What would Disqualify Me from a Job due to My Background Check?
When hiring new employees, companies want to ensure they pick candidates who will fit. To do this, more than 90% of employers perform a background check. This step is a routine process in most cases, but sometimes, red flags will come up.
You may wonder what can be found on your background check to disqualify you from a job. The truth is, it depends entirely on your potential employer and the job in question. Every job and employer is different, and so is what they look for in your background.
This uncertainty means there are no “hard and fast” rules for what may disqualify you, but some red flags are more common than others. So, let’s take a closer look at what can lead to failed background checks and what employers look for in potential candidates.
Employers’ Standards for Background Checks
So, what are employers looking for in your background check? It depends on the type of job, how much risk the organization is willing to accept, and what kind of screenings the employer has performed.
Standards will vary considerably between jobs and industries. The standards are sometimes even regulated by state and federal laws. For example, in positions involving financial responsibilities, an employer will likely require a criminal records search where they will be looking specifically for financial-related crimes. Such crimes may include a history of fraud. Otherwise, they may just run a credit report to check for signs of poor financial responsibility.
However, standards will vary widely based on the job and employer.
What are Employers Looking for in a Background Check?
Employers can perform a wide range of searches to find information relevant to their needs. For example, background checks typically look for anything related to the position’s responsibilities. However, the searches used depend entirely on their hiring standards and what they need to find. Here are some of the more standard details employers look into.
The large majority of employers perform a criminal history search before hiring. Employers want to maintain a safe environment for their employees and customers, so they want to know about any risks that potential employees may pose.
However, simply having a criminal record is not an immediate disqualification. Most employers look for serious crimes and those related to the position in question. This step means that you should consider the nature of the crime and whether it would affect your qualification for the job at hand.
For example, a DUI might not affect your qualifications for a position as a bank teller, but it most definitely would for a trucking position. In some cases, such as positions requiring a security clearance, any severe crime may put you out of the running.
Assuming you were honest about your education and employment history, chances are, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to a check of your qualifications. However, employers want to know that you are qualified for the applied role.
As a result, employers may revoke the job offer if you lied about your qualifications on the resume or application. In addition, background checks will look into your employment and educational history to ensure that you have any capabilities you claim. This assurance is particularly true in cases where a specific license or certification is required, such as for healthcare-related positions.
Credit checks are standard in positions with financial responsibility, such as banking, accounting, or management. For these positions, employers want assurance of your trustworthiness with access to finances. In this case, employers typically look for signs of poor personal financial responsibility, such as late bills or large amounts of debt.
These factors could indicate that a candidate may have difficulty handling various responsibilities. For example, they may struggle to make payments on time or manage loans and credit cards. Employers may also consider it a warning sign of how the individual may prove untrustworthy with the organization’s finances.
Generally, driving record checks will happen when the position requires you to drive for the company. Employers want to know that you do not pose any significant liabilities while on the job. A speeding ticket or two may not be enough to remove you from consideration. However, a DUI, reckless driving charge or multiple citations for speeding may disqualify you.
Employers want to learn how you will perform in the role you applied for, so naturally, they will look to your past workplaces to indicate what they can expect. A good reference can go a long way to scoring your next position, but in some cases, it may not be so positive. A single negative reference may not be harmful, but several poor references will likely disqualify you.
Many workplaces have strict policies against drug use, particularly those that involve working with heavy machinery or driving. Employees under the influence pose a danger to others, so drug tests ensure employers can trust the individual to work with a sound mind and fully alert.
As a result, a positive drug test is a common disqualification during a background check. However, in cases of prescribed substances for medical use, it is necessary to talk with the employer. It is best to make the potential employer aware of these prescriptions so they can make any accommodations, if applicable.
Worried about What may Appear on Your Background Check?
There is no question that a background check can prove stressful. No one likes to have a potential employer searching through their background for anything that may raise an eyebrow. However, you can see everything that will appear on your background check before they take a look.
By performing a self-background check, you can see the same professionally prepared report that your potential employer will. In addition, this will allow you to ensure everything is correct and prepare you to explain anything questionable.
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