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Asked by Ashley on February 9, 2015

In general, what is the policy on background checks for hiring medical support jobs such as medical assistant? I am referring to both credit and criminal background check.

Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on February 12, 2015

I think this can vary greatly, depending on the prospective employer. I would speculate that many companies in the healthcare industry indeed require some sort of criminal background check. However, there could be considerable variation in terms of the number of years they examine (the past 7 years, for example, versus 10 years) and the locations where they secure this data (your current state, past states, etc.). And in my experience, credit checks are less common, unless you will be handling funds/financial data, and have monetary responsibilities.
 
If you have a conviction, remember that you may not actually need to disclose this prior to hire, but if you must, it will likely show up on the application itself. Different states have different rules regarding what candidates must disclose regarding past convictions, when, how, and to whom.
 
I would suggest asking the recruiter about the process in a very general way. Find out the new hire/onboarding steps, and if there is any documentation you can read or complete ahead of time, if possible. They may send you the background check consent form, itemizing what their company will perform.
 
If you have a specific question or concern about the background check process, the recruiter may be able to discuss it with you in confidence, and provide the information you need.   

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Answered by Ellen, Hiring Expert at Hospira, on February 17, 2015

This could be very different from company to company.  However, most companies do conduct background and drug test prior to joining a company.  I have found the general rule of thumb is employment (which can range from a few years up to 7 years), academic and criminal.  Drug is generally a part of the background, as well.  In some cases, if someone is handeling cash credit might be checked, as well.  It really can vary from company to company.  Do be honest when completing the questions.  If you have a conviction, I would discuss with your attorney how best to respond to any questions tied to the criminal questions.  They can advise how you should respond. 

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Answered by Rachel, Hiring Expert at Eaton, on March 12, 2015

In general for medical related jobs there is going to be both a drug test and a background check that will look at criminal history as far back as 7 years from the date the request is initiated.  The criminal conviction criteria that is used to determine if some is eligible to be hired or not can vary greatly and may largely depend upon the potential access to people and information that you may have in relation to any potential felony convictions.  It is also important to note that individuals who do not have felony convictions but may have several misdemeanors that separately would not disqualify him or her from employment, may be disqualified if the company views multiple convictions as a part of their disqualification criteria in addition to the nature of the conviction itself.  Sometimes companies will allow for a review in which they would contact the individual who had some questionable items pop up on the background check.  The nice thing about this is it is an opportunity to explain the circumstances around the criminal concern in question and ideally explain how the person that was in that situation before has learned and moved forward to be a different person today.  I would suggest speaking with a lawyer for any concerns regarding background check and pending trial(s).

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