A background check can also be referred to as background investigation. It is the process of looking up a person’s personal information to find out more about their character or personality. Such investigations have become quite popular among companies that want to employ or promote people.
Anyone who applies for a new job or position should be aware that such investigations are considered legal in all countries, and employers are encouraged to undertake them whenever they deem necessary. This text discusses the reasons why employers conduct background checks and the type of information they usually look for.
The Information Revealed in a Background Check
- Education Background
Most schools have their contact information online. It is, therefore, easy for a recruiter to get in touch with a school to inquire some information regarding you. Schools are known for keeping all records dating back to when they were opened. If you lie about your results, extra-curricular activities like sports, or a position you held while studying, the recruiter will know. Lying about academic achievements is ground for termination, for instance.
- Career Background
Part of a resume requirement is including all previously done jobs and when you did them, and some recruiters even ask about the salary you earned in your last position. Some people may be tempted to lie so that their new employers can pay them more.
Employers tend to call the company or institution you worked for. They ask about the position you held while there, your conduct or character during your employment and the amount you earned as salary. Just like schools, companies do keep records of all their previous employees. It means that if by any chance you lied or exaggerated some information, the recruiter will know. The best way to avoid this is by being honest in your resume.
- Credit History
Institutions that deal with money lending and borrowing keep track of their creditors. They can also forward your name to the highest credit default authority in the country in case you fail to pay the amount you owe them. Recruiters usually forward the names of the people they are considering hiring to credit reference organizations to know what type of person they are dealing with.
If your name has been blacklisted from getting a loan from any institution in a country, the recruiter will eliminate you immediately. A credit default record shows that one is not accountable, hence cannot be trusted.
- Criminal Record
All local authorities keep records of all offenders in their systems. They do so to help keep track of the number of crimes in a country and also as a way of identifying people who are repeat offenders. If you have a criminal record, it is crucial to state so while applying for a job. Doing so will create a particular perspective of your character in the recruiter’s eye, and they might consider giving you a chance to work for or with them.
Failure to mention the existence of a criminal record makes an employer think you are not honest and are probably hiding a lot more. No company would like to be associated with such a person, so this lowers the chances of you being employed.
- Driving Records
Your driving record tells more about your character than you think. Driving is a skill that is learned and requires one to obey traffic rules and observe the regulations. If your driving record indicates that your license was revoked because of breaking certain rules more than once, an employer might not consider hiring you. Being employed entails doing what is required of you without someone having to look over your shoulder time and again.
If you cannot follow traffic rules, a recruiter will perceive you as someone who is incapable of doing what is right in a job environment. A driving record can, therefore, hinder you from getting a job.
Reasons why Employers Conduct Background Checks
- Confirm Information Written on Resume
The purpose of a resume is for an applicant to market themselves well and the recruiter to check whether he or she has the desired qualities. For a long time, the information found on resumes was never verified. Employers, however, discovered that some people were either lying outright or exaggerating some of their top qualities. It resulted in underperformance and some businesses or companies going under. In some instances, the past records of employees came to light when they were involved in repeat crimes. The verification of information, therefore, became a necessary part of the recruitment process.
- Means of Judging a Person’s Character
Previous deeds, whether good or bad, can tell a lot about a person. It can show how you make decisions, how you handle responsibilities, regardless of how big or small they are, or how you view the world around you in general. Such information may seem useless to some people, but it is important, depending on what role you are applying for. An example is someone who has a theft record cannot be trusted to handle a financial position in any company.
- Means of Ensuring the Safety of an Organization and its Employees
A company is normally in charge of their employees’ security. This is regarding protection of personal details like where one lives or how much they earn. Such information is usually stored in a company’s system as it always collected during the hiring process. Recruiters avoid employing people who have criminal records of say, identity or property theft because if such information lands in their hands, they might misuse it. A company’s information should also be protected from such people.
Being honest when applying for any given position is the advisable thing to do. You might be qualified to do a particular job, but your application will be dismissed because of a seemingly negligible lie you told in your resume. If you have an existing criminal record, state so while applying and tell your employer what you have done that proves you have changed your behavior.
It is also essential to run a background check on yourself just to see what comes up when you do so. Doing so will prepare you to answer any question that an interviewer may have.