Many employers still rely on background checks as a means to verify identity and confirm information. Background screening companies look at multiple aspects of a person’s history. Therefore, certain findings should be a red flag for employers. Let’s explore this further.

What Background Screening Companies Look At

As previously stated, background screening companies look at multiple aspects of a person’s history. For instance, one of these aspects is work. This can include gaps in employment, short employment terms, and references. The goal is to confirm what the applicant reports on their resume and to find any inconsistencies.

Another is criminal records. Keep in mind that not all records deserve the same kind of adverse reaction. This is especially true if the person has or is working to legally right their wrong. However, it might affect their candidacy.

Lastly, screenings may involve drug tests. Usually, this part of the check is for industries where substance use is a huge liability. Therefore, employers are mandated to take the extra step.

Red Flags for an Employment Background Screening

While it’s not a crime or red flag to embellish credentials on a resume, some fibs can negatively impact an employer’s business or company. So, with each background check, it’s important to know what could be warning signs.

1. Inconsistent Information

As stated previously, an employment background screening has the primary goal of making sure an applicant is honest and has good character. If a resume does not match what’s on the report, employers may list that as a red flag since it can indicate dishonesty.

Keep in mind that not all inconsistencies are bad. For example, an employer may find that there may be work history left out of their resume. And this information may not affect the position. In this case, it’s fair to ignore the inