Do You Know What Employers Are Looking for with a Background Check?

We’ve all been there before. You think you’re a shoo-in for this incredible job opportunity or you finally get a call back after sending out so many resumes trying to get your foot in the door with a new career. You make an amazing impression at the first meeting with management, score well on all the aptitude tests and then, they ask you to submit to a background test.

For many people, this can be the roadblock that’s kept them from getting the job of their dreams. Maybe you never call back because you’re worried that one ticket is going to disqualify you for the position or you’re not sure what the background check will stir up.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to not only understand what employers are looking for when they ask for this but also to know your rights with employment background checks.

Many businesses have come under legal action due to improper, outdated or even incomplete information about prospective employers being used in their job consideration.

Here are a few of the main things potential employers will look into when they conduct a background check on you.

– Your credit history. This will provide them with information to show if you are in financial distress or if there’s a risk of theft or fraud for the company by hiring you.

– Your criminal history. Information about your past offenses from thefts or crime give employers a fair insight into hiring someone who could present a threat to the workplace or public.

Your driving record. Checking up on things such as your accident history, any speeding tickets or even violations or DUIs could show your responsibility or risk before choosing to hire you.

Here are some of the laws you should understand if you feel a background check was used improperly by an employer.

– The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that requires employers to be open and fair about the information they’ll be collecting about you. If you request a copy of any reports used in your hiring decisions they must be provided to you.

– It’s illegal for employers to check on an applicant’s background based their race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, genetic information, or age (40+).


Are you a business’s wanting to conduct compliant background checks to screen potential new hires? DataCheck can help!  Work with a professional company that can screen your potential employees with a thorough background check and prevents negligent hiring lawsuits as well as a safer work environment.

 

For Workers with a Conviction, Employment Can Be Hard to Find

While unemployment may currently be at an all-time low in the United States, there is one group of people who continually finds it difficult to gain employment: people with criminal records.

A team of researchers from Arizona State University conducted a three-year study on the impact of having a criminal record on employment-related outcomes, varying by race and gender. In the study, researchers paired candidates according to their demographics (white men, African American women, etc.). Each pair included one person with a criminal record and one without. The pairs sent applications for the same jobs, and all skills and qualifications on résumés were matched.

Researchers found that results were heavily skewed by race. Both black and Hispanic men were less likely to receive a positive response from employers—including a callback or email for an interview or a job offer—compared with white men. In fact, white men with a criminal record had more positive responses than black men with no criminal record. When the results were examined by gender, it was found that men with criminal records were more likely than women with criminal records to receive a negative response from employers.

Among the most stigmatized job applicants—including welfare recipients, the short-term unemployed, individuals with only short-term and part-time work histories—applicants with criminal histories were the least likely to be hired. As approximately 30 percent of American adults have some type of criminal conviction, it’s a troubling problem.

“Ban the Box” Legislation

Statistics like these have led many states and municipalities to implement so-called “ban the box” legislation, which requires employers to consider individuals’ applications before they check criminal records in an attempt to give candidates with criminal records a fairer shot at employment.

Ban-the-box laws prohibit employers from asking applicants about criminal history on an initial job application. However, some go further, requiring employers to wait until after they have conducted an interview or made a conditional offer of employment before asking about criminal history.

Many companies check candidates’ criminal records before they consider a hire. But since 13 states and many municipalities now have rules in place that prevents a criminal background check too early, it’s important that employers stay abreast of the rules.

Ensure You’re Doing Background Checks Properly

Criminal history background checks are an integral part of the hiring process and help protect companies and their employees. It’s essential, however, that employers ensure they’re following all the rules, including fair employment mandates.

With the services of a professional pre-employment background screening company like DataCheck, you can protect your workers and your business and avoid negligent hiring lawsuits while still complying with “ban the box” laws. 

Can an Active Warrant Keep You from Getting a Job?

If you have an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor or felony, that means you could be arrested for the crime at any time. A warrant can complicate your life in countless ways. If you are searching for a job, it may or may not cause an employer to decide not to hire you.

How an Employer Might Look at an Outstanding Warrant

Many, but not all, employers conduct pre-employment background checks. If an employer conducts a thorough background check, a warrant will most likely come to light. Depending on the nature of the charged offense, the type of job you applied for, the company’s policy, and the supervisor’s discretion, you may or may not be hired.

For many employers, the type of crime you are charged with will be key to the decision on whether to offer you a job. If the job would require driving and you have an outstanding warrant for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an employer would almost certainly not hire you. If a supervisor knew about the warrant and offered you the job, and then you caused an accident that damaged one or more vehicles or injured other people, the company could face a wrongful hiring lawsuit.

If you applied for a job working with vulnerable populations, such as children, senior citizens, or disabled individuals, and you have an outstanding warrant for assault or domestic violence, an employer most likely wouldn’t feel comfortable hiring you. The company’s or organization’s primary concern would be the safety of the people in their care. If you were hired and abused someone on the job, the employer could be sued.

