The Five Different Types of Background Checks Companies Should Conduct Before Hiring a Candidate

More and more, companies have to walk a tightrope when it comes to hiring new employees. A labor market that is virtually at full employment means that finding qualified candidates has never been this difficult. But when a qualified candidate is identified, there is still more work to be done. Leah Machado, the senior director of human resources at Paychex recommends five different background checks that should be conducted for a qualified candidate before that person walks through the door on his or her first day of employment.

  • Reference Checks
  • Work and Education Verification
  • Criminal Records
  • Driver’s License Verification
  • Drug Testing

The timing of the checks is very important. For example, a drug test check can only be requested after a conditional offer has been made, but the offer can be contingent on passing the drug test, Machado said.

Reference checks are very important, especially if a candidate identifies former employers or contacts that he or she does not want you to contact.

When getting a work or education verification check, employers need to be aware of what is and is not required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, candidates need to sign a consent form before a company can obtain a copy of a credit report. Companies also need to be aware of any rules or laws specific to the state in which they operate, Machado said.


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