What Exactly is a Background Check?
As part of their due diligence, employers will typically conduct background checks, criminal history checks, and follow up with your references. Depending on the job, your potential employer’s screening process may differ. As part of the hiring process, almost every employer must conduct right-to-work and work reference checks, which includes contacting any previous employers you listed when applying for the position. If the position you seek involves senior leadership or working with vulnerable populations, such as children, you may be subjected to a more thorough background check.
When asked to fill out a pre-employment screening form, it is critical to be truthful. These checks ensure that you are qualified to work for the company and will not be a liability. Before you are formally offered the position, your employer may conduct a background check. It could be the final step in the onboarding process after you’ve joined the company.
Examine your Credit Score
Even if you believe your credit history has no bearing on the job you’re applying for, you must assess it. Many companies are increasingly scrutinising this type of data because they believe it provides valuable insight into a candidate’s character.
To be prepared for this stage, obtain a copy of your credit file and review it. Notify your creditor if you notice anything that does not appear to be correct. You can dispute any errors on your credit report, but this may take some time, so check your credit frequently. Although it is illegal for employers to check your credit score, it is usually acceptable for them to obtain your credit report.
If the employer you’re applying to requests a copy of your licence, you should be prepared to explain any inconsistencies. If you can anticipate any questions they may have, you will be less likely to be caught off guard. A minor blemish on your driving record could have a perfectly reasonable explanation. Make sure you can explain and contextualise its purpose.
Examine your Driving Record
Contrary to popular belief, a former employer’s ability to reveal information about you is not always limited. If your employer is located in a different state, the rules for sharing information may differ. Regardless of where you work, you can still contact previous employers and request copies of your work records. This way, you can avoid any awkward questions from references.
You don’t have to live close to your workplace because many jobs these days can be done from home. This, however, may indicate that you are not following the rules that your potential employers are following. Do your homework to understand your rights and avoid unpleasant surprises.
Many employers now conduct drug tests. Check to see if there are any prohibited substances in the state and city where you want to work. Also, make sure you can explain any legal prescription pills you’re taking that may be illegal in some areas but not others. You have a much better chance of successfully escaping the situation if you are direct and honest.
You Got there First, Employers
If you know something negative will come up in a background check, it may be better to discuss it with your potential employer rather than waiting for them to find out on their own. If you bring it up, you can explain any extenuating circumstances that may have a significant impact on how they perceive you.
Assume you believe that information about your credit, criminal history, or driving records may jeopardise your job prospects. In that case, you should investigate the information available in public records. By scrutinising this information and, if possible, cleaning it up, you may improve your chances of avoiding undue negative influence during an employer’s background check.