Frequently Asked Questions

We've got answers to your questions.

Sterling Customer FAQs

How do background checks work?

The convergence of the post-9/11 security concerns and the online data revolution expanded access to reliable background checks beyond large corporations. Today, majority of employers, big and small, perform some form of pre-employment background check on job candidates.

Pre-employment background checks must be conducted carefully and in compliance with the law. Notifying the candidate and obtaining their consent prior to performing any background check, and ensuring the information is being used in a compliant manner, are of utmost importance.

Criminal record searches and identity cross-checks are the most common background checks, but solutions vary depending on industry and specific job requirement. For example, will the candidate handle cash transactions or manage cash assets? The typical background check is meant to verify if the applicant is truthful about their criminal record, education, and employment history.

Because of that, we highly recommend reference checks and education and employment verifications in addition to the Canadian Criminal Record checks.

It all depends on how much breadth and depth is desired in a background check. Sterling Backcheck delivers the most robust, accurate criminal record background checks available. The cost will depend on the complexity of the screening. If you perform a large number of background checks regularly, integrating a Sterling Backcheck screening solution into your applicant tracking system or talent management system is likely the best, most cost-effective option.

Yes. Sterling Backcheck does not carry out background checks in secret. Our products are designed to facilitate our clients’ compliance with Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and similar provincial laws, which require transparency and consent when handling personal information. Sterling Backcheck is leading the way in consent collection with our online, paperless consent solution, eConsent.

Results depend on the breadth and depth of the background check as well as the goals of your organization. We work with our clients to understand the needs of their organizations and help them design the best program to fit their needs.

That question is best answered by your legal counsel. There is great variation in laws and best practices by province and industry; your industry and job requirements will likely lead you in the right direction. We work with clients to understand their needs and then propose solutions based on our industry experience. Once a proposal has been made, it’s up to your organization to make the final decision.

Sterling Backcheck verifies a candidate’s employment history, including previous job titles and job descriptions, as well as start and end dates with our Employment Verification service. Our highly trained team of verification experts contacts former employers to verify employment information, including the accuracy of the information on the candidate’s consent form.

Likewise, our verifications experts also contact former educational institutes to verify the candidate’s education and/or credential information that was provided on their consent forms.

That question is best answered by your legal counsel. Our background checks are designed to help you comply with privacy and human rights legislation, but you need to understand the services and the rules to be sure you are using them correctly in your situation. Our Privacy and Compliance team always stays on top of current and pending legislative and regulatory changes. When changes occur, services are updated accordingly, and clients are kept informed to ensure you are aware of your obligations.

In addition, through our global and Canada-specific webinars we provide updates and explanations as well as best practices for compliance with privacy, human rights, and other relevant legation to help our clients stay informed.

That question is best answered by your legal counsel. Some aspects of a background check, such as reference interviews, can be done at any point in the recruiting process provided you have notified the candidate and obtained their consent to do the check. However, Sterling Backcheck recommends that any background check that may reveal sensitive information that is protected by privacy and human rights laws, such as a criminal record check, be done only once you have decided you wish to hire the candidate.

We commonly use the term “Turnaround Time” to describe how long a background check takes. On average, Criminal Records Check are done in under 4 hours. Additional services will vary in times based on the types of searches. Through our client website, authorized users can log in to view their in-progress candidate files. As each service is completed, the results are posted online so that you do not have to wait for the final report to view individual service results.

The information required for a background check varies depending on the services being conducted. With our eConsent solution, candidates are requested to only provide the information required to complete the ordered service. Smart fields ensure that required fields are not left blank.

You have a right to access your information, dispute its accuracy, and be told its sources and to whom it has been disclosed. Your information may be protected by federal or provincial privacy laws. For more information about our privacy practices and your rights, read our privacy statement.

Anomalies in Background Screening

How to Avoid Human Rights Violations in Your Background Check Process

Background Check Trend Report: Hiring Reimagined

Revolutionizing Recruitment: How HR Technology and AI are Transforming Hiring Practices

Featured Services

Get Started Today

Have additional questions you want to talk through? We’re here to help. Click the option that best describes you.

Job candidate? Click here