Few things strike fear into the hearts and minds of job seekers more than employment background checks. Whether you have bad credit, have accumulated a fair share of speeding tickets, or have a felony on your record, chances are you’ve at least wondered if the check will unearth something that stands between you and the job of your dreams. While the background inquiry has become a pivotal point in the hiring process, many job hunters have endless misperceptions about what a background check is and what it reveals.
Here are four myths about employment background checks that you can forget. As an employer, this clarification can help you choose the right screening program for your company. As an employee, it can help provide comfort knowing what you’re up against.
Myth: All employment background checks are created equal.
There are Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines in place that every background screening agency should follow, theoretically leading to the same standards used across companies. However, there is no single database loaded with all criminal information and different companies go digging with different zeal. Whether you are an employer or a potential employee, if a service offers a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Approaching a background check haphazardly can lead to erroneous information, a false sense of comfort, a poor hire or even a lawsuit.
Myth: Employment background checks only look for criminal charges.
Different employers seek different information. Expect to face greater scrutiny if you’re handling money or security; responsible for the care of people who are elderly, disabled or children; or enforcing the law. Some employers examine military records, bankruptcy proceedings, driving records, sex offender lists and drug test results.
Myth: Employers can’t look at social media profiles.
Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discourages making hiring decisions on the basis of social media background checks, such digging isn’t illegal as of 2016. Most employers use these resources to look for profane comments, inappropriate photos or anything else that would put the company’s reputation at risk.
Myth: Employers are trying to find a reason not to hire you.
By the time a background check is underway, the odds are that the employer wants to hire you. Employers usually use this step as the last one prior to an official hire.
If you want a comprehensive background check completed, please contact Screening Intelligence. From pre-employment background checks to tenant screening, they are here to help.
Disclaimer Statement: All information presented is never intended as legal advice and is for information purposes only.
Thanks for posting this! It’s a great resource for anyone concerned about going through a background check. I definitely think there’s going to be a lot of controversy around social media background checks going forward, and I am personally unsure of the ethics around those searches. Thanks again for the great blog!