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Employment Screening Checklist

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March 15, 2011 Return to News & Events

Employment Screening Checklist for United States Businesses

With a lot of different kinds of background checks available to human resources and employers these days it is worth taking a few minutes to review what you really need.

In the United States most employers have some kind of employment screening program in place to help determine who they offer a position too and who they don’t.

Here is a quick check list of worthy components to any employment screening program:

  1. Employment background check
    1. The term “employment background check” has different meaning across varying areas of the United States.  It sometimes just means a criminal background check or a previous employment verification check.  In this high turnover employment market it is best to perform both criminal background checks and employment verifications.
      • A criminal background check will tell you if the applicant has a criminal conviction record in the area searched while employment verification will confirm an applicant’s previous or current employment status.  Both ensure that information provided on an employment application is indeed true and accurate.
  2. Statewide or National Criminal Background Check
    1. Many businesses these days start their employment screening with either a statewide or national criminal background check in order to cover a state the applicant has lived in their entire life or to comb the entire nation looking for criminal history records.
  3. Social Security Number Validation and Address History Trace
    1. Businesses and landlords are performing SSN validation and address history traces early in the employment or tenant screening process to find out the previous addresses the applicant has lived, and then perform a county criminal background check in those places.
  4. Professional Verification
    1. Employment Verification - verifies an applicant’s previous or current employment, start date, end date, title, salary, reason for leaving, and eligibility for rehire.
    2. Education Verification - verifies an applicant’s school, dates of attendance, and degree or major.
    3. Professional Reference Verification - seeks to obtain a professional reference from a single specified source such as a supervisor.
    4. Credentials Verification / License Check - verifies the authenticity of an applicant’s license (license check), certification or credentials and gives the date issued, expiration date and status with the issuing authority.
  5. Federal Search
    1. The federal search is actually a United States Federal Court Search which checks for felony conviction records from all federal civil, criminal and bankruptcy courts.  Most federal courts provide records from at least the past 7 years.   The federal search IS NOT the same as a national criminal background check, as the federal search only checks the federal court system whereas a national background check pulls records from county and state courts.

In this modern age of electronic information interchange and employment transiency it is a good time to review your businesses employment screening program and compare it to our checklist above.  Your company may not be utilizing some of the background screening tools available like an SSN validation or national criminal background check.  If you are a government agency or bank or a company that deals with taxes or national security you will also want to perform a federal search to look for such federal criminal record offenses of racketeering, tax fraud, counterfeiting of money, drug trafficking, and offenses that cross interstate lines.

With every background check you place with (even if you just place a social security number validation or county criminal check) you will always get a free 50-state sex offender registry check and free America’s most wanted criminal list search with your order.

To become an Employment Screening or Tenant Screening member of please send an email to and a representative will contact you or visit:

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