What Should Be Included in a Comprehensive Background Check? 12 Oct 2017


Definition of a Comprehensive Background Check: A comprehensive background check provides complete and accurate information about an applicant and a potential employee. It is usually sufficient to make an informed hiring decision. Also, it diminishes the risk of a negligent hire.

For example, you’re researching candidates for an important position. You want to make sure you get the right person to thrive in the role. You conduct numerous rounds of interviews asking the toughest of questions. But, if you skip the fundamental step of getting a professional comprehensive background check, you’re making a critical mistake.

According to a Harris Poll survey, 58 percent of hiring managers say they’ve caught lies on a resume. An even scarier thought is the embellishments that existed but weren’t caught, especially when the claims were necessary to perform a job correctly. The most common fibs found include:

  • Embellished skill set: 57 percent
  • Embellished responsibilities: 55 percent
  • Dates of employment: 42 percent
  • Job title: 34 percent
  • Academic degree: 33 percent
  • Companies worked for: 26 percent
  • Accolades/awards: 18 percent

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to certifying that everything a candidate says is true: a comprehensive background check. However, not all background checks are created equal. If you’re tempted to verify a candidate’s information on a freebie website, you might want to think again. Not only could the information you receive be incorrect, but you might be in violation of state and federal laws. The last thing you want is a lawsuit simply because you were trying to do your due diligence.

With so much on the line, hiring a professional comprehensive background check company is a worthwhile investment. When researching your options, make sure you receive a comprehensive background report that includes all of the following:

Identity in a Comprehensive Background Check

comprehensive background check

Naturally, the first step in a background check is to verify a person is who they say they are. With savvy criminals getting more sophisticated every day, identity theft and employment fraud are a major concern.

A comprehensive background check will use a candidate’s full name, Social Security number and date of birth to begin the verification process. Through a deep dive, you should receive Social Security verification, a list of known aliases and a 10- to 15-year address history.

Finally, due to federal compliance requirements, it’s essential that identity and address verification are done with extreme care. Work with a reputable background check company that understands and follows all current legislation.

Criminal History

Never judge a book by its cover. Even the most charismatic candidates may be hiding dark pasts. You want to know the truth to protect yourself, your clients, your employees, and the future of the business.

A comprehensive background check will go beyond looking for recent, local criminal records. Obviously, you must look further than court cases in just the jurisdiction where a person lives. For example, a high-quality report will include a multi-state criminal records search and a global terrorist search. It will also include research into records on the most-wanted list, sex offender registry and court records at the county, state and federal levels.

Moreover, proper due diligence requires results that are thorough, cross-checked and accurate. This is the absolute best way to verify criminal history so you can make hiring decisions with confidence.


Checking employment history is one of the most important steps in a comprehensive background check

After you verify a candidate’s identity and know they don’t have a criminal record, it’s time to learn if they are really capable of doing the job. The experience section of their resume is the gatehouse for this information.

Verifying experience is essential to ensure you don’t hire someone who is underqualified for the position. If you make this mistake, the best-case scenario is dealing with the embarrassment and cost of rehiring (which can amount to tens of thousands of dollars). At worst, this unqualified employee could make costly mistakes that can add up to millions while ruining the brand’s reputation. Bottom line: The stakes are high.

Cross-checking employment history is one of the most time-consuming steps in a comprehensive background check. A full job history will include employment dates, job titles, reasons for leaving the company, eligibility for rehire, and potentially past salaries. Getting this information can be complicated, as it’s not easily retrieved from a former employer. A professional background check company like Trusted Employees will save you time and provide peace of mind.


Beyond employment history, you want to make sure your applicants have the credentials to match their claims. These credentials include educational degrees, state licenses, and various certifications. Depending on the position you’re hiring for, these may be required by law for the employee to perform the job, or simply be a preference that gives you the confidence the candidate has the necessary training to excel.

A high-quality background report will include education verification services that confirm an employee’s credentials by verifying that a certificate, diploma, or degree was actually conferred, which board or institution issued it, plus the dates of issue and expiration (if applicable).

Credit History

Employee credit history check is part of the comprehensive background check process

Some employers choose to review a candidate’s credit report during the hiring process. This may help gauge trust, particularly for jobs in financial industries or management positions in accounting departments. Employers argue that how a person manages their own money is reflective of how they might manage money on the job.

Whether a simple summary will do or you need a detailed credit history, you can make a professional employee credit history check part of the background check process. Keep in mind this is not an option for all employers depending on their location. There are 11 states as well as some cities (including New York City) that do not allow credit histories to be considered as part of the employment decision process.

Proceed with Caution

Remember, when using information for employment purposes, you must always follow FCRA requirements. You must disclose your intentions with the applicant and get their written consent to run a comprehensive background check before proceeding.

It’s up to you to properly follow laws regarding which information you can search for and what methods are OK for uncovering that information. To remove the likelihood of error, it’s wise to work with a well-established, reputable background verification company like Trusted Employees.

Get all the information you need with the Professional Package. This is the most comprehensive option available to employers who want a thorough peek into a candidate’s past so they can make an educated assessment on future potential working for the company. You also have the ability to customize your report to suit your exact needs. If you need driving records or healthcare sanctions, you’ve got it. The goal is for you to get everything you need to make the best hiring decision possible.