Why a Background Check can make you Lose a Good Job Offer


From criminal history, bad reviews from a former boss, to controversial Social Media posts, a pre-employment background check can cost you a job opportunity for a multitude of reasons. Background checks have become more and more popular in the last several years changing the employment landscape for anyone with a history they wish it didn’t exist. Specialists suggest that because of the rise of artificial intelligence, companies will continue to take a deeper look at our personal lives while performing pre-employment background checks. Artificial intelligence will allow HR departments a deeper dive into people’s past.

Recent surveys suggest that up to 95% of employers require their employees to undergo some type of background check during the hiring process. It may seem justified that companies want to know for sure that they can trust their new employees as a wrong hiring decision can haunt their company and customer base. However, before conducting a background check, employers must request and receive written permission from you and they are required to inform you with a copy of the report if anything from what they found leads to the company deciding against hiring you.

It isn’t surprising that such rules obligate companies to show you the report of your background check because there have been numerous situations when the information which the company has found was incorrect. Thus, employees need to be given the chance to clear their name and reputation.

What shows up on an employment background check?

Failing a background check can be a humiliating experience for any person because you may be losing a great job position or simply because you understand that a mistake that you have made in the past is still hunting your present. Understanding why you have failed it may not necessarily make you feel better, but it can help you to figure out what happened so that you do not suffer the next time you apply for a job. There are several different sets of records and data that employers pull information from. Usually, a background check may show information such as:

  • Identity verification
  • Employment history
  • Credit history
  • Criminal records
  • Education confirmation
  • Driver’s history

Does a criminal record affect your employment opportunities?

Legally, employees can’t turn away potential employees simply because of a long-ago conviction they had unless they can find a correlation between the details of the conviction and its relation to the job position. While some information on your background check may be of legitimate concern to employers, it is illegal to use these checks as an excuse to discriminate potential employees.

Recent studies focusing on the expansion of employment opportunities for people with criminal records claim that approximately 93% of employers that conduct pre-employment background checks are searching for criminal records. Fortunately, many employers claim that they take into consideration the nature of the crime and whether or not the candidate has received a criminal conviction. They also claim that they would give the candidate the opportunity to explain their criminal past if any other step of the evaluation has proved that he or she is a perfect match for the job position.

However, there is also a large majority of employers who would rather not choose a candidate that has a criminal record to avoid having any future problems that may affect the reputation of their business. As mentioned before, refusing a candidate because of their criminal record isn’t legal but employers can make up a lot of excuses to do so and it is their legal right. Obviously, the best way to ensure that a criminal record will not affect your career is to avoid being involved in any legal lawsuit. However, if you have wrongfully been charged with a crime that may lead to a criminal conviction on your record, you have to find a professional dui lawyer San Diego who will handle your case and help you keep your reputation and criminal record clean.

How the employment history check affects your career?

Your work history is another important detail that employers want to know before making their final offer. It is a detailed report of all the jobs you have had in the past including all information about former companies you have worked for, job title, and dates of employment.

Employers review employment history because they are trying to determine whether the jobs you have held and their experience are a good match for the job position and company’s requirements that you are applying to. The dates of employment also help them determine how long you have held each job. Many jobs of short duration in your employment history may imply that you are a job hopper and you are more likely to not stay long in their company if you are hired. Since most employees also ask you to list your employment history in your CV, you should make sure that your resume is free of falsehoods and accurately reflect your work history.

Can your credit report can keep you from getting a job?

It may not occur to you that employers will also check your credit record before deciding whether or not to hire you. However, they sure do to judge how responsible and financially stable you are. Having a bad credit record can affect your chances of getting hired because any missed payments or, even worse, bankruptcies could signal signs of being irresponsible. A credit report will include information about the standing of your financial accounts, payment history, and available credit. However, once again, employers can’t check any information about your credit record without your permission. There are several red flags which can be found in your credit history that may affect the decision of an employer to hire you such as any type of lien against you, 100 percent credit utilization, bankruptcy, and late fees.

A criminal record, a bad credit record, and negative reviews from your former bosses can put you in a difficult position when searching for a new job. It is important to keep your past as clean as possible in the eyes of the employers who will want to run a pre-employment background check on you before hiring you.