What Are Employers Looking For On Background Checks?

What Are Potential Employers Going To See On My Background Check?

By: Valerie Goodwin
June 28, 2021

Most of us have applied for a job and have had to consent to them running a background check on us. What exactly are they looking for though? How will what they find impact your chances of getting hired?

Background checks give potential employers a chance to weed out the fakes in their applicants, understand the history of the person they are hiring, and hopefully create a safer work environment for all of their employees. There are legal boundaries though, and many felonies and misdemeanors should disappear off your record after a certain number of years.

What Are They Looking For?

First, companies asking for permission to run a background check is an easy way to weed out those who have lied on their applications or those who are not who they say they are. Background checks can also uncover lies or misrepresentation on a candidate’s job application or resume. If someone is not who they say they are on their application or is giving false information, a simple background check will easily uncover this and cause them to not be hired.

Second, conducting a background check shows that the company exercised due care during the hiring process. Background checks help companies avoid legal harm or liabilities of various types by ensuring that they know what type of person they are hiring before they hire them. Many companies will also continue to run background checks on their employees throughout their employment. This helps them ensure that they are continuing to have a safe workspace that is free of legal issues.

What Are The Legal Limits Surrounding Background Checks?

The FCRA has implemented laws surrounding background checks to protect you and your information. Whenever an employer is looking to run a background check they must ask for your written consent before doing so. If they do not have your written consent, the background check they conduct can then be considered illegal.

Laws against discrimination based on background checks have also been implemented by the FCRA. One of these laws is the Immigration Reform and Control Act that was enacted in 1986, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin or citizenship. Another set of laws, the Equal Employment Laws, also prohibit discrimination based on information found in one’s background check. If an employer refuses to hire you because of gender, race, national origin, religion, or disability after looking at your background check it is also a legal offense.

In addition to the laws implemented by the FCRA, there are also many state and common laws about an employee’s privacy, defamation, and more that can come into play when an employer is looking to run a background check.

What Do I Do If Something On My Background Check Is Incorrect?

Before contacting anyone, inform your employer that there has been a discrepancy in your background check that needs to be fixed. After this, find out what screening company the employer used and contact them directly. Call to tell them what the discrepancy is and then follow up with a written report.

Make sure to submit the information that proves there has been a discrepancy and that the information on your background check is incorrect. Without any proof, the screening company is not likely to look into your claim.

Curious About What Is On Your Background Check?

Many people are unaware of the things that potential employers may find on their background checks. It is also important to make sure that all the information on your background check is accurate so you don’t get burned for things that should be off your record.

Use the YourCheck app to check what is currently on your background check and make sure your information is accurate.

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