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Background Check: All You Need to Know



Background Check

In the past few years, conducting a background check has become an integral part of an organization’s hiring process, with the increase in cases where candidates make false claims. Employers conduct a background check to ensure they hire the right candidate for their organization. 


These checks are carried out by third-party background check companies hired by the organizations to perform these tasks. Here we explain the background check process, the main reason to do one, what employers may look for in a background report, and what to do while you wait to hear from the employer.

What is a background check?

A background check is a screening process through which an individual or company can verify your identity. Prospective employers commonly request background checks during the hiring process to ensure you will not be a liability to their organization. Both police departments and private companies perform background checks.

Most background checks provide information on an individual’s education, employment history, criminal record, and other past activities. While there are several specific background checks, employment background checks are some of the routines. It is common for employers to request one before offering a position to a candidate.


What is the importance of a background check?


Employers conduct background checks to ensure they hire the right candidate for their organization. The number of cases where candidates make false claims in the job application is on the steady rise. The background checks help the employer verify that the claims the candidate has made are correct and that the candidate is trustworthy. 


What components to look out for in a background check?

The background check process comprises different background verification types, and a report gets generated. Depending on the organization performing the background verification process, the information can contain some of the points mentioned below.

Work history: An employer may check which companies the prospective employee worked with and verify his work responsibilities there.

Educational certificate: The employer verifies the authenticity of the degrees mentioned in the prospective employee’s job application.

Credit history: This check verifies if the applicant is financially responsible. This test gains importance, especially if prospective employees can access the company’s funds to perform their work duties.

Motor vehicle record: The employer can also verify if a prospective employee has a clean driving record or has some history of accidents. This record is vital if the role involves a lot of driving.

Criminal record: The employer would like to verify if there are any criminal records against the prospective employee’s name or any outstanding warrants.

Drug screening: This check assists the employer in verifying if the applicant uses drugs and can he cause any harm to other employees of the company.

Anything questionable found in the background check report can be a red flag for employers. However, employers cannot usually request more than ten years old information. Some positions which require specialized clearance might include further details.

Failure to clear a criminal background check

During your criminal background check you may fail the background check if you have a criminal record that does not make you fit for the job you have applied for or the organizational work environment. 

Having a criminal record does not imply you can never get a job. But it is something that some employers may consider when determining which candidate they want to extend an offer to. You may fail a background check based on the below parameters:


Poor Credit History 

In a credit background verification, organizations check your credit report, which may look at your payment history, bankruptcies, credit inquiries, unpaid bills, or fraud. If they find that your credit is poor or you have significant debt, they may choose to offer the role to another candidate. Many employers look at your credit history to determine how responsible you are.

Inconsistencies in your Resume 

You may fail this background check if your submitted resume does not accurately reflect your qualifications, certifications, or employment history. Inconsistencies often imply that you have lied about your candidacy and qualifications. Employers who believe this to be the case may be wary of hiring you for their open position. So it’s essential to be as truthful as you can when writing your application documents.

Bad Driving History 

This background check is considered if you need to drive a lot because of your job role or if you have access to a company car. If you have major driving claims against your name, you may fail the background check. However, with clean driving history, an employer can know that you can be trusted with a company vehicle or to safely do things like taking clients to lunch.

Bottom Line

The background checks help the employer verify that the claims the candidate has made are correct. So, the candidate is trustworthy. The outcome of the background check helps organizations to make informed decisions. 

It would help if you were not afraid to check in with the hiring manager or recruiter you have been in touch with throughout the background check process. If you want to be helpful, you might consider offering them contact information for references or former employers. Additionally, checking in on a hiring manager’s progress with your background check is a great way to remain proactive. Moreover, it helps show your enthusiasm for the opportunity.