What Human Resource Managers Need to Know About the HR Background Check Process

To protect their employers, HR managers should be well-versed in the HR background check process.  They should also be familiar with any applicable human resources background check policy

Can HR Share My Background Check? 

Before beginning an HR background check process, make sure you understand the candidate’s privacy rights so that you stay in compliance with FCRA law. Background checks may be shared and discussed, but only with authorized parties, like the hiring manager. See more about this process below.

Authorization Form 

The first step for obtaining a background check is to notify the candidate that you’ll be performing one and obtaining an authorized signature from the candidate to begin. Laws do differ depending on where you work. Because some states require a job offer before HR orders a background check, as you extend an offer, be ready with your background check authorization form. Make the offer contingent on the receipt of a cleared background check.

Order Background Check 

Once the employee form is submitted, human resources should formally order the background check. In large companies, often, the internal staff handles background checks. Still, many large companies find it more cost-effective to hire a third party, professional background check company. Certainly, many medium and small businesses most often rely on the efficiency and expertise of a professional employment service like DataCheck. 

Hiring Manager Notification 

Those who have a hiring manager should inform them of any data the background check turned up. For incomplete information, you may ask an employee for further clarification or confirmation. For any adverse information, such as criminal history, the hiring manager will need to assess the potential risks, legalities, and liabilities of hiring the applicant. He or she will have to evaluate the nature of the crime and time since it was committed. 

Fair Credit Reporting Act 

It is possible to rescind an employment offer based on information from the background check. If you don’t hire someone based on the information reported, you may need to have certain requirements handled by the human resources department or screening service. There are valid reasons for not picking an applicant, but they must align with the rules and regulations that ensure civil rights are fairly granted to every person.

Storing Background Checks 

Keep any approved applicant’s background checks separate from their personnel files. Keep this information for at least five years. Some companies continue to perform regular background checks and store all iterations.   

FCRA compliance form sits on the desk of an HR manager as they review their human resources background check policy.


What Human Resource Managers Should Look For 

Background checks often render a wealth of information. Here are the positive and negative items you should be aware of.  


A key-value background screening delivers the verification of information submitted by the potential employee. Any discrepancies in identity, social security number, date of birth, and prior workplaces should be examined carefully. 


Personal references provided by an applicant attest to their character. Human resources or the screening company may call references listed by an applicant to verify identity and get a bigger picture of their work ethic, honesty, and values. 

Criminal Background Checks

Criminal background checks examine both state and federal records. Arrests, convictions, and probation, within a certain timeframe, should turn up. Those conducting a background check may need to perform multiple searches to find complete criminal history on an applicant. DataCheck has over 20 years of experience performing these more complex searches. 

Even when an applicant is convicted, the nature of the crime is a factor, and not all convictions bar individuals from a proposed position. Time since the conviction remediation is also a factor. Ultimately, human resources use the criminal background to assess whether the applicant poses a risk to the business, employees, or customers.

Financial Background Checks 

Financial aspects of an HR background check process provide additional information about a person’s reliability. Credit scores can make a difference to some employers. Factors like credit lines, highest credit extended, and loan issues reflect how a person manages money day-to-day.

Drug Screening 

Drug screening is a separate feature added on to many background checks and required by some industries. Drug screenings may also test for those that, while legal, are not permitted at the job. For instance, marijuana is legal in certain states but still prohibited from many healthcare and education fields, among others.

Choose DataCheck 

DataCheck enjoys a stellar reputation in the employment screening industry. Our services include sanctions searches, background investigations, drug screening, and many more! All searches are customizable with unique pricing packages available upon request. In today’s business climate, these screening services are essential to protecting the financial and literal safety of your company. Leave us a message on our online form and we will reach out to you. 

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