What Does a Pre-Employment Background Check Contain?

What a pre-employment background check contains is very much in the eye of the beholder—or, in this case, the eye of the employer.

Several factors will influence what employers decide to include in their pre-employment background checks, such as applicable laws (i.e. federal, state, and local) and the position for which someone is applying.

For example, if someone needs to drive on behalf of the company, the pre-employment screening will likely include an MVR background check. Someone applying for a position that doesn't involve any driving on company time won't need the MVR check.

Bottom line: there isn't, nor should there be, a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to pre-employment background checks. This is why working with a reputable background check provider who takes the time to understand your company's specific hiring goals and employee roles can make all the difference in the world when it comes to putting together the right pre-employment screening packages for your company's needs.

That said, we know many people—especially job applicants—often want an overview of what could show up in a pre-employment background check. This article will highlight some of the common items.

Education and Employment Verifications

Resumes typically include education, employment history, and any relevant licenses and certifications. But taking a job candidate at their word isn't a smart hiring policy since, sadly, studies show that many people do embellish, pad, or even downright lie on their resumes.

[Source: Robert Half]

The goal of education and employment verifications is to corroborate what the job candidate is presenting. Learn more about verifications.

Criminal History Background Checks

When people hear the word "background check," a criminal background check is usually what comes to mind. Does the person have a criminal record? How far back does the criminal background check go? What sorts of crimes are reported? What about arrests?

Because the criminal background check process is equal parts complex and nuanced, we've written a detailed ebook you can download: The Ultimate Guide to Criminal Background Checks. Or if you want the basics, here are two articles to check out:

Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks

Simply put, 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 MVR check provides the employer with insight regarding whether the applicant can be considered a safe and qualified driver. If an employee is going to be driving on behalf of the company, it makes sense to check the person's driving record before handing them the keys.

Learn more about Good Egg's MVR background checks and MVR monitoring.

Social Media Background Checks

On social media, people tend to be unfiltered. In other words, it's possible to get a sense of certain present-day behaviors that you wouldn't see in carefully edited resumes or rehearsed interviews—behaviors that could adversely affect the workplace.

A compliant social media background check will look for content from four critical categories:

  • Racist or intolerant
  • Sexually explicit
  • Potentially illegal
  • Potentially violent

The key word here is "compliant." Social media background checks must be compliant with EEOC, FCRA, and state privacy laws. Learn more about our social media screening and monitoring services.

Drug & Occupational Health Screenings

Again, the items in this article show what an employer might include in its pre-employment background check. Not all employers run drug tests or occupational health screenings on job applicants.

If you're an employer who is considering drug screening, download our Ultimate Guide to Workplace Drug Testing for a comprehensive discussion. And you can read more about Good Egg's drug and health screening services here.

Got questions about pre-employment background checks?
At Good Egg, we're always happy to help!
Get in touch and let's chat.

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Danielle Deutsch

Posted by Danielle Deutsch

Danielle is the Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator at Good Egg & Foley Services. In her spare time you can find her either visiting an aquarium, enjoying a Broadway show or competing in a Crossfit competition.

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