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What Types of Background Checks Do You Need?

You know you should do background checks on your new hires, but you’re not sure it’s worth the trouble.

After all, you’re a pretty good judge of character, and most people are honest anyway — aren’t they?

Unfortunately, the evidence suggests otherwise.

Did you know 85% of employers have found lies on candidates’ resumes? Here are some of the most common resume fibs

  • Candidates making up jobs they never even held 
  • Lies about academic degrees
  • Exaggerating employment dates to show more experience than they actually have 

On top of that, suppose a new hire gets caught sexually harassing a colleague, or some other misconduct. If you failed to perform a background check, an injured party could sue for negligent hiring, with potentially devastating consequences.

The bottom line is that employee background checks are just plain common sense. And because every job is unique, one size doesn’t necessarily fit all when it comes to background searches. An experienced professional investigator will know how to gather the specific information required for the job in question.

General Employment Background Checks

For most jobs, it’s a good idea to verify the identify of the candidate and gather information on any legal matters they have been involved in.

  • A public records search of every location where the candidate has lived
  • A Social Security check to verify that the person is who they say they are
  • State criminal court records including felonies, misdemeanors and county-level offenses
  • Civil court records including liens, bankruptcies, judgments, marriages or divorces 
  • Federal court records on mail/wire fraud, counterfeiting, child pornography or drug trafficking 
  • A license search including professional licenses, driver’s license, concealed weapons permit, Federal Firearms and Explosives license, FAA pilot license, hunting and fishing license, DEA controlled substance license and voter registration 

Jobs that Involve Money

If the new employee will be handling money, you better do a credit report, in addition to a criminal record check. 

That includes any job with access to company assets, confidential information or the power to make financial decisions. You need evidence that the person is trustworthy and has no motive to steal or lie about money.

  • While investigative companies cannot pull credit reports, you may obtain one if you get written permission from applicants and employees. 
  • All credit searches must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • You will not see the candidate’s credit score, but the report may contain other useful information like payment history, civil judgments, bankruptcies, tax liens, recent credit inquiries and unpaid bills in collections. 

A professional investigator can uncover additional information to go along with a credit report. 

  • Known and hidden assets, such as vehicle, watercraft, aircraft and other property 
  • Companies the candidate has been affiliated with through a business entity and corporate records investigation

Working with Vulnerable Populations

Organizations that work with children and other vulnerable individuals must ensure client safety. In many states, background checks are mandated by law for all employees in these industries.

Child Care and Education 

Background checks are required for any job that allows unsupervised access to children. That includes teachers, child care workers, bus drivers, janitors, kitchen staff and administrative staff. 

Mandated background checks may apply to private child care centers, home-based daycare providers, faith-based child care services and school-based facilities. Educational institutions, from kindergarten all the way up to colleges and universities, must also carefully screen all employees. 

Information required includes a search of state criminal and sex offender registries, child abuse and neglect cases, FBI fingerprints, National Crime Information Center and the National Sex Offender Registry.


Healthcare workers can literally make the difference between life and death for the patients they serve. They also have direct contact with many vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly and people with serious illnesses and disabilities. 

Background checks are necessary for anyone working in a hospital, doctor’s office, rehabilitation center or nursing facility. That includes doctors, nurses, medical assistants, administrators and all other employees.

Information needed includes criminal and sex offender screenings, along with academic and medical licensing verification. 

Positions that Require Driving

Many jobs require driving as part of an employee’s duties. These include semi truck drivers, delivery personnel, real estate agents and sales representatives. 

For these jobs you’ll need to verify that the candidate has a valid driver’s license. A driving records search will reveal additional valuable information: 

  • Driving restrictions
  • Issue/Expiration dates
  • Motorcycle code
  • License type, such as commercial
  • License number
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • DUI offenses
  • Speeding tickets

Upper Management Roles

If you’re looking for a new CEO or other leadership role, the future of your entire organization is at stake. In this case, you’ll need a comprehensive background check that includes everything listed above and more. 

  • Verify the candidate’s professional and educational background. Make sure they actually have all of the certifications, degrees and years of experience they claim to have.
  • Check on personal references, including those not provided by the candidate. You want input from those who have not been coached to provide a glowing review ahead of time.
  • Your CEO or company spokesperson will be the face of the company when dealing with the public. A media records search may include a review of all social media accounts, along with published news stories about the candidate. This makes sure they’re bringing a favorable reputation with them before they join your organization.

Do you have questions about background checks for your business? Contact Robert Cirtin Investigations LLC. With over 20 years of professional investigative experience, we will find the information you need to have confidence in your next hire.

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