There are a number of ways for employers to gather information on the background of an applicant for employment. Employers may simply call an applicant's former employer to confirm the applicant's dates of employment and title and to try to obtain a more detailed reference from a supervisor. However, many employers hire third parties to conduct background checks on applicants who have been offered employment. When employers hire a third party to conduct a background check or obtain reports from outside agencies, such reports are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state laws.
Depending on the job, employers may want information about an applicant's driving record, criminal record, and/or credit history. There are often legal limits on employers obtaining and using this type of information. In Michigan, employers must comply with laws concerning criminal background checks and driver's record information.