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Candidate Background Check: Beyond the Offer

August 16, 2023

As a recruiter, finding the perfect candidate goes beyond reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. It's crucial to dig deeper and uncover essential details that paint a comprehensive picture of a potential hire. This is where background checks come into play – they are the recruiter's secret weapon for thorough candidate assessment. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of background checks, the different types available, and the top background check software that industry experts swear by. Let's dive in!

Hiring? 10 Ways To Ensure You Find The Right Candidate Fast

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Background Check & Why is it Important?
  2. Different Types of Background Checks
  3. Criminal Background Checks
  4. Credit Reporting
  5. Employment and Education Verification
  6. Reference Checks
  7. Social Media Checks
  8. The Importance of Background Checks for Recruiters
  9. Top Background Check Software for Recruiters
  10. Checkr
  11. Accurate Background
  12. IntelliCorp
  13. GoodHire
  14. HireRight
  15. Sterling
  16. ClearStar
  17. Verifile
  18. SkillSurvey
  19. Xref
  20. Wrapping Up

1. What is a Background Check & Why is it Important?

A background check is a process where employers verify the authenticity of a candidate's identity, education, employment history, and criminal background. It plays a vital role in establishing workplace transparency, trust, and safety. By uncovering potential red flags, background screening provides insights into a candidate's criminal history, financial records, education verification, and previous employment confirmation. This level of scrutiny is essential in avoiding negligent hiring, maintaining workplace safety, and ensuring a high-performing work environment.

How to do Employee Background Check | PyjamaHR

2. Different Types of Background Checks

Depending on the job requirements and nature of the role, recruiters may need to conduct various types of background checks to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of candidates. Here are the main types:

2.1 Criminal Background Checks

Criminal background checks provide information on a candidate's criminal history, helping gauge their suitability for positions of trust or security. These checks access local, state, and national criminal databases to uncover any misdemeanors, felonies, potential sex offenders, and arrest records, ensuring workplace safety.

2.2 Credit Reporting

For roles involving financial responsibilities, credit background checks assess an individual's financial health and responsibility by examining their credit history. Employers need to know about potential bankruptcies or confirm their social security number, ensuring trustworthiness in handling sensitive financial data.

2.3 Employment and Education Verification

One of the most common forms of background checks, employment and education verification, confirms the authenticity of a candidate's claimed educational background and employment history. This process includes contacting educational institutions and former employers to validate the details provided by the candidate.

2.4 Reference Checks

Reference checks involve contacting a candidate's previous contacts or peers to gain insights into their work ethic, professionalism, skills, strengths, and areas needing improvement. These qualitative checks provide valuable information about a candidate's suitability for a role.

2.5 Social Media Checks

Social media background searches involve reviewing a potential employee's social media accounts and web presence to ensure they are an appropriate fit for a position. Employers may run background reports on social media profiles or conduct in-depth scans of a candidate's digital activity. This check can confirm details on a candidate's application and provide new insights into their conduct.

3. Criminal Background Checks

Criminal background checks are an essential part of the recruitment process, especially for roles that require trust and security. These checks help ensure the safety of the workplace and prevent negligent hiring. By accessing local, state, and national criminal databases, recruiters can uncover any misdemeanors, felonies, potential sex offenders, or arrest records associated with a candidate. It's crucial to consider the nature of the offense and how it may impact the candidate's role before making any hiring decisions.

4. Credit Reporting

Credit reporting background checks are particularly relevant for positions involving financial responsibilities. These checks assess an individual's financial health and responsibility by examining their credit history. Employers need to ensure that candidates have a sound financial background and are capable of managing financial tasks effectively. This check can reveal any potential bankruptcies, financial mismanagement, or inconsistencies in social security numbers.

5. Employment and Education Verification

Employment and education verification is a standard background check that validates the authenticity of a candidate's claimed educational background and employment history. Recruiters contact educational institutions and former employers to confirm the details provided by the candidate, ensuring accuracy and honesty in the application process. This check helps recruiters assess the candidate's qualifications and experience, ensuring they are the right fit for the role.

