Does Background Check Contact Current Employer?

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There are many reasons why someone might want to do a background check on a potential employee. For example, maybe you’re hiring for your first-ever position, and you want to make sure you’re making the best decision possible. 

Or, perhaps you’ve had a bad experience in the past, and now you’re looking for a new hire with a clean record. Many employers choose to do a background check on potential employees, and many companies offer this service. 

One thing you might be wondering is whether or not the company conducting the background check will contact your current employer. Unfortunately, the answer to this question depends on the company doing the background check. 

No matter your reason, it’s essential to know that some background check companies will contact your current employer.

What is a Background Check?

A background check is a process of gathering information about an individual. This can include criminal records, past employers, credit history, and more. Most employers will run a background check on potential employees before making a final decision. 

There are a few reasons why an employer might contact your current employer. One reason is to verify that you are currently employed, and another reason is to get more information about your work history. 

If there are any red flags in your background check, the employer may contact your current employer to ask for further clarification. Some employers will also contact your references to get more information about you. 

If you have a good relationship with your current employer, they may be willing to provide a reference for you. However, it is essential to note that most employers cannot give out any information about their employees without written consent.

Why Do You Need a Background Check?

You might be asking yourself, “Do I really need a background check?” The answer is yes. A pre-employment screening will protect your business and employees.

There are several reasons to conduct a background check on potential employees:

  • To ensure the safety of your employees and customers
  • To avoid negligent hiring lawsuits
  • To find qualified candidates for the job opening

One of the most essential steps in conducting a background check is contacting the candidate’s current or previous employer. 

This allows you to get an idea of their work history, including any disciplinary actions taken against them. It’s also a way to verify that they actually worked for that company.

What is included in a background check?

It’s important to know what is included in a background check before beginning the process. For example, many people assume that all background checks include criminal record checks, but this isn’t always the case. 

Depending on the purpose of the background check, different information may be accessed. For example, when you’re looking for a job, your potential employer will likely perform a standard background check that includes verification of your name, address, and social security number.

They may also conduct a credit report check and search for any publicly available information about you online. 

On the other hand, suppose you’re applying to rent an apartment or buy a home. In that case, the landlord or mortgage lender will likely order a comprehensive background check that includes criminal records and credit reports from all three credit bureaus.

How to choose the right background check company


Checkr is a thorough background check service that can assist you in identifying prospective employees and tenants. Through the Checkr application, it is possible to communicate with the current employer of a prospective employee. 

Whenever you order a background check from Checkr, you will have the option of requesting the contact information for the person’s former employer. 

Contacting an applicant’s current employer, if you have access to this information, can provide you with additional information about their work history and performance if you have access to this information. 


HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening services, and other related products and solutions. 

In addition, the company provides a wide range of screening packages. The employment background check service provided by HireRight is one of the most popular services. 

Using this service, businesses can obtain information about an applicant’s previous employment history, educational background, criminal record, and credit score from the applicant.

Sterling Talent Solutions

Sterling Talent Solutions is another great choice. Sterling does not, as a general rule, contact current employers without the express written consent of the applicant. There are some exceptions to this policy, but they are very rare. 

For example, most companies conducting pre-employment screenings will request permission from the applicant to contact their current employer. 

This is done primarily out of respect for the applicant’s privacy and to avoid any potential awkwardness or conflict if the employee is not offered the job. 

What to do if they contact your current employer

If the service checks your current employer, it’s essential to know what to do. If they just contact the HR department and ask for a copy of your personnel file, that’s one thing. However, if they try to speak with or interview your current boss, you’ll need to take action. 

The first step is to call the backgrounder and explain that you don’t give permission for them to contact your employer. 

You should also let them know that you’re happy to provide a reference yourself or through another representative. 

If they continue trying to contact your employer anyway, then you may need legal help to protect your privacy and job security. It’s always better to be safe than sorry for background checks.

How to deal with any potential consequences

If you’re applying for a new job and your current employer is contacted as part of a background check, you may be worried about the potential consequences. For example, your employer could find out that you’re looking for a new job, leading to problems in your current workplace.

There are a few things you can do to deal with any potential consequences:

Talk to your boss before you start the background check process. Let them know that you’re looking for a new job, and explain why you’re doing a background check. If they have any concerns, address them openly and honestly.

Be prepared for questions from your current employer if they are contacted. Also, make sure you have an explanation ready if they ask why you’re looking for a new job.

Keep in touch with your recruiter throughout the process. They can help you deal with any potential fallout from your current employer.

Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are plenty of people who have gone through this process, and there are ways to deal with any potential consequences. Stay calm and focused, and you’ll be able to navigate these waters successfully.

Discrepancies on your background check report

If there are any discrepancies between the information on your report and what your employer knows about you, it’s best to address them as soon as possible. 

There could be several reasons this might happen: maybe you have a common name, and the background check company pulled up someone with a similar name who has a criminal record. 

Or perhaps there was an error on your application that you can easily correct. In any case, it’s always better to clear things up sooner rather than later so that you don’t risk losing your job.

If you do find yourself in this situation, here are a few steps to take:

  • First, talk to your employer. 
  • Second, get a copy of your report. 
  • Third, contact the background check company. 

If you find any errors in your report, make sure to correct them as soon as possible. It’s essential to have an accurate, up-to-date background check when applying for jobs, mainly if yours contains any red flags. 

By addressing any discrepancies quickly, you can avoid any potential problems down the road.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to do a background check?

Conducting a background check can be accomplished through a variety of means. One way is to get with your current employer and see if they can run one for you.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive background check, you may want to consider using a third-party service. Some people prefer to use a combination of methods because they believe it is the most comprehensive approach available for their situation.

Is it essential that employers run background checks?

It’s certainly a question that merits careful consideration. While some employers might balk at the idea of spending time and money on screening employees, others may feel that it’s a necessary step to protect their business interests. Of course, there are pros and cons to both sides of the argument, but ultimately the decision comes down to what’s best for each business. 

How often should you update employment verification?

Make sure to check with your new employer to find out if you need to update your employment verification information.

For example, some employers do not require updated verifications, whereas others require them at predetermined intervals, such as every six months or once a year. On the other hand, others still may prefer to have their information updated more consistently. 

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Criminal background checks will show if someone has been arrested or convicted of a crime in the past 7-10 years, depending on state laws. 

Social media searches will also reveal public posts from Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., and driving records, including accidents and tickets received within the last ten years. 

Background checks may also include credit reports which show whether you have paid your bills on time and whether you have had any money judgments against you in court cases. 

Finally, there are educational background checks to find out whether someone has a degree from an accredited school or not.

bryan rucker
Written by Brian Williams

Brian is an expert in security, privacy, and information. He has studied background checks, criminal, people search, and such topics over the last 5 years. He is also an avid writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge through this blog. Read more of Brian's articles.