In today’s world, defense is important. Whether you’re dating someone new, interviewing potential employees or thinking around renting your house to a tenant, over there are plenty of reasons to operation a background check on someone.

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There room two means to conduct a elevator check. You deserve to do it yourself using free background inspect tools or you can pay a 3rd party to command the find for you.

You’re more than likely wondering how to operation a cost-free background check, right? That’s among the many things fine cover in this guide. We’ll comment on these issues:

What is a elevator check?What is an employment background check?Why execute employers require background checks?Rules because that conducting an employee elevator checkCan employers yes, really conduct totally free background checks?How to run a free background inspect with DIY toolsWhat need to you look because that in a 3rd party company?What red flags need to an employee look for?

Let’s get started.

What is a elevator check?

A background examine is a collection of windy data and also private records that carry out information top top a specific person. More specifically, a background inspect includes personal information favor employment history, credit transaction score, education, criminal records, financial records and also verification the identity.

There are numerous different type of elevator checks, which include:

Credit lift checksCriminal elevator checksTenant screening lift checksEmployment background checksFingerprint background checksInternational background checksPersonal background checksProfessional patent background checksUniversal elevator checks

While background checks are supplied for countless reasons, we’ll emphasis on employment lift checks.

What is one employment background check?

When an employer wants to rental a brand-new employee, a background inspect is typically conducted. The background report provides additional information for managers to make a well-rounded decision.

Do suppliers really conduct background checks? While plenty of employers phone call applicants the they’ll operation a lift check, execute they actually follow v with it? Yes. Research reflects 96% of organizations conduct at least some sort of background examine on last candidates, according to a survey conducted by the national Association of skilled Background Screeners.

What room employers feather for? The depth of the background examine varies. Employee elevator checks have the right to be as basic as verifying a social protection number, or they have the right to be much more extensive. The magnitude of an employee background check depends top top the employer and also the position they are looking to fill.

For example, if an applicant is applying for a financial management position, an employer would desire to recognize if that or she was ever before arrested for financial crimes, what his or her own credit report looks like, and whether or not the candidate has evidenced experience in this field.

While the level that information derived through a background check is customizable, countless employers want the complying with information:

Criminal historyEmployment historyCredit reportEducation historyMilitary recordsDriving recordMedical records, if necessary

Usually, a background check is conducted after the interview process, before offering an applicant the job. Why not conduct background check on every candidate? Conducting a cost-free background check is time-consuming, and also asking a consumer reporting agency for assist is costly. Conducting background checks on the final two or three applicants saves time and also money.

If you’re the employee, being asked to operation a background examine is a great sign, due to the fact that they’re only performed on top-ranked candidates.

Why execute employers need background checks?

A totally free background check is a an easy task that provides valuable information throughout the hiring process. Suppliers run background check to learn much more about candidates, verify the details that’s provided to them and check for any type of suspicious actions that’s not fit because that the workplace.

Background checks have end up being a necessary tool for countless companies spring to do sound hiring decisions. Much more specifically, carriers run background checks to:

Reduce potential legit problems

An employee through a problem criminal lift can an outcome in lawsuits. If an organization hires a violent felon with a history of assault, for example, and also that employee hurts someone in the rectal the hurt employee can case negligent hiring. Why? The agency should have actually known around the employee’s criminal past and kept together a risk out of the workplace.

Fifty-two percent that businesses to speak learning about a candidate’s criminal history is the main reason their agency conducts lift checks.

Create a safe job-related environment

Background check are additionally conducted come ensure a safe work environment. Lawsuits aside, no one desires to work in a place that’s not safe. To protect employees and stimulate a positive work society that attracts other employees, it’s ideal to run background checks on new candidates.

Confirm job-related history

Embellishments are typical on resumes, i beg your pardon is why numerous companies conduct a cost-free background inspect to confirm employment history. That one thing to exaggerate job duties or the size of employment at a company, yet in some cases, labor have uncovered a candidate’s entire work history to it is in a lie.

As an employer, you desire to know that one applicant does have actually the endure you require to gain the task done.

