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Sunday, November 18, 2018

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How do background checks vary by industry?

How do background checks vary by industry?

Employers hire a background screening company to handle their pre-employment background checks in a discrete and thorough fashion. Completed reports should not only give critical details on an applicant, but also be tailored to the industry in which the company operates. Even as business needs remain consistent, there are a unique screening guidelines to consider depending on your field:


Manufacturers all over the country confront similar staffing challenges, whether for high-end executive positions or skilled employees able to run a forklift on the factory floor. Considering few industries in America face more safety challenges than manufacturing, pre-hire and continuous screening often involves comprehensive drug and alcohol testing.

A manufacturing firm may require a multi-panel drug screening that tests for cocaine or marijuana use, as well as any number of amphetamines or opiates. Saliva tests are a common tool in the industry, as drugs are immediately detectable in oral fluid. Speed can prevent a potential disaster, as substance abusers are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident than their peers.


Regulation changes and increased litigation for healthcare providers have further emphasized the importance of background checks within the industry. Most healthcare organizations, from large hospitals to small clinics, require extensive pre-employment screenings to ensure staff and patient safety. A screening can uncover high-risk or sanctioned individuals early in the hiring process, with recommended checks specific to the industry including:

*Social Security Number traces

*National Criminal Report

*County Criminal Search - Felony/Misdemeanor

*National Sex Offender reports

*Federal Criminal District searches

*County criminal reports

* Education verification

*Professional license verification

A federal OIG/GSA search identifies individuals who have committed fraud against Medicare, Medicaid or other federally funded healthcare programs. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends monthly healthcare sanction checks as well. The Fraud and Abuse Control Information System (FACIS) is another tool to detect, on an ongoing basis, employees and contractors who have been sanctioned or are excluded from participating in federal and state health care programs.


Employment background screening in banking and finance is a deterrent against threats such as money laundering, embezzlement and accounting fraud. Complex regulatory requirements have mandated tight internal controls, so financial institutions making informed hiring decisions should know candidate's history in terms of industry-specific sanction and watch lists.

Screening of finance industry applicants dive into criminal background checks (county/state/national/federal), along with verification of employment and education references. Any professional license, including Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) must also stand under scrutiny.

Credit reports are useful for surveying a wide range of information specific to the finance industry. Outstanding debt, payment history, charge offs, collections, law suits and tax liens are a reliable barometer of candidate employability. Any credit check must be fully compliant with all federal and state regulations.


Anyone hired for a federal position undergoes a background check of their criminal and credit histories, even for non-political jobs like a mail carrier for the U.S. Post Office. Most investigations are performed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, but background screening firms offer additional investigative services to county, city, state and federal agencies.

The type of check depends on the degree of responsibility employees have for making decisions, dealing with confidential information, handling funds, or facing national security issues. For sensitive government work, screening of personal and employment references is sometimes bolstered by interviews with an applicant's friends, neighbors or family members.

Many government employers and private contractors have security clearances for various positions. Each position, whether confidential, secret or top secret, necessitate some level of background search. Study of lower levels of security usually rely on automated checks of a person's history, while higher clearances include interviews with a candidate's loved ones and businesses associates. 

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