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FAQ: Personal Background Checks

When you’re job hunting, there are a whole lot of things on your mind. You have to get your resume looking prefect, update your cover letter, gather some good references and prep for interviews. One thing most job seekers probably aren’t thinking about is background checks. Because that’s the responsibility of the employers, right?

Generally speaking, yes. But before you start any other job search tasks, it may not be a bad idea to check up on your background report. If you’re wondering what your potential employers will see when they screen you, you can get a head start by running a report on yourself.

Below, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about personal background checks so you can determine if they’re something you should include during your job search.

Why would I run a background check on myself?

A background check is a process that companies use to verify a person is who they claim to be, check their criminal record, education, employment and more. If your potential employer is going to see it and make a judgment about your future based on it, wouldn’t you like to know what it contains beforehand?

With a personal background check, you can see what is currently on your report, avoiding any surprises and offering time to correct potential mistakes. Some criminal databases and court records are so it’s definitely in your best interest to run a background check on yourself to ensure your future employer is getting an accurate understanding of who you are.

What do I do if there’s false information on my background report?

One of the useful things about running a background check on yourself is it gives you the ability to check and correct the information within your report. Accredited screening firms, like One Source, use real-time, original source court records whenever possible. This helps provide you the most accurate and up to date information.

If you spot any inaccuracies in your report, you have the right to get them fixed. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the ability to dispute the information in their report and rectify potential negative impacts of the inaccuracies. Contact the company that created your report directly and they will review all disputed information.

How does a personal background check help me in the long run?

Once you have a copy of your report you can have unparalleled confidence that your background report is a true reflection of your past. From there, you can start to look at your report through the eyes of a potential hiring manager.

Start to think of any questions they may ask you about your report and prepare honest, thoughtful responses. A personal background check can provide you with an understanding of what your employers see and help you prepare more completely for any questions in the future. Knowledge about your background is a power worth seeking.

That served as your FAQ on personal background checks. Now, to learn more about the background check process, click here or contact us today!

What to Do Before You Run an Employee Background Check

Established companies and new businesses alike must manage workplace safety and avoid fraud to stay secure. Background checks offer protection and peace of mind as you bring new people into your organization. However, developing an effective screening system to run an employee background check is sometimes easier said than done. Regardless of where your organization is in its development, it’s worthwhile to reflect on your background screening practices.

In order to help your company reap the benefits of background screenings while staying compliant with consumer protection laws, make sure you complete the following before screening applicants.

Create a consistent screening policy

Work with your HR department to build a comprehensive hiring process that includes your background check procedures. You can create a flow chart of the proper steps to take and how to proceed in different situations.

Vague background check practices may cause your hiring team to treat applicants’ reports differently, which can lead to legal trouble. To stay consistent with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you must follow a strict process when taking adverse action—the removal of applicants from consideration because of their background report. So, if that process is already in your procedure, your hiring team will respond correctly.

Hire an FCRA-compliant, PBSA-certified credit reporting agency

The FCRA determines proper background check practices, and you must follow its guidelines to protect your business from negligent hiring charges. According to the FCRA, you need written consent from anyone you want to screen. And you have to explain your reasoning if you take adverse action. Under the FCRA, applicants have the right to know what information is in their report and they can dispute anything they deem incorrect.

Compliance is crucial, and the best way to guarantee a legal hiring process is to hire a reputable screening agency. Hence, the best agencies are FCRA experts that help you navigate its requirements with ease.

The Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) determines the ethical and performance standards for the screening industry. So, if a consumer reporting agency has PBSA approval, it meets ethical standards and can be considered a trustworthy company.

See from the perspective of your applicants

Background checks are an increasingly common part of job searches. Applicants likely complete a screening for every job they apply for, and the FCRA empowers them to take an active role in the process. Your candidates will be familiar with the screening process and may have questions you should be prepared to answer.

Make sure your applicants feel comfortable asking questions, voicing concerns, seeking clarification and viewing their results upon request. Therefore, by preparing yourself to meet applicants’ needs, you’ll help them build trust with your organization and expedite the hiring process.

That’s the first steps in learning how to run an employee background check. Learn more about employment screening and how you can improve your hiring process by contacting the One Source Client Relations Team.

3 Ways Background Checks Improve Your Hiring Process

Integrating a pre-employment background check into your company’s hiring process gives you the best chance of making the best hire. Folding rigorous, thorough vetting into your decision helps you go beyond taking an application and interview purely at face value. Instead, carefully curated employment background screenings provide invaluable data to validate your perspective on the applicant’s fit.

Read how administrating background checks improve your hiring process and gives you the clarity and confirmation to hire the right person for the right job.

Verifying application information

Resume fraud is real. So, background checks help employers find the truth, and the right type of screening will uncover inconsistencies between resume and reality. Finding a difference between what was submitted and what is actually real for an employee’s history helps determine which applicants are worthy of consideration.

Hiring an applicant that fabricated parts or all of their job history opens your organization up to a loss in credibility. Then, preserve your business’s reputation by avoiding a fraudulent hire.

Double checking competencies and capabilities

On top of confirming the accuracy of an applicant’s basic information, you also want to corroborate what they say about their qualifications and skills. A job applicant may misrepresent or mischaracterize their actual experience or educational accomplishments. It could be their job title at a previous job. Or it could be their academic degree. It could even be a credential—like licensure or certification for job-specific roles—essential to your vacant position.

The wrong hire could affect your company’s bottom line. Hiring an applicant that over-embellished their abilities can lead to financial losses over time. Bringing in an underqualified person for a job they’re unable to perform means low productivity and, thus, lower profitability.

Making a safe choice for your company and community

Above all else, a pre-employment screening should ensure your hire won’t jeopardize the safety of those you employ and those you serve. Upholding the trust and equity your business has built with its own employees and the public at-large should never be sacrificed. So, background checks help you cover the bases and provide insurance for deciding on the right hire. 

Certain jobs entrust individuals with high levels of responsibility, from driving company vehicles to even using firearms. A background check uncovers the applicants truly qualified to carry out these sorts of tasks. Implementing a background check into your screening helps find out if an applicant’s past raises any red flags. It can’t preclude you from hiring an employee—that protection is law, part of the Fair Credit Reporting Act—but it can help you make the appropriate determinations. For example, if you’re hiring a delivery driver, you’d want to know if an applicant has any DUIs.

A background check helps you hire with confidence. Hiring managers carry the burden of making critical decisions for their businesses, and they need to make informed ones. Therefore, bringing on the right employee helps keep the company’s people and community safe while preserving its credibility. So, making the wrong hire can have a devastating ripple effect on each of those criteria.

New to the world of how background checks improve your hiring process? Then, explore our wide array of insights, tips and employment background screening guides on the OneSource blog.