What do Job Seekers Think About Background Checks?

Employers and HR managers will likely encounter applicants with a whole range of expectations as to what goes into the hiring process. No two applicants may enter your office with the same expectations and a seamless process greatly depends on setting appropriate expectations and following through.

So what are the common expectations and misconceptions job-seekers have while they’re on the hunt for new employment?

  1. You’re mainly concerned with the accuracy of their resume. While it certainly may be the case that inaccuracies on the resume will reflect badly on the applicant, it’s incorrect to think that other verifications won’t hold as much weight, such as salary history, criminal activity, credit scores, industry certifications, and professional character references.
  2. It’s safe to embellish their salary history in order to leverage a higher starting wage. It’s not uncommon for hiring managers and employers to request copies of applicants’ W2s or to directly ask former employers about what the applicant had been making.
  3. A background check will show their life history. Under the FCRA, there are limits to if or how the following information can be reported:
    1. There are time limits for tax liens, collections, civil suits and bankruptcies.
    2. Juvenile criminal activity cannot be reported
    3. Limits for adult criminal records will vary by state
  4. Anything negative on the report will automatically disqualify them. In addition to protections mandated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a growing number of states are requiring that adverse employment decisions based on criminal records must relate directly to the requirements of the job in question, the severity of the offense, and the time passed since the offense took place. In other words, there cannot be general disqualifications for anyone with a criminal history.

What Do You Think?

What has been your experience with applicant expectations during the hiring process? Share in the comments below!

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