Background checks growing in importance and scope

Though hiring has slowed during the economic downturn of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are gradually reopening in some places. More than ever, businesses and governments will rely on background checks as an important component of their hiring, promotion and termination processes.

Interest is growing

One example of the heightened interest in background checks is law enforcement. In the wake of civil unrest around the nation in reaction to the death of George Floyd while in police custody, police agencies across the nation have promised to conduct more extensive background checks of job applicants.

As background checks have grown in importance, the scope of information they include has been enlarged. Today’s checks can include more than your employment history, a credit report, criminal record and driving record. Background checks can also include:

  • 7-year address history
  • Maiden and alias name search
  • Sex offender registry reports
  • Education checks
  • E-Verify check (immigration status)
  • Social Security number verification
  • Personal and professional reference checks
  • Professional license/certification credentialing background
  • Fingerprint check
  • Review of social media

Background check errors

As background checks dig deeper into a person’s history, the chances of background check errors grow. When those mistakes show up in a check, it can mean that a qualified job applicant is rejected or that a productive employee is fired or passed over for promotions.

Not only are background checks growing in importance, but accuracy in those checks is also increasingly critical.

Your career, income, reputation and marketability can be significantly damaged – and your life upended – by an inaccurate background check.