In today's competitive job market, employers are more cautious than ever when it comes to hiring new talent. Employers want to ensure that they are making the right decision in hiring new employees for their business, so they conduct an employment background check to get a better understanding of an applicant's history.
An employment background check includes a variety of components, including verifying educational qualifications, checking criminal records, and verifying employment history. This article will explain what an employment background check is, how it works, and how employers use it in making employment decisions.
What is an employment background check?
An employment background check is a process in which an employer investigates the history of a job applicant. The employer checks different aspects of the applicant's history, including criminal records, driving records, credit history, and employment history.
Employers conduct background checks to verify that applicants have been truthful in their resumes and job applications, and to ensure that they are qualified for the job. Additionally, background checks help employers identify potential red flags that may indicate issues relating to reliability, honesty, and character.
Types of components in an employment background check
Each employer can choose different types of components they want to verify in a background check, depending on the job position. Here are some of the most commonly checked components.
Verification of educational qualifications
Employers often verify the educational qualifications of an applicant to ensure that they have the skills and knowledge required for the job. The verification process involves contacting the educational institution where the applicant earned their degree to confirm the degree earned, the dates of attendance, and the graduation status.
Criminal records checking
Checking criminal records is one of the most important background check components for employers. The process involves accessing information typically held by state agencies to verify if an applicant has been convicted of a crime. This includes felonies, misdemeanors, and traffic violations.
Many employers require applicants to undergo drug testing as part of the background check process. Drug testing is meant to identify applicants who are using illegal substances, or who have used them in the past and may be likely to use them again. This is especially prevalent in jobs where safety is critical.
Employment history verification
Employment history verification helps employers determine if an applicant has been truthful about their previous job positions and work experience. Employers typically contact past employers to obtain information about job title, dates of employment, and job responsibilities.
How an employment background check is used by employers
Employers use background checks to assess an applicant's qualifications and suitability for a particular position. This is especially important for jobs that require a certain level of trust, such as working with children, the elderly or vulnerable populations.
Companies can use the information gathered in a background check to make sure that they are making informed decisions about an applicant's character and experience. Employers can also use background checks to monitor their employees' behaviour after employment begins.
For example, companies will perform criminal records checks to ensure that their employees do not pose a risk to their clients, customers, or colleagues. However, not all criminal records will disqualify an applicant from employment. Each case will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine if it is relevant to the job in question.
On the other hand, some jobs may require specific licenses and certifications that require strict qualification verification. This is where the verification of educational qualifications becomes very important. In addition, employers use employment history verification to confirm that applicants have the required experience and job skills.
Employers may also use background checks to validate the information provided by applicants. Many job applicants exaggerate their qualifications and experience on their resumes and job applications. By conducting background checks, employers can quickly identify any inaccuracies and eliminate candidates who have intentionally misled them.
Employment background checks help employers make informed decisions about their potential employees. The checks provide insight into an applicant's criminal, employment and educational history, and can reveal any red flags that may disqualify them from the job. Employers can use the information they gather to evaluate candidate qualifications, reduce hiring risks and ensure compliance with job requirements. In the end, the goal of an employment background check is to help employers make informed decisions about hiring the best candidate for the job.