Saturday, April 19, 2008

Things to Know About Background Checks

By Don Straits, CEO and Dragonslayer,

Companies are using BCs now, more than ever before, to make certain they are hiring the right person. Unfortunately, BCs are now more common because so many job seekers have a tendency to "exaggerate" on their resumes.

Here are some things to know about Background checks

* Criminal History
Felony and misdemeanor searches can be conducted by county, state or throughout the nation. Each respective search costs an additional fee. Some states will only provide information for the past seven years. You need to check each state for its policy. Only information of public record is available. Juvenile records cannot be accessed. Bob Mather indicates that identity theft and false criminal reporting are on the increase and can appear on your BC. More about this later and what you can do about it.

* Civil History
Similar to criminal history and includes whether the job candidate is/was a plaintiff or defendant.

* National Wants and Warrants
If the candidate is "wanted," it will appear through the NCIC system, but this information is not frequently requested.

*Credit Report
This is a very common item for BCs. Companies are searching for financial stability. Bankruptcies prior to seven years will not appear.

*Social Security Reports
This will reveal where the candidate has lived for the past seven years. Name variations are frequently used to verify addresses and locations.

*Previous Employer Verification
This is the item that makes most job seekers nervous. Almost everyone has had some form of disagreement with his or her boss. The concern centers on what the employer will say and whether they will release employment files. In most cases, because of a dramatic upsurge in lawsuits from job seekers who received false bad references, previous employers typically only confirm dates of employment. Compensation and good or bad references are not generally provided; however, that doesn't mean it is not done. A job seeker might want to consider hiring a "reference check" company to verify what previous employers are saying.

*Drug Tests
Approximately 15 to 20 percent of all BCs include a drug test. BC companies typically contract with local medical clinics to conduct the test. It can be expensive, so it is not done in all cases. In most cases, the job requirements determine if a drug test is necessary, particularly for anyone operating machinery or a motor vehicle. Executives are also frequently screened for drugs.

*Reference Verification
The employer or BC firm will contact references provided by the job candidate. Typically, the questions are very specific regarding job performance as opposed to personal or private information. They rarely contact anyone other than the designated references provided by the candidate.

* Education
The BC will verify attendance, majors, degrees, certifications and dates earned. This has become a common BC item as a result of overwhelming falsification by job candidates. We have all seen news reports of leading politicians, executives, teachers and celebrities who have falsified their education. Here is a tip: Job candidates without a formal degree should not waste their money on the phony degree or certification programs where you pay a fee to get a degree based on experience. Be honest about your education. If you believe you need additional education, enroll in an accredited school. Your efforts to complete or enhance your education will definitely be viewed positively.

*Driving History
A common and almost mandatory BC item for people required to operate a motor vehicle. They are checking for license status, holder, dates of issuance and expiration, violations, suspensions, or other actions.

Do you manage a growing business and are a trying to perform a people search on someone applying for a job? If so, you should look online to read more info about a personal background check and unclaimed money so you can find out which public record search is perfect for you!

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