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Background Check Report

When a Candidate with a Negative Background Check Report Can Be Hired

Background checks can be a helpful tool for employers to avoid risky candidates in the hiring process. However, it raises some questions about whether or not a negative background check will keep an employer from hiring the prospective employee. The answers to these questions are not simple, and in many cases depend upon the employer’s judgment. Fortunately for candidates with a less-than-desirable background check result, they have rights too; there is some information in background checks that may not apply to the job at hand, and in some cases the background in question may have occurred decades prior—leaving room for negotiation and explanation on behalf of the candidate’s integrity and ability to perform the job. With the majority of companies and businesses utilizing background checks in the employee screening process, it is wise to do a little research on background checks; the information they provide; the limitations; and the conditions under which someone may be rightfully denied employment. Here is some information about when a candidate with a negative background check report can still be hired:

Types of information employers look for

Employers must be selective about what types of information they utilize in the screening process; individuals are entitled to exclusions when it comes to background check information. Much like a driving record, certain items can “fall off” or become obsolete to employers after a certain period of time. For instance, although employers can have access to most financial and legal information about an individual, bankruptcies that have surpassed a decade of activity can no longer be factored into an employment decision. For most other stipulations like tax information or civil suits, the time frame is typically 7 years of irrelevance. One of the primary conditions that employers are looking for when it comes to background checks and employee pre-screening techniques is evidence of a criminal history. If there is any criminal history present on an employee’s background check information, it stays there indefinitely. These restrictions enforced by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) are only applicable to background checks that are outsourced, not performed by the company themselves.

Relevancy of information to the position at hand

Depending on the job in question, there might be specific things that the employer is looking for. For instance, if you are applying to a job that requires you to make pick-ups and deliveries, then a fair amount of driving will be part of the position. In this case, the employer has every right to view your driving record, which includes previous traffic tickets, moving violations, license suspensions, DUIs, and any other relevant infraction. Past history that includes evidence of more severe violations might result in denial of the position; however, if there is only a single speeding ticket on the record then it might not affect one’s ability to be hired for the position. On the other hand, criminal background checks are included in the majority of pre-screening methods, and are certainly relevant to most employment opportunities. Generally speaking, employers offer candidates the opportunity to discuss any criminal past on their background checks. The first thing employers aim to assess for is honesty; therefore, it is critical to be honest and up front about what may come up in your background check.

Candidates Waiting for Interview

How to deal with a “Negative” Background Check

Not all “negative” information on a background check will prevent a candidate from being hired, and in a competitive employment climate, it is important to remain positive and hopeful about employment opportunities—especially if you feel you are qualified for a position. Performing a background check on yourself before applying to jobs might be a good idea to best prepare for whatever may come your way. Again, honesty is always the best policy; it’s better to address an issue rather than assuming it won’t come up. If you are concerned that your background check might dig up questionable information, contact us at Affordable Background Checks to perform your own before your upcoming interview. We provide background checks at a lower cost, making it easy to prepare for the job application process. Don’t set yourself up to be surprised by a background check result—stay ahead of the process so that you can be informed and ready for whatever questions might come your way.

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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.