How Far Back do Background Checks Go?

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How Far Back do Background Checks Go?

Background checks are a great way to learn more information on someone. But how far back do backgrounds check go? This article is aimed at discussing that. Background checks are commonly utilized by employers when they want to learn more about potential employees. This is to avoid hiring unworthy employees which can have a negative impact on the business.

People also run background checks on tenants, potential partners, new neighbors and when looking to hire a nanny. With a background check you are able to make the right decision on people who are in your life.

It is normally the case that background checks go as far back as 7 years. However, the time period is heavily influenced by the type of background check plus the laws that govern the records that are being searched. Companies can even request for longer time frames which is something the law supports.

It is makes logical sense to find more information on someone to get a clear picture on them but criminal offenses committed decades ago should not be a deciding factor when companies hire employees.

As mentioned before, federal and state laws play a major part in influencing the time frame of background checks. Below are a few key elements that can influence the time frame of a background check.

Criminal Records

There is no law that states how far back a criminal background check goes. You can search for a criminal record on someone that goes back decades. Even though the law permits criminal background searches that go back decades, companies might find the need to do it not necessary.

A number of states has a limit as to how far back criminal background checks go. This force companies to follow those set laws rather than federal limits.

Credit Reports

Some companies do conduct credit report background checks on potential employees even though this is not a common practice. Credit report background checks are essential if the candidate is someone who will be holding a financial position or work in a financial institution. A credit report may include details such as bankruptcies, civil suits or judgements, tax liens, accounts in collection.

Credit scores are not part of a credit report on potential employee credit history report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives clear guidelines on what goes in a credit report history check and how far back such a report can go. It is common to have screening going back 7 years. However, there exception to this as previous bankruptcies can go back as far as ten years.

Employment History

Careful consideration must be exercised when performing an employment history on someone. This is to make sure that the information one gets is useful to make that hiring decision. This can be achieved by utilizing a service with a proven and effective record.

Time taken to conduct an employment history background check is of importance too. This is make sure that all relevant sources and references are verified to get the accurate picture of the individual’s employment background. It may be necessary to find out employment history on someone that goes back to more than 10 years not but if it takes weeks to do. Some of the references might not even have all the details as this happened a long time ago.

An employment history background check is heavily determined by how many employers the person had over the years. For example, some individuals might have had more than 3 employers in the previous 7 years while another might have had only one.

Some individuals might have had breaks between employment, it makes sense to want to conduct an employment history that goes further than 7 years or even 10 years.

On the question of how far back do background checks go, these examples are a guide. They show what influences this type of search and what you can expect from a background search.

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