Background Checks: You Want to Know What?

Companies rely on background checks to make employment decisions. But when might employees or job candidates feel that their privacy has been violated? Here's how some people are likely to respond to background checks.

  • Talk to personal references about individual's strengths and weaknesses
  • Verify degree, schools attended
  • Confirm job title, salary and dates of employment with former employers
  • Check professional credentials (i.e., medical license)

Relaxed. It's a normal part of the hiring process.

  • Check name against list of known sexual offenders
  • Obtain criminal record to look for felony convictions
  • Look at driving record for moving violations, DUIs

One eyebrow raised. It's relevant for some jobs but not others.

  • Test for use of illegal drugs
  • Look at credit history to see debt level and payment history
  • Look for bankruptcy filings

Both eyebrows raised. It's considered invasive, so proceed with caution.

  • Obtain criminal record to look for arrests without convictions, misdemeanors, juvenile records or expunged convictions
  • Request medical files to look for prescription drug use, mental health records, etc.

Jaw dropped. It may be illegal, so use extreme caution.

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