Skip to the main content.

3 min read

What Is An Extensive Background Check And Do I Need One?

extensive background checks

A background check can be any employer’s best bet against disrupting their carefully-assembled team of employees with the wrong hire. It can also be their best protection against all manner of unforeseen issues arising from this, including liability, stolen data or simply hurt business.

Every employer has their own version of a background check, and can make theirs as deep or as simple as they like. The recommended depth and specificity of any background check hinges on a number of external factors – from the type of work you engage in, to the types of clients you work with, to the location you’re based in (which is important for reasons you might not initially assume). We’ll detail why all of this matters, and how it helps determine how deep your background check should reach.

What’s Considered An Extensive Background Check?

“Extensive” is a broad adjective when it comes to background checks of potential new hires. For the purposes of this article, however, it could be interpreted in two distinct ways:

Breadth Of Search

An “extensive background check” could be defined as a background check that goes beyond the basics, or the usual steps taken to ensure the proper identity and experience of your candidate. Generally speaking, this encompasses an employment history verification and a criminal history search. Just about any candidate can count on one or both of these screenings being run for whatever job they’re applying for, as both are fairly standard across all industries.

If you’re looking to go further and deepen your search, you can add additional items to your background check -from DMV record searches, to drug testing, credit reports and social security number tracing. If you’re including any of these into your background check process, some of them should even be run first, so you can better target that employment history & criminal history search (for instance, a Social Security Number Address Trace can reveal multiple names attached to it, and this can broaden your search by including them). 

Depth Of Search

“Extensive” might also refer to any search that goes beyond the basics in terms of its depth. For instance – sure, you might run a candidate’s name against the National Criminal Database, but what about the state level? Or running their name against local offenses at the county level? It might sound like a lot of legwork, but if your job necessitates an extensive dive, then it’s time to stretch those legs and go. Running a name against one level of criminal database only provides partial results, making this one case where “extensive” simply means “as complete as possible”.

Likewise, an extensive background check might mean taking a far longer look into a candidate’s employment history, even if it means calling those previous points of contact listed yourself to ensure that the information given is legitimate. Much like preceding a criminal history search with a SSN trace to better target your findings, you can also precede an employment history verification by first verifying a candidate’s education history. Even if the education itself isn’t directly related to the work you’re providing, if a client is lying about their degree or their course of study, then you can skip the hard work of a deep employment history search before you even begin it.

Do I Need An Extensive Background Check?

So do you need to go above and beyond with your candidates on the next background check you order? Again, that depends on those external factors. The federal government has arguably the most extensive background check process in the entire country, and for good reason – the secrets many of their jobs protect carry extensive implications for all of us. If you’re operating a fast food restaurant, your work is still important, as is your vetting process – but chances are, you don’t have to analyze which countries your candidate went to on vacation 5 years ago.

Make your background check work for you – meaning customize it to go above and beyond the basics in areas that really matter, then reserve your resources elsewhere. Ask yourself some obvious questions about the nature of your work, and the nature of your clientele, then protect the public – and your company – accordingly. For instance – do your employees work closely with minors? Do they have access to guests at their most vulnerable? If you work in education or hospitality, chances are both of these things are true, necessitating a deeper dive on that criminal history search – and ideally including sex offender registries as well as fraud lists on that search.

What’s The Best Way To Run An Extensive Background Check?

How do you order an extensive background check? Well, the easiest way is to not do it alone. Background check services offer major advantages to any employers going above and beyond in their search, and AccuSourceHR offers those advantages alongside the industry’s highest-rated customer service. We also automate many of the processes that might otherwise eat up hours upon hours of your day (or your hiring manager’s day), then verify the results with unbeatable human knowledge & experience. This frees you up to focus on all the business already happening with your current employees – as well as any current complications.

What’s more, AccuSourceHR can also advise you on the other area that determines how extensive your background check should be – namely, compliance. Depending on where your job is located, many of the screenings in an extensive background check may or may not be legal, and you might risk major liability by conducting them. AccuSourceHR keeps you up to date on changing laws and guidelines, so you’re only ever screening for what you’re supposed to be. Finally, we sync with your existing ATS to provide all this data to you with a single click. Reach out today to learn more about how extensive your background check needs to be – along with exactly how simple we can make it for you.

Promoting Remote Worker Engagement Through the Holidays

Promoting Remote Worker Engagement Through the Holidays

Management and human resource professionals play critical roles in promoting connectivity with remote workers, which is essential for maintaining...

Read More
Webinar: AccuSourceHR's 2023 Year-End Compliance Update

Webinar: AccuSourceHR's 2023 Year-End Compliance Update

2023 has (almost) left the building! We have entered Quarter 4 of 2023 which means it is time for another year-end compliance update. 2023 has...

Read More
Workplace Drug Use Continues to Plague U.S. Businesses

Workplace Drug Use Continues to Plague U.S. Businesses

According to a recent survey, 22% of employees surveyed admitted to using drugs or alcohol during working hours. 1 in 5 people surveyed revealed they...

Read More