One of the first things you should expect when applying for jobs is for any potential employer to obtain your permission to order a background check on you. The type of background check for employment will be determined by the employer and based on the position you are applying for. If it is entry-level manufacturing, hospitality, or most service industries, the only testing necessary may be a pre-employment drug screening. If you are going to be a bank manager, the scan will most likely be a full criminal background check. 

Pre-Employment Drug Screening

Due to the potential dangers of drug use to the company and other employees, many employers include urine drug testing as a part of their standard background check. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, and phencyclidine are all detected by the five-panel test run by Soteria Screening Labs. For more information, employers can order a 10-panel test or request specific drug screens. Most drugs are out of the body in about two weeks, but marijuana can stay in your system for up to two months.

Some employers are using hair follicle testing because of the longer look-back period of three months. This ensures that the potential employee did not just stop drug or alcohol use to pass the urine test. Other drug screenings include the alcohol breath test and the oral fluid test. These are ordered when the employer has reasonable suspicion of alcohol or drug use on the job. They reveal use within minutes to hours before testing. Random drug screens are also frequently part of company policy to keep drugs out of the workplace.

Unlike most other background checks for employment, a positive result on a drug test allows the employer to refuse employment or terminate the employee if that is their policy.

Driving Record 

If you will be transporting anything or anyone for the company, the background check will usually include your driving record. A speeding ticket or two is not going to eliminate you. Running out of points or being close to it might. The employer cannot refuse to hire you based exclusively on your driving record unless the position involves driving for them. 

Credit Report

Some employers want to see your credit report mainly to see if you are a responsible individual. Are you recently divorced and your ex left you in a financial mess, or are you disputing a billing? Tell the potential employer about it. If most things on your report are current, the employer will see that and understand. For positions not in direct contact with money, a credit report check cannot be the sole reason you are not hired. 

Criminal Background Check

If the employment involves overseeing other employees, management, or watching children, the company will almost surely order a complete criminal background check for the previous seven to ten years. If you get contacted for an interview, you may have to pay for your background check. Some employers also order a sexual offender check. You can search online for state or federal reports to purchase. This Soteria Screening Lab page lists the tests available to employers. Don’t assume a company will accept any random background check. Be sure to ask.

There are federal laws that restrict an employer’s rights to deny an applicant a job because of something on your background check for employment. The infraction must be relatable to the position you are being considered for to be grounds for rejection. When it occurred should also be considered. Be honest about what happened. The employer will respect you more, and that just might get you the job. 

Skip to content