If you have accepted a new job, it is possible that you will have to have a background check completed. These are free background checks, in as such that your employer will have to pay for them. It is standard for these to be completed in a number of different situations.
When Background Checks Are and Are not Required
Generally speaking, new employees will be asked to have both a criminal history and a credit history check completed. Depending on their exact role, these checks may have to be repeated periodically. For instance, someone who works directly with vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly, or the disabled, may need to have a criminal history check completed every year. Someone in the financial industry, for instance, may also have to complete a new credit check regularly.
Overall, however, a background check for employment is a one time only thing. This includes for those who move within the company or who are promoted or demoted. They will already have been background checked when they first took on the position, so they will not have to complete checks again.
Specifically, checks are completed on those:
- Who handle personnel, contractor, or financial records or data.
- Who handle sensitive or confidential information or data.
- Handle credit cards, checks, or cash.
- Provide services to people younger than 18.
- Who have details for secured spaces.
- Who work with toxins recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Other checks are often completed as well. For instance, a prospective employee may have their educational information checked against the records of that school. Similarly, if they have any licenses or certifications, those should also be checked. In some cases, obtaining a certain degree or licenses means that the individual also passed a background check. For instance, someone who studies nursing will usually be required to complete such a check because they will be working with vulnerable people and sensitive information. This does not mean, however, that you don’t need to check their background again.
Which Checks Are Completed?
The exact checks that an employer may want to complete vary. However, the criminal history background check is common. For some positions, this check goes more in-depth. This means that employers will also check the sex and violent registry check. Again, in roles whereby the employee works directly with vulnerable individuals, this is expected and usually checked regularly.
What about Foreign Nationals?
If a foreign national is provided with a job in this country, a criminal background and credit history check will not come up with much information. However, it is now possible to complete similar checks in the country of origin of the individual, but only if their original offer for employment was made after October 24, 2001, when the Patriot Act was implemented. If you do wish to hire a foreign national, then you also add an employment condition that means they provide a background check from their own country. You do have to make sure that the check has been verified and certified, however.