What Shows Up On A Background Check, And How They Help Make Informed Hiring Decisions

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Employers conduct background checks for various reasons, but the overarching goal is to make informed decisions about potential employees. Vetting the candidate becomes particularly crucial considering how employees - even those who handle upper-management positions - lie about their experiences and qualifications. Here, we’ll discuss why screening is an integral part of hiring and what shows up on a background check. 


Why Employers Should Never Skip Background Checks

One of the most important reasons employers should conduct due diligence is to be in compliance with the laws. For example, Right to Work Checks are their legal obligation to ensure that they are not employing illegally. Depending on the regulations, employers must also run certain checks to safeguard the safety of their employees and clients. 

In general, small businesses and huge companies alike should never skip background checks because they:

Establish the candidate’s suitability for the position

By scrutinising a candidate’s experience, credentials, and qualifications, background checks validate the accuracy of information provided in resumes and interviews. This is especially pertinent for roles that require specific skills, certifications, or a particular educational background.

Protect the company, clients, customers 

Background checks contribute to safeguarding the company's reputation by mitigating the risk of employing candidates with a history of unethical behaviour or criminal activity. Conducting due diligence helps businesses create a secure environment for both their workforce and external stakeholders.

Reveal personality and fit with company culture

Background checks offer insights into a candidate's personality, work ethic, and overall cultural fit within the organisation. Identifying red flags in a candidate's history, such as patterns of interpersonal conflicts or ethical lapses, helps employers make informed decisions that align with the company's values and dynamics. 

Prevent costly mistakes and high turnover rates

Reports mentioned that the cost of employee turnover, which can result from bad hiring decisions, can be as much as twice the candidate's annual salary. This includes expenses related to recruitment, onboarding, and lost productivity during the transition period. Beyond turnover costs, hiring individuals who are not well-suited for their positions can lead to serious mistakes that may prove costly for the company. 


What Shows Up on a Background Check?

What shows up on a background check depends on the types of checks you want to conduct. Usually, this depends on the industry and specific role, but in general, the following information shows up on a background check for employment. 

The candidate’s government name

Through identity verification, the employers can determine details such as the candidate’s government name and social security number. ID verification aims to ensure that the individual being considered for a position is who they claim to be. It is crucial because it serves as the foundation for all the other checks you want to conduct. 

If you’re hiring globally, you might want to consider partnering with an expert background screening platform like Veremark since the verification may be more challenging due to diverse identification standards, language barriers, and fraudulent documentation.  

Their credit score

A candidate's credit report, which is a part of adverse financial history check, can reveal vital insights into how an individual manages their finances. Red flags such as excessive debt, bankruptcies, or a history of financial irresponsibility can be indicative of a candidate's lack of reliability, especially for positions that involve handling financial matters and confidential information.

Past civil cases and pattern of criminality

Conducting criminal history and civil litigation checks is crucial to safeguard company assets as well as client and customer safety. 

However, the approach to checking criminal history may vary from country to country, so it’s important to comply with local regulations.

In the UK, for example, there are four levels of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which is their criminal history check. In most cases, employers are only allowed the Basic Check. 

Likewise check for "ban the box" laws that restrict inquiries into an applicant's criminal history until later in the hiring process.


The candidate’s educational attainment

Instances of individuals fabricating their educational background are not uncommon, even among executives. Background checks play a vital role in verifying the accuracy of educational credentials, ensuring that candidates possess the qualifications they claim.

In Singapore, for example, diploma fraud is a common problem. As a result, The Ministry of Manpower has accredited expert background check providers, including Veremark, to conduct Educational Verification for employers. 

Their employment history

Employment history checks, coupled with reference checks, offer a comprehensive view of a candidate's professional background. This can help identify any inconsistencies and provide a clear picture of the candidate's work experience.

In Some Cases, Additional Background Checks May Be Necessary 

There are situations where additional verification is required. What does a background check include in these instances? 

Health and Drug Screens

Certain roles, especially those involving safety-sensitive tasks, may require health and drug screenings to ensure that candidates are physically and mentally fit for the responsibilities at hand.

Driving History

For roles that involve driving, checking a candidate's driving history is essential. This helps employers assess the candidate's ability to operate vehicles safely and responsibly, minimising risks associated with company-owned vehicles or job-related travel.

Social Media Screening

Employers may also need to check a candidate's online presence to evaluate professionalism, cultural fit, and potential red flags. This is especially important if the candidate being considered will publicly represent the company should they be hired. 


