Worried? Don’t Be Intimidated By Background Checks

Worried woman performing online background check on laptop while someone else on phone

If you’re not familiar with or have much experience running background checks, then it’s completely understandable why you may feel intimidated by them. There are a lot of misconceptions about background checks that are often perpetrated by a lack of understanding. That’s where this blog post comes in! Worried? Don’t be intimidated by background checks, in fact they play an important role in maintaining employee safety, supporting organizational culture, and upholding brand reputation. As a candidate, if your prospective employer is asking you to run a background check, it’s actually a good thing!

In other blog posts such as “Background Checks Help your Business Save Money in the Long Run”, we outline the many benefits that background checks provide from a business perspective. We get it through, from a candidate perspective, background checks might still be a confusing topic.

Benefits of Background Checks for Candidates

Background checks are like the backstage crew of the employment world – they work behind the scenes to ensure a smooth and safe show. Let’s dive into why these checks are not just helpful, but the reason we say don’t be intimidated by background checks.

  1. Safety First, Always: Background checks help keep workplaces safe. They dig into an applicant’s criminal history, ensuring that the people hired are unlikely to pose a risk to their coworkers, customers, or clients. This is especially important in industries involving vulnerable populations, like children, the elderly, or those with special needs. Yes, background checks help employers, but they also help you know that the people you work for are trying to foster a safe environment.
  2. Building Trust: When employees know that their colleagues have undergone background checks, it creates an atmosphere of trust. Everyone can feel more secure knowing that the people around them have been vetted, reducing potential concerns about their coworkers’ intentions or histories.
  3. Protecting Reputation: Businesses spend years building up their reputation. One wrong hire can bring that house of cards tumbling down. Background checks help prevent the possibility of hiring someone with a history that could damage the company’s reputation or lead to legal troubles. This is another reason we say don’t be intimidated by background checks because it means you’re working for a company that cares about its brand and reputation.
  4. Preventing Fraud and Theft: In roles where employees have access to sensitive information, finances, or valuable assets, background checks can identify individuals with a history of fraud or theft. This can prevent the wrong people from getting their hands on critical data or resources.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: Some industries have strict regulations in place that require employers to conduct background checks. These checks help ensure that organizations are compliant with laws and regulations, avoiding potential fines or legal actions. It means your employer is following the rules.
  6. Boosting Productivity: Hiring the right people from the start can lead to increased productivity. Background checks help filter out candidates who might not fit well within the company culture or could cause disruptions, saving valuable time and resources in the long run.
  7. Reducing Turnover: Hiring the wrong person can be a costly mistake. Background checks can reveal red flags that might not show up in interviews, helping to avoid hiring candidates who are a poor fit for the role or the organization. This, in turn, reduces turnover and the associated costs of hiring and training new employees.

See? Don’t be intimidated by background checks! They’re the backstage security detail that ensures a successful and drama-free performance. They’re not about being suspicious; they’re about being responsible and setting the stage for a safe and successful work environment.

Background Checks for a Better Candidate Experience

As a candidate, you have every right to interview your prospective employer as they interview you. Going through the interview process as a candidate is more than ticking boxes and answering questions. It’s about learning about the company to see if they align with your values.

According to Glassdoor, nearly 56% of job seekers look up information online during the hiring process to learn about the company culture and to get insight into the employee experience. When a company asks you to complete a background check, it can provide you with insight into how they value both their culture and employee safety.

Getting Hired with a Criminal Record

A study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) found that the majority of hiring professionals working in the HR industry are open and willing to work with those who may have a criminal record. This is where it could help to run a police check on yourself to confirm what’s going to show up beforehand and prepare how you’ll respond to any questions.

During the hiring process, it’s much easier for a company to work with you if they know the facts about your past so there are no surprises or misunderstandings. Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia career coach explains that there’s no need to over-explain when it comes to background checks. She recommends that if you’re worried about what could potentially show on a report, you should be proactive and run a background check prior to the employer to be aware of what could potentially show up. 

By taking responsibility for your actions and having the motivation to move forward, you can demonstrate to an employer that you’re influenced by positive values. Reassure them that you’re aware of any mistakes you may have made and you’ve learned from them by providing them with action items on how you are working towards your personal development.

Don’t Be Intimidated by Background Checks – The Certn Way

Transparency is the best policy, especially when it comes to a background check. In a job interview, it’s much easier for a company to work with you and know you as an individual if they know the facts about your past so there are no surprises. This is why it’s not surprising that so many employers use background screening.

Though, don’t be intimidated by background checks because they can actually provide you more insight about the company’s processes and values.