Background Checks For Remote Workers — What To Know

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Posted by: David Garcia June 30, 2021

The hiring process has been forever changed by the pandemic.

With employees stuck at home due to the pandemic, companies had to quickly find solutions to make work from home a viable alternative to the office. But after months of remote work, people started to change jobs and recruiters had to start hiring candidates from around the country without ever meeting in person.

Business owners also capitalized on the lucrativeness of getting rid of their offices and adopted remote work practices for good.

So, what is the right way to manage background checks for remote workers?

When it comes to hiring remotely, you should maintain the same level of professionalism you keep in person. Let’s discuss all the nuances surrounding remote background checks and clear up any misconceptions.

Can Employers Run Background Checks On Remote Workers?

In all cases, it is illegal to run a background check without informing your candidate. This is true for remote screenings as well.

Once you have permission from the candidate, running criminal, employment, and educational verifications for remote workers is fair game.

If the candidate is informed and agrees to the conditions, then you can and should run a complete background check.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) protects worker’s rights and needs to be followed to the letter to ensure a fair and proper background check takes place.

Remote workers may come from different states with unique laws, so always partner with a company like ScoutLogic that understands the regulations in every state to safeguard your business’s best interests and work within the law.

Why Is It Necessary To Perform Background Checks For Remote Workers?

When you are hiring anyone, you plan to trust them with private information. That trust is elevated when working remotely.

You might send a candidate an office computer and give them passwords to sensitive information.
Remote employees pose a security threat not seen in the office.

The very same technology that makes remote work possible also gives new hires access to proprietary client and company information. Just because you work from the comfort of your own home does not mean you should forget the security precautions of the office.

The responsibility is on the hiring manager to protect the company from anyone who could pose a threat. Therefore, criminal convictions, motor vehicle records, education history, and employment history all need background screening before you can finish the hiring process.

You need to perform remote employee background checks for all the same reasons you need to perform in-person background checks. You owe it to both your company and fellow remote workers to hire someone who is telling the truth and has a backed-up resume.

Tips To Consider Before Performing Background Checks On Remote Workers

Check out this brief checklist before you begin hiring any candidates remotely.

Make sure that in this new world of remote employees you still are comprehensive in scope and meticulous in detail.

Follow Federal and Local Regulations

We can’t state this enough. You always need to consider the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when it comes to background screening.

The FCRA regulates the fairness, accuracy, and privacy of your candidate throughout a screening. You may know the federal rules by heart, but the state laws all differ.

Before hiring remote employees, research the FCRA guidelines in their state and adhere to all the specific regulations. You risk legal action should you perform a background screening that does not adequately protect the candidate.

Expand & Adapt the Job’s Qualifications

When hiring remote employees, you should look for qualities that go beyond the typical job description.

Fine-tune the desired qualifications of the position to find the most suitable person for the role. For example, if you’re hiring someone for an online teaching position, are they qualified or experienced in creating training materials specifically for an online audience? A classroom setting versus an online setting is worlds different, so the job advert should reflect that.

Also, get creative in learning a bit more about the candidates. For example, do they have out-of-work hobbies or commitments that demonstrate a self-starter personality type? Remote work requires a different level of proactiveness and discipline.

Search for Experienced, Tech-Savvy Candidates

Tech-minded candidates with prior experience working remotely will save you the time and money involved in training and buying new technological supports.

Consider what tech the candidate already has at home before hiring them, whether that’s a high-quality camera, good microphone, or even a professional video call background.

A top remote employee already knows they will be working from home and has set up their home office space to reflect that.

How ScoutLogic Can Help You?

Hiring remote employees does not have to be hard. ScoutLogic has systems in place to make an employment background check easier than it was in the office.

ScoutLogic can research everything from employment background, to social security number trace, and even drug tests. We update you in real-time following each background screening report.

We pair you with professional background screeners. This “Scout” team integrates with your company and becomes an extension of your HR team during the background check process. Our “Scout” model gets you better, faster results, and always keeps a direct line of communication open.

Let ScoutLogic handle the nitty-gritty details, so you can spend time focusing on your candidate’s resume.


Remote work has thrown every company for a loop. New regulations, changing technology, and workflow developments have fundamentally changed the traditional office space and business.
But it’s an exciting time for business owners.

With location no longer a barrier, the talent pool has become much bigger and it’s more possible than ever to find the best candidate for a job.

ScoutLogic will help you every step of the way. Get your free assessment today, and make hiring a breeze!

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