Many employers in the United States require a background check of prospective employees if an applicant wishes to obtain a position in a company. Background checks can provide a variety of information.
Most background checks will include some relatively standard pieces of information. The results from a background check can include financial, identity and personal information including:
- Financial information, including one’s credit rating or bankruptcy history.
- Education status, including contact information to request transcripts and confirm degrees awarded.
- Criminal record information may be accessed for individuals to ensure that they do not have a history of a felony or misdemeanor including assault, drug, traffic and DUI offenses. Once you are eighteen years of age, any offense however minor may appear on a background check.
- Legal identity, including citizenship status and Social Security number
Different employers will require different types of checks and clearances for an individual to be hired. There is no statute of limitations on this information; nevertheless, most employers won’t look beyond the past decade or so when conducting a background check.
Involvement with government agencies will sometimes appear on a background check for jobs that require a high level of security. These highly detailed background checks often delve into your personal life by checking whether or not you’ve been involved in a personal or business dispute that reached a criminal or civil court such as a divorce or business dispute.
The information and verification sought out by employers in background checks all depends on the prospective employer.
Benefits of a Background Check
A background check is basically a way in which an individual or organization can ensure that you are fit for a job or responsibility. It provides information not only about who you are, but what choices you’ve made over your lifetime.
The background check process may compile information that chronicles your life, often from birth until the present. It is a useful tool for many companies and employers because it gives them a basic idea of whether or not you are fit for the position for which you are being considered.
A background check must not be viewed as a comprehensive, point-by-point compilation of everything, important and inconsequential, that you’ve ever done. Most employers will not attempt to access information of a trivial nature, like your grades from primary school or your history of pet ownership.
This information does not necessarily help an employer to decide whether you are fit for a position. But the information could give a prospective employer a look into your life that could not be determined based on just an application and interview.