In the distant past, employers would simply ask for a person’s name and contact information for a background check, and that would be the entirety of the process. However, this method is no longer sufficient. In today’s world, scams and fraud are more prevalent than ever before. Nowadays, there are many different methods that an employer can use to screen applicants. This includes, but is not limited to, checking criminal records, credit reports, and social media profiles. This leaves many wondering what employers look for on a background check.
The reason behind these newer security measures, such as checking criminal records and credit reports, is twofold: firstly, they help weed out potential dishonest individuals who could pose as qualified candidates by falsifying their credentials or work history. Secondly, it helps protect the company from making hiring mistakes based on unverified information.
Background Checks… Historically
Historically, background checks were conducted only to confirm a candidate’s identity and verify their educational and work history. However, with the onset of new technologies and an increase in the sophistication of dishonest people, this is no longer enough. Nowadays, employers need to collect more detailed information about job applicants to check for criminal records, credit history, social media profiles, driving records, and past addresses linked to their names.
When you apply for a new job or send your credentials out on applications, it is understandable that one would wonder what employers look for on a background check. This allows you to be prepared if your potential employer chooses to conduct such checks. Employers now have access to more technologies than ever before, allowing them to verify candidate’s information in seconds rather than days.
Why Are Background Checks Performed?
Checking criminal records and credit history is not necessarily a new process. So why do employers still use these methods as part of their screening process in the modern age?
The majority of people today carry a smartphone around with them at all times. This has made it easier for companies to access candidate information from afar without requesting permission. Think social media. But, let’s face it. Not everyone is honest or has the best intentions. The ease with which criminals can now hide behind false identities on social media makes criminal and credit checks even more important for businesses.
There is no federal law requiring employers to check employee records or credit history in the hiring process. It is left up to the discretion of each employer. However, performing these checks helps reduce liability.
The Future of Background Checks
In the future, technological advancements will continue. This means that security measures in the modern workplace will aid in the prevention of fraudulent activity. If an employer can handle these issues before they happen, then it is possible that job applicants might not even have to worry about getting their background checked in the first place.
In the future, technology will continue to advance. This means that the workplace will hopefully contain less fraudulent activity than it does today.
What Employers Look for on a Background Check
Background checks are becoming almost universal among employers. With this in mind, you may want to consider the following if you’re in the market for a new job:
Understanding how businesses gather information about potential employees is relevant knowledge for anyone considering applying for a job. It shows that you care about your privacy and security. It may also give employers additional insight into your character that can help get you hired.
Background checks allow companies access to important details about candidates such as:
- Past criminal records
- Educational history
- Employment history
- Driving records
- Credit history
- Identity verification
- Work eligibility
- Any other data to make informed hiring decisions
In addition, it helps them find out what kind of person their potential employees really are by allowing them unrestricted access to personal information.
Other Things to Consider
Despite the benefits, background checks do come with a certain amount of risk for companies and employees. For instance, if a candidate’s personal information is leaked or improperly accessed by a representative within the company, then it could result in significant legal and monetary damages. The process also carries a chance for human error that can lead to costly mistakes such as hiring people who are not suitable for the role.
For this reason, many employers choose to outsource their background check services to specialized vendors that have experience in performing these tasks. By doing so, they remove some of the burdens from their shoulders while ensuring that any mistakes made during this process are on someone else’s tab instead of their own. This allows companies to conduct thorough background checks on job candidates without incurring undue risk.