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Background Check Myths

Background Check Myths

Employment standards have changed drastically in the past few decades. Where before you could walk into a business, looking for casual work, and be hired on the spot, nowadays employers have to follow a series of processes to determine your suitability for the job, ensure the safety of their workforce and, most importantly the members of the public they come into contact with.

One of the most important processes an employer will undertake during the hiring process is to perform a background check on their prospective employees, to determine whether a candidate could offer a risk to safety, confidentiality, or the reputation of the business. In this article we’ll be clarifying the nature of background checks by debunking some of the most common myths of the process.

Myth: You Will be Judged by Your Social Media Accounts

With scandals regularly hitting the headlines regarding historic social media posts made by celebrities, the worry that an employer will judge you on your social media activity is an understandable concern. There are, of course, not many of us who can say that their accounts hold not a single post that may be seen as undesirable to an employer or agency.

However, there is little need to worry, unless your intended career centers around social media or other online platforms, it is highly unlikely your future boss will be following your Twitter feed. Even so, due to the potential of many people having identical names and birthdays as you, most employers avoid this as a method of background checking, and, even if they do find you on social media, they are unlikely to waste their time scrolling back through your feed for information.

Myth: An Internet Search Provides Employers with all the Information They Need

For most credible businesses, a simple web search will not be enough to constitute a complete background check. This is because of the high chance of unreliable data, such as information pertaining to someone else who shares your name. Typically, an experienced business will hire the services of a professional background check company, such as ‘Affordable Background Check’, to gain a thorough, accurate picture of their applicants.

Myth: You May have Agreed to be Screened by Ticking a Box

Employers have to follow a set of guidelines in regards to background checking known as FCRA, or the ‘Fair Credit Report Act’. This act means that when they intend to screen you in regards to a job opportunity, their documentation, (aka job application), they must clearly show this. Usually, this means providing a separate document you need to sign, and means that you won’t be caught out by habitual box-ticking.

Myth: You Only Need to be Screened for Initial Job Applications

This constitutes a common misconception within the workplace. Depending on the nature of the work you do, such as whether it involves minors or sensitive data, you may face screening up to every 3 years. This is to ensure nothing has changed within your circumstances since starting your job, for example, that you haven’t been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor or crime. For similar reasons you may also have your background re-checked, for example, if you achieve a promotion or apply for a different role within the company. This again is to ensure your credibility and suitability for the role.

Myth: If you Fail your Background Check your Job Offer will be Declined

If you fail your background check, but you believe the reasoning is unfair or incorrect, then, under the FCRA guidelines, it is your right to challenge the ruling, should you feel compelled. There are many reasons why you may do this, for one, the information gathered may be incorrect, or pertaining to someone else. Alternatively, it may be that you can clarify mitigating circumstances for a conviction on your record.

Hiring Employee

Background Checking with Confidence

If you are an employer looking to background check an applicant, or you are the applicant yourself, and are concerned as to what may appear within your screening, then sites like ‘Affordable Background Check’ are great places to get the job done. With a simple, easy to navigate interface, you can get the answers you need quickly, including, to name just a few; criminal records, marriage records, bankruptcy records, as well as legal judgements, and all this with complete peace of mind in regards to their accuracy and legitimacy.

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Gavin Muirhead

Gavin Muirhead has been involved in developing products for background checks and improving online experiences in the background screening industry since 2012. He is the lead author and editor of Affordable Background Checks.