Top 5 Instances When Background Checks are Considered Mandatory

A background check is a process of investigating someone’s character. It not only shows the person’s present demeanor but also past actions. The process by itself is lengthy and complex. The good news is there are specialized agencies that conduct background checks. Such checks can mitigate the risk of hiring an inappropriate candidate or renting the wrong tenant by giving a detailed report on the person. 

There are various online background check sites. While every site is different in the type of information they provide, the institution conducting checks should decide what they are looking for before selecting the background check company. Not only that, but they should also ensure that these background check services are legitimate

Conducting background checks is important for many companies.

Pre-Employment Background Check

In an ideal world, hiring decisions should be effortless. But in reality, there are times when employees provide incorrect information in their job applications. Background checks are considered an essential part of the hiring process to avoid such cases. The hiring company seeks service from a third party to ensure the information the employee provides is correct. Such agencies also access public records, law enforcement bureaus, credit bureaus, and previous employers to check the records’ accuracy.

Background checks allow companies to hire the right candidate, having:

  • The best qualifications for the position 
  • No history of felony or criminal behavior
  • No history of drug abuse
  • Good moral character
  • The ability to preserve the company’s reputation and brand image
  • Good credit score rating (important if the employer is a financial institution)

Purchasing Insurance Policies

Insurance companies consider background checks of applicants before they start the process. Although turnaround times can differ, insurance agents give special attention when checking backgrounds. The particular pointers they look for include criminal offenses, credit ratings, convictions related to dishonesty, or even embezzlement. If the applicant lies about any criminal history on the application, the background checking company will notify the insurer, and the application will be canceled.

It is important to stay transparent when applying for a policy. While most life insurance companies will avoid insuring a person who has spent considerable time in jail or as a felon, there are always exceptions. By being honest, an offender can even end up getting approved for the policy, although the rates will be very high.

Additional questions that insurance companies ask as a part of background checks may include if the applicant –

  • Is currently working? 
  • Been hospitalized recently or undergoing any medical treatments?
  • Problems with drug or alcohol abuse?
  • Have any issues with driving records? 
  • Is under parole or awaiting any charges? 
  • Have applied for or received any disability benefits in the past 12 months?

Answering the above questions truthfully will benefit the applicant.

Procuring Any Type of Loan

Homeownership is a dream of many. The best way to own it is to take out a loan that can be paid off in installments. As a lender banks and fintech companies conduct background checks when one applies for a loan, ensuring that the applicant can pay back the loan in the form of a mortgage. The credit score of the applicant will also be reviewed to check if the person is paying off debts on time. 

Before fixing an interest rate, the lender will also look into the applicant’s –

  • Credit rating,
  • Criminal history (if any),
  • Present employment status,
  • Proof of income.

Opting for Childcare Services

Our children deserve protection and security at all times, even when parents are not around. Childcare centers are institutions responsible for keeping kids safe when they are away from the comforts of home. To ensure that the childcare facility is safe for kids, all adults in the facility must undergo a comprehensive background check. This check will confirm if the adult has even been related to any child abuse, violence, or major negligence leading to accidents. 

As per federal law, every adult associated with the childcare center should undergo a –

  • FBI fingerprint check
  • Search on National Crime Information Center’s National Sex Offender Registry
  • Search on all registries and databases where the childcare staff member lives 
  • Search on state-wise child abuse and neglect registry

Purchasing Firearms

When a person is trying to purchase a firearm from a seller, commonly called Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), they contact NICS immediately. NICS, or National Instant Criminal Background Check System, is a background check that is in place to prevent the sale of firearms. The buyer must complete the ATF form before FFL sends the information to the NICS. The NICS staff will conduct background checks to double-check if the buyer has a criminal record, for which the person will not be allowed to purchase any firearms.


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