The Importance of an Individual Background Check

A background check is an important step when looking for a job or searching for a rental property. Employers and landlords must comply with strict laws while vetting their employees or tenants.


A personal background check can uncover information you might not know about a person, such as their criminal records or educational history. It can also verify a candidate’s identity, including address history and a Social Security number trace search.

Verification of Identity

Verification of identity is the process of confirming that an individual is who they say they are. Identity verification is important for many purposes, including verifying a person’s identity before they open an account with a bank or are hired by an employer. It’s also used in e-commerce, online forums and social media to verify that users are not spoofing their identities or engaging in other illegal activity.

Background checks are often dependent on a candidate providing accurate data such as date of birth and full name. Intentional or accidental errors in this data can lead to inaccurate background check results. This is why many of the best background check companies provide identity verification services. This can be done through a combination of public and proprietary private databases. In some cases, specialist investigators may manually contact employers and other organizations such as educational institutions to obtain further information about a candidate’s identity.

GoodHire provides a fully digital and mobile-optimized identity verification process that meets all of the requirements set forth by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). All candidates receive written notice that their background check will include a credit report and are provided with an opportunity to review their results and ask questions. They are also given a direct phone number to our team of specialists for any additional assistance they might need.

Verification of Employment History

An employment verification is a key step in ensuring the accuracy of information on job applicant resumes. During the process, past employers are contacted to confirm the start and end dates of an applicant’s employment, the position and title held, as well as any applicable salary history. While human resources teams typically conduct this step, many companies also hire third-party consumer reporting agencies to streamline the process.

Often, an employment verification is conducted prior to offering a new hire a contract or permanent position. Alternatively, it may be conducted as part of an overall background check process that includes a criminal record search, education verification, driving record (MVR) check, credit history and employment history verification.

The employment verification process is a highly effective way to ensure that job applicants have the experience and skills they’ve claimed on their resumes and interviews. It can help to mitigate the risk of false credentials or fraud and can save time and money for both employers and candidates alike.

However, it’s important to note that federal and state laws restrict what types of information can be shared by a past employer during an employment verification. For this reason, it’s crucial to review these laws and only request legally authorized information from a candidate’s past employers. Using a third-party verification agency like Checkr can make this process easier for both parties.

Verification of Education History

During the hiring process, employers are interested in ensuring that their candidates are truthful when it comes to educational and employment credentials. Unfortunately, many applicants lie about these areas in order to gain a job. An education verification search helps employers confirm that an applicant did indeed attend a high school, college or university and obtained listed degrees, diplomas or certifications. Uncovering inconsistencies during this process allows you to identify dishonesty, eliminate unqualified applicants and improve your hiring decisions.

Some jobs require a certain level of professional certification or license, particularly those working with patients, children and financial information. A credit check can reveal a person’s ability to pay bills and track their finances, which is critical in the accounting department or any position that deals with money. A search will uncover tax liens, civil judgments, payment history and unpaid bills (collections) and can be a useful predictor of an employee’s honesty.

The types of searches that may be conducted during an individual background check will vary depending on the position for which a candidate is applying and the requirements set by local, state and federal laws. For example, an identity verification search can include an address history, a Social Security number trace or a reverse phone lookup, while a motor vehicle report can return criminal records from the past 7 years.

Verification of Criminal Record

A criminal record check will reveal any arrests or convictions that a candidate has. The primary concern of employers is with felony and misdemeanor convictions. These checks will typically report the conviction dates and the conviction status (whether a conviction has been dismissed or expunged).

Most states have their own rules for releasing case information to the public. Justifacts only searches states that have these types of records available and will match any found case information to a minimum of two identifiers to ensure that the case details are accurately connected to an individual.

It’s possible that a criminal background check may also include civil judgments or civil records that have not been filed, if the applicant has successfully petitioned for them to be sealed or expunged. It is important to remember that while employers are legally permitted to ask for and run a criminal background check on an applicant, they can’t discriminate based on the results.

Conducting a thorough background check before hiring a new employee is the best way to avoid making a bad hire. A bad hire can cost a business in wasted resources, damage to the company’s reputation and lower morale among employees. By using an individual background check to verify an applicant’s identity, employment and education history, as well as their criminal record, you can be confident that you are hiring the right person for the job.