What Can a Background Search Find?

You already know that one of the best ways to find the right people to fill open positions in your company is to interview, go over resumes, and obtain permission to conduct a thorough background search. In most cases, you’ll find that the candidate has been completely open and honest. At other times, the search may turn up some information that requires more discussion or disqualified the candidate from consideration. Here are examples of some of the data that a reasonable background search will reveal. 

Validation of the Social Security Number

Just about any background search will confirm that the Social Security number provided on the job application is correct. While this may seem like a small matter, consider how much trouble hiring someone with an invalid number could cause your business. Even if the number happens to be a single digit off, that’s grounds for stepping back and taking another look at the candidate. Perhaps it was a simple error in filling out the information or maybe there is another reason. The background search allows you the opportunity to find out for sure. 

Credit Checks

Depending on the type of position you are seeking to fill, the background search will need to address the financial situation of the candidate. The credit information obtained by the search allows you to see how one or more of the major credit bureaus assign a rating or score to the candidate. You’ll also be able to see if there are any loans or credit accounts that are currently in arrears, accounts that have been turned over to collection agencies, and if the candidate is in the middle of or recently completed a bankruptcy. 

Financial difficulties don’t necessarily indicate a lack of honesty. In fact, the candidate may have been forthcoming about all of these things during the interview. It’s only when the information was not shared in advance and the nature of the financial issues could impact the ability to perform on the job that those scores and details become important. 

Driving Records

What sort of driving record does the applicant currently have? Most employers would not be concerned about things like traffic tickets unless the job will involve delivering goods to customers. The driving record does become important if the offenses indicate a recurring issue that could place the company in some sort of jeopardy. For example, several convictions for driving under the influence could mean the person is not suited for the open position. 

Criminal Background Checks

This part of the background search allows the prospective employer to know if the candidate has any prior arrests or convictions that could hamper the ability to manage the job responsibly. Information about warrants, sex offenses, felonies, and records of incarceration may all be part of the findings. As with the information obtained by searching driving records, any activity that indicates the individual is inappropriate for the job will be enough to reject the application and focus on other candidates. 

While most people have one or two things in their histories that they don’t take pride in, the last thing you want to do is hire someone who chose to withhold important information from you during the interview or failed to include that information on a job application or a resume. Focus your attention on those who are willing to provide full disclosure before the background search takes place and you may find someone who has taken a few wrong turns but does have what it takes to be an asset to your business.

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