After applying for a position and being offered the job, you might be feeling optimistic about your future with the company. But before you accept the offer, it’s important to do a background check on the company and its employees. Unfortunately, sometimes something goes wrong during the process and you’re informed that your background check didn’t meet company standards.
What is a Background Check?
Background checks are conducted on individuals to ensure that they have no criminal history or other red flags which would prevent them from being hired into a position of trust. A criminal record can show that an individual is not trustworthy, and may lead to him or her being rejected for a job even if they are otherwise qualified.
Background checks are a routine procedure for many companies, as they are considered an important step in hiring new employees. A background check can include verifying the applicant’s employment history, criminal record, and credit score.
Importance of a Background Check
Background checks are an important part of the hiring process for any position, but especially for jobs that carry a high level of responsibility or exposure. A background check can help ensure that a potential hire is qualified for the position and does not have any criminal records or other issues that could negatively affect their work.
A background check can help to prevent theft or fraud in the workplace. Many companies now require employees to submit to a background check before they are hired, and many others require periodic checks during the employee’s tenure with the company. Background checks can also be used to monitor employees who may have access to sensitive information or equipment.
Employers should always keep in mind that they have the right to refuse to hire someone based on a background check if it is found to be inadequate. They should also be aware of their legal rights when it comes to using and sharing information obtained via a background check.
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Basic Steps for a Background Check
Background checks can help prevent theft and other criminal activities, but they may also disqualify someone from getting a job. There are four basic steps for conducting a background check: obtaining an employment history, checking financial records, checking driving records, and verifying education.
- Employment History
Employment history is the most important part of a background check. This includes looking into previous jobs held both full-time and part-time, as well as any volunteer work. It’s important to note that employers are not required to provide this information, so be prepared to provide documentation if necessary.
- Checking Financial Records
Financial records can include bank statements, credit reports, and tax returns. It’s important to determine whether there are any liens or judgments against the applicant’s name or assets. Additionally, creditors may report past-due debts to credit agencies.
- Checking Driving Records
Driving records should be checked because many criminal activities involve driving. Furthermore, it’s possible to obtain false identification documents through fake driver’s licenses or even stolen identities.
- Verifying Education
Verifying education is especially important for positions that require professional certification or licensing such as doctors or lawyers. Educational institutions may report dropped classes or absences that would indicate alcohol abuse or other adverse behavior.
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Risks of Not Doing Background Check after Job Offer
- You May Not Be Able to Get the Job. Your employer may not be willing to hire you if they know that your background check hasn’t been completed. They may also be unwilling to work with you if they think that you could pose a danger to them or their customers.
- You May Face Legal Problems. If your criminal history or other worrying information comes up in your background check, you may find yourself facing legal problems. This includes things like being unable to rent an apartment, getting fired from your job, or even being deported from the United States.
- You May Face Safety Issues on the Job. If you have a criminal record or other concerning information in your background, likely, you would not be allowed on certain types of construction sites or in dangerous jobs like law enforcement or firefighting. This could put both you and others at risk if something were to happen on the job.
- You Could Lose Your Job Anyway. Even if your background check isn’t complete, chances are good that your employer will run some basic screens on you before offering you the job anyway. An incomplete background check could mean that they don’t believe that you’re fit for the position
How long does it take to do a background check?
A criminal background check can take anywhere from minutes to weeks, depending on the nature of the request. A standard credit history check might only take a few hours to complete. Please note that each state has its guidelines and procedures for conducting background checks, so please consult your individual state’s website or agency for more information.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is considered a “failed background check?”
A: A failed background check means there is something wrong with your record that would make you ineligible for the position. This could mean anything from a minor traffic violation to criminal charges that have been dismissed or resolved in your favor.
Q: Can I ask the company to re-check my record?
A: Yes, you are legally allowed to request a second background check on any grounds, including if you feel there was an error in the first one. However, many companies will only do this if they feel it would be beneficial to them – for example, if they think you lied on your application or are hiding something else relevant to the job.
Q: How long will it take for my record to be updated?
A: This can vary depending on the state where the records are located, but most agencies will update your file within weeks or months of receiving your request. If anything is preventing the completion of the process (for example, if your file has been destroyed), then it may take longer.