Provisional Blog

The Ins & Outs of Background Checks: What Employers Want to Know About You

December 13th, 2016

You’ve made it into the final round of the interview process. Congratulations! Now comes the time a prospective employer might do some digging into your past in the form of a background check. What can you expect from the process? And is there anything you can do to prepare?

First, as one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, Provisional knows that background checks are performed for many different jobs these days. In fact, they’ve become a routine part of the hiring process. Some companies conduct basic ones, while others require more rigorous checks. This is often due to the nature of the work. For instance, more intense checks are usually performed if you’re going to be handling finances or sensitive company information, as well as working with children, the elderly, or those with special needs.

When you have to submit to a background check, it’s a good sign. Companies don’t perform them on every applicant that sends in their resume – or even every candidate that comes in for an interview. They only conduct background checks on those they’re seriously considering hiring. So that’s good news for you.

A few areas a background check will look into include:

  • Addresses, including current and former
  • Credit history (In the state of Washington, an employer is entitled to a credit report only if the report is substantially related to the job and the employer’s reasons for using it are disclosed in writing to the candidate; or it’s required by law.)
  • Past employment, including job titles and length of employment
  • Colleges and degrees earned, and when
  • Criminal history over the past 10 years

Though it can seem invasive, employers aren’t trying to pry with background checks. They’re trying to answer one simple question: Does a candidate’s facts match up? If you told a hiring manager you hold a certain degree, or position, and it comes to light that’s not true, it’s obviously going to impact their hiring decision. However, if you’ve been honest and open about your background to the hiring manager throughout the process, then you have nothing to worry about.

If a red flag does come up, most employers will offer you the benefit of the doubt and ask you for clarification. For instance, if your resume said you started your past position in March, and the correct month was April, it’s probably not a huge deal. But if there’s a glaring discrepancy in your past – one you can’t reasonably explain away – then it will likely hurt your chances of getting the offer. So remember, always be honest.

Need more help finding your next great job in Spokane, WA? Call Provisional. As one of the top employment agencies in Spokane, WA, we can help you with every aspect of your search. In fact, we’ve placed more than 8,000 direct hire employees with leading local employers since 1994. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more.

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