What Background Checks Do Employers Do?

What Background Checks Do Employers Do?

In the current fast-paced and litigious business environment, the significance of making informed hiring decisions cannot be overstated. Employers are increasingly relying on background checks to acquire accurate and actionable information for these decisions​​. Understanding What Background Checks Do Employers Do provides insights into the hiring process and what to expect.

Types of Background Checks Used by Employers

  1. Criminal History Checks: These are the most common checks, often covering a specified period, such as 10, 7, 3, or 1-year histories. They may include checks in various jurisdictions where the applicant has lived, worked, or studied​​.
  2. Employment and Education Verifications: These checks verify the accuracy of an applicant’s work history and educational qualifications.
  3. Credit History Checks: Used particularly for positions that involve financial responsibilities.
  4. Drug Testing: Employers may require drug testing as part of the pre-employment screening process.
  5. Social Media and Internet Searches: While not as formal as other checks, some employers review candidates’ social media profiles. However, employers must be cautious to avoid discrimination and privacy issues​​.

Challenges in Background Checks

  • No Nationwide Database: Contrary to popular belief, there is no centralized “Nationwide Criminal background check.” Many private databases provide historical public records, but they are not all-inclusive and must be verified at the local originating source​​.
  • Inaccuracies in Large Databases: Even reputed sources like the FBI’s Fingerprint Database are incomplete, missing significant information, and thus, not wholly reliable for employment-related checks​​.
  • Turnaround Time: The time it takes to complete background checks can vary significantly, ranging from a few hours to several days, depending on factors like court access, clerk availability, and the depth of the background check required​​.


Employers use a variety of background checks to ensure they make well-informed hiring decisions. Each type of check serves a specific purpose and comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. By understanding these different checks and their complexities, employers can better navigate the screening process to find the best candidates for their organization.

At EDIFY Background Screening, we recognize that each client has unique requirements. We collaborate closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and tailor background check packages to meet the particular requirements of the roles they are trying to fill. Our approach ensures that our clients receive the most relevant and comprehensive background screening services, essential for making confident and informed hiring decisions.

For further information or queries regarding background checks and their application in the hiring process, feel free to contact EDIFY Background Screening at info@edifyscreening.com or call us at 336-283-0237.

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