What to Investigate in a Background Check

September 17, 2022

Anytime you are considering hiring someone, running a background check is a good idea. There are many different things you can learn from a background check, including criminal history, employment history, and education. Keep reading to learn what to investigate in a background check.

Criminal History

A background check can provide a great deal of personal information about a person, including any criminal convictions they may have. When considering whether to offer a job to someone, it’s important to be aware of the types of criminal offenses that can disqualify an applicant. Some criminal offenses are considered “automatic disqualifiers,” meaning that an applicant with a record of any of these offenses will not be considered for the job. These offenses include murder, sexual assault, and robbery. Other criminal offenses may not be automatic disqualifiers but can still raise a red flag for employers. These offenses involve violence, theft, or drugs.

When reviewing an applicant’s criminal history, employers should also look for patterns of behavior. For example, if an applicant has a record of committing multiple crimes of the same type, this may be a sign that they are not trustworthy. Employers should also be aware of how long ago an applicant’s criminal offense occurred. A criminal offense that occurred many years ago is likely not as concerning as an offense that occurred recently. It’s also important to consider the severity of an applicant’s criminal offense. A minor offense such as a traffic violation is likely not as concerning as a more serious offense such as a felony.

Employment History

When you’re vetting a potential employee, it’s also important to look for any red flags in their employment history. A background check can help you do this by providing a detailed overview of a candidate’s work history. There are a few things to look for specifically. For example, if a candidate has had a lot of job changes in a short period of time, this could be a sign that they’re not reliable or that they have trouble holding down a job. Additionally, if a candidate has a history of job terminations, it could be a sign that they’re not a good fit for the role, that they have anger management issues, or that they’re not reliable.


There are several red flags to look for in a job applicant’s education history. For one, it is important to investigate any disciplinary actions taken against the candidate during their time in school. This can include anything from cheating on exams to more serious offenses like assault. If the candidate has a history of struggling in school, it could be a sign that they are not suited for certain careers. It is also important to examine the candidate’s academic achievements to make sure they are truly qualified for the position.

Credit Score

There are many things to look for when screening potential employees, but one of the most important is their credit score. A low credit score can indicate that a potential employee is not responsible for their finances, which could lead to problems down the road. Here are some of the most important red flags to look for in a credit score background check:

  • Late payments or defaults on credit cards, loans, or other debts
  • History of filing for bankruptcy or being insolvent
  • Using a high percentage of their available credit
  • A history of delinquent payments
  • A high number of credit inquiries in a short period of time
  • A credit score that is below average

If you see any of these red flags in a potential employee’s credit history, it might be best to avoid hiring them.


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