If you have ever applied for a job or been accepted for a job, you have probably heard of a required “background check.” But did you stop and think about what that means? What does a background check entail? What will your potential future employer look at?
Let’s take a deep dive into what is a background check and what that means for you.
Background checks have many names (background screenings, pre-employment screenings, etc.) but the purpose is the same: to make sure you are who you claim to be.
A background check is something an employer does to investigate your background and make sure everything is safe and sound. Conducting a background check is a way for the employer to ensure that you are not a business risk.
There are many different types of background checks that create a solid image of who you are. Each type reveals specific information about you that meets the employer’s criteria of an employee. For example, if you are applying for a job that requires a master’s degree and you lie about having one, this will show up in the background check. This means that not all employers will conduct the same background checks.
Typically, background checks cover identity verification, employment history, education, any criminal records, credit history, motor vehicle and license record history, reference checks, military records and more. Even drug tests or social media checks can fall under the background check umbrella.
Keep in mind that background checks vary from state to state, so there are many different laws regarding background checks. This is particularly relevant with criminal records.
In background checks, dozens of potential databases are used. For example, if an employer is conducting an identity verification check, they might use the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration to make sure you are you.
A credit history, on the other hand, is done by credit bureaus. A credit history can show employers how you handle money, including if you have high levels of debt.
As for criminal records, these can show three different levels of checks: on a county, state and federal level. These checks look at any misdemeanor and felony convictions, as well as acquitted or dismissed charges.
For an employment history, your future employer could call a previous employer’s HR department and confirm your title, your start and end dates, your daily duties and your reason for leaving.
As mentioned before, background checks can help an employer make sure they are not hiring a business risk. Some employees exaggerate their skills and abilities during an interview, but a background check can quickly sort this out. Bad hires can potentially cost the company thousands of dollars, especially if not caught in time.
Think about it – you spent time and money training this person. If they had any insurance coverage, you are out that, too. Now you have to pay for termination expenses. To make matters worse, you now have to go through the entire hiring process again to find a replacement.
Another reason to conduct a background check is for safety. If you have a potential employee that is blatantly lying about their skills or previous job positions – or even who they really are – you need to know that.
If your potential employee also has a history of sexual harassment, workplace violence, negligent driving or issues with handling a company’s financials, these are definitely some red flags to be aware of. Again, it goes back to making sure your new hire doesn’t cost the company thousands and thousands of dollars.
If you are looking to hire a new employee, don’t stress about the background check. Instead, use Green Leaf Payroll & Business Solutions.
At Green Leaf, we have an affordable, extensive background screening service to ensure you hire and retain the best employees possible. We partner with the National Crime Search so your background screening is coupled with expert advice.
Don’t wait – contact Green Leaf today to schedule your next background check.