5 Questions to Ask Before You Run a Background Check

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Discover crucial questions to ask before conducting background checks. Explore insights on compliance, accuracy, legality, and candidate rights to ensure ethical and effective screening processes. Secure your hiring decisions responsibly.
background check questions

If your company handles its own background checks or relies on an inexperienced provider, there are several areas where mistakes could lead to trouble. This is because regulations regarding background screening are always evolving.

Consider this scenario: If one of your employees injures another while on the job, could you be held liable for negligent hiring? Are your job advertisements and company policies regarding background checks in line with Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations? Do you have the most up-to-date applicant authorization forms?

To ensure compliance, it’s important to ask your background check provider the right questions:

  1. Are we vulnerable to negligent hiring claims?: It’s crucial to thoroughly vet applicants to determine if they pose any risks to your company or the public. Inadequate background checks could leave your company exposed to significant liability for negligent hiring. Remember, employers are judged not just on what they know about applicants, but on what they should have known. Insufficient background checks could put your company at risk.
  1. Are we using compliant applicant disclosure and authorization forms?: Keeping track of the forms you use is essential to ensure proper authorization for background checks and compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Different forms are required for disclosure and consent, and if you conduct drug screenings, a separate consent form is necessary. Candidates must authorize the background check, and if you use a vendor, this must be disclosed to the candidate.
  1. Are we handling candidates with criminal records appropriately?: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advises against automatically disqualifying applicants with criminal records. Whether you’re conducting background checks internally or through a provider, further analysis is needed when a candidate with a criminal record is identified in the hiring process. Consider the nature and severity of the offense, the time elapsed since it occurred, and its relevance to the job.
  1. Is our application compliant?: Many states and cities have enacted “ban-the-box” laws, prohibiting applications from including a checkbox for disclosing past criminal convictions. These laws aim to promote fairer hiring practices by focusing on evaluating candidates based on their qualifications rather than automatically disqualifying them due to their criminal history.
  1. Are we issuing the correct adverse action letters?: Adverse action letters are a crucial aspect of the hiring process, particularly when a candidate is not hired based on background check results. In some states, employers are required to specify which convictions influenced their decision if a candidate is disqualified due to their background check results. Stay informed about the relevant laws and ensure compliance with adverse action notification requirements.

Work with a background check provider like Securecheck360

Here at Securecheck360, we’re experts in delivering reliable, fast turnaround and affordable Employment Background Screening Services, serving businesses of all sizes across the globe. Our customized solutions are finely tuned to meet the unique requirements of small, mid-sized, and large organizations. We’re dedicated to equipping companies with the vital tools and insights they need to make well-informed hiring choices. As one of the leading background verification companies, we’re committed to supporting even small businesses as trusted background check companies for small businesses to ensure they have the confidence to build the best teams for their success.

To know more about our services, book your free demo today!


Ensuring compliance with background screening regulations is essential for any company. By asking the right questions of your background check provider and staying informed about relevant laws and best practices, you can mitigate the risk of legal issues and make more informed hiring decisions. Prioritizing thorough vetting processes and proper documentation not only protects your company but also promotes fairness and integrity in the hiring process.

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