What are they checking on a background check?
An important part of the hiring process that’s not often talked about is your background check. What exactly are your potential employers looking for and what aspects of your background check could affect your viability as a candidate? Let’s hear from our hiring experts about background checks and how they impact your hiring process!

What Is Being Checked?

Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, shares, “As a general rule, most companies - especially medium to large-sized companies - will look at education, criminal history, previous employment, and credit history. Most often you must also successfully pass a drug test. On average, a criminal check will go back 7 years, education is verified for all levels listed on your resume/application, and they will verify that you actually worked at the previous employers listed.”  More from Rachel

Chris, Hiring Expert at The Schwan Food Company, says, “What is checked will depend on the company you are applying to and the job that you will be doing for them. It could be as important as working in a school with children or in a bank. Your background check could include law violations (convictions, felonies, and misdemeanors), traffic violations, sexual offenders registry, credit check, employment history (confirm dates and status of employment), and drug testing. Again, the level of testing will be determined by the job.”  More from Chris

Why A Credit Check?

Susan, Hiring Expert at Praxair, Inc., offers, “If you are being considered for a job that entails dealing with money, securities, or other financial assets/information, the employer may check credit history to see if you deal with your own finances in a responsible manner. If your credit history shows otherwise, they may assume you will ‘repeat history’ and not handle the company's assets/property/financial matters any differently. Having a clean credit history, paying your bills on time every month, not having lots of debt (i.e. balances on credit cards) is a key success to your future so treat it very carefully.  More from Susan

Will It Affect My Job Offer?

Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, says, “The nature of the conviction has to be job-related for a company to withdraw an offer of employment. I wouldn't imagine that fairly typical traffic tickets should have an impact on a job offer unless it was a fairly high amount of occurrences. But, if a company can prove it would somehow be job-related, then they might hold up or withdraw an offer.”  More from Mike

Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, suggests, “If you are concerned about any component of the background check and the possibility that the results could prevent you from being hired, it’s a good idea to talk to your recruiter or the Hiring Manager about it. Your best bet is to be honest. Many companies have policies in place which allow them to hire people with different sorts of backgrounds and you may indeed be qualified for the role and able to be hired without any problems. It’s not a good idea, however, to be dishonest during any portion of the application process. Make sure you are filling out your forms honestly and accurately.”   More from Dana
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