Employee Background Checks Reveal Ghosts From Their Past 👻

2 min read
Fri, Oct 30, 2020
Hiring managers will often run background checks to uncover a criminal history or other details that might remove an applicant from consideration. Background checks can also be used to reveal a pattern of job-hopping or multiple periods of unemployment. Some employers also opt to run employee background checks post-hire, either as required by industry regulations, due to a workplace accident or other concerning behavior. Overall, background checks are used to reduce the risk of negligent hiring claims and to ensure that every employee was screened under the same standards.

Here's how employee background checks reveal ghosts from their past.


What Do Employee Background Checks Uncover?

Background checks are typically considered for revealing criminal records. In fact, what's revealed on a background check depends on the screens chosen. Even if a criminal background check is chosen, the information depends on what type of criminal background check. 

Types of criminal background checks include:

  1. National Criminal Database Records
  2. National Sex Offender Search
  3. Federal Criminal Court Records
  4. Statewide Criminal Court Search
  5. County Criminal Court Search
  6. Most Wanted / International Terrorist Watch List

Types of employee background checks include:

  1. Identity Verification
  2. Credit History
  3. Civil Court Records
  4. Education Verification
  5. Employment Verification
  6. Professional License Verification
  7. MVR / Driving Records
  8. Drug Testing

Because there is no all-encompassing criminal records database, the data returned could look vastly different, depending on the type of criminal records search.

Employee Screening:  Types of Employee Background Checks

What Do Employers Look for in a Background Check?

Again, it depends. Employers may choose to run a basic background check to save time and money. Some managers may run a drug screening post-hire if there is suspected drug abuse that is the cause of workplace accidents, too many sick days or violent behavior. Other screenings may be run if the employee is being promoted to a new job that requires more security clearance (criminal or credit checks) or operation of heavy machinery (driving record checks). It is highly recommended that the screens chosen are relative to the job that is being hired. This procedure minimizes the number of necessary screenings, saving turnaround time and money. 

Job-Related Background Checks Ebook

What Happens When a Ghost from the Employee's Past is Revealed?

If there are records revealed that do not align with the employers' standards for hiring, it doesn't mean that they can simply rescind the job offer. The employee or candidate must be aware of a few things:

  • That they are being screened, which screens are being run and why
  • That they've given authorization and consent to be screened
  • That the information found on the report could be used to deny employment or promotion or could be reason for termination
  • That there are things on their report that are of concern
  • Which background check company was used to run the report
  • Their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), including the right to dispute the report findings
  • The background check report information that was returned from the screening company

The employer must also be prepared to reveal that their assessment of the screening report is fair according to EEOC guidance with the use of a background check decision matrix or other similar documents. Even then, if the employee or candidate cannot dispute the findings, the hiring manager must follow the rules of adverse action to stay FCRA compliant. 

See Also: Denying Employment: An Adverse Action Guide

While employee background checks may reveal ghosts from their past, employers must be aware how, why and when screens are used. There's more to learning about your candidate than simply running a criminal check. Solve the mystery of your employee and stay compliant by working with a professional background check company like VeriFirst.

How VeriFirst Performs  Background Checks & Drug Screening

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