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6 Employment Background Checks to Consider When Hiring

— October 24, 2023

Conducting comprehensive background checks in the hiring process is not just a formality but a strategic necessity.

An employee stands as the most precious resource for an employer, while the process of bringing new talents on board remains a vital daily task for their success. Discovering potential team members with strong technological know-how from the vast LinkedIn talent pool can be quite challenging. In a realm filled with AI-generated content and the rise of gig economies, choosing the ideal candidate has become increasingly intricate. To navigate this landscape seamlessly, employers routinely conduct background checks to assess the suitability of prospective candidates.

Understanding Background Checks: Why Employers Use Them

A background check serves as an essential process for evaluating a candidate’s history before bringing them on board. It offers valuable insights into a candidate’s character, and abilities, and verifies their identity. Additionally, it fosters a sense of trust and understanding between the candidate and the employer. Much like seeking reviews before purchasing a product to ensure its quality and reliability, scrutinizing employment history, and educational qualifications, and examining criminal and financial records proves invaluable for a company.

Despite relying on a candidate’s word, conducting thorough background checks allows employers to define the right work environment. There are instances where candidates may inadvertently or intentionally provide false information that could potentially damage a company’s reputation. To mitigate this risk and make more informed hiring decisions, background checks are indispensable.

The significance of background checks for employers extends across various areas, such as:

  • Ensure necessary skills for the role.
  • Identify potential safety concerns and ensure a secure work environment for all.
  • Contribute to meeting company goals and targets.
  • Verify honesty and integrity to promote a harmonious workplace.
  • Identify potential risks of theft.
  • Safeguard company assets.

The Top Background Checks Every Employer Should Use

  1. Exploring Criminal History

Criminal history checks are a fundamental component of the employment background screening process. They serve as a crucial tool for employers to assess a candidate’s past involvement with the law. This check helps in ensuring a safe and secure workplace while also safeguarding the company’s reputation. A staggering 82% of employers conduct criminal background checks during the hiring process. This statistic underscores how crucial this check is in today’s employment landscape.

  1. Conducting Reference Checks

Reference checks provide a deeper understanding of a candidate’s qualifications, work ethic, and character. They offer a valuable perspective beyond what’s written in resumes or shared during interviews.

  • Effective Reference Checks

To make the most of reference checks, employers should adopt effective techniques. One such method is asking open-ended questions that encourage former colleagues or supervisors to share their genuine insights about the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement.

  • Cultural Fit Assessment

Moreover, reference checks play a vital role in assessing a candidate’s cultural fit within the organization. They help employers gauge how well a potential hire will integrate into the team and uphold the company’s values.

  1. Understanding Credit Reports

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While not relevant for all positions, credit reports are invaluable in roles that involve financial responsibilities. They provide a snapshot of an individual’s financial history, including their credit score, debt, and payment history. Approximately, 47% of employers use credit reports for certain positions. 

  1. The LEIE Check (List of Excluded Individuals and Entities)

In specific industries, particularly healthcare, understanding LEIE is of paramount importance. LEIE stands for the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities, which is maintained by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The LEIE check helps employers avoid hiring individuals or entities excluded from participating in federal healthcare programs. It ensures that healthcare providers and facilities employ individuals with clean records. The healthcare industry, which is highly regulated, places great emphasis on LEIE checks to maintain compliance and patient safety.

  1. Validating Employment History

Verifying a candidate’s employment history is another critical aspect of background checks. It helps employers confirm the accuracy of the information provided on resumes and applications.

  • Accuracy Matters

An accurate employment history can lead to hiring the right candidate, potentially causing disruptions in the workplace. Therefore, thorough verification is essential.

  • Professional Stability Assessment

Additionally, employment history verification aids in assessing a candidate’s professional stability. Consistent job changes or unexplained gaps in employment can raise concerns that need to be addressed during the hiring process.

  1. Confirming Educational Credentials

Education verification is essential for positions that require specific degrees or certifications. This check ensures that candidates possess the educational qualifications they claim. For instance, in the healthcare sector, verifying medical degrees and licenses is crucial to ensure the safety of patients. Inaccurate educational credentials can have severe consequences. Education verification also helps identify diploma mills and fake degrees, safeguarding the integrity of the hiring process.


Conducting comprehensive background checks in the hiring process is not just a formality but a strategic necessity. These checks empower employers to make well-informed decisions, fostering workplace safety, integrity, and productivity. By embracing these essential tools, businesses can build teams that contribute positively to their growth and success while minimizing risks and ensuring a harmonious work environment.

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