How Far Back Should You Look Back Into Criminal Background Checks?


Conducting criminal background checks is important for all employers.

A potential employee’s resume can tell you a lot about the person you’d like to bring onto your team. It can also tell you too much – delving too deeply into someone’s past may feel a little irrelevant, and even intrusive, depending on how far back you’re looking. And yet, a prudent employer may think, how can you afford not to?  If your business deals in directly handling customers’ money, or being trusted in a customer’s home while they’re away, doesn’t it seem like going all the way back through a potential employee’s background is just doing due diligence? It’s unavoidable, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which dictates an employer must conduct such an investigation when making a new hire.

What Can You Find In A Background Check?

It’s common knowledge that a background check will include prior arrest record, criminal convictions, bankruptcies declared, and even credit ratings. However, depending on the kind of check you run, there may be a statute of limitations on the amount of time certain records are available. It could also depend on the level of security or pay of the job in question – jobs with more responsibilities will require more in-depth background checks, and therefore could be costlier to send to an agency. But, opting to take on the background checks in-house could bring unwanted attention, additional man-hours, and possibly even court time upon a company unfamiliar with or unprepared for the dense process of requesting a background check.

Protect Yourself And Protect Your Employees

While mandatory background checks are requirements for most companies and larger businesses to protect themselves, the same cannot be said for smaller start-up businesses. For a start-up, there is a much higher risk of failure. The same rigorous screening methods enforced to protect the new business owners of the country. It should also be noted that each state has different dispositions on what can be included in background checks and time periods of which they can be accessed. For example, a background check of only your prior seven years is required in Texas. Civil judgments and civil suits cannot be obtained seven years after they occurred, and bankruptcies, the limit is ten years.


AIR Pre-Hire in Reisterstown, MD, conducts accurate and verified universal background screening, so you will have thorough background checks on your employees. Here at AIR Pre-Hire, we don’t simply check the basic information, we dig deep to identify inconsistencies and make sure your potential employees (as well as existing employees) are acceptable for hire. This is the human element of our custom pre-screening service. You can count on us for timely, verified pre-screening and employee re-screening.

Tags: , ,