6. Reference Checks

Reference checks are a valuable tool for recruiters to gain insights into a candidate's work ethic, professionalism, skills, strengths, and areas needing improvement. By contacting former employers or colleagues, recruiters can gather qualitative information about a candidate's performance and suitability for a role. These checks provide additional perspectives beyond the candidate's own claims and can help recruiters make informed decisions.

7. Social Media Checks

Social media checks have become increasingly important in the digital age. By reviewing a candidate's social media accounts and web presence, recruiters can gain insights into their behavior, character, and suitability for a position. Some employers conduct background reports on social media profiles, while others conduct more in-depth scans of a candidate's digital activity. This check can provide valuable information about a candidate's authenticity and professionalism.

8. The Importance of Background Checks for Recruiters

Recruiters play a crucial role in ensuring that companies hire the right candidates. By conducting background checks, recruiters can mitigate risks, protect their clients' reputations, and create a safe work environment. Here are some reasons why background checks are important for recruiters:

8.1 Hiring the Right Candidates

Background checks help recruiters verify the authenticity of candidate information, ensuring that they are qualified and suitable for the role. By conducting thorough background checks, recruiters can identify any discrepancies or red flags in a candidate's application, allowing them to make informed hiring decisions.

8.2 Ensuring Workplace Safety

Background checks, especially criminal background checks, are essential for maintaining workplace safety. By uncovering any past criminal activities, recruiters can ensure that candidates with potential risks or violent tendencies are not hired for positions of trust or security.

8.3 Protecting Company Reputation

Hiring the wrong candidate can have severe consequences for a company's reputation. Background checks help recruiters identify any potential risks or red flags that could harm the company's image or result in legal issues. By conducting thorough checks, recruiters can protect their clients' reputations and ensure they hire trustworthy individuals.

8.4 Compliance with Legal Requirements

Background checks help recruiters ensure compliance with legal requirements. Certain industries, such as finance or healthcare, have strict regulations regarding employee background checks. By conducting the necessary checks, recruiters can ensure that their clients meet legal obligations and avoid any potential legal issues.

8.5 Creating a High-Performing Work Environment

Background checks contribute to creating a high-performing work environment by ensuring that candidates have the necessary qualifications and experience for the role. By hiring the right candidates, recruiters can help their clients build a team of skilled professionals who can contribute to the company's success.

9. Top Background Check Software for Recruiters

Now that we understand the importance of background checks, let's explore the top background check software that recruiters can rely on. These software solutions offer efficient and user-friendly platforms to streamline the background check process and provide accurate and comprehensive reports.

9.1 Checkr

Checkr, Inc. | LinkedIn

Checkr is a leading background check software that utilizes artificial intelligence to streamline the background check process, making it faster and more efficient. With its user-friendly interface and FCRA compliance, Checkr is a reliable tool for recruiters. It offers various types of background checks, including healthcare screening, identity verification, civil searches, and education verification. Key features of Checkr include:

  • User-friendly interface that simplifies the background check process
  • Ideal for businesses seeking efficient, tech-driven background checks
  • Available for background checks across 200+ countries

9.2 Accurate Background

Accurate Background Expands Global Footprint and Launches Innovation Hub |  Business Wire

Accurate Background is a cloud-based background check software that helps recruiters manage the background check process for their clients. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools to verify criminal records, employment history, education, and more. Accurate Background is suitable for employers, consumer reporting agencies (CRA), and human resource professionals. Key features of Accurate Background include:

  • Customizable background check packages
  • Detailed reports for a thorough candidate assessment
  • Compliance with legal requirements, including FCRA regulations

9.3 IntelliCorp

New IntelliCorp Website Features Enhanced Content Optimized for Mobile  Viewing | Business Wire

IntelliCorp is a Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) accredited background check software. It offers a wide range of features to help staffing agencies find the best candidates for their clients. IntelliCorp provides intuitive interfaces, helpful customer support, and quick turnaround times on reports. Key features of IntelliCorp include:

  • A comprehensive suite of tools for criminal verifications, credit checks, driving history, and more
  • 99.9% accuracy on all checks
  • Deep regional expertise and local service proficiency

