Best Practices in HR

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Aaron Cotter
  March 19, 2020

3 of the Most Common Ways People Fail Background Checks

After years of working in the background screening industry, we are always amazed at how many people ask; “If I gave my you my information, what would you find?” My first thought is always the same, that you should know your past. But do you?

We will look at the some of the reasons candidates miss out on job opportunities due to background checks.

Criminal Records

1 in 40 Americans have a felony criminal record. Maybe it was something they did years ago – the younger version of them, before they were thinking about work and family. Remember the old middle school warning? “It will be on your permanent record.” Criminal records have a way of following you for life.   

Today, only a handful of states limit the reporting of criminal conviction records older than 7 years. The majority of time, employers are receiving criminal record information that many candidates assume is no longer reportable.

Criminal records searches are used by 93% of employers that conduct pre-hire screening, according to SHRM. While many employers may proceed with candidates with criminal records, most feel it is the candidate’s willingness to be upfront and disclose their past history. The candidate’s honesty is valued more in their hiring decision.

Education and Employment Verifications

Conducting verifications of a candidate’s work and educational history is an essential part of the background check. SwiftCheck has found that candidates provide false information on their resume’ 32% of the time for education, and 27% of the time for employment history.

In today’s job market, more and more job seekers may be tempted to falsify their resume’ in order to make themselves more attractive to potential employers.

According to Forbes.com, some of the most common resume’ lies are:

  • Education
  • Employment dates
  • Job titles
  • Technical skills.

Career expert Liz Ryan says, “People think that they can make up and embellish details about companies that have been sold or gone out of business.” SwiftCheck helps our clients with these difficult verifications by conducting W2 searches directly with the IRS.

Education history, aside from criminal records, is one of the more significant searches. For many positions, education is not just a prerequisite but also the key indication of the candidate’s skill sets they bring to the job. With that said, education history is the biggest area of falsification on people’s resumes.

As always, there are exceptions. The honest mistakes, or simple oversights, are easily rectified. SwiftCheck’s experienced team uncovers these errors and provides our clients with fast results. Errors that we are quick to correct; maiden names, additional school information needed (The researcher may require the major and the actual campus of the college or university), GED rather than a high school diploma. Reaching out to candidates through our mobile friendly portal allows for a quicker candidate response and faster turnaround times for our clients.

Common lies uncovered by our trained researchers include different degrees of deception. From forged degrees and transcripts, to diploma mill fake degrees, SwiftCheck has seen it and caught it.

Drug and Medical Testing

Many employers make job offers contingent upon candidates passing a drug or physical test According to Quest Diagnostics, American workers are testing positive for drug use at the highest rate since 2004.

Conducting a comprehensive pre-employment background check is an important step in the hiring process. SwiftCheck goes beyond a candidate’s criminal history to provide our clients with a complete picture of their possible new employee and give you the tools that you need in order to make the most well-informed hiring decision for your organization.

Please visit www.swiftcheckscreening.com to learn how SwiftCheck helps to improve the candidate screening process.