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The Ultimate Guide to Background Checks

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Applying for a job involves extensive preparation – polishing your resume, rehearsing answers to common interview questions, and notifying references. However, you’re never completely ready for the interview until you’ve considered a background check’s potential effects. 

We learn from UnMask.com that background checks are on the rise – the majority of employers have come to rely on them. This is because they can’t get all the information they need from resumes or interviews. 

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Avoid Surprises – Know What a Check can Yield  

Some job applicants fail to take the impact of a check on their employment search into account. One simple measure you can take is checking your social media for posts someone might consider offensive or unflattering. Check reactions to your posts for clues. Your employer does not want any information with potentially negative effects being associated with them. 

More and more companies are turning to professional education verification agencies to confirm that a candidate really possesses a given degree, diploma, or certificate as claimed. 70% of college students state they would list inaccurate information on their resume to be approved for a job. Due to such statistics, companies can’t really be blamed for not trusting resumes blindly. Candidates are prone to lying, especially during an economic downturn. 

Prior to hiring, education verification plays a crucial role in companies’ decisions. However, it is not the only consideration. Criminal history repositories nationwide contain records of 92 million criminal offenders, according to the Bureau of Justice.

Any number of them are looking for a job at any point in time. Potential employers will run a criminal background check to protect themselves. It’s not an exaggeration to say these screenings are the cornerstone of the majority of background check programs.

The tools and methods available to improve results and procedures are constantly increasing, and each organization customizes its approach when it comes to risk mitigation. 

How to get a Comprehensive Picture 

Employers have lost as much as $40 million in some cases of negligent hiring. Companies lose about 80 percent of these cases. Over half of all job applications submitted contain one or more inaccuracies. 

Depending on the type of information, a background check can be classified as an investigative consumer report. Employers are required to give notice and obtain consent before running an official background check according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The first step to ensure compliance with FCRA regulations is to disclose intentions to obtain a report in writing. Both current employees and job candidates should be aware of the company’s plans to screen them. It should be made clear to them that findings can contribute to decisions involving retention, promotion, or hiring. 

Obtaining Consent 

Prior to the screening, the employer should obtain written authorization from the employee or candidate. Employees and candidates have the right to ask for and get information about the reporting agency carrying out the search as well as any information about relevant federal and state statutes. A third-party provider can screen an employee or job candidate on behalf of the employer after the above have been ensured. 

The next step is analyzing the results. If requested, the individual being screened gets a copy of the background report as or even before the employer reviews it. 

Identity Verification 

The most common type of information companies request about current and potential employees is identity-related. Simply put, identity checks confirm the applicant is who they say they are. Tracing social security numbers is the simplest method of obtaining verification. This process makes sure the data given by the job candidate corresponds to that within credit bureau files, state and federal databases, and driving records. 

Using this data, the company can make a list of names and addresses associated with the person to confirm their identity. To carry out this type of search, the prospective employer will ask the candidate for their social security number and photo ID, such as a personal ID card or driver’s license. At least two different forms of identification are required.