9.4 GoodHire

GoodHire Review | PCMag

GoodHire is a user-friendly background check software recognized for its swift, accurate results, and excellent customer service. It offers the most delightful employment background check experience ever pre-employment screening services with access to comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date information on potential employees. GoodHire is suitable for businesses of all sizes and provides a seamless experience for recruiters. Key features of GoodHire include:

  • Quick and precise background check reports
  • Outstanding customer service throughout the process
  • Comprehensive range of checks for varied needs

9.5 HireRight

HireRight and nowHIRE Enter Partnership to Provide Talent Acquisition  Solution

HireRight is a background check software that helps recruiters automate the background check process and save time. It offers criminal and employment checks, as well as other services like drug testing, driving record checks, and more. HireRight is suitable for businesses of all sizes and provides integrations with leading ATS systems. Key features of HireRight include:

  • Global background screening capabilities
  • Customizable reports based on company requirements
  • Compliance with FCRA regulations

9.6 Sterling

Comprehensive Background Check Services | Sterling Check

Sterling Talent Solutions offers a streamlined and intelligent background screening and onboarding experience. It helps employers confidently hire new candidates by simplifying and making the screening process more efficient. Sterling provides a wide range of background check services, including general screening, drug testing, identity testing, and more. Key features of Sterling include:

  • Global reach for thorough background checks
  • Compliance with FCRA regulations
  • Integration with applicant tracking systems

9.7 ClearStar

Background Check Software & Screening Services - ClearStar

ClearStar performs comprehensive background checks, including criminal history, employment history, drug testing, and more. The software offers a user-friendly interface and quick turnaround times on reports. ClearStar is suitable for businesses of all sizes and provides robust integrations with other HR systems. Key features of ClearStar include:

  • Seamless integration with existing onboarding experiences
  • 360-degree view of candidate information
  • Compliance with data security and privacy regulations

9.8 Verifile

Verifile's Competitors, Revenue, Number of Employees, Funding, Acquisitions  & News - Owler Company Profile

Verifile is a background check software trusted by clients worldwide, from scaleups to global enterprises. It offers global coverage for international hires and delivers detailed reports for thorough candidate assessment. Verifile adheres to FCRA regulations and ensures GDPR compliance. Key features of Verifile include:

  • Global coverage for international hires
  • Detailed reports for comprehensive candidate assessment
  • Integration with select applicant tracking systems

9.9 SkillSurvey

SkillSurvey - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding

SkillSurvey is a background check software that provides a complete talent acquisition solution. It empowers recruiters to make the best talent decisions with fast, data-driven insights. SkillSurvey offers a suite of related solutions, including credit checks, social media searches, and more. Key features of SkillSurvey include:

  • Quick and comprehensive reports
  • Frictionless workflow with candidate-consented data
  • GDPR-compliant data for data privacy

9.10 Xref

Xref – Reference Checking Made Simple – SmartRecruiters Marketplace

Xref is a background check software designed to help recruiters keep their clients and employees safe. It provides complete, accurate, and up-to-date information on potential hires. Xref offers an easy-to-use platform that can be customized to fit any business's needs. Key features of Xref include:

  • Quick survey creation and completion
  • GDPR-compliant data for data privacy
  • Easy organization and scheduling of contract workers

The Wrap Up

Background check software plays a crucial role in the recruitment process, helping recruiters find the right candidates, ensure workplace safety, and protect their clients' reputations. By utilizing top background check software like Checkr, Accurate Background, IntelliCorp, GoodHire, HireRight, Sterling, ClearStar, Verifile, SkillSurvey, and Xref, recruiters can streamline the background check process and make informed hiring decisions.

Stay ahead of the competition and prioritize safe, high-performing work environments by harnessing the power of background checks. With the right background check software and a thorough understanding of its types and importance, recruiters can excel in matching the perfect candidates with the right opportunities, contributing to the success of both clients and job seekers alike.

Remember, the ultimate goal of background checks is to create a safe and high-performing work environment by verifying candidate information, preventing data security breaches, ensuring legal compliance, and hiring the right candidates. Invest in reliable background check software and empower your recruitment process today!

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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