Frequently Asked Questions

We help you uncover the truth to inform and empower better decision making.

Background Checks 101

What does a background check show? 

It depends on which type of background check is performed, because each provides somewhat different information (i.e criminal history, prior employment, education, and workforce monitoring checks). Regardless of the background check type, however, the results are subject to strict privacy protection regulations established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Do I need to conduct a background check during pre-employment screening? 

Today, a resume alone isn’t enough to determine whether or not a candidate will make a good employee. Pre-employment screening is a critical first step in protecting your company from the risks that come with an untrustworthy employee. Consider the following:

  • Corporate Screening’s statistics show that 12% of applicants screened have a criminal history.
  • A U.S. Department of Justice report released in 2003 showed that 67% of criminals were rearrested for at least one serious crime within three years of being released from prison.
  • According to a 2005 University of Florida survey, retail employee theft is responsible for 47% of inventory shrinkage, or $17.6 billion in stolen property per year.
  • Drug users cost their employers 300% more than non-drug users in medical costs and benefits according to Crain’s Business.
  • According to the National Association of Background Screeners, 56% of applicants’ resumes contain one or more significant discrepancies. 

Simply having a background check policy in place encourages applicants to be more forthcoming in their resumes and interviews, and the process provides you with the data and expert analysis you need to make the best hiring decisions.

What does effective pre-employment screening include? 

Most pre-employment screening programs include a criminal background search conducted at the court for each place a candidate has lived for the last seven years. Employers should also verify all degrees, licenses, and work history at each company the applicant has worked for the last seven years.

Working with Corporate Screeening

What types of background screening services are available at Corporate Screening? 

Take care of all your screening needs in one place. Our background check services include:

  • Database searches
  • Criminal record searches
  • Verification services/reference interviews
  • Public record searches
  • Drug screening
  • Health exams and assessments
  • Fingerprinting
  • International screening
  • Electronic I9-Form compliance
  • EVP Right to work verification
  • VerifyStudents – Online background screening portal for students
  • Applicant tracking system integration solutions

What do I need to conduct a background check with Corporate Screening? 

Contact us to get a copy of the Corporate Screening new account paperwork and complete our client vetting and verification process. Once you successfully complete these steps, you are able to order background checks online, or by email, fax, ATS system integration, or a customized solution. 

You’ll also need to meet requirements under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as any customer reporting laws specific to your state. 

Do I have to supply my applicants’ dates of birth? 

Next to the applicant’s legal name, the date of birth is the most important identifier used in pre-employment screening. Most courts use it as a primary identifier, and some actually require it to process a record search. If you are not able to request a candidate’s date of birth, we offer solutions that allow the candidate to confidentially supply his or her date of birth to Corporate Screening.

How will I receive my background check information? 

Free to all our clients, our Electronic Applicant Screening Engine is Internet-based, giving you 24/7 access to all of your paperless records for two years after the search was ordered.

You receive email notifications when our office receives your case and when your case is completed, plus have direct access to the investigator working on your case(s).


Do I need an applicant’s authorization to conduct a background check? 

Authorization and disclosure are two distinct terms in pre-employment screening. While authorization from an applicant to search various sources of information is strongly recommended, a disclosure to your applicant that you are going to procure a background check is required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as well as some state consumer reporting laws.

What are some of my obligations as an employer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act? 

Among other obligations, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires employers to:

  • Disclose to a candidate that a background check will be conducted and obtain their authorization to conduct a background check. The disclosure must be made using a separate document that consists solely of the disclosure statement; you must also, separately, obtain the applicant’s authorization for the background. Some state consumer reporting laws have more stringent requirements for the disclosure.
  • Certification to Corporate Screening. Confirm that you are requesting background for employment purposes, a disclosure was provided to the applicant and their authorization was obtained, the information will not be used in violation of federal or state equal employment laws and you will follow adverse action procedures if the decision is based on the background report.
  • Provide the candidate with a letter advising that adverse action might be taken. If the background check contains items of information that may cause you to make a hiring decision that will adversely affect your candidate for employment, you must let the candidate know in a letter, provide a copy of the background check report, and also provide the FCRA state of consumers’ rights document that explains the rights consumers have under federal law. This gives the candidate an opportunity to dispute any inaccuracies that may be part of that report.
  • Provide the candidate a second letter explaining that you are taking action based on the background check report. If you decide that you will definitely take action based on the background check report that will adversely affect your candidate for employment, you must notify them of this in a second letter, along with the name, address and telephone number of the consumer reporting agency that prepared the report, and provide a second copy of the consumers rights under the FCRA. As with the initial disclosure, some state consumer reporting laws may require additional steps.

Please see Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of Users Under the FCRA for full details

Consumer Credit Report

Does a credit report for a background include a credit score? 

No. A credit report provided for employment purposes does not include a credit score.

Does a pre-employment credit inquiry affect the consumer's credit score? 

No. A credit inquiry completed for employment purposes is considered a “soft inquiry” and does not affect a credit score the way “hard inquiries” for purposes of loans, credit cards, etc. can affect a consumer’s credit score.

Will the consumer know a credit report was pulled? 

Yes. You must disclose to the consumer that a credit report may be completed as part of a background. Some states/cities require that the consumer receive a disclosure that a report will be pulled. Furthermore, the inquiry will appear on their credit report.


How long does a background check usually take? 

Criminal record searches typically take between 24 and 48 hours to report. Our team consistently updates you on progress, and you always have access to our system 24 hours a day.

It's important to note that a number of factors can impact the length of time a search takes, such as  the need to match an applicant’s identifiers to court records, the lack of identifiers like date of birth or Social Security Number, common applicant names, court holidays, and multiple records for the same applicant.

What can I do to improve my pre-employment screening turnaround time? 

There are many variables that contribute to an inefficient screening program and slow turnaround times. Only through an assessment of your current background check program can solutions be found to create efficiencies and speed the process.

Our team shares our expertise to help you build a customized program that gives you complete, accurate information with quick turnaround times.


How much does a background check typically cost? 

Your cost will vary depending on your customized program and what information sources you need to access. 

Our screening account representatives will first gain a thorough understanding of your organization, your industry, your process, and your philosophy on background screening. Then, we’ll help you build a background check program unique to your organization that is efficient, cost-effective, and offers the integrity all employers deserve.

What are my payment options? 

We accept company check, credit card, EFT, or order-to-pay.

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