Background Check

Meaning & Definition

Background Check

Background check is a process by which a person or company uses to verify that a person is who they claim to be, and provides an opportunity for someone to check a person’s criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities that happened in the past in order to confirm their validity. The frequency, purpose, and legitimacy of background checks varies between countries, industries, and individuals. An employment background check typically takes place when someone applies for a job, but can also happen at any time the employer deems necessary. A variety of methods are used to complete such a check, from comprehensive database search to personal references..

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

  1. What does an HR look for in a background check?

    Although this process varies from company to company, in a typical background check for employment, HR looks for the following details:

    • Educational background.
    • Past employment history.
    • Criminal records.
    • Identity verification and Residential address verification.
    • Verification of Public records.
    • Credit report.
    • Resume verification.
    • Medical Assessment.
  2. Who conducts the background check?

    It is the HR professionals who conduct the check with special tools and technology specifically made for this type of verification.

  3. What documents are required for a background check?

    All kinds of proof are required such as:

    • Identity proof.
    • Proof of past employment.
    • Address proof.
    • Educational qualifications proof.
    • Valid PAN Card.
  4. What if the background check fails?

    Most times, HR professionals give the employee a second chance after the first background check has failed to ensure that the result was correct and no discrepancy crept in. The organization must issue a ‘Pre-Adverse action notice’. This notice gives the candidate an opportunity to exercise the summary of the check and respond to your questions.

    Furthermore, if the check fails after a second decision, an Adverse action notice must be sent to inform the candidate of the final result on their employment.

  5. How long does it take to conduct a background check?

    Typically, the duration of a background check can last anywhere between 2-7 business days. While it varies from organization to organization based on their individual requirement, most companies prefer to have a timeline of about 4 to 5 days to conduct it.

  6. What causes a red flag in background checks?

    Most common red flags in a background check that might hamper your employment:

    • Criminal Record.
    • Gaps in education.
    • Discrepancy in the documents.
    • Disparaging comments.
    • Poor past employment history.
    • Bad references.
  7. What are the different levels in a background check?

    There are 4 broad grids in a Johari window and they stand for the following:

    Level 1: The most basic level of check that mostly includes employment and education verification.

    Level 2: This checks any criminal history that the employee might have by using the state and federal databases.

    Level 3: Companies that conduct level 3 background checks include all that level 1 and level 2 checks.

    Level 4: This type of checks is conducted when hiring executives for higher job profiles. They include level 3 checks in addition to checking a federal criminal search, a national bankruptcy search, and a media search.

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