How to Perform a Background Check on Me?
Searching for employment can sometimes be a lengthy process that requires you to send out as many resumes as possible and go on as many interviews as you can. Along the process, it is very likely that you will be subject to an employment background check that allows employers to get an insight into your criminal and employment history. There are quite a few misconceptions about employee background checks and the way they are performed, so to set things straight, here is what you need to know about this background check and how it can affect you.
What is an Employee Background Check?
An employment background check is a review that provides information about an individual's criminal, commercial, financial, and employment records. The main purpose of an employment background check is to verify that the information provided by job candidates is true and that they are suitable for a particular position.
Employers are prohibited from using criminal records as grounds for disqualifying job candidates unless the records are directly related to a position; for instance, someone who has been charged with embezzlement will not be able to get work in positions that involve money.
How is an Employee Background Check Performed?
Potential employers are usually not asked to go through a background check during the initial interview; such checks are usually performed in the advanced stages of the hiring process when there are several candidates that are suitable for a position.
To perform an employee background check, employers must first get the consent of job applicants to perform the check. Such permission is granted with a consent form that the candidates fill out and sign. The consent form will require you to provide your personal information, such as your full name and social security number; these details will help perform a check on you based on your existing records.
Once the form is filled out and signed, the employer will send it to an authorized third-party agency that will perform the background check on you. Once the check is complete, the employer will receive the information about you that will help him/her verify the information that you provided about yourself is truthful and accurate.
According to HireRight, a background report provider, the most common requests in employee background checks are as followed:
- Verification of criminal records – 84%
- Verification of employment history – 72%
- Verification of identity – 67%
Employers also use a background check to verify and check education history, driving records, professional qualifications, and credit history. The check allows employers to get a full picture of potential employees and verify that they provided truthful information about themselves.
Employers cannot check certain details, especially the following:
- Bankruptcies after 10 years
- Civil suits, civil judgments, and arrest records after 7 years
- Paid tax liens after 7 years
- Accounts placed for collection after 7 years
*Restrictions do not apply for positions of $75,000 a year and higher.
How Accurate is an Employee Background Check?
Background checks are very accurate as they are performed by professional and licensed companies that provide accurate data about individuals. However, it is possible for errors to occur with background checks; to make sure that your employee background check does not contain errors, you can find the data that is available about you in one of the following ways:
1. Ask employers for your report – if you have been disqualified from a certain position, you can ask for your background check report from the employer who did not hire you. Ask for the report and you will be able to find out if all the data in it is accurate, or if there are errors that need to be corrected.
2. Collect data by yourself – you can contact various sources to find information about yourself that is also available to employers: you can get your driving records from your state's Motor Vehicle Department, your credit report from financial services companies, and your criminal records from your state's law enforcement agencies or Department of Public Safety.
3. Use a public records search directory – to get quick access to your public records, you can use sites such as ProPeopleSearch; if you want full access to your public records, like your driving records, birth records, criminal records, and other records that are available to employers, perform an online background check in yourself. Employers cannot use such sites for background checks, but you can use them to find out if the information that is available about you is accurate. In case you find errors in your reports, you can contact the authorities that made the errors and ask to rectify the mistakes.
Being well-prepared for interviews does not just mean to have the experience and qualifications necessary for a certain position. You must also undergo an employee background check that will provide employers with information about your identity and past. To increase your chances of getting hired, you should make sure the data that is available about you is accurate, and you can easily do so with a self-background check.