Top 10 Types Of Background Checks

June 5, 2022

What is background screening

A background check is a process a person or company uses to verify that an individual is who they claim to be, and this provides an opportunity to check and confirm the validity of someone's criminal record, education, employment history, and other activities from their past.

How do to decide what background checks to perform

To make it easier to decide which background checks to perform InfoSecAssure have created a guide to background checking and easy to use decision making model.

Why is it important

Background checks are a reliable source for judging a prospective hire's character and suitability for the role. The right type of checks help prevent safety and security risks that may arise from a specific hire.

Making sure you employ truth-worthy people

From an information security perspective background screening can be a useful tool to ensure that you employ the right type of people to manage and protect your most important assets.

When managing technology administrators have access to the keys to your data kingdom.

If you allow a person who is in extreme personal financial hardship to have access to your customers personal or financial data they could:

  • Duplicate the data and sell it for financial gain; or
  • Make fraudulent transactions to transfer money to their own personal accounts.
Verifying remote workers

With the increase in remote working due to the global coronavirus pandemic in 2020 more and more companies are employing people from different locations making it harder to verify the identity of the person. Each country and state have their own background screening verification sources and knowing which ones to use can be a minefield.

Supporting national security

In some instances you make be working directly for the government or provide services to the government.  If you have access to information that could, if leaked, impact the security interests of that country government agencies will require that your employees have gone through the relevant processes to have a range of checks complete.

Minimizing mistakes that can lead to security incidents

Some roles require a certain level of professional experience to have been undertaken or education to have been completed before allowing them to do a particular task.  By conducting reference checks and verifying qualifications companies minimize the chances of employees being given roles where any misrepresentation of experience or skills could result in mistakes being made.

Who is the man behind the mask?

Top 10 Types of background checks

  1. Identity  – Verify names, addresses, drivers, licenses, date of birth.
  2. Criminal history – verify whether a person has been associated with any criminal activity in the past.
  3. Employment References – ascertain qualities such as attitude to work, professional competencies, ethics, leadership abilities, teamwork, etc. The reference check also helps verify claims of past accomplishments and professional contributions made in previous companies.
  4. Past Employment Verification – verify that the employment history as claimed by the candidate is true.
  5. Working with children - reveal details about a candidate's records relevant to the position they are applying for. This can include Court convictions relating to child offences, Finding of guilts, especially in assault or compromising offences, Arrest warrants! Court/intervention orders relating to domestic violence! Police cautions, Spent conviction records relevant to child offences, Other records on the Australian criminal database relevant to child offences and Sexually related offences.
  6. Visa – work and study entitlements, residential status, right to work status, immigration status.
  7. Credit history - establish if the prospective hire is financially responsible based Jon their current credit score and history.
  8. Qualifications - verify qualifications or certificates obtained from various institutes
  9. Sanctions - uncover any violations by an individual connected with financial irregularities, securities fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism or unauthorized sharing of restricted technologies.
  10. Drug screening – determines if alcohol or other banned/illegal drugs are present in the screened person's bloodstream.
Other types of background checks
  • Social media – find out if a candidate is posting hateful, sexist, homophobic, or racist comments online.
  • Driving record - records of traffic accidents, driving record points, driver's license status, instances of 'driving under the influence', and other traffic violations/fines/convictions.
  • Professional membership of an industry association - Confirmation of professional memberships.
  • Medical – verify medical, physical and overall capacity to work, and highlights any potential considerations required from workplace health and safety.
  • Back-door reference check - A back-door reference check is when an employer decides to check with people that the candidate has not provided as a reference,  These references may provide a more objective assessment of the candidate abilities.
Which candidate would you choose?


For many of the checks listed above consent from the individual is required.  It is important to get advice about what privacy laws must be adhered to in the location where you intend to conduct background screening activities.

Background screening providers.

There are many to choose from. Consider the location of the people you will be screening and the types of screening you want to do before committing to a provider. And like with all suppliers ensure they have the necessary security applied to protect your screened individuals personal information.

In summary

An employee background check is a process undertaken by an employer to verify if a prospective hire is who they claim to be. The background check provides the employer with a means to verify the prospective hire's background - education history, employment history, civil offenses history, criminal record, and other aspects of their past that might have a bearing on the hire's performance at work, or on the reputation of the employer.

Background checks help a company build a trusted team by mitigating hiring risk. Background checks facilitate fair, objective, and informed hiring decisions. Through diligent background checks, companies can create a safe workplace, guard against liability claims, comply with federal, state, and industry laws, and most critically protect their assets and hard-earned reputation.

Download our Guide to Background Checking with a Role Based Model

Use our simple decision making model to map your roles to suitable background checks.

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