When Background Checks Do Their Job: Employers Share Near-Misses

Does anyone really enjoy the hiring process? The multiple interviews, the questions, the background checks, calling references, verifying past employment—does it ever just feel like a hassle? For candidates, at least, the process is suspenseful on top of everything else. But for employers, sometimes you might wish you could just go with your gut and save yourself the hassle of hunting for the perfect employee.

A handful of employers and hiring managers shared their experiences when a good background check turned up some crucial information about candidates that ultimately helped them dodge a bullet. While most people are looking for undisclosed criminal histories, scrutinizing credit scores, or verifying credentials, occasionally a bit of thorough investigation will turn up something a little more unique, if troubling.

Social Media Marketing Gone Bad

According to one professional’s investigation into a candidate, a past employer revealed that the candidate had been fired for sneaking images of an inappropriate body part into the company’s Instagram and Twitter posts. Needless to say, they did not hire him to run their own social media campaigns.

When Crying Wolf Becomes Chronic

One person’s background check revealed that the candidate had sued each of his former employers for on-the-job injuries soon after the standard 90-day trial period ended. Reasons included an office chair that caused back pain, migraine-inducing lighting, and carpal tunnel.

The Rampant Falsifier

Using simple math, one professional discovered that if the candidate’s past work experience claims were true, the timelines didn’t match up with his age. He had embellished each of his past jobs, including a claim to have served in the military for four years when in fact he had been honorably discharged after failing to complete Boot Camp.

The Importance of Thorough Background Checks

Thorough investigation is the key to a good background check. It’s important to contract with a vendor who follows through the full list of verifications.

What has been the strangest thing you’ve uncovered in a background check? Share in the comments!

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