You’re applying for your perfect job. You’re perfectly qualified, You have experience. It’s yours to lose. And then the potential employer tells you they’ll be conducting a background check for any potential hires. Should you be worried? What does a background check even entail? This article will look at the reasons for background checks on potential staff and whether or not you should be concerned about them.
Why Do Employers Conduct Background Checks?
Employers have a duty of care to their employees and customers to make sure that the people they employ are safe to work with. A background check is one way to help ensure this. The information gathered in a background check can also help an employer verify that you are who you say you are and have the qualifications and experience you claim to have.
Background checks usually involve checking your criminal record, credit history, and employment history. Your social media activity may also be checked. In some cases, a potential employer may also contact your references.
They Want to Protect Themselves
Employers also want to protect their company. This is particularly important when they have shareholders since they are legally obliged to make sure the company is run in a way that protects their interests.
However, you have rights. For example, they cannot specifically deny you employment based on your criminal record if you have been rehabilitated.
They also cannot discriminate against you based on your race, religion, or gender.
In short, an employer will conduct a background check to get more information about you and to verify that you are qualified for the position.
Let’s take a look at the different types of background checks and when they might be applied:
Types of Background Checks
Criminal Record Checks
A criminal record check will show any convictions, cautions, or other information that is held on police databases. This can include information about charges that have been brought against you, even if you were not convicted.
Credit History Checks
Your credit history may be checked to see if you have a history of financial problems. This is particularly relevant for positions where you handle money or work with sensitive data.
Employment History Checks
Your employment history will be checked to verify the dates and positions you have worked in and get an idea of your work ethic and performance. Your references may also be contacted as part of this process.
Social Media Checks
More and more employers are checking social media accounts as part of the background check process. This is to see if there is anything that could potentially damage the employer’s reputation, such as offensive posts or evidence of illegal activity.
Should You Be Concerned About Background Checks?
If you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn’t be worried about a potential employer conducting a background check. However, if you know there is something in your past that could be problematic, it’s always best to be upfront about it with your potential employer.
In some cases, such as with criminal records, an employer may be willing to overlook certain offenses if they are not relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, a conviction for shoplifting would not be relevant for a position in an office.
It’s also worth noting that background checks are not always 100% accurate. In some cases, they may contain outdated or simply incorrect information. If you know something in your background check is incorrect, you should raise this with your potential employer. They may be willing to look into it further and update the information accordingly.
Background checks are a common part of the hiring process, and there are several reasons why employers conduct them. The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t be worried about a potential employer conducting a background check if you have nothing to hide. However, it is best to always be honest since everything has a tendency to come out anyway.
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