Blog Post

What Makes a Comprehensive Contractor Background Check?

Background Screening | April 14, 2023
Comprehensive Contractor Background Check

When hiring a contractor, it’s important to conduct a thorough background check to ensure that you’re engaging with someone who is reliable, trustworthy, and qualified for the job. Organizations work in a very litigious environment where reputation, safety, and operational concerns are always at the forefront. Comprehensive contractor background checks can be a valuable tool to mitigate these risks. A key result of including these checks in your business strategy is to ensure the organization has the information available to them to make prudent and data-based decisions. Lack of information leads to negligence, and while no one expects a 100% guarantee on a contractor’s future behavior, not doing anything to demonstrate due diligence is no longer an option.

Not every role is suitable for every individual, and understanding what is relevant to the role is important. For example, if a contractor needs to drive to consumer homes to conduct repairs, a current and active driving license would be relevant. Likewise, if a delivery driver has a history of assault and theft convictions, it may pose an unnecessary risk to have him enter your customers’ homes unsupervised. 

Below are key components of a comprehensive contractor background check:

Criminal History Check 

A criminal history check  – typically referring to county and federal level searches – should be one of the first things that you look at when conducting a background check on a contractor. This will help you identify any past convictions or charges that may disqualify them from engaging with your organization. 

Sex Offender Registry Check 

Ensuring the contractor is not listed as an active sex offender on any state or tribal registry is a simple and quick step that can be taken to reduce the risk brought to your contractor network and customer base. This search should always be done in addition to a criminal record search.

Criminal Database Check 

This type of search is a broader search of various databases, which include arrest, warrant, criminal, and various watches and sanctions listings that can complement the more detailed criminal history check noted above. This will help you identify any past convictions or charges that may have occurred beyond the residential areas where an individual has resided. It also includes various governmental sources which could contain records about an individual. 

Drug Testing

Knowing if a contractor has a habitual drug use issue helps ensure your worksites and contractors are operating in a safety-focused environment. While drug testing does not test for impairment, it can be a piece of the background check puzzle.

Driver History Check 

Any individual who will be required to drive a vehicle as part of their contracting role with your organization should have a driver search conducted on them. Typically the focus will be on ensuring an active license is in place, but some organizations may look deeper at the history of infractions, violations, accidents, and other driving-related concerns. It should also be noted that because the driver record search is run against the state Department of Motor Vehicles database, it also contains helpful government-issued identification information such as name(s), date of birth, and address information. These details may be used to cross-reference with other searches. 

Identity Verification Check 

The majority of records searched during a background check are based onComprehensive Contractor Background Check the demographics of name(s), date of birth, and address(es). If any of these are incorrect or incomplete, the results provided may provide a false sense of security by missing important details. A truly comprehensive background check should include a step where the identifying information provided by the individual is verified and cross-referenced against various sources. This process may uncover additional names or addresses that could be included as well as verify that the date of birth information is accurate.

By conducting a comprehensive contractor background check before engaging them for your organization, you can ensure that a strong risk management approach is being followed and you are protecting your organization from financial, operational, legal, and reputational risks.

Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.

About PlusOne Solutions

PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit

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