Background checks sound intimidating to most as they can be a deal breaker for what you are trying to pursue, such as an employment offer, immigration application, licensure, etc. The outcomes of a background check may have a lot at stake for its applicant.
Background checks are an umbrella term as there is a whole range of background checks that can be performed on a person depending on the requirements. A fingerprint background check is also a type of background check that is generally conducted to fetch criminal history records to make sure that a potential candidate comes from a clean background.
Applicants are often found confused about background checks, especially when it comes to fingerprint background checks. In this article, we have tried to answer the questions that a background check applicant might have.
What do employers look for in a background check?
Employers want to make sure that the information furnished by a candidate is true and that the candidate is who he/she claims to be. Background checks generally include verification of identity past employment, credentials, credit background check, and criminal history record check.
What does an employment background check reveal?
To conduct a background check, your employer will ask for your Social Security number. During the verification process, they use databases or services to ensure that the number you provide matches your identity. They can even see other places where you used your social security number before. This step of the verification process also helps employers find out if you have provided them with the correct address. Before applying for a job, you can check if the address on your driver’s license or ID matches your current place of residence.
While this part of the background check may not be useful for many positions, employers hiring employees who will manage the company’s money may find a credit report applicable. By looking at your credit report, an employer can see how many accounts you have with creditors and whether you have a bankruptcy history. When looking for someone who can handle money well, employers can use this to determine if you have large debts or spending problems.
An employer can find out about any previous criminal convictions through a criminal background check. Things like pending charges, misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions, dismissal of charges, and acquitted charges are displayed in this screening process. Having this knowledge is important for companies that have any concerns about liability. Before background checks, the employer may also require you to fill out a form stating if you have any past or pending payments.
History of education
When an employer requires a candidate to have a certain educational experience, employers may do some research to find out if applicants are being truthful about their degrees. Keeping a record of your academic transcripts or diplomas can greatly speed up this process for your potential new employer. If you are a student who has attended multiple schools, let them know about any transfers or changes.
When applying for a position that requires you to drive heavy machinery (such as earthmovers) or a company vehicle, your employer may check your driving record. For example, employers wishing to hire truck drivers, school bus drivers, or city bus drivers may conduct such background checks. They can see information about any previous accidents you’ve been involved in or tickets you’ve received. From here, the employer can decide whether the candidate is trusted to comply with driving laws during work hours.
A background check can prove that you are honest about where you have worked. One of the common ways employers do this kind of background check is by contacting your previous employers directly. Prospective employers should ensure that the information you provide on your application materials matches that of your previous employer. If you ever need to remember your seniority, review your old tax forms to accurately remember your employment dates. Similarly, it can be very helpful to keep a master copy of your resume that includes all of your work experience.
What would make someone fail a background check?
Any undesired piece of information found during the background check will lead to failing a background check. For example, if you are applying as a caregiver and your childcare center employer finds that you have a past history of child abuse; it will lead to failing your background check. Similarly, if you are applying for a banking job and have a poor credit history, it will be discovered during the background check and will lead to rejection.
Is it legal to run a background check without permission?
Running a background check without permission or consent from the subject may implicate legal concerns as it may be illegal to conduct without consent. It also depends on the type of background check performed, local laws, etc. However, it is always safer to perform a background check after obtaining written consent.
What shows up on a fingerprint background check?
Fingerprint background checks are generally conducted to fetch the criminal history of a person. It shows up previous criminal convictions, pending charges, misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions, dismissal of charges, and acquitted charges displayed on a fingerprint background check.
How far does a live scan go back in California?
Typically, employers will not go back further than the seven previous years. According to FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) regulations, consumer reporting agencies are prohibited from providing certain information on background reports for employment. People that earn over $75,000 annually may see arrest information longer than seven years in the past included on their background reports due to a Salary Exception in some states.
California, along with other states, has salary exemptions. In California, if you are applying for a job with a salary of more than $125,000 the employer can go up to 10 years. In Texas and Colorado, if the salary is more than $75,000, then an employer can exceed the seven-year limit.
What is a red flag in a background check?
There is no standard definition of what should be considered a “red flag”, so it depends on the business type and the employment position. For example, for a banking or finance company, bad credit history can be a red flag, but for a transport company hiring a driver, it will not be.
In some job types, a criminal background check can be a mandatory process to follow and if any instance of arrest or prosecution comes up during the criminal background check, it is a clear red flag. How a small business owner deals with the situation is entirely up to him/her. In some industry types, hiring a candidate with a criminal history is prohibited by regulations. In other job types, the business owner may choose to consider the applicant’s candidature if the crime is not serious.
