Six Background Screening Myths, Busted!

Many job applicants and hiring managers believe inaccurate information regarding background checks.  Here are 6 common beliefs, that are actually FALSE!

  1. Past employers cannot legally state anything negative about an applicant.
    A past employer can state anything they choose – as long as it is true and accurate. If an applicant was constantly late, stole from the company, or simply did not get along well with others, that information is permissible to be transferred. However, if the employment was seven or more years ago, it cannot be reported on the screening report, nor affect the applicant’s job offer.

  2. An applicant’s criminal history bars them from ever getting a job other than fast food or retail.
    First, the answer to this myth depends on exactly what lies within an applicant’s criminal history.  While there are positions within certain organizations that require applicants not have a criminal history, there are positions that do not have that policy .  A business’ decision whether or not to hire anyone with a criminal past is dependent on several factors.
    Was the applicant honest about his/her transgression?
    Was the crime committed many years ago?
    Civil suits and judgments over seven years prior to the date of application are not allowed to be reported on a background screening. The best policy for people with a criminal history seeking jobs is to be honest and upfront about their history. Having made a stupid decision, 17 years ago, isn’t necessarily going to bar someone from obtaining a job.
  3. A “Google” search constitutes a thorough background check.
    While there is potential to uncover some information on an applicant through Google, most information necessary and pertinent to a background screening cannot be obtained through Google. Background screening is a very sensitive and delicate process surrounded by many laws. It is best to hire a professional company that conducts compliant background screening with a continual, working knowledge of these laws and processes.
  4. Few companies require an employee background screening to complete the on-boarding process.
    Many of today’s companies require an applicant to pass a background screening in order to become a member of their team. This especially holds true for applicants who will be dealing with money, children, sensitive information, or clients in their own homes.
  5. There is one national database of criminal, employment, and education records.
    Due to the rising popularity of detective shows such as NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Law and Order SUV, this myth is becoming more difficult to dispel. On these shows it appears that whenever they have a suspect – after a few clicks, swipes, and keystrokes – they have all possible information on that particular subject. No!  Doing a thorough background screening necessitates a lot of legwork and attention to detail.
  6. A one-time background check is enough; why bother with recurrent screenings?
    Anyone is capable of changing their conduct over time – Martha Stewart was 63 when she was convicted of her first crime. Recurrent screenings verify that professionals employed by a company have not had a change of heartor have the potential to cause harm to business, clients, or co-workers.  To read our blog regarding re-screening current employees, please click here.


For more information regarding employment background screening, please visit our website at MBI Worldwide Background Checks or contact MBI at 866-ASK-4-MBI