Background Checks

Background checks provide employers with third party confirmation of a candidate. Learn what a background check is, what the background check process looks like from the employer perspective, what’s background checkable, how they help HR professionals at every level.



Why Conduct Background Checks?

Within professional organizations employers must ensure that each position is identified and the relevant checks are completed for all staff employed in these roles. Making the decision to hire the right person for a professional position in any given industry is an extremely important one for all employers in order to make sure the right person is found for the job. It involves making further required checks other than the standard ones, (such as criminal background checks). Once this information is obtained the prospective employer is then in a clearer position to make a well informed choice.



What Is In A Background Check?

An employee background check is a review of an individual’s employment, criminal, commercial and/or financial records. Numerous employers carry out background checks on job candidates. Some of them carry out checks post hiring an employee.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) restricts what employers are allowed to check, and how or when employers use a third party to do checks. The FCRA set the bar for screening for employment. They define a background check as a consumer report.



How Employers Conduct Background Checks

Prior to an employer conducting a background check on an individual, they must give notification in a written form and obtain your authorization which must be written also. Albeit, if the employer is simply carrying out inquiries on their own (rather than using a third party), legally, they do not have to ask you for your consent. For instance, an employer does not have to get consent to call an individual’s former employer. The only time they must notify a person is if they use third-party employment screening company.

If, for instance, an employer decides not to hire due to a consumer report, or decides to rescind a job they offer, the employer must give the individual a “pre-adverse action disclosure.” Inclusive of this disclosure is a copy of the consumer report as well as an explanation of your rights.

An “adverse action notice” must then be given. This should state that they have decided not to hire the individual and to let them know the contact information for the employment screening company they utilized.

It goes without saying that different industries require different background checks. Below are some listed examples.



Financial Services

This is a highly regulated industry whereby employers must carry out a thorough and complete background check which includes professional license verification, checking a government sanction list for any exclusions, and records of civil judgments. In addition, live scan fingerprinting is needed for licensing purposes. This would reveal if a consumer has previously been arrested for any criminal activity as an adult. This would also be revealed if a traditional background check is carried out. The responsibilities and sensitivity of the roles given to employees working in these particular industries also gives rise to the need of carrying out any industry related background checks for example consumer credit reports which may identify any red flags of a financial nature.




Patient safety and maintaining confidential health records compliance is paramount for healthcare organizations. It is vital that such organizations understand the importance of industry specific searches like the HHS-Health and Human Services excluded parties list, where individuals who are barred from participation in federal and state Medicare or Medicaid programs will show up and be highlighted. Also, licenses and credentials the employee has claimed can be verified and validated together with any disciplinary action for an up to date current status.

It must also be understood by healthcare providers that live scan fingerprinting is another requirement for state licensing. Occupational tests such as TB testing and physical checks should also be part of the background industry related checks due to the type of job they are carrying out.  




By using your business footprint you can set your business apart from other organizations to lower the associated risks with providing temporary staff. You could be either a small recruiting firm or a large staffing firm, whichever, both your reputations are reflected by the kind of personnel you are providing.

All staffing firms must make sure they are using a compliant and credible vendor to carry out the required background checks which has the capability of being able to screen multiple industries to provide results which do not compromise the quality of all background checks completed. It is the duty of staffing firms to provide to their clients a competent and viable workforce which is tailored to the needs of the employer.




Carrying out screening gives knowledge and this knowledge is power. All educational institutions have a duty to their students, faculty and staff to provide a workplace that is safe and where only qualified employees are hired. Screen checks should be carried out including the  verification of all employment and degrees, together with checking civil records to indicate if an applicant has a tendency to sue any previous employers or consumers. It is vital to carry out credential checks to ensure that the faculty and/or its staff members are the most qualified.


What Employers Can Check

A background check can range from a straightforward verification of a person’s social security number to a much deeper check into someone’s past. Information that an employer may check may include; history of work, driving records, credit, vehicle registration, criminal records, court records, bankruptcy, compensation, medical records, property ownership, refernces, miltary records, drug test results and sex offender information. Employers can also carry out a character check, which may consist of speaking with a person’s personal acquaintances, for instance, neighbors and friends.

Generally, the checks will be relatable to the job. For instance, if a person is hired to work in a bank, it may be necessary for the employer to check if such individual has record of theft or embezzlement. Extensiveness of background checks is dependent on the employer, company as well as the job involved. For instance, if a person is applying for a government job with a security clearance that is high, that person is likely to undergo a very thorough background check.


Newton Background Check Software for Hiring

Newton’s integrations with leading background screening partners shifts collection of sensitive data from your company and moves the responsibility to the experts. With Newton’s Background Check Integrations, Recruiters can eliminate unnecessary paperwork and track the entire process from one centralized location. HR Directors and Executives can shift the collection of sensitive data to the experts to ensure compliance while also promoting consistency across their team and candidates.



Newton, For Background Checks and So Much More…

Newton’s background check software helps employers to never collect a release form or handle sensitive data in their email again. As well as offering employers an all in one location to track the entire process of background checks from a single centralized location and the helping of the shift of such sensitive data involved in the checks to the experts, Newton offers so much more. Newton allows you to broadcast your jobs with one click, accept job applicants online through a branded careers page, and build trust by providing an ideal candidate experience with personalized automated emails.

Newton helps employers drive the decisions that drive hiring, schedule interviews, and collect feedback from your team all from intuitive dashboards that give you visibility and control across the entire hiring process. With Newton employers can perform background checks, as mentioned above, approve, create, and send offer letters, automate the collection of tax forms, company documents, and more. Glean key insights along the way with powerful reporting.