What do Employers Really look at During a Background Check?

The fact that there are now so many recruiters in the world should reveal to you that it’s something of a minefield. It’s understood that a bad recruit can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars, or more if the job is a particularly high-paying one.

Following on from the above, it will not come as a surprise to read that the same companies invest huge sums in making sure that their potential candidates tick all of the boxes. Previously, all of this money might have gone towards creative interviewing, involving strategic tasks and group interviews. Now, it’s derived from background checks.

There’s no doubt that the internet has made these checks far easier than ever before, and there are a whole host of services which can compile the necessary information. Through the course of this guide we are now going to take a look at some of the main things that an employer looks at when they are analyzing a candidate – in a bid to help both sides when the time does come to either look for a job, or apply for one.

Criminal checks

This can be something of a grey area. For example, under the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission it’s not allowed for an employer just to use a free arrest record to base their decision on employment. Of course, this could be used in conjunction with other means, but it’s worth noting that this can’t be used alone.

When it comes to criminal convictions, this is a different ballgame though. These most certainly can be used – and many employers do so during their decision-making process.

Education checks

It’s understood that this is one of the big areas in which a lot of candidates don’t tell the truth about. Whether it’s achieving one grade lower than their CV suggests, or if it’s not even attending the college that they specified, an education check can reveal all of this.

For the candidates reading this article, you should be aware that it’s advisable to put the date of your degree to make the vetting process easier for the company. The date allows the company to quickly find out the details – and subsequently make things more seamless (which will work in your favor).

Credit checks

This next check is a little more interesting, as its most certainly not going to be performed for every job out there. Instead, credit checks are usually only performed on those candidates who are applying for a job in the financial sector. Or, there will be occasions where the check is carried out if your next role will be handling money, even if strictly speaking it’s in a non-financial industry.

This varies to the other types of checks as there is a lot more input from the candidate. They will need to sign a document to allow the company to perform the check. Without this, no check is allowed, and the company will have to rely on other forms of research to collect information on the candidate.

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