The Comprehensive Background Checks Checklist

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

January 5 2021

By now, background checks are likely a standard part of your business’s hiring process. Whether you need to screen thousands of employees or small business background checks better fit your needs, it’s likely time to review your background screening process. Legislation, processes, service offerings, and technology change regularly. The right screening partner keeps you informed, but it might be helpful to set a calendar reminder to regularly review your background check program. This will guarantee you’re benefiting from the latest advancements in the screening world—saving you time, money, and frustration.

Use this background check checklist to review your existing screening program or to design a new program that will protect your business, staff, and clientele.


Compliant Background Checks

    Review ban-the-box legislation.
    Several states and cities have ban-the-box laws, some of which are industry-specific. Ban-the-box laws prevent employers from asking about criminal histories on job applications. These can impact your business’s hiring process, so confirm you’re familiar with and in compliance with any laws that apply to your company.
    Review salary history legislation.
    Some states and cities have banned salary history verifications, citing the potential for discrimination. Double-check to see if any of these laws apply to your organization before conducting a salary history verification. Your background check provider should have compliance rules in place that prevent you from receiving salary history information that you are legally not allowed to use in a hiring decision.
    Retain and destroy documentation as necessary.
    Hold on to records for as long as required and destroy old, outdated data to remain in compliance with all local laws and regulations. 
    Review your screening documents.
    Regularly review your screening protocols and documentation (like your Disclosure and Authorization forms) to ensure they are aligned with all current EEOC guidelines and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 


    Busting 7 Myths About Background Screening

    InfoMart’s service model emphasizes accuracy, a positive candidate and customer experience, and turnaround time. Here are 7 myths about background screening procedures — and how InfoMart’s service proves them wrong.

    The Right Background Check Services

      Reconsider your current drug screening policy
      With marijuana laws varying wildly from state to state, many organizations have decided to opt out of marijuana screening. While regulated industries (like transportation and healthcare, for example) need to strictly adhere to guidelines surrounding drug testing, other companies are relaxing their drug testing protocols around marijuana to open up the pool of candidates available to them. The right background screening partner can make this easy, including blocking marijuana test results from appearing on background checks in select states.
      Invest in continuous monitoring.
      Just because a pre-employment background check came back clear doesn’t mean your current employees have stayed out of legal trouble since then. Continuous criminal monitoring has stepped in to fill that need. Continuous monitoring taps into nationwide arrest data to provide near real-time notification when a current employee has been arrested.
      Watch for diploma mills.
      Do your education verifications include a diploma mill check? A diploma mill scan confirms that an applicant received their degree from an accredited institution rather than a fake “school” that sells diplomas online. It’s important that your employees have the skills they claim to have, and a diploma mill scan is an important step in verifying that credential.
      Look into social media screening.

      The majority of your candidates and employees are online. A social media check is a compliant way to search for inflammatory language including racism, sexism, and violence. Screening their social media presence on your own opens you up to legal trouble, so if you’re considering social media searches, add this to your background check program to ensure you’re doing it in a compliant way.

      A Simple Process for Background Checks

      If you haven’t already, integrating your background screening program with your ATS creates a seamless screening process from beginning to end. It’s easier for your HR professionals and it provides a better experience for your candidates.
      Optimize for mobile.

      Candidates do everything from their phones. Yes, everything! Make sure your screening process is optimized for PC, mobile, and any other devices an applicant might use to submit their information. 

      Secure your systems.
      Regular security audits identify vulnerabilities in corporate systems before they become breaches. Conduct regular security audits on your screening systems to ensure there are no bugs or backdoors that could be taken advantage of. 
      Go remote.
      Everything is remote these days. Look into remote alternatives to traditional screening methods to create an easy experience for your candidates. 
      Go global.
      Global companies recruit talent from anywhere and everywhere. If you’re hiring globally, ensure your background screening partner has the capacity to screen globally in accordance with local laws and regulations. 
      Utilize the latest technology.

      In addition to integrations, look at what technology your company can use to improve or streamline your screening process. Consider taking advantage of:

      • Online I-9 verifications. A fully online I-9 and E-Verify process enables your business to quickly and easily check off this important step for any new hire. 
      • Fingerprinting. Tap into the FBI fingerprinting database if that’s necessary for the positions for which you’re hiring.
      • Facial recognition software. Facial recognition software verifies candidates’ identities and initiates background checks with verified identifiers. InfoMart’s ASAP ID confirms a candidate’s identity with just a quick selfie.
      • Artificial intelligence. AI has a variety of uses. From verifying a candidate’s documentation to matching them with open positions, there are several smart solutions available to improve your hiring process. 

      Creating a comprehensive program for background checks is integral. When reviewing yours, keep in mind local laws and regulations, industry and job-specific searches, and federal guidelines. Additionally, it’s important to maintain your candidates’ right to privacy and to protect their sensitive information from bad-faith actors. 

      To simplify this process, choose a trusted partner for background checks. Screening experts know all the intricacies of the FCRA and the EEOC, as well as any additional legislation that may apply for specific states, industries, or job roles. They also have easy access to the latest technology and services, and they should utilize these to create a seamless screening program that works for your business’s specific needs. This comprehensive checklist can help you create a program from scratch or help you evaluate a potential screening partner

      However you choose to use this guide, remember that background checks are a necessary and important step in any hiring process. A robust screening program keeps your business secure and gets new hires to work quickly. The faster, more accurate, and more comprehensive your screening program is, the better your workforce will be!


      Ready to learn more about InfoMart’s background checks?
      Request more information.

        The Ultimate Checklist for Integrating Background Checks & Existing HR Tech

        Want to make changes to your background screening integration? Thinking about integrating your ATS and background checks for the first time?

        This simple guide puts you on the path. Learn what questions to ask during each phase of implementation and discover the answers you need from your team and your vendor before getting started.

        About Tammy Cohen

        Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record. To learn more about Tammy, visit

        About InfoMart

        InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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