A Background check FAQ - How do they work?

A Background check FAQ - How do they work?
The Siliconreview
23 October, 2020

Most employers run some kind of background check on candidates today. Each employer chooses for themselves whether to use a background check service or perform a screening independently. They also decide on what elements to include in the checks. They will take the type of business and the job position into account when determining what to include in the screening.

We learn from that some employers want to verify education history and employment, while others just ask for a simple criminal record check. Regulated industries such as health and finance have very rigorous checking requirements in accordance with specific laws. For instance, industry regulations may require health care workers to undergo license verifications.

Do you have a background screening to “look forward” to? Don’t worry. It’s happened to lots of people. Here are the answers to some top background check FAQs.

What does the screening show?

Typically, a background check serves to verify the data you’ve given your prospective employer during the hiring procedure. It might incorporate checks to show your credit history, confirm your identity, or reveal unflattering media coverage or a reportable criminal record. Some findings can lead your recruiter to conclude that you’re not right for the position. This decision is theirs to make.

Ask your recruiter in advance to find out exactly what the check will include before they launch the procedure. You can always refuse to undergo a background check, but they might assume the worst if you do, which is why we don’t recommend it. Instead, be prepared to explain anything unsavory about your past that might show up.

How can i prepare?

On that note, get all the documents you might need ready and have the required information available. This would include your resume, proof of address, your address history, ID, any education certificates, and documents from previous employers. To avoid needless delays, take your time filling in the data needed and make sure you haven’t made any mistakes.

How far back does the screening go?

A screening may cover 5 years’ education qualifications and/or employment history, 6 years of address history, or just your previous employment. It depends on what the recruiter requests. Again, it’s a good idea to talk to them about it in advance.

How long does it take?

The length of your background screening will vary based on the type of check that’s part of the employer’s set of screening tools. It also depends on your background. Typically, it takes from 10 days to two weeks. We know that’s a pretty long time, but that’s because screening services have the information verified with a number of different sources, and the times each one takes to respond can vary. And that’s not all - regulated references can take as long as a month and a half.

Will they contact previous or current employers?

The screening company will not get in touch with any previous employers or your current one without asking you for permission, at least if it’s a legitimate company. They will ask you if they can get in touch with them at the present time or after a certain date. You have the right to refuse at all times. You can tell them you don’t want your employer contacted as part of your application at all. One reason why you might choose to decline is if your current employer does not know you’re looking for a new job, and you don’t want them to.

Recruiters’ use of data related to a criminal record in the context of making hiring decisions is subject to the regulations and laws in the respective country. Employers will usually review and assess the criminal record and the specific situation with your help before they make any decision. The employer determines the process for finalizing one. Contact your potential employer to talk about their review and assessment process in relation to criminal record evaluation if you are concerned. You should get a chance to explain the circumstances.

Watchlist/Sanction Checks

You probably won’t need to worry about these. Sanctions checks are specialized searches covering different state, international, or regulatory databases that identify people who might be barred from certain industries or activities. A large number of employers can perform sanction checks. However, these are rarely required outside of finance, healthcare, and other regulated industries.

I’ve forgotten my work history, is that a problem?

It might be. You can look for missing information on old contracts, payslips, your resume, or your social media. If all else fails, get in touch with your former employer and ask them to remind you.

How do i check my status?

Just ask the recruiter. They can update you because they have live access to your background check. You can keep the process as brief as possible by making all the relevant documents available and responding to additional requests promptly. You can get a copy of your background report from your recruiter as well.