If you have an outstanding warrant for a minor crime, such as petty theft, and the job you are seeking would not give you access to money or credit cards, an employer might be willing to give you a chance. A supervisor might take the view that you are innocent until proven guilty or might think that you would be unable to commit such a crime in the position you applied for and would not pose a risk to the company.

How to Handle a Warrant

If you have an active warrant out for your arrest, hire a lawyer and post bail if required. When you fill out a job application or go for an interview, answer all questions honestly. An employer may be willing to hire you with an outstanding warrant, but you will automatically be rejected for a job if you get caught in a lie.

Check Applicants’ Backgrounds

If you are an employer, you need to make informed decisions to protect the safety and interests of your business and customers. Depending on the nature of the alleged crime, a warrant may or may not be a reason not to hire a job applicant.

DataCheck can conduct thorough background checks to provide you with all the relevant facts you need to make hiring decisions with confidence. Contact us today to learn more.

Background Checking Employment Candidates for a Safer Workplace

It’s the job of every employer to keep their workers safe. It’s not only a responsibility toward workers, but it’s also about reducing liability, keeping productivity high and turnover low.

While no one can see into the future to predict how effective a candidate will be as an employee, background checks can go a long way toward ensuring that employers are doing their best to keep their workplaces safe.

Substance Abuse Checks

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 15 percent of Americans are living with a substance abuse problem. This statistic is alarming for several reasons. For employers, it means that it’s more challenging than ever to keep a drug-free workplace. Many employers perceive the problem is worsening with the advent of legal marijuana in many states.

Drug use by employees or in the workplace can lead to an unsafe environment, a less productive environment and more employee absenteeism and turnover. You have a responsibility to keep all your employees safe, so it’s in your organization’s best interest to hire drug-free candidates.

Criminal Background Checks

When you’re making hiring decisions, it’s critical you have all the information relevant to the position you’re trying to fill. Quality background screening can identify criminal histories that applicants may not be revealing. These screenings help companies to hire the right candidates for their organization and ensure that the candidate won’t put other employees or the company’s assets in jeopardy.

Consider Drug Testing and Background Checks for a Safer Workplace

Drug testing has shown to improve workplace safety and productivity and reduce employer liability. Criminal background checks yield similar results, helping companies ensure that new employees haven’t been convicted of crimes that may be relevant to their job description.

Be Sure to Stay within the Law

Job candidates do have rights, and they may vary from state to state. When you conduct background and drug tests, ensure they’re properly structured and that you’re staying within the boundaries of both federal law and any laws your state may have to prevent you from using certain data against candidates. A professional background check organization can help you with this.

Seek Professional Services

DataCheck, a provider of pre-employment background checks, drug tests and screening services, offers a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms to gain insight into a candidate’s online behavior and appropriateness based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values. The service can help uncover evidence of criminal behavior, unprofessional conduct or lies, and misrepresentation about experience and education. The goal is to prevent the hiring of candidates who aren’t a good fit or who could even be a danger to the company’s existing employees and reputation.

Contact us for more information on the ways DataCheck can help with screening candidates via social media and other means

70% of Employers Are Using Social Media to Screen Candidates

Employers today have a wide variety of screening tools at their disposal. It helps that potential employees, like most Americans, regularly publish information about themselves. More and more companies are using this information – most of it accessible by social media – to pre-check candidates before they put out a job offer.

According to a study conducted by CareerBuilder last year, 70 percent of employers say they are now using social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and about 43 percent of employers use social media to check on current employees. The goal, companies say, is to ensure that the individual is a good “fit” for the company, and to ferret out any reasons NOT to hire someone.

Employers who responded to the CareerBuilder survey listed the following reasons for pre-screening candidates on social media:

  • Information that supports their qualifications for the job (61 percent)
  • If the candidate has a professional online persona at all (50 percent)
  • What other people are posting about the candidates (37 percent)
  • For any reason at all not to hire a candidate (24 percent)

Professional Screening Services

Checking social media can be a tedious process, however, which is why there is an increasing number of tools and services that can help you use available information – not just social media, but search engines too – to build a better picture of a job candidate and ensure you’ve got the right person.

At DataCheck, we provide pre-employment background checks, drug tests and screening services that include a comprehensive search of the major social media platforms to gain insight into a candidate’s online behavior and appropriateness based on your company’s basic code of conduct and values.

Using our services you can uncover evidence of criminal behavior, unprofessional conduct or lies, and misrepresentation about experience and education. The goal is to prevent you from hiring candidates who aren’t a good fit or who could even be a danger to the company’s existing employees and reputation.

For more information about how DataCheck can help with screening candidates via social media and other means, visit our web site or call 800-253-3394.