only displays records that match the appropriate legal criteria.

If you purchased your own background check, you may want to order a 7-Year County Criminal Court Search to broaden your search for the record. If the county where your offense occurred isn’t yet digitized, we’ll send one of our professional court runners to the courthouse to search for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

What do I do if I find mistakes in my background check?

If your results include errors or inaccurate information, you may be able to get that information corrected or removed. Please see our consumer dispute process for more information.

What if an employer decides not to hire me as a result of seeing my background check?

If an employer decides not to hire you as a result of your background check, you have rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Click here to learn more.

Employer Run Background Checks

How do I enter my information to start my background check?

Your prospective employer may ask you for the information they need to start a background check. But many employers ask us to collect the information and start the process. If they do, we’ll send you an email that includes a link to a secure site where you can fill out your personal information online. Our website easily guides you through all the steps.

If you expected an email and haven’t yet received it, check your spam folder. If it’s not there, contact customer support for additional help.

What information will my background check return?

Background checks can return information about employment and education history, professional license status, and criminal records.

The options your prospective employer selects determine the kind of information we check. Laws that govern background checks use the salary of the position you’re applying for, a time period (such as seven years), and other factors to determine what can and can’t be reported.

Learn more about different types of screenings and results that may be returned.

GoodHire believes that both employers and candidates are part of the background check process. That’s why we automatically send you a copy of your background check results at the same time we send the results to your employer.

Additionally, we follow the guidelines and regulations laid out by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to make background checks fair, transparent, and safe.

All GoodHire background checks include criminal records searches. What we can report to employers depends on FCRA, EEOC and state-level regulations and guidelines. In general, though, criminal convictions will be reported.

GoodHire background check results don’t include arrests that didn’t result in a conviction, in accordance with the EEOC. In some states, GoodHire also can’t include convictions that happened more than seven years ago, in accordance with specific state laws.

Keep in mind that other background check companies may include different information in their background check results.

Does GoodHire compile a complete work history?

A GoodHire Employer Verification confirms previous positions held, employment dates, and title(s). Each verification covers a single employer, so the number of employers checked depends on the number of verifications your prospective employer has ordered.

Personal Background Checks

Can I run a background check on myself?

Absolutely! GoodHire offers a personal background check on yourself that verifies your identity, past records and your resume. GoodHire personal delivers results from the same data sources as GoodHire background checks run by employers, so you know you’re seeing what employers see.

How much does my background check cost?

Your Personal Background Check pricing depends on the types of verifications and records searches you need. See pricing and options.

What background checks do you offer?

GoodHire offers a variety of records searches and verifications. Our results meet strict FCRA guidelines designed to create fairness in hiring. Criminal convictions are always reported, regardless of salary level, unless laws in the state where you live restrict conviction information to the past seven years.

GoodHire doesn’t include arrests that didn’t result in conviction in your background check results. We do this because we believe it reinforces fairness in hiring and to conform to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines. Keep in mind, that other background checking companies may include this information in a background check. Learn more about criminal background checks.

How do I share my results with employers and hiring managers?

To share your GoodHire background check results, simply sign in to your account and click on the “Share My Results ” button in the top right-hand corner of the page. You will be given a custom link  (for example: that you can then share directly with employers.

How can I use my personal link?

We recommend placing your link on your resume in the same way you would a personal website, online profile or portfolio. You can also share your link on job boards and on LinkedIn.

Can my employer see the exact background check I ordered?

If you decide to share your background check results with an employer, they will see the same results that you see. Employers can run background checks separately, usually during a hiring process. Your employer may choose employer-only options, such as motor vehicle searches, drug screening or employment credit checks. 

Will running my background check affect my credit score?

No, running a background check will not affect your credit score.

If my background check contains inaccurate information should I still share it?

In this situation, we recommend that you correct the inaccuracies  before sharing your background check with an employer. Please see our consumer dispute process for more information on correcting inaccuracies.

Does a background check only use information from the United States?

Yes. GoodHire background checks search US-based public records.


The resources provided here are for educational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have questions regarding your background check or a particular record we advise you consult legal counsel.

Get your personal background check and take control of your story by adding context, correcting inaccuracies, and sharing your results your way.