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What Goes into an Employment Background Check and How Employers Use It

When you apply for a job, you may be asked to submit to an employment background check. But what is this process, and why is it necessary for employers? In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of employment background checks, including what information can be obtained and how it is used.

What is an Employment Background Check?

An employment background check is a process by which an employer investigates the history and background of a potential employee. This can include a range of checks, such as criminal record checks, credit history checks, and verification of employment and education history.

The main purpose of an employment background check is to ensure that a potential employee is truthful and trustworthy, and does not have any red flags that could make them unsuitable for the job in question. For example, if a company is hiring for a position that involves handling sensitive financial information, they may want to know if the candidate has a history of financial fraud or other dishonest behavior.

How is it Used by Employers?

Employers use employment background checks as part of the hiring process to gain a more complete picture of a candidate. By verifying a candidate's work and educational history, as well as conducting criminal and credit checks, an employer can gain insight into the candidate's character, responsibility, and trustworthiness.

Employers may use employment background checks to:

· Verify information on a candidate's resume or job application;

· Determine if a candidate has a criminal history that could affect their ability to perform the job;

· Verify a candidate's educational and professional credentials;

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· Check a candidate's credit history, particularly for jobs that involve financial responsibilities; and

· Determine a candidate's eligibility to work legally in the United States.

Employers are required to follow certain guidelines when conducting background checks to ensure that they are fair and legal. For example, they must obtain the candidate's written consent before conducting a background check, and they must follow the rules set forth in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) when obtaining and using the information.

What Information Can be Obtained from an Employment Background Check?

What information can be obtained from an employment background check varies depending on the type of check being conducted. Some of the most common types of checks include criminal history, credit history, and employment and education verification.

Criminal History:

Criminal history checks involve searching public records to determine if a candidate has a criminal record. This can include a search of state and federal criminal records, as well as sex offender registries and other databases. The information obtained from a criminal background check can include:

· Past convictions for felonies or misdemeanors;

· Pending criminal charges;

· Warrants or other legal issues;

· Probation or parole status; and

· Sex offender status.

Credit History:

Credit checks involve researching a candidate's credit history and score to determine their financial responsibility. This type of check is most commonly used for jobs that involve money handling or financial responsibility. Information obtained from a credit check can include:

· Credit score;

· Payment history;

· Bankruptcies;

· Liens and judgments; and

· Outstanding debts.

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Employment or Education Verification:

Employment and education verification checks involve contacting past or current employers or educational institutions to verify a candidate's work and education history. This type of check can involve contacting previous supervisors, checking employment dates and job titles, and verifying educational degrees and certifications.

Some other types of checks that may be conducted as part of an employment background check include driving record checks, professional license and certification checks, and drug tests.

In Conclusion:

Employment background checks are a critical part of the hiring process for many employers, providing valuable insight into a candidate's history and background. By conducting criminal, credit, and other checks, employers can make informed decisions and ensure that they are hiring the best candidate for the job.

As a job seeker, it's important to be aware of the types of checks that may be conducted, and to be honest and upfront about your history and credentials. By doing so, you can help to ensure that the process runs smoothly and that you are able to secure the job of your dreams.

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