To help find the best employee

Given the riches of information learned indigenous a complimentary background check, employers deserve to use the to pick the appropriate candidate. Rental the wrong person is a costly mistake. The U.S. Room of job estimates the expense of a poor hire is 30% that the employee’s first-year earnings.

Let’s to speak you rental a mid-level manager at $60,000 and find the end a few months later on he’s not functioning out. The price of this poor hiring decision is $18,000, which is 30% of his salary.

Of course, rental the not correct employee isn’t simply a financial burden. The not correct employee might disrupt your job-related environment and also drain morale, i beg your pardon is likewise costly.

Essentially, service providers use complimentary background checks together a tool to help ensure the best feasible candidate is hired for the position.

Rules for conducting an employee lift check

Believe the or not, there room rules to command a lift check. Most of this rules are based on federal or state law. Before conducting any type of background check, be certain you understand the rules and regulations the govern it.

Remove the box

For starters, if you have actually a box on your applications that asks prospective rental if they’ve cursed of a crime, friend should probably remove it. Many think about this question discriminatory, and also there are number of states and counties working to pass legislation to eliminate it permanently.

Instead of questioning the inquiry on the application, relocate forward v interviews and also run a background examine when you narrow the pool under to a couple of candidates.

Get permission

You must have actually written authorization to attain an applicant’s criminal history, educational records, credit transaction reports, medical records and also character investigations. To acquire the most information, girlfriend need contact information consisting of the applicant’s name, social protection number and date of birth.

If you arrangement to request medical records, the records need to pertain to the project duties. If friend want army records, you’ll need consent to learn much more than rank and salary. Come learn around disciplinary action or character references, permission should be granted in writing.

If the applicant refuses permission, you have the right to legally remove the candidate from the list of potential hires.

Discuss findings

If you do uncover something questionable throughout a cost-free background check, you should speak v the candidate. Provide them a chance to describe what you uncovered without make assumptions.

Be consistent

The hiring process, including the background inspect process, need to be consistent for every employee. The idea is to create a repeatable hiring process that’s fair for everyone.

Talk come legal

Speak v your legal team to make sure your hiring procedure follows the law and also doesn’t discriminate.

Can employers really conduct cost-free background checks?

Yes, you deserve to conduct a complimentary background inspect online top top potential employees. However, the accuracy of the info returned have to be called into question. Payment a small fee to usage a payment background check company will border the number of inaccuracies in the report. In addition, conducting a cost-free online background inspect will take time. Job will invest a couple of hours visiting several different websites to gather the information necessary to make a decision.

How to operation a cost-free background inspect with DIY tools 

There are many websites the can help you in your find for information. Unfortunately, girlfriend won’t find a one-stop website that provides you all the intel you desire by running a simple name search. If you want that type of convenience, you’ll need to pay because that it.

To walk the no-cost route, you’ll visit several different sites. Here’s a perform of locations you can visit to glean worth information around potential employees:

Search engines

One the the easiest areas to begin your cost-free background inspect is through a find engine. Utilizing Google or Bing, go into a candidate’s name, operation a search and see what comes up. A basic search can connect you v photos, society media accounts, content created by the applicant – and much more.

To get the finest results, placed the candidate’s name in “quotes.” The estimates tell the find engine to only return specific matches.

If the candidate has actually a usual name choose Mike Smith, add more keywords to small the search. Because that example, you can search, “Mike Smith, Syracuse, new York.”

Social media accounts

Part that your free background inspect should encompass a look at society media accounts. Seven in ten Americans use social media, follow to the Pew research study Center, for this reason odds room your applicant has at least one society account.

Social accounts carry out a glimpse of one applicant’s life that’s not discovered on a resume.

Start through Facebook. This society channel typically gathers the many information about users because that its profiles. If your candidate has actually a public account, you have the right to see what he or she has posted. If her candidate has a private account, you won’t have the ability to see anything.

You can, however, conduct an progressed search on Google that scans facebook for public posts or group articles that has your candidate.

