Guide to Background Screening, Part 1: For Candidates

April 5, 2023
Background screening guide for candidates

What is background screening?

Background screening, also known as background checks or pre-employment or pre-tenancy screening, is the process of investigating the background of an individual or organization to check their identity, credentials, and personal history. It typically involves checking an individual’s criminal records, employment history, education records, credit history, and other personal and professional information. In this modern world, prospective employers, business partners, and property managers can perform social media checks as well.

Why is it done?

Background screening is often used by employers to make informed hiring decisions, to ensure that candidates meet the skills and experience necessary for a position, and other required standards, and to reduce the risk of fraud or misconduct, thus reducing risk and liability. It may also be used by landlords, lenders, or other entities to assess the risk associated with a potential tenant or borrower.

The specific types of background checks that are performed can vary depending on the purpose and requirements of the screening. For example, a standard pre-employment background check may include a criminal record check, employment verification, education verification, and reference checks, while a more comprehensive check may also include a credit check and a search of public records.

Why would you do it for yourself?

As a candidate, you might screen yourself so you can see what employers see, and check the accuracy of your record. If you’re applying for a job or a rental, you might even screen yourself so you can securely share it when the time is right to speedup the process of the application and be job- or rental-ready, being proactive, and removing steps from the process for all parties. Kredifi’s mission is to empower individuals and enable stakeholders by offering self-screening and sharing capabilities.

How is background screening done?

Background screening begins with the consent of the individual being screened via a written consent form that outlines the scope of the screening. Then, data is collected and aggregated from different public records and sources, including criminal records, credit reports, employment history, education history, and reference checks, and is subject to FCRA laws. The screening company will verify the information collected by comparing it to other sources, such as public records or previous employers. Once all the information has been collected and verified, the screening company will evaluate the results to determine whether any issues or concerns have been identified. Finally, the screening company provides a report which includes any relevant information that was collected and evaluated during the screening process.

Check out Part 2 (coming soon!) for background screening basics for companies!


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