What causes you to fail a background check?

The recruitment process is a tedious and lengthy one. Sometimes, companies are ready to delete their ads before they’ve even found the right person for the job. However, they will often take the time to perform a background check on a potential hire, which causes job candidates a great deal of worry about failing it.

In this article, we give common reasons people “fail” background checks as well as tips to succeed based on data we obtained from screening services like Check People.

background checkPoor driving record

A driving history check might reveal a violation like a DUI or speeding ticket. This will be a serious issue if driving is among job tasks. You might fail the check if the company perceives you as a potential liability. After all, they want to avoid insurance and legal consequences.

A criminal record

The presence or absence of a criminal record will impact the recruitment process. Companies don’t want someone who’s committed a serious crime to work for them. This is particularly true for jobs that involve contact with disabled people or children. If the job involves handling money, the company won’t choose someone who has had a fraud charge, for instance.

Bad credit history

Not all background checks include a credit check, but those that do and show a bad rating do not help employment candidates’ chances. However, many employers understand that a less than stellar credit rating could be due to adverse events beyond the applicant’s control. These might be the loss of a loved one, divorce, or a mistake they made earlier in life.

Bad credit history will only cause you to fail the check if you’re applying for a position in finance, and sometimes not even then. It depends on how open you are about it. Being willing to discuss credit report issues will improve your prospects.

Embellished job history

According to a recent poll, almost 80% of Americans are dishonest about their dates of employment and work experience. If you’re one of them, it could be a problem for you because work experience is the very reason someone would want to hire you over another candidate. Employers have a sound reason to reject candidates who haven’t been completely truthful on their application. Everyone wants to hire a person who has spent years doing that exact same kind of work for a different company.

Dishonorable discharge

Depending on how detailed it is, your background check report might include evidence of a dishonorable military discharge. Will you still get the job? That’s at the company’s discretion. The report might not include all the details of the discharge.

Failed drug screening

Employee drug use can be a big problem. Failing a drug test might give a prospective employer a reason to exclude you from their hiring pool. Drug test policy ensures consistency across all new employees. If employment is contingent on passing and a candidate fails the respective screening, that person could well be out of the race. People with medical marijuana prescriptions might be an exception.

How to pass a screening with flying colors

Even employers are aware that the perfect candidate is a mirage. It’s important to discuss any issues with your potential employer, especially if your record is not squeaky clean. Giving details and being honest will help make you appear trustworthy in a hiring manager’s eyes. It might help to screen yourself in advance in order to be prepared for anything that turns up. You can hire an agency to run a background check on you before applying for any jobs if you have the means to do so. If you don’t, there are free resources you can use to perform this screening. A Google search of your name, date of birth, and address is the most obvious example.

Don’t set yourself up for failure

You might fail a background check if you have a criminal history, but it’s never 100% certain. Not all employers would reject a candidate on this basis. If they did, they would risk a discrimination lawsuit.

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