How to Ease the Fear of Employment Background Checks

2 min read
Thu, Oct 31, 2019

How to Ease the Fear of Employment Background Checks

"We're very impressed with your skill set and are happy to offer you the job.... pending a background check investigation."

Even to those with nothing to hide, the second part of that sentence can shatter nerves of steel for job seekers. They wonder, "What will they find?" And, "Have I done anything wrong that I can't recall?" Or "What about that one mistake I made in college?"

Your recruiting and hiring staff can help ease these fears when running employment background checks.

How to Ease the Fear of Employment Background Checks

What if my employer finds something on my record?

When a background check is mentioned, job candidates may be concerned that something negative will show up on their records. Hiring managers can assure candidates that a run in with the law may not necessarily mean the job offer will be rescinded.  It will depend on a few factors including:

  • how long ago the crime occurred
  • the severity of the crime
  • the nature of the crime
  • if the crime applies to the job

If the candidate was only arrested but not convicted, the arrest cannot be used against them either. Employers are wise to use a Decision Matrix to ensure consistency when reviewing criminal records. See also: When Employers Should Consider Criminal Records.

Background Screening Decision Matrix  Free HR Template

How will I know what my employment background check will reveal?

It can be especially troubling if a job candidate is unsure what their employer means by "background check investigation". For instance, what if the candidate has a clean criminal record but declared bankruptcy 5 years prior? They may wonder what will be used against them.  To stay compliant with FCRA regulations, hiring managers must inform and get consent to run employment background checks. The candidate will know exactly which screens will be run when they are presented with a clear and concise form to authorize the employer to run the background check. See also: How to obtain consent and authorization to a background check

What if something negative shows up on my background check that isn't true?

Imagining the worst can be especially troubling to candidates that have no criminal history.  They could share similar names or identifying information as someone else. The credit reporting bureaus could have made a mistake. They could have had their identity stolen. If the background investigation reveals something amiss, employers must send a pre-adverse action notification to the candidate informing them as such. The FCRA specifies that they will have the opportunity to dispute any inaccurate information on their records. Hiring managers can calm the nerves of those candidates by letting them know that their job offer will not be taken back immediately. They too will have the opportunity to see what the employers see on their background check reports. If the information is true, the employer will then notify via adverse action. See also: Timing of an Adverse Action Notice

Employment background checks don't have to be frightening, expensive or time-consuming with a trusted professional employment background screening partner. Your hiring team can create a positive candidate experience and hire the best employee for the job.

See How VeriFirst Performs  Background Checks and Drug Screening

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