You can likewise run names v LinkedIn, Twitter and also Instagram. LinkedIn will certainly offer work history, which you deserve to compare come the resume you to be given. Twitter and Instagram expose the an individual side that potential employees through short messages and also pictures.

Government Websites

Much the the information had in a background find is public information and can be found on government websites and also services, consisting of the National immediate Criminal Background inspect System (NICS).

What red flags have to an employer look for?

Once you have actually the background inspect in hand, what have to you watch for? here’s a list of red flags that are reason for concern:

Criminal history

One of the biggest problems you can uncover during a check are black color marks in a person’s criminal history. However, one arrest record or a criminal conviction no necessarily grounds because that rejection: one or two misdemeanors in one’s previous do no make them a threat or defacto bad candidate. There are laws around rejecting an applicant solely based on criminal history, so it’s ideal to speak through your lawyer on the next steps.

Poor credit history

If an applicant has actually some credit transaction card debt and also some high institution loans, it’s no uncommon. However, many foreclosures or bankruptcy might indicate money problems that may affect job performance.

Questionable habits on society media

Part of an applicant’s background examine should include a deep-dive of your social media accounts. Pay special attention to any questionable or unlawful behavior. If you’re interviewing a 19-year-old applicant, for example, and also his social media account is full of underage drinking pictures, it’s a red flag.

While social media posts aren’t a candidate’s complete story, it is a depiction of exactly how they command themselves and also should it is in taken right into account.

Failed drug tests

Background checks deserve to also administer results to any recent drug tests. If the applicant has actually failed any, it should serve together a red flag.

Gaps in employment

An applicant may “tweak the truth” on your resume to remove gaps in employment, however a background inspect will disclose the genuine truth. If over there are any type of gaps in employment, especially if lock aren’t discussed on a resume, that worth talking to the applicant about.

There may be a reasonable explanation because that the gap, favor taking care of sick loved one or relocating to one more state. Still, it’s finest to questioning the reason behind the gap.

What should you look for in a 3rd party company?

If you no confident in learning how to conduct a cost-free background check, you might turn come a customer reporting company for help. If so, this is what come look for:

Comprehensive reports

When you get a report back, you desire it to contain all of the pertinent details. You want to know about criminal history, sex-offender status, employed records, education and learning records, credit transaction reports, civil records, driving records, workers’ compensation background – the works.


A many companies case to sell background checks, so carry out your early diligence. Make sure the company is trusted and also reliable. Questioning for recommendations to ensure high quality service and product.


If you plan to use a third-party company, they need to comply v the Fair credit transaction Reporting Act, additionally known together FCRA. In addition, being a member of the national Association of expert Background Screeners is additionally plus.

Turnaround time

If you plan to conduct your own free background check, the turnaround time rests on her availability. If you usage a screening company, ask once you deserve to expect a perfect report. Long turnaround times could delay your rental process, for this reason ask about timing upfront.

Check out our roundup that the ideal Background inspect Companies for Employers

Can you reject an applicant due to the fact that of what’s discovered on a elevator check?

You’ve performed a complimentary background check, and you uncovered part troubling issues. Have the right to you decide no to hire someone based upon the results?

The background check can’t it is in the sole factor for rejection unless the details found directly affects the candidate’s capacity to carry out the job, explains Jaburg/Wilk, attorneys in ~ law.

If a background check plays a function in her decision to reject an applicant, friend must:

Notify the applicant the the factors for her actionsGive the applicant a copy the the elevator checkTell the applicant the surname of the agency that conducted the lift check and the phone call numberExplain the factors for her decision

Of course, it’s constantly best to consult your company’s lawyer to make sure you’re following federal and also state laws. Your legal team can walk you with the procedure and generate the essential paperwork come comply through employment laws.

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Wrap up

For many employers, a background check is as common as an interview. It’s a crucial piece of the hiring procedure that provides beneficial information about an applicant. Whether you decision to command a totally free background inspect or usage a 3rd party, those learned native the report helps ensure the right person is hired. If the background check isn’t the sole deciding factor, that is another piece the the hiring puzzle that provides employers the opportunity to uncover out as much as possible about one applicant in a short duration of time.