What to Expect From a Background Check

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Employers in many industries are now performing background checks on all of their employees for various reasons, because they are required by law to do their due diligence in screening applicants for a position. Concerns regarding negligent hiring and litigation can be a nightmare for hiring managers and Human Resources professionals who do not perform these checks. Workplace violence, post 9/11 security, and fiscal responsibility are all factors that employers must take into consideration when making an offer of employment to legally ensure the safety of their current staff. This means that if the employer has to provide evidence in a court of law, they must produce certain proof of how they attempted to obtain information on the applicant diligently with what information is now available to them by doing in-house or third party background, reference, criminal, or credit checks.

Background Check:
The background check provides the employer with phone number and address history, date of birth, aliases, maiden names, relatives, marriages, divorces, court records, national criminal records, national sex offenders/Megan’s Law, department of corrections records, national/state warrants, court administration, Patriot Act database, Department of Public Safety, and municipal criminal filings. Your fingerprint records will be run through the national fingerprint database called AFIS which is connected to all arrests and convictions.

Credit Check:
Offers the employer your complete credit history from one of the major credit reporting agencies including personal assets, property ownership, and any debts past or present. This is used in positions where financial responsibility and ethics are minimum requirements for the position. Such as: accounting, banking, and retail where you would be handling or responsible for large quantities of money/cash. Federal guidelines under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) state that you have the right to know if the information on any of these financial documents has been used against you in regards to an offer of employment.

A recent study in the Human Resources field indicated that hiring managers reported that over half of applicants have been caught being dishonest on their applications in one form or another through the advancement of current technology and the immediate availability of information via the internet. Be prepared to divulge any questionable information up front so that the employer will not have to question something or simply move on to the next applicant. If you have 17 unpaid parking tickets or were arrested for a DUI 34 years ago, it is better to openly discuss it with the employer prior to them receiving the background check information. So be cautious and remain factual with the information you give to the employer. Just a little white lie could cost you the job.