What Do Background Checks Show?

by Carlos Fox 5 months ago in interview

Whether you are an employer or an employee, you need to know exactly what comes up when doing background checks.

What Do Background Checks Show?

Whether your business is small or large, you will likely need to hire new employees at some point in your business’s lifespan. Up to 40 percent of job applicants lie to some degree on their résumés. Not surprisingly, studies show a 4.8 percent rise in background searches since 2014. As a business owner, you may want to take advantage of an online service to run a thorough and free background check before extending a formal offer to a potential employee. But what does a background check consist of?

Past Employment

Having a clear, reliable view of where an individual worked before applying with you is vital. A list of recent employment and related descriptions usually makes up the bulk of your average résumé. However, most people who fib on their résumés are likely to alter dates and salaries to present themselves as having more experience or commanding higher compensation.

Once a background check has confirmed the employment details of a potential hire, you can move on to assessing the candidate’s work history in good faith. Keep in mind that working at the same place for an extended period of time shows commitment and can show the loyalty and work ethic of an individual.

It might not be to your benefit to enlist a new member to your working team who moves from one job to another all the time. At the same time, though, it’s just as important to understand how the job market has shifted to necessitate shifting from job to job every few years to earn more. Higher pay may even be the reason the applicant is sitting across from you in an interview. Discussing this with the applicant during interviews is a good way to determine how seriously they are looking for a new workplace and how long they see themselves staying at your company.


Did that candidate you’re eyeing really graduate from the Ivy League college listed in the application? A background check will give you this answer and peace of mind. Even though this may be listed on their résumé, you’ll want to double-check the authenticity of this information because it’s probably the second most important hiring factor after previous work experience.

Criminal Record

The last thing you want to do is hire someone with a serious criminal record. While traffic violations often come up during a background check, more serious infractions could endanger other workers.

The mere possibility of any level of criminal activity on an applicant’s record may be reason for concern, though, depending on the job. For example, if driving a vehicle for deliveries or shipping is part of a job description, having a clean driving record may be more important for you.

Credit History

While it may seem a bit outside-the-box, credit history can tell you a lot about an employee’s reliability. Learning more about the way applicants handle debts and expenses can give you insight into their ability to manage their life and priorities. A background check can reveal someone’s credit rating, and it’s generally recommended to consider higher scores because they are ultimately an indicator of responsibility and discipline, two characteristics desired in any industry.

Making the right hire is pivotal if you want your business to succeed. While an applicant may present a certain way, digging a little deeper with a background check is an excellent way to learn more about how a job-seeker may operate. While past activity is not always an indicator of the way an employee may behave currently, multiple red flags may give you pause or require further investigation through reference checks before you make a hiring decision. Don’t think twice about running a background check on a potential hire. You may thank yourself for having the diligence to do so.

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