How Do Background Checks Work? Part 2.

Take a Deeper Look at Common Pre-Employment Screenings

Background checks, background checks. Their name gives away their purpose, but how do background checks work exactly?

This post will reveal the "background" of a handful of common pre-employment screenings. Below, we'll uncover the following: 

    How MVR checks work

    How drug testing works

    How employment verifications work

Make sure you check out part one of this article series, where we cover how background checks work in general, how criminal background checks work, and how social media checks work.

Let's dive in!

How do MVR checks work?

An MVR background check is a report of a person's driving history. It includes information, such as license expiration, status, license class, endorsements, restrictions, traffic violations, accidents, vehicular crimes, suspensions—even unpaid parking tickets and, in some states, unpaid child support.

The purpose of an MVR report is straightforward: to provide the employer with insight regarding whether the applicant can be considered a safe driver.

Conducting a pre-employment MVR check makes sense if you have employees driving on behalf of your company. (Certain industries, like DOT-regulated businesses, require MVR checks.)

Most states fall within a 3- to 7-year lookback period (three years is the most common). There's no national database for searching drivers' records—we obtain MVR reports through a state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or its equivalent agency (in Massachusetts, for example, it's called the Registry of Motor Vehicles or RMV).

Want to dig deeper? Download our Ultimate Guide to MVR Background Checks.

How do drug tests work?

Most people are familiar with the basics of how drug testing works, thanks to TV shows and movies. Of course, the nitty-gritty of employment drug testing is much more involved than Hollywood depicts on the big screen.

But here's a basic overview of what the process usually looks like.

The employer orders the drug test for the candidate.
The candidate schedules their drug test at a local collection site.
The candidate goes to their appointment and provides a sample.
The sample is shipped to the lab.
The lab tests the sample.
The Medical Review Officer assesses the results.
The background check company delivers the results securely to the employer. (At Good Egg, we post the results in a secure online portal that clients can access.)

Want to dig deeper? Download our Ultimate Guide to Workplace Drug Testing.

How do employment and education verifications work?

Common verifications include education, employment, and professional licenses. Background check companies have verification teams that investigate and confirm these details (again, with a candidate's permission).

  • Employment. The verifications team will call the employers listed on a candidate's resume and/or job application and confirm things like dates employed and positions held.
  • Education. The verifications team will contact the institutions on the resume and/or job application and confirm enrollment, dates, and the degrees/certifications earned.
  • Professional licenses. The verifications team will confirm that the licenses are real and up to date. (Sadly, people have been known to lie about their licenses.)

As you can imagine, there's a lot of "chasing down" with this sort of work. Reputable background check companies with experience in this area have highly trained teams that know how to get the information they're looking for as quickly and smoothly as possible.

(A sign that you might need to change background check vendors: more and more of the verifications are falling back on your lap. Not acceptable! Good companies can get this work done quickly.)

Want to dig deeper? Read more about why verifications are still an important part of the hiring process.

Have additional questions about how background checks work?

No matter what questions you have or the hiring challenges you're experiencing, we can help! Get in touch and let's chat about your screening needs.

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Mariah Barr

Posted by Mariah Barr

Mariah Barr is the Content Marketing Writer at Good Egg. She's played a few roles in her professional life, but they’ve always involved writing interesting and informative pieces. Outside of work you can find her walking her dog or working on a DIY home improvement project.

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