Criminal Background Checks Come In All Scopes and Sizes

Posted by Kristina Taylor
July 27, 2011

Criminal Background Checks Come In All Scopes and Sizes

As more and more industries are trending toward the safeguard that comes with implementing background checks on its prospective employees, many human resources professionals are scrambling to research the different types of pre-employment screening services available out there and to understand which is called for.

For example, many still believe that there is only one type of criminal background check. This is simply not true. There are, in fact, several different types of searches for a job applicant’s criminal history, and each involves a slightly different scope, both in physical area involved in the search and in the length of time lapsed from a conviction or warrant.

A county criminal search is a real-time search for felonies and misdemeanors for a particular county. This search goes back a minimum of seven years.

A statewide criminal search is of felonies and misdemeanors as reported by all the counties in a particular state. This may contain wants and warrants from other states as well.

A multi-state criminal search includes over 300 million criminal records from hundreds of sources in all 50 states as well as some international records. It also includes sex offender registries with over 3.5 million pictures.

Finally, a federal criminal background check is a search for crimes prosecuted at the federal level. This can include cases of embezzlement, fraud, drug trafficking and other federal crimes.

It pays to know what kind of search your industry calls for, and whether you’ve found a reputable pre-employment screening service that can provide exactly what you need.

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