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Employment Screening: What Is Included in a Background Check?

August 7, 2017

job interviewThe necessity for businesses and other organizations to conduct employee background checks goes back to the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Employment background checks on job candidates reduce the risk of a bad hire and can even provide liability protection in case something goes wrong during the employment by demonstrating that the organization took reasonable steps to ensure a good hire.

Value of a pre-employment background check

There are things that every employer would be better off knowing before taking an individual on as an employee – things like job history, criminal record, and general honesty in representing personal history and professional qualifications. A professionally-conducted pre-employment screening can provide this information, confirm or deny points on an applicant’s resume, and point out red flags in a way that complies with state and federal laws.

Depending on your organization’s needs and budget, there are several options when it comes to employment screenings:

  • SSN Trace & Address Verification: For American citizens, the social security number is used as a personal identifier in legal, financial, and professional records. Address verification confirms the truthfulness of an applicant’s information and also provides valuable information for criminal records searches.
  • National Criminal Database Search: Separate offices (including courts, departments of corrections, and administrative offices) in thousands of jurisdictions retain electronic records across the country. A national databases search taps into the digital records across jurisdictions to uncover red flags that might not show up in a strictly local search.
  • Domestic Terrorist Watch List Check: Certain industries are prohibited from doing business with individuals listed on federal watch lists of prohibited parties. A watch list search weeds out those applicants who may be deemed dangerous or prohibit compliance with the Patriot Act.
  • 7 Year County Criminal Court Check: Standard criminal checks only bring up those court records that are searchable electronically, leaving many important criminal records undiscovered. This in-person search of paper records covers one jurisdiction to recover any criminal records associated with the applicant’s 7-year address history.
  • Education Verification: Education verification of one institution provides assurance that the applicant attended during the period reported and completed the course of study, earning the degree stated.
  • Employer Verification: Work history is an important consideration in predicting future performance. An employment verification includes confirming previous employment including the dates of tenure as well as title and salary.
  • Motor Vehicle Records Check: Verifying that a candidate has a valid license and clean driving record is crucial for liability purposes if the job duties involve driving.
  • Drug Screening: A urine test is often performed after a conditional offer of employment in order to avoid the trouble associated with hiring someone with an existing drug problem. The 5-panel test screens for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and phencyclidine.
  • Professional License Verification: Like college degrees, professional licenses are sometimes faked. License verification confirms whether an applicant holds a professional license and that it is in good standing.

Background check services in Maryland

Maryland Security Professionals provides employee background check services to organizations in Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. We offer packages of most-requested services, as well as add-ons to create tailored solutions to meet your needs and budget. Call today to speak with one of our security professionals about your needs.

Additional employee background check resources:

  1., Identity History Summary Checks,
  2., Criminal Records,
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