Claims that cannot be verified
It is not uncommon to inflate claims about work experience, educational qualification, and skills. Not all, but some candidates may choose this way to outdo the competition. This unfair practice, however, is a clear red flag as it can hurt your business objectives.
Many job types such as teacher, broker, healthcare, etc. require candidates to possess a valid professional licence. This professional licence is revoked if a candidate is not able to uphold professional responsibilities. If a candidate has faced disciplinary action, misconduct, disbarment or sanction in the past, it is a clear red flag. A professional background check can uncover such unfavourable professional actions.
These days, background checks are generally outsourced to a third-party agency specialized in the field of employment background checks. Passing your small business background check to a specialized agency not only helps you maintain background check compliance but also ensures efficiency and timely onboarding.
If any red flag found during the pre-employment screening, small businesses can have the screening agency to manage the further procedure such as pre-adverse action notice and so on.
How long does a live scan take to clear?
A live scan is done to capture fingerprints and conduct criminal history background checks on the applicant with their fingerprints. Live scan generally takes 2 to 3 days to clear if everything goes smoothly. However, if there are issues such as inaccurate demographic details or poor-quality prints, it may also take longer.
What does a DoJ background check show?
A California Department of Justice background check can search national, federal, state, and county records of the past seven years to see if an applicant has a criminal record. Civil court checks can search the records of federal, upper, and lower civil courts, looking for civil disputes and bankruptcy filings. These screenings are typically used for management or financial positions.
Does live scan show misdemeanors?
Since live scan background check shows misdemeanor convictions along with felony convictions, dismissal of charges, as well as acquitted charges.
Do background checks show if you were fired?
It is not impossible for the person conducting an employment background check to discover the reason for quitting his/her previous job. A simple investigation with your previous employer can reveal that you were fired from your previous employment. However, in most cases, employers are not very keen to discover this information.
The reason behind terminating a candidate’s employment by the previous employer may be a red flag in some cases. If you were fired due to any illegal activity or integrity issue, then your present employer may take it as a serious issue and drop your application. If you were fired due to the company’s loss of project or the company going bankrupt, it is not at all concerning. Lying about termination from previous employment, especially when it is due to a serious issue, is not a good idea.
What is a level 3 background check?
A FACIS (Fraud and Abuse Control Information Systems) Level 3 background check offers the most comprehensive screening of an employee or applicant in the healthcare industry. This search includes sanctions and exclusions data from all federal and state databases, including state sanctioning boards from all provider types in the 56 U.S. jurisdictions, such as:
- Medicare Opt-Out Lists
- State Attorney General
- Medicaid Exclusion Lists
- State Contractor Disqualification & Debarment Lists
- State Medicaid Exclusions
- Federal District Attorney General
- HEAT Task Force
How long does a pre-employment background check take?
Pre-employment background checks are generally performed after making a conditional offer of employment to a candidate. A conditional offer of employment means that the offer stands valid only if all the required checks and verifications are passed without any issues.
These days, most organizations rely on third-party employment background check service providers due to the rise of the outsourcing industry. These background check service providers are experts in their field and can perform different types of pre-employment background checks in a more efficient manner than the company requesting the checks.
As we have mentioned above, pre-employment background checks consist of different types of checks such as identity verification, verification of credentials, past employment, reference checks, credit history screening, criminal history background checks, drug checks, professional license validity checks, etc. There may also be other types of checks depending on employment type. These individual checks take their own time and to ensure efficiency, they may be performed parallelly.
How can I do a background check on myself?
Self/personal background check is a great way to know in advance what your background check will show if your employer conducted it. There are several background check agencies that offer self/personal background check services for a fee. All you need to do is to select the types of checks you want to be conducted, book your order and pay. These agencies return a detailed report of personal background checks and you can review if there is any error(s).
As a part of the hiring process, employers conduct background checks on applicants to assess eligibility and shortlist them. Employment background checks become more vital when candidates apply for a position that requires a high level of security or a position of trust, such as at a hospital, military, financial services, government, etc. Earlier, these checks used to be carried out by the employers themselves, however, with the changing trends and rise of the outsourcing industry, they are now mostly carried out by third-party service providers.
Background checks are crucial. They play a vital role in making sure that a candidate goes through all the required checks and does not pose any threat to the people and resources he is given access.
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