What kinds of companies ask for pre-employment background checks?
This is a question that comes up across the spectrum — both from job applicants wondering what will be expected of them and from hiring managers wondering if they are necessary.
However, there isn’t one clear answer about what companies conduct pre-employment background checks. Studies show that up to 98% of companies use job screenings, but the types and formats can vary from employer to employer.
Whether they do or don’t perform background checks depends on many factors, including the job for which you are applying or hiring.
- A position working with children, the elderly, vulnerable populations, or for a government organization may require a police record check.
- A job in the financial sector or handling cash or other valuables may require a credit check.
- A job driving or using a company vehicle may require a driver’s abstract.
Many companies will note the requirements on the job advertisement.
When in doubt, ask the potential employer if there will be any screenings required and, if so, when!
When Do Pre-Employment Background Checks Happen?
Many employers will not perform these types of screenings until the end of the process, when they have offered (or are prepared to offer) the job, but before the candidate starts.
In some cases, they may ask for a police record check upfront – but generally, candidates do not have to provide this until they are offered the job.
The Screening You Might Not Think About…
That said, there are other types of pre-employment screenings that are different from a criminal background check or credit check verification.
These aren’t always thought of as pre-employment screenings, but they can be just as important for employers to verify. This includes:
- An employment history verification – verifying past work experience on your resumé.
- Education history verification – verifying degrees, diplomas, and professional licensing.
- Reference check – talking to references and past employers to gauge your performance or look for past red flags.
- Social media checks – not a formal screening, but many employers review a candidate’s social media.
Statistics show that eight out of 10 employers find resumé fraud. As more employers verify employment history, educational degrees, and check references, what does this mean for applicants?
- Be honest on your application. It’s better to be upfront rather than caught in a lie or a half-truth.
- If you have something that might be considered a red flag (i.e. a bankruptcy still on your credit check – as they remain for 7 years after discharge) you might consider disclosing that and being honest about it.
- Keep social media profiles professional.
- Notify your references (and give references who have worked with you, not just good friends). This can sometimes be tricky, especially if you’re switching jobs, but you might have a former coworker or manager you can ask who isn’t currently at your company.
You don’t have to disclose every little detail about yourself — for instance, a potential employer doesn’t need to know that the reason you want to leave your current job is that you hate your boss — however, if something could be a deal breaker and it’s easy to verify, then it’s usually in your best interest to be upfront.
How are Pre-Employment Background Checks Conducted?
Often an employer will conduct a pre-employment background check, although they may need identification and permission from the candidate.
In some cases, however, the onus is on the potential employee to provide the information.
For instance, it’s common to see a line such as “an acceptable Criminal Record Check is required for this position before the commencement date, at the incumbent’s expense” on a job posting.
When this happens, it means the candidate is responsible for getting the check done themselves. Luckily, this is far easier than it used to be thanks to technology.
With a criminal record check, for example, candidates can obtain one online from a provider like Triton Canada in under an hour. These are verified, accurate, secure police record checks that can be given to the employer.
Employers can also use a provider such as Triton to streamline the background check process, creating a better hiring and candidate experience.
Share Your Thoughts
At Triton Canada, we offer access to criminal record checks for job applicants and volunteers and comprehensive pre-employment screenings for employers. Learn more about our solutions today. Call 1-844-874-8667 or visit www.tritoncanada.ca.