What Kind of Background Check Do Most Employers Use?

| January 4, 2023 | By

The kind of background check you use depends on many factors, including your industry and the types of positions you hire. To achieve your goal of quality background screening for all positions, you must ensure you have the right components in every background check. 

This blog post covers key elements you should include in your background screening program and other considerations to keep in mind when selecting background screening services.

Elements of a Quality Background Check

A recent survey conducted by the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and HR.com revealed that quality and accuracy were the top factors employers consider when choosing a background screening provider. These factors are critical because the “cheapest” or “fastest” background check won’t mean much if the results you receive are inaccurate or incomplete.

Quality background checks that contain the information you need to make well-informed hiring decisions should include the following core elements: 

  • An address history trace (AHT), including all known aliases associated with the applicant’s Social Security number.
  • A county criminal history search for all counties found in the address history trace.
  • A commercial database search, which may identify criminal history in areas outside of an applicant’s residence history. A thorough screening provider will follow up on database “hits” by verifying applicable state and county courthouse records.
  • A search of all real-time sex offender registries.

Another essential component of background screening relates to your actions after each background check. Any time a background check reveals concerning information that could impact your decision to hire an applicant, you’ll need to follow adverse action requirements established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Required steps include providing applicants with specific disclosures and giving them time to present new or updated information before you take any action, such as withdrawing a job offer. Not only is following adverse action requirements a must for all employers that conduct background screening, but it also allows you and the job applicant to fully consider all background information before making a final decision.

Special Considerations for School Districts

School environments are unique in that many individuals support the school and work with children during and after the school day. In addition to teachers, administrators, and custodial staff, you likely also have volunteers who are a mix of retired teachers, parents, and community members.

To protect students and keep them safe, it’s critical to conduct background checks for volunteers, regardless of how long or often they volunteer or how well-known they may be to you, your teachers, or students.

Volunteer background checks should include the following, at minimum:

  • Address and name history trace
  • County court criminal search
  • Criminal database search
  • Sex offender registry search

Depending on volunteer activities, you can add other background screening services, such as drug testing and a motor vehicle records search.

Remember that school volunteer background checks don’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. An online volunteer screening solution allows you to easily select background screening services for your volunteers without any added paperwork. Additionally, you can even offer volunteers the opportunity to contribute to the cost of the background check so you can manage school expenses more effectively. 

Select Quality Background Screening Services

Background checks are valuable for employers of any size and industry. And when you have a steady stream of volunteers, you need to expand your background screening program to include individuals other than job applicants.

Thankfully, when you select a background screening provider with the know-how and technology to help you conduct high-quality background checks, you can easily request background checks and review results for all prospective employees and volunteers. For additional insights, download our free e-book, Best Practices For Screening Volunteers.