Illustration showing a criminal background check

Screening ServicesCriminal background checks

Criminal Background Checks For Employment

Criminal background checks help you make informed decisions and build a trustworthy team.

trust & safety

Why National Criminal Background Checks Are Important

A comprehensive criminal background check helps you build a team you can trust, while also mitigating risk and protecting your company’s reputation. Using criminal record background checks during your hiring process helps you:

  • Hire qualified candidates
  • Minimize risk and create a safe, secure workplace
  • Safeguard assets, employees, and customers
  • Protect your organization against liability claims
  • Maintain your organization’s reputation and trust within the community
  • Make fair decisions for fair chance hiring
  • Comply with federal, state, local, and industry regulations
  • Follow company hiring policies
Illustration showing an employer reviewing a criminal background check


is the standard scope, but older records are reported if they
are readily accessible and legally reportable.


What You’ll Learn From Criminal
Background Checks

Criminal Background Checks help you make an informed decision about your candidate and assess any risks associated with bringing someone with a criminal record onboard. Searching national, federal, state, and county databases can reveal a candidate’s criminal history, including any:

  • Felony criminal convictions, including murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, theft (values larger than $500), and aggravated assault
  • Misdemeanor criminal convictions, such as vandalism, trespassing, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, prostitution, and theft (values less than $500)
  • Pending criminal cases

Criminal background checks may also report history of incarceration as an adult, arrests pending prosecution, active warrants, and infractions.

Illustration of a candidates criminal record check

search options

Types Of Criminal Background Checks

GoodHire offers several types of national criminal background checks. Our intelligent technology platform links candidate records using aliases, Department of Corrections records, dates of birth, and other identifiers to create more complete profiles. This approach enables us to deliver more accurate and comprehensive candidate results. The following table shows the criminal records searches we offer, what they’re best used for, and different search options.

Nationwide Criminal Databases Records Search*


Thousands of jurisdictions for state and local crimes.


Identify criminal jurisdictions. Good first step.


Add aliases used.
Monthly Ongoing Alerts.*

* Ongoing Alerts: For extra reassurance, GoodHire offers monthly continuous monitoring through the Nationwide Criminal Databases Search so you can be alerted to relevant changes in your employees’ records and stay informed.

Federal Criminal Court Records Search


U.S. district and appellate courts for federal crimes.


Financial or sensitive information handling jobs.


Add aliases used.

County Criminal Court Records Search


County courts for cases with their charge, disposition and sentence.


Most comprehensive, accurate check.


7 or 10 year history.
Select which counties to search. Add aliases used.

Statewide Criminal Records Search


State courts, police & law enforcement records.


Complements county searches. Required by some industries.


Add aliases used.
Select which states to search.

Sex Offender Registry Searches


Multi-state registry.


Especially when working with vulnerable populations.


Add aliases used.

Watch List Search


Domestic (and international) government sanctions and watch lists.


Public sector, security, sensitive information positions.


Domestic or Global.

International Criminal Records Search


Records in any of 223 countries.


US workers with foreign backgrounds.


Country lived or worked.

RCMP Criminal Records Check
(Contact Sales)


RCMP’s Canadian Police Information Centre


Canadian residents.


Verifies accuracy of disclosed convictions.


What You Need To Know When
Reviewing Criminal Search Results

Employers using a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA), like GoodHire, to run national criminal background checks to assess candidates during the hiring process have important responsibilities to ensure a fair and respectful process for the candidate, and to comply with various laws and regulations that govern employment screening. Find out how GoodHire’s built-in tools and workflows help you stay compliant.

Federal Fair Credit
Reporting Act (FCRA)

When the results of a criminal records search prompts a decision to deny employment, the FCRA requires employers to follow specific adverse action steps.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) & Title VII

The EEOC offers recommended guidelines to conduct individualized assessments so employers can make fair, informed decisions.

Ban The Box & Fair Hiring Laws

A patchwork of state, county, and city laws move the criminal history inquiry until later in the hiring process. These laws may apply based on both the employers’ and candidates’ locations. Further, some local laws may also have specific requirements for the adverse action process.

Your Organization’s Hiring Policy

If your business is conducting background checks, your hiring and screening policies should be consistent and compliant to prevent discrimination and avoid litigation and enforcement from federal agencies.

types of searches

Common Types Of Criminal Record Searches

Nationwide Criminal
Databases Search

Searches 850 million records from thousands of jurisdictions nationwide to report crimes prosecuted in state and local courts, including Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of Courts and state, county and township courts.

Federal Criminal Court Search

Searches the U.S. Federal Government’s PACER criminal record system, a national index for U.S. district, and appellate courts, to report crimes that are prosecuted under federal criminal law in federal courts such as tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement, identity theft, interstate trafficking, and kidnapping.

County Criminal Court Search

Searches county courthouses to find any convictions and pending cases including DUI, DWI, assault, theft and burglary. Searches are available for all 3,200 county courthouses in all 50 states. Since many counties have not digitized their court records, professional court runners search these county court records.

Statewide Criminal Records Search

Searches state level criminal records from sources including State Judicial Court System, State Police, State Department of Law Enforcement, Administrative Office of the Courts for infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Since some states don’t include complete county history, county-specific searches are recommended to ensure thorough results.

Sex Offender Registry Search

Searches registries across all states to uncover where a candidate may be currently registered as a sex offender.

Domestic Watch List Search

Searches U.S. government sanction and watch lists, including the FBI’s Most Wanted and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Learn about our sources.

Global Watch List Search

Searches international sanction and watch lists, including INTERPOL Most Wanted list and the European Union terrorism list. Learn about our sources.

International Criminal Records Search

Searches a foreign country’s criminal records for candidates with international backgrounds who are working in the U.S. Each of 223 countries has its own application checklist detailing required information, forms and turnaround times.

Using criminal background checks
during your hiring process is
a smart move.