In the previous blog article we discussed why it is important to conduct background checks. More recently there have been many articles released detailing how people lost their jobs because of erroneous background checks and incorrect information in their backgrounds. With jobs in short demand you do not have the luxury of waiting for the next opportunity. So it is even more crucial to make sure stay up to date on the information in your background.
We will start with the most common. I know this post will have the personality of a rock but it is important to know and understand what people are seeing about you and how what they see can affect you when job hunting.
Criminal Background History Check – Almost every company that runs a background check will run this to make sure they are not going to hire the wrong person for the wrong type of job. We are not implying that people with a criminal history should not be employed, but companies should avoid hiring a person with serious criminal findings in their background for certain positions. Now we can break this category down even further:
- County Criminal Records – This is used to show any misdemeanors or felonies located at the local level. This more than likely will catch most records however; these systems are not updated frequently and can sometimes give a false report.
- State Criminal Records – This report is used to checks records throughout the state. If you have moved from town to town this type of check will catch those records. A person with several aliases and noted moving from town to town may raise some red flags to some employers.
- National Criminal Records – This report should be used to help with other local searches. Not everyone can remember old addresses from years ago. So companies use National Criminal searches to try and cover most states. This is an optional check- since not every state and city participates in this program some employers may not choose to run this check. In fact, the states that do have systems for this type of search may not be updated in a timely manner.
- Federal Criminal Records – These reports will show the employer if you happen to have been prosecuted by the federal courts. Not all federal crimes are some evil mastermind taking over the world; categories such as Tax evasion, fraud and embezzlement are located on this level at some degree.
2) Sex Offender Registry Checks – These reports are always increasing. If you are looking for a job, volunteering, coaching or just going to be around children or seniors there is a 99% chance that this report will be ran on you on the state and national level.
3) Driving Records – Most companies that have a livery or jobs that consists of deliveries, will have conduct this report.
4) Federal Bankruptcy Reports – Now we are getting into reports that are ran but are really job specific. The bankruptcy reports will show a possible employer any situation where you may have had to file bankruptcy. Is it a crime to file for bankruptcy? No, but an employer may think of it as mismanagement of money and can harm you depending on the job you are looking for.
5) Education Verification – Usually ran with a reference check to make sure that you have the proper education and the universities you listed on your resume is accurate and real (yes, there are fake universities online that charge fee that will allow you print out a diploma).
6) Reference Check – It used to be that HR would call references by themselves and were able to get all the juicy details on a candidate. With new laws today it has become increasingly hard for them to do this, since the questions are limited. When going through a third party for reference checks, the amount of information the company receives is increased.
7) Social Security Checks – This type of background screening is usually included when employers run a National Criminal Search. There are companies that will offer this service separate from other background checking services. HINT: This is a report that YOU should run periodically on yourself to keep an eye on your identity.
So there you have it the most common background checks that companies will run on candidates as a pre-employment checklist. The background checks conducted will ultimately depend on the type of job you are applying for. If you are trying to get Top Secret clearance or anything in that neighborhood then there will be more checks ran. They will even go to your house and talk to neighbors and ex-girlfriends to establish how you act and behave when not on the company time clock.