What Does A Background Check Really Tell Your Employer?

Requesting and processing a background check is more common than you may think. It happens all the time and is useful in getting employers, landlords, volunteer organizations, and others the information they need to make educated decisions. What does a background check tell about you?

Although it might not happen every time you apply for a job, it is an important part of the hiring process for many employers. Although it’s such a common practice, few people know what a background check actually consists of. There’s more to it than a simple criminal history check. It’s in your best interest to know what’s disclosed in each aspect of a background check and why your employer would want to access those details about you. 

Information Disclosed

There’s a lot of information that might be disclosed with each aspect of a background check. A background check will dive deeper into your background based on criteria determined by your prospective or current employer. 

A check of a candidate’s background may include employment, education, criminal records, credit history, motor vehicle, and license record checks. Depending on your state, an arrest may also show up on a background check. An expunged record is essentially scrubbed from existence.

Employment Verification

Potential employers may want to verify your employment history to ensure all the information on a resume is accurate. The information they collect may include where you’ve worked, when you worked there, your job title, and your salary. A candidate will need to provide contact information for a previous employer in order to comply. For these reasons, it’s essential that you never lie on your resume.

Education Verification

This part of a background check confirms your claimed educational institution, including the years you attended and the degree or diploma that you received.

Motor Vehicle Records

The background check will provide a report on your driving history in the state where the check is being requested. The search will likely be run if driving is an essential requirement of the position.

Credit Checks

Credit check reports include personal information, such as your current address, previous addresses, social security number, and finances. The finance portion can include any combination of your credit card and student loan debt, mortgages, car payments, defaulted loans, and late payments. If you want to know this information, you can obtain a free copy of this report once every 12 months.

Criminal Record

This piece of a background check varies from state to state regarding exactly what information an employer can obtain about your criminal history. Some states don’t allow questions to be asked about incidents that happened before a certain point in the past. Although having this information shared with someone can be intimidating, a good employer must consider the nature of the offense, when it occurred, and how it relates to the job that you’re  seeking.

Benefits for the Employer

There are numerous benefits to an employer who runs a background check on a potential employee. It helps a company stay safe through the criminal history check, if the offense is relevant or worrying. Applicants who claim to have certain credentials and skill sets are verified through employment and education verification. On a more serious note, it also verifies applicants are who they say they are and that they aren’t currently wanted for a crime. 

Background checks work to protect a company, its employees, and its clients. They allow an employer to pinpoint risky hires, protect an organization’s reputation, and help to provide all employees with a safe working environment.

If a candidate has a criminal record, it’s important for an employer to recognize the difference between a formal conviction and a charge that ultimately didn’t go anywhere and to take into account a person’s current attitude and efforts to turn their life around. If anything in the report causes an employer not to hire someone, they must provide the person with a copy of the report. 

Taking the time to run background checks can save businesses a lot of costly mistakes and headaches down the road. The wrong decision about a new hire can waste a lot of time and money for a company.

Background checks occur fairly often and are an excellent way for employers to ensure that they’re hiring the person most suited to the job and the working environment. There’s a lot of information disclosed during a background check, so it’s wise to know what your report will look like and be aware of any negative remarks that may be returned. In any case, it’s a useful way for individuals to get a better understanding of those they will be interacting and working with.