What to Expect from a Pre-Employment Background Check

Finding a job these days can be a difficult and time consuming task. If you become fortunate enough to receive a job offer, keep in mind that a pre-employment background check may be done prior to you being hired. These background checks are essential to a business’s success and safety, as they let potential employers know if the information on your resume or application is legit. Pre-employment background checks also give employers a heads-up on any past criminal activity or other legal matters. If you are facing a pre-employment background check and don’t know what to expect, you should take a minute to familiarize yourself with the process.

The Basics

There are some basic things you should know when it comes to pre-employment background checks. The first thing to know is that you must give your consent before one can be done. This means you will have to sign a form saying that it is okay for the potential employer to check your background. Another thing to realize is that all employers do not perform the same type of background checks. It usually depends on the company, type of job, and position. Many employers often just verify the information on your resume or application, check your references, and call it good. Other employers may request your criminal history, driving records, credit history, military records, and sometimes even medical records. This is why you should never lie or give misleading information on an application or resume. You may think that the employer will never know any better, but these days there is a good chance they will. Better to be honest up front rather than have to explain why you lied later. It is also good to be ready for a complete background check, even if the potential employer only ends up checking a few specific things.

Types of Background Checks

One of the most commonly used pre-employment background checks is the statewide criminal search. This type of background check uses your name and date of birth to bring up any criminal offenses that took place in a specific state in the last seven years. This type of background check will also bring up all court records, including misdemeanors and driving offenses.  Employers perform these checks to ensure they are not hiring someone that is legally irresponsible or unfit for the position at hand. County criminal searches are also a common type of pre-employment background check, as they are very detailed and current. These checks are done for a specific county, instead of state, and are usually completed at a county court facility.

Another type of background check that is commonly performed is a social security number verification. This check simply matches the name and the social security number you have given to verify your identity. It may also match the address you have given to national records as well. These checks are important to employers because they do not want potential employees presenting false names or social security numbers. Legal problems may arise for employers if they do not take the time to verify this information.

Education histories, credit checks, and driving records are all types of background checks that may also be performed by employers. A check on your educational history will verify any information you provided or failed to provide during the application process. Credit checks are not performed by all employers, as they can be irrelevant to many positions. The same goes for driving records. Some employers may see your driving history as unimportant, while others may find it of utmost importance. A job that requires you to drive a company vehicle would be a position where your driving record would definitely matter.

Once you know what to expect from a pre-employment background check, you will see that they are really for the best interests of a company. By checking the background of potential employees, companies can hire the people best suited for certain jobs. The safety of other employees will be safeguarded as well. In conclusion, if you are looking for a decent job, it is best to be prepared for a background check.

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