This article will help you:
- Run your first background check
- Order reports and send invitations to candidates
- Track and manage candidates on the Checkr Dashboard
- Review and assess background check reports
- Proceed with candidates using “Engage” or decline them with an Adverse Action process
- Set up basic processes to stay compliant and manage candidates
Note: This article is designed for end users of Checkr (or, in other words, companies who use Checkr to run background checks).
- If you're an applicant looking for more information, please visit our Applicant Portal.
- If you're a developer looking to build on Checkr's API, please visit our API Docs.
Welcome to Checkr!
We're happy to partner with you to make your background check process more efficient, reduce your compliance risk, and improve your candidates' experience. As you get started with Checkr, you'll probably be doing one of a few things: running a report, managing candidate statuses, or adjudicating/reviewing reports.
This guide will walk you through the basics of using Checkr, and we'll link to other articles that take you more in-depth. But first, check out this quick video for an overview.
To get up to speed on Checkr easily, just remember these five key steps:
- Order a report
- Track the report
- Review “Consider” reports
- Manage Adverse Actions
- Optimize your process over time (you'll get more efficient and compliant with advanced features)
We’ll cover these in order in this article.
1. Order your first background check
Users with admin or requester roles (usually recruiters at your business) can invite candidates to a background check.
If you don't see any links to invite candidates in your account, you likely haven't set up payment yet. As an admin, go to Account Settings > Payment to enter it.
There are two ways to run background checks using the Checkr Dashboard: invitation links and manual orders.
Invitation links allow candidates to complete a background check workflow with a single link. This workflow is hosted by Checkr: we'll capture and store the candidate's PII (personally identifiable information), provide the agreed-upon Disclosure and Authorization documents, including state-specific documents.
To send invitation links in bulk via email (recommended), go to the Candidates section, and click Invite Candidates.
To send an individual invitation link, go to the Home section to see a list of invitation links that you can simply copy and paste.
Manual orders allow individual recruiters to order ad-hoc background checks quickly. You must collect the candidate's PII and consent to run the background check offline. Your Admin should request that Checkr enable this function if you want to use it, because it's a less common approach than sending invitation links.
To learn more about running checks, see our article "How do I request a background check?"
2. Track candidates and reports on the Checkr Dashboard
Once you order the background check, the candidate takes the next step in the process. If you used the invitation link workflow, the candidate will do a few things:
- Enter their PII (see "What information are applicants required to provide for their background check?")
- Read the disclosure(s) and authorize that they consent to have a background report run (see "How does Checkr manage an applicant's consent form?")
- Submit additional information if an exception occurs. For more information, see the section below or "How can applicants submit documents for additional verification?"
All user roles can track candidates and reports as they process.
Exceptions mean that Checkr can't proceed with the background check based on the information provided by the candidate. In most instances, this is due to mistyped information (e.g. mistyped driver’s license resulting in no license found). When exceptions occur, Checkr automatically sends the candidate an email notification requesting additional documentation, which includes an upload link they can use to provide the documents securely.
Checkr will review uploaded documents within 24 hours, and once exceptions are resolved, the report begins processing again. If the candidate does not respond within seven days, the report goes into suspended status.
As candidates move through the process, you will see different statuses in the Candidates section that indicate where they are in the process, including the outcome of the background check. The most common statuses that you'll see are:
- Pending: The report is processing and will typically be finalized in 2-3 days, but could take longer if we need documentation from the candidate or if a particular search is taking longer than expected (search delays are often due to court processing, over which Checkr has no control)
- Clear: The report is complete and does not contain adverse information on any of the screenings
- Consider: The report is complete and contains some sort of adverse information to evaluate. This doesn't necessarily mean a "fail." See the section below on assessing background reports for more information.
For more about report statuses, see "What does the status of the report indicate?"
To search for specific candidates or information, or to filter your candidates, use the Search fields at the top of the Candidates section. For example, you can search for Pending reports by the ones that are being researched as expected, ones that require more information from the candidate, or ones that are overdue.
Click show advanced filters to filter by Geo, Program, Packages, Dates, and more.
Get updates on candidates
Many recruiters and HR professionals want to receive updates on their candidates as they progress through the background check process. Checkr can provide email updates to you on candidates as they progress.
To set up these email updates, go to the Account Settings section. Under Your Email Preferences, you’ll see your options. For example, you can be notified when a report reaches Clear or Consider status, or when a report is Suspended or Expired (indicating that the candidate failed to respond or provide the requested information) to keep your process moving more efficiently.
Email preferences are set for each individual account, so you can set the ones that you’d like to receive without worrying about changing your teammates’ settings.
To learn more, see “How do I manage my email notification preferences?”
3. Review a background report
All user roles can review background reports, but only users with admin or adjudicator roles can take action based on a report.
Checkr's background reports follow a simple, linear, color-coded format to make reviewing and assessing reports more efficient.
Typically, the reports you'll be assessing are the ones in consider status. Filter these reports on the Dashboard, then click go to report.
The report will display all screenings that have been processed for a given report. It will also apply color-coded formatting based on the results of that specific screening so you can quickly see which screening(s) are triggering a consider status.
Based on the information in the report, go to the Actions section and do one of two things:
- Engage: This means that you have reviewed the information that was marked consider and proceeded to move forward with the candidate
- Pre Adverse Action: This means that you have reviewed the information that was marked consider and decided that you intend not to move forward with the candidate based on that information
TIP: If you decide to engage, make sure to click the Engage button so that your team members will not be confused about the candidate’s status, and so Checkr’s analytics will work correctly!
4. Manage Adverse Actions
Only users with admin or adjudicator roles can manage the Adverse Action process.
When you intend not to move forward with a candidate based on the information contained in a background check, that is called an Adverse Action. To stay compliant and avoid the legal action that can come from not properly handling Adverse Actions, you must follow a process that complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
Remember that just because a report came back as Consider, that is not a reason to disqualify a candidate. Build a consistent adjudication process to take into account the nature of the crime (e.g. petty theft vs. assault and battery), when the crime occurred (e.g. 6 months vs. 6 years), and whether the crime is relevant to the job duties that the candidate would be performing.
As part of a proper Adverse Action process, you must provide:
- Pre-Adverse Action Notice: Informs the candidate that you are considering not moving forward with the employment process based on information in the background report.
- Waiting Period: The FCRA requires a reasonable amount of time (usually 7 calendar days, but some jurisdictions require more) before taking final action, so the candidate has an opportunity to dispute any incorrect or outdated information in the report
- Adverse Action Notice (or “Post-Adverse Action Notice”): Once you have waited the required amount of time – including time required for the resolution of any dispute – you must provide a final notice of your decision if you have decided not to move forward with the candidate
Checkr helps you stay compliant throughout the Adverse Action process. To learn more about this process, see our article on Adverse Action.
5. Admin information and advanced features
For Admin users, who are able to change account settings within Checkr, the most common things you'll do are:
- Add and manage users
- Configure more powerful, advanced features like programs, geos, and the Positive Adjudication Matrix
- Review and interpret Checkr's analytics
For an introduction to those topics, see our Getting Started Guide for Admins.
If you have questions, need tips, or want to get access to advanced features, email email@example.com to get in touch with our Customer Success team.