Frequently Asked Questions About National Background Checks

In a perfect world, you could hire anyone who interviewed for your job who dressed nice, smiled enough, and seemed to know their stuff. But, the world is not perfect. Some people are good at putting up a smooth front. Just to make sure that the person you’re hiring is all they say they are, you might want to do a national background check. Go ahead and tell your potential hire that you want to do this. If they have nothing to hide, they will be agreeable to it.

What is a National Background Check?

A national background check is fairly encompassing. The report will keep you informed on any of the subject’s infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies committed as an adult. You will also know about any pending cases, whether the subject has any warrants or are on any registries. Digitized records will be searched, so they do make a viable first step towards finding and flagging results that you can follow up on. Do keep in mind that this does not mean results are comprehensive. The check itself may take only a few hours, or it could take a few days, depending. It usually covers the last seven to ten years.

Why is a National Background Check Important?

Naturally, you want a team of employees who are not only qualified but trustworthy. You don’t want to put a thief in charge of the till or hire someone to drive a truck when they can barely operate a bicycle. You want your workplace to be safe not only for everyone’s well-being but to prevent a liability claim. In this day and age, a healthy worker who will comply with regulations is more important than ever. You want to make sure you are complying with federal, state, local, and industry regulations. You don’t want to hire a “twenty-one-year-old” cocktail waitress only to find out she’s barely a month over seventeen. Doing a background check means that you will be able to better maintain your business’s reputation and gain a trustworthy reputation within the community.

Is a National Background Check Legal?

It is only natural to want to acquire information on a possible employee during the hiring process. With only a few exceptions, a background check is perfectly legal. You may not ask for any genetic information, including their family medical history, other than in few limited circumstances. You must be fair, of course, and not judge anyone based on race, creed, gender, or color. You are not allowed to ask for any medical information until you have already offered the person the job. While you must comply with federal laws concerning young employees, you are not allowed to discriminate against older employees. You must also ask written permission from the subject in question. If you find something in the report that makes you not want to hire this person, you are required to give them a copy of the report and a summary of rights along with the contact information of the company that provided the report.


Making the decision of whom to hire to work for your company can be a difficult process. You may find yourself in an embarrassment of riches scenario with too many candidates to choose from. A background check can aid you in paring down your choices by allowing you to learn the things employment candidates may not be forthcoming about. Once you have culled out the undesirables you can pick out the best candidate for the job with confidence. You do, of course, have a responsibility to be fair in your hiring process but remember to be fair to yourself as well.

If you have any questions, please ask below!