Individual Background Check – Identity Verification and SSN Trace

Most criminal history information is publicly available. It can be found by running a simple search of an applicant’s name online or through social media.


Most background checks also include a check of an applicant’s employment history and academic records. Verifying these is crucial as applicants may exaggerate their work experience or credentials.

Identity Verification

Identity verification is a critical part of an individual background check. It ensures that the person who is conducting the background check actually is the person they say they are, and enables hiring companies to confirm whether the information they have collected from the candidate matches up with what is found in data sources.

The most common forms of identity verification include verifying physical documents like passports and driver’s licenses, and checking online documentation such as credit histories or Social Security Number locators. It also includes using biometric methods like facial recognition or fingerprint scanning to confirm an individual’s identity.

Despite what some may think, identity verification does not happen automatically as part of standard background checks. Adding it to your digital background check workflow is simple, and it can help prevent costly mistakes. For example, transcription errors, like transposing first and middle names, can delay the background check process by requiring your candidates to show up in person to have their identity verified.

A mobile-friendly, easy to use identity screening solution like Certn OneID can reduce friction for both you and your candidates by ensuring that the candidate is who they claim to be from the start of the hiring process. OneID’s biometric facial recognition technology compares a candidate’s selfie image with the name on their government-issued document to ensure they match.

Social Security Number Verification

An individual’s Social Security number can be the best method for confirming their identity for background checks. This is especially important because criminal records are linked to names, and people frequently change their name in order to avoid being flagged for a background check. In these cases, the company conducting the background check could receive false or incomplete information. Verifying a candidate’s SSN through an SSN Trace can prevent these errors. It also allows for the identification of any aliases, enabling the company to conduct more thorough searches based on the name in question. This may help to uncover additional addresses that the candidate has lived at, which can assist with filling in gaps of search data if there are any.

In addition, an SSN Trace can also reveal if the number has been reported as deceased, and searches numerous state agencies to do so. This can be helpful in ensuring that the employer has the legal right to perform a background check on a potential employee.

It’s important to note that New York law restricts most employers from requesting an employee’s SSN, and requires a consent form signed by the individual to be legally valid. However, the law does make an exception for obtaining an SSN in the course of employment-related background checks. This post was written by Tim Stobierski, a writer and content strategist focused on finance, fintech, insurtech, tech, and software.

Employment History Verification

A background check that confirms an applicant’s employment history can be a valuable tool in hiring decisions. However, it’s important to know the limits of what past employers can legally disclose.

As part of an individual background check, a professional verification specialist can contact the candidate’s previous employers and verify details such as dates of employment, responsibilities and job titles. Unlike reference checks, which rely on the candidate to provide their own employment information, these professionals will also investigate gaps in an employment timeline that might indicate falsification of work experience.

Employment history verifications can also reveal inconsistencies in an applicant’s resume. For example, if David claims to have been a supervisor in a previous position, a professional verification service can contact the employer and learn that he was actually a team lead in an entry-level role.

It is also common for companies to conduct criminal record checks as part of an individual background check. A national and/or state criminal record check can help identify felony or misdemeanor convictions and current pending charges. It can also uncover a history of vandalism, public intoxication, violent or sex crimes and more. In addition to identifying these types of issues, a criminal background check can reveal any disciplinary actions taken against the candidate by their previous employers. If the company deems this disciplinary action unsuitable for their business, it can be a reason to decline an employment offer.

Criminal Record Verification

A criminal record check searches national, state and county records to reveal crime and misdemeanor convictions and pending cases. This type of search can also reveal legal infractions that include citations and fines (though some states consider these to not be crimes at all). A criminal record check might also include federal convictions, but it will not report information on sealed or expunged offenses.

A comprehensive search will reveal felony and misdemeanor convictions, arrests, pending charges and warrants, and incarceration history. It will also show if the applicant is on any watch lists, including global, domestic and sex offender registries.

Depending on the scope of the search, it might also include driving records. It may also provide information modified from consumer credit reports on credit-to-debt ratio, payment history, tax liens and accounts in collections.

During the hiring process, a background check can be a critical component to ensuring a safe and secure workplace. It can reduce risks and costs, protect your organization’s assets and reputation, and help prevent on-the-job incidents. However, a traditional background check can take several days to complete and deliver results. Shareable for Hires is an innovative alternative, providing nearly instant background checks and credit history reports. It can save you time and money, while ensuring you are using the most accurate and up-to-date information.