Best Practices when Conducting Background Checks

Besides what shows up on a background check, how you can conduct the screening is also important. Below are some of the best practices when running the checks:

Comply with the laws and regulations

Employers must stay informed about relevant laws and regulations governing background checks in their jurisdiction. Compliance is essential to avoid legal complications.

Streamline the process

Efficient background check processes help minimise delays in the hiring timeline. Employers should aim for a balance between thoroughness and expediency, so it might be best to use HR software that caters to hiring and recruitment. 

Consider outsourcing

Given the intricacies involved, many organisations opt to outsource background checks to specialised agencies. This ensures a comprehensive and compliant process conducted by experts in the field.


What's Next After Background Checks?

After conducting and receiving the results of background checks, the employers must still take some necessary steps, such as Adverse Action Notice and Adjudication

If a candidate is adversely affected by the information uncovered in a background check, the employer must provide an adverse action notice, allowing the candidate an opportunity to dispute the findings. Note that this is usually an employer’s legal obligation, so skipping this step may be punishable by law. 

The final step involves adjudication, where employers assess the gathered information in the context of the job requirements and make a well-informed decision about the candidate's suitability for the role.

Trust Veremark for Your Pre-Employment Background Check Needs

If you want to stay compliant with the relevant laws and regulations and better streamline the process of recruitment and hiring, trust Veremark for your background check needs. 

With Veremark, you simply need to provide candidate details and order the checks you want to conduct.Trusted by the world’s best workplaces, our process is fully-automated and can seamlessly integrate into your current system. 

We have the specialised knowledge and resources required to conduct thorough, compliant, and efficient checks so you can make strong hiring decisions.

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Are there laws surrounding background screening specifically?

Most countries do not have a single law governing background checks. However, they may have rules and regulations that may affect certain aspects of the screening process. 

How long does a background check take?

While “background screening” refers generally to the process of vetting a potential hire, the process itself is actually composed of many different types of “background checks”. Each background check looks into a unique aspect of the potential employee’s personal or professional history. The process can take anywhere from a few minutes (some checks can be requested online and received immediately), to a few weeks (some checks involve lots of data gathering and contacting 3rd parties) depending on types of checks, complexity of each, and the country you are checking in.

Is it better to outsource background checks to professionals?

Many companies opt to partner with a reliable third party like Veremark to streamline the process, gain better insights on the candidates, and to improve compliance to the applicable laws.


What background check do I need?

This depends on the industry and type of role you are recruiting for. To determine whether you need reference checks, identity checks, bankruptcy checks, civil background checks, credit checks for employment or any of the other background checks we offer, chat to our team of dedicated account managers.

Why should employers check the background of potential employees?

Many industries have compliance-related employment check requirements. And even if your industry doesn’t, remember that your staff have access to assets and data that must be protected. When you employ a new staff member you need to be certain that they have the best interests of your business at heart. Carrying out comprehensive background checking helps mitigate risk and ensures a safer hiring decision.

How long do background checks take?

Again, this depends on the type of checks you need. Simple identity checks can be carried out in as little as a few hours but a worldwide criminal background check for instance might take several weeks. A simple pre-employment check package takes around a week. Our account managers are specialists and can provide detailed information into which checks you need and how long they will take.

Can you do a background check online?

All Veremark checks are carried out online and digitally. This eliminates the need to collect, store and manage paper documents and information making the process faster, more efficient and ensures complete safety of candidate data and documents.

What are the benefits of a background check?

In a competitive marketplace, making the right hiring decisions is key to the success of your company. Employment background checks enables you to understand more about your candidates before making crucial decisions which can have either beneficial or catastrophic effects on your business.

What does a background check show?

Background checks not only provide useful insights into a candidate’s work history, skills and education, but they can also offer richer detail into someone’s personality and character traits. This gives you a huge advantage when considering who to hire. Background checking also ensures that candidates are legally allowed to carry out certain roles, failed criminal and credit checks could prevent them from working with vulnerable people or in a financial function.

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In-house or outsourced background screening: which one is best for your company?

How to make the right background screening decision for your organization

As the importance of background screening becomes increasingly more evident, a pressing question arises: should this process be conducted in-house, or should it be outsourced to a third-party service provider?

While it differs from business to business, the end decision has significant implications for your company's operational efficiency, cost-effectiveness and risk management.

Download this guide to discover:

The advantages of both in-house and outsourced screening

The disadvantages of in-house and outsourced screening

The role of background screening in an HR strategy

Considering the legal and ethical implications

How to leverage technology for more efficient screening processes

Download this guide today to help you decide which approach best aligns with your company's strategic objectives, operational needs and risk management practices.

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