For employers, landlords, educational institutes and others, it is an operating procedure to run a background check on potential employees and tenants to find out of their financial or criminal histories if any. For this procedure, you need a background check form to record important information.

Background Check Forms

What is in a background check?

As an employer, it’s common practice for you to run a background check on potential employees to confirm the information they provided. This check may include several aspects of the applicant’s background. With a background check, you learn more about the applicant’s past.

It also serves as a confirmation of the information that the applicant provided in their application, resume, and interviews. In the process, the check uncovers any possible issues. The main goal here is to make the best decision possible when hiring employees.

There is no formal procedure as such when conducting a background check and using a background check form. For instance, a financial institution might want to check an applicant’s credit – something that a fast-food joint probably won’t do when hiring servers.

There are also no rules regarding whether an applicant would fail or pass this procedure because it depends on your decision as an employer. When creating a background check authorization form, include these elements:

  • The complete name of the applicant.
  • The current address of the applicant.
  • The applicant’s date of birth.
  • The applicant’s social security number.

What is a background release form?

Before performing a background check, you need the authorization of the person involved. For this, you need a background check consent form from the applicant whose history you plan to check. You may access information without the person’s consent but doing so might have legal implications.

There are rules set by the Fair Credit Reporting Act that you have to follow regarding who can provide the information that you will input in the background check form. The same also identifies who can request the information and the reasons for performing the check.

If you will reject a person for tenancy or employment based on the information in the report, you need to give a reason for your decision. Remember that running the report without the person’s consent can come with legal ramifications.

Background Check Authorization Forms

How do employers do a background check?

Using a background check release form enables you to review an applicant’s driving records, criminal records, and other important information about their past. A background check company or service provider usually conducts this check and it might include credential and credit checks too.

When thinking about your background check application, consider your main purpose for it. This helps you determine what you need to do:

  • Criminal Records Check
    This provides you with the applicant’s criminal history. This is especially important when the position requires security and trust. The report should include both county and national records.
  • Social Security Validation
    This check ensures the legitimacy of the applicant and provides all of the basic information associated with the applicant’s social security number. The report informs you if the applicant has lived in undisclosed locations or under aliases which might reveal a criminal record that you wouldn’t have discovered elsewhere.
  • Address History Check
    The report traces the applicant’s previous addresses. This information about the applicant makes it easier to verify other information. It might even reveal jurisdictions where you should perform criminal background checks.
  • Sex Offender Registry List
    This is essential for positions that require trust. As an employer, it’s important to conduct this check.

What causes a red flag on a background check?

It has become a standard practice for employers to subject prospective applicants through a comprehensive background check. Generally, this includes letting them sign a background check authorization form then looking into their history.

There is no such thing as a perfect record and as such, you might find certain issues that will cause you to disqualify an applicant. Here are the most common “red flags” to look out for in your background check consent form:

  • Employment Gaps
    Gaps in an applicant’s employment history may indicate unreliability.
  • Criminal History
    Typically, you would ask all applicants if they have a criminal history. If they don’t admit to this and later, you discover that they have a record, this means that the applicant isn’t trustworthy.
  • Exaggerated Educational Achievements
    It’s not rare for applicants to make exaggerations when it comes to their educational background. They might indicate in their applications that they have earned a college degree even if they don’t have one.
  • Failed Drug Tests
    Nowadays, most companies include a drug test in the hiring process. Failing a drug test already constitutes a huge red flag and is a sign that you can’t trust the applicant to have the right state of mind when performing the job they need to do.
  • Exaggerated Skill Sets
    Some applicants include in their applications that they possess certain skills to increase their chances of getting hired. However, a background check will show otherwise, and this is a sign that they aren’t very trustworthy. You have to wonder about the accuracy of any other information on their application.

Background Check Consent Forms

Different types of background check forms

Before creating your background check form, think about what type of background check you need to do. The main types of

  • FBI Background Check
    This looks into an applicant’s criminal history on a federal level. It may include crimes like counterfeiting, bank robbery, embezzling, and so on. This is usually a requirement for visa applications, high-security employment or other situations where sensitive data gets accessed.
    The only one who can request this check is the person who the report is about. They need to send another form with their fingerprints together with a background application. Then they need a background check release form to claim their report.
  • Tenant Background Check
    This type is usually done by landlords to help them choose reliable tenants. The check includes looking at the potential tenant’s criminal and credit histories. Landlords will pay a small fee for this procedure.
  • Employee Background Check
    This has become a norm for employers like you where you check a potential applicant’s background. The purpose is for you to choose the best employees. In some states, the person who authorizes the check gets a copy of the report. You will also have to pay the cost of running the check.