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First Time Candidate and Minor Background Checks

By: Vanessa Mitchell Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Background Check

No doubt, you are probably an expert on background screening applicants with previous job history, applicants at the age of majority, and applicants that have experience in the marketplace. But what about background screening minors, first time candidates, or recent grads? Find out what a background check will reveal for those applicants.


First time Candidate

A first-time candidate can be defined as a recent graduate or individual with little to no professional job experience. These candidates will not be accustomed to hiring or onboarding processes. Background checks on a first-time candidate will look a little different to the seasoned eye, but nevertheless need to be performed.


Limited Information on First-Time Candidates

As mentioned above, a recent graduate or first-time candidate’s background check will look different. One major component that is lacking will be previous employment. The fact is, when a new applicant enters the market, they have to start somewhere. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have experience. Explore alternative employment such as volunteer work or internships.

Your first-time candidate may also have a nonexistent criminal history. But that does not mean you should forgo the criminal record search. Background checks for first-time candidates are regulated under the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) just like checks for any veteran employee.


Minor Background Checks

A minor is defined as a person under the age of 18. Most U.S. states define the age of majority at the age of 18. Background checks for minors fall under the same FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) guidelines as would an adult background screen. A background check on a minor requires consent from a Parent or Guardian because the minor is not legally able to consent for themselves. Choice Screening’s Consent Form has the technology to recognize minors and requires a Parent/Guardian signature to proceed with the search.


Limited Information on Minors

Many employers argue that since minors will have limited information on their background check, it is not worth the time and money spent on the searches. Your legal obligations as an employee means you cannot simply skip the background check; it is worth your time to garner valuable information as well as to remain compliant with the FCRA and EEOC.

Although, most criminal records for minors are sealed, there could be exceptions. Employment verifications, education verifications, and personal references are excellent products to ensure the minor has the training and qualifications claimed and required for the position.


Recommended Products

Resume Verification: there may be intern experience, volunteer work, or extracurriculars that may be relevant to the job position.

Personal Reference: reveal your applicant’s intangibles such as autonomy, self-motivation, and timeliness.

Employment Verification: uncover life or work experiences that may be pertinent to the job position.

Education Verification: verify education credentials, graduation, major, minor, degree earned and grade point average.

Criminal Records: such as our Enhanced Verified National Criminal, the Choice Screening AutoComplete (7-year records search based on address history), County Record Search, or State Record Search. Records for minors may be sealed, but you never know what you might find. For instance, the minor could have been tried as an adult. Even though your applicant may be young, there may be records found that may change your decision to hire.



Per the EEOC, you cannot screen an applicant based on age, disability, sex, race, national origin, color, religion, or genetic information. For example, if you screen older applicants, but choose not to screen younger applicants, this would be considered age discrimination.

The same goes for the types of products you are running in the background check. You must run the exact same products for all candidates applying for one position. Let’s say a minor and an older adult are both applying for the same position, you must search the exact same products on each candidate.

It is ok to utilize different packages for the various positions within your company. You may run Criminal Records, Education Verification and Employment Verification on a candidate applying for a HR Generalist. You may run a different package for a candidate applying for Chief Financial Officer, such as: Criminal Records, Civil Records, Federal Criminal Records, Executive Screen, Education Verification, Employment Verification, and Credit Check.

Whenever an employer uses a background check to make a decision that is not in favor of the applicant, the employer is taking Adverse Action and must follow certain rules to maintain compliance. 

Please note: depending on where you operate or where your applicant resides, you may be required to meet local Adverse Action regulation, such as the New York City Fair Chance Act Notice. Local laws may require employers to make a conditional offer of employment before conducting a background check, which you will need to factor into your Adverse Action Policy.


 As part of any good hiring strategy, partner with a background screening provider you can trust, stay informed, and don’t forget to consult legal counsel. Please note: this blog is not all-encompassing and is not meant to provide legal advice.


Topics: Background Screening

Vanessa Mitchell

Vanessa Mitchell

Passionate blogger dedicated to making your life easier when it comes to background screening.