3 Things Employers Look For in a Background Check
Many employers require a background check for prospective workers, especially if it involves a government position. These background checks help an organization determine whether or not an employee is not only qualified for the job, but also whether he or she will jeopardize the company’s integrity or bottom line. If the company you are applying with requires background checks, here is what you can expect them to look for.
Many employers may search your criminal history, if one exists, just to make sure your record is clean, for the most part. An employer may check court records from any city where you lived, but also use a consumer agency to do the background check. The time frame searched may vary from state to state, and some checks may include a bankruptcy or property lien filed. A blemish showing up on the criminal check does not necessarily disqualify you, though an employer may ask a few more questions for clarity.
If you are working in a financial setting, you might expect a look into your personal credit history. However, employers may want to get a feel of how responsible you are about handling bills, and feel that this could translate to office duties, monetary or not. Since credit reports normally contain job and address history, some may use this as a way to verify what your resume says. If you know your credit history is less-than-stellar, you may want to get a copy of your report, and be ready to defend any possible discrepancies, or explain that the mistakes you made are not indicative of your potential as a future employee.
If the position requires extensive driving, such as deliveries, your driving record will come into play. That is because the driver will represent the organization, and no company wants to take a risk on a reckless driver. Usually, the company will pull your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) records, and make sure you do not have a certain number – if any – of moving violations within a given number of years.
The employer may also conduct a character reference to make sure you are qualified for the open position. In many cases, an application may ask for up to three people who know you personally, and can vouch for you. However, they will likely consult former employers as well. While an employer may only say so much, they may be allowed to say whether or not you worked for the company, and the terms of your leaving.