Job Background Check

Background Checks on the Job: Patterns Employers Should Notice

Criminal history is not the only information obtained from a background check. Along with criminal history, other pertinent information included can alert potential employers to an employee or applicant’s negative history. Employers learn to spot repetitive patterns that have an adverse influence on an employee’s performance in the workplace. An employer must obtain signed permission of the applicant before doing any kind of background check. Employers can choose the type of background check they prefer, and should be aware that the information contained in background checks vary from state to state.

Criminal History

A criminal background check can warn an employer of possible problematic employees. No employer wants an employee with a pattern of illegal behavior. Usually, anyone who lies about information on a criminal record is dismissed from the list of possible employees. A person may be hirable if only one criminal occurrence is noted. It will depend on the criminal charge, the job position and the individual’s honesty on the application. For example, if a drug charge is present, the chances of filling a position in healthcare are slim. If the charge is for a single bad check, chances for employment remain high.

False or Misleading Information

A background check can verify the facts that a potential employee has put on an application or resume. Education, previous employers, length of employment, reasons for leaving a job, age and other important information is crosschecked for accuracy. The fact that an applicant provided dishonest information is as much a warning flag as the false information itself. If a person lies to get a job, there is a good probability that the pattern will carry over into the workplace.

Credit History

A credit history builds up over time, so a pattern of a financial responsibility or irresponsibility evolves. Obtaining a background check that includes a credit history is more common than it used to be. Any job that involves finances will not generally go to an applicant or employee with a pattern of poor credit. If a person does not maintain good credit on a personal level, most employers will not put them in a position involving finances. Some employers will not hire someone with a poor credit history for any position. Bad credit indicates a pattern of irresponsibility, which employers prefer to avoid.

Employee Eligibility Verification Form

It is the legal responsibility of all employers to make certain that an applicant is legal to work in the United States. The I-9, known as the Employee Eligibility Verification Form, or a specific list of documents, must be completed and kept on file. A background check verifies the information an applicant puts on the eligibility form. The form is an important part of a background check. An employer faces serious repercussions if they hire illegal employees.

Past Work History

The work history information contained in a background check can eliminate many bad employees. Hiring and training new employees is a business investment. Time and money is lost on a bad employee. If an applicant’s history shows many short-term jobs, it is a strong indication that they will not remain in any job position long term. Eliminating job hoppers decreases training costs, training time and costly turnover in the workplace. Long-term employees have increased productivity because they have stayed long enough to learn their position well.

Behavior Patterns Unacceptable in the Workplace

One incident can be a miscommunication, but a pattern of adverse behavior can put an employer at risk for legal issues and lawsuits. Violence, sexual harassment, theft and fraud are serious subjects for an employer. A background check is an additional tool to help employers weed out risky employees. One incident can lead to bad publicity, a damaged business reputation, monetary fines, penalties, lawsuits and in some cases, prison time. It is an employer’s legal responsibility to provide a safe, harassment free workplace for all employees.

Additional Information Employers May Consider

Employee health problems cost employers money in worker’s compensation rates, health insurance premiums and lost productivity. Multiple worker compensation claims can indicate a pattern that most employers prefer to avoid. While many employees file legitimate claims, people with a history of many claims are more likely to file fraudulent claims. No business wants to hire an employee with serious existing medical problems. In-depth background checks can help employers to avoid hiring at-risk employees. Hiring the best employees for open positions increases attendance and productivity, which results in a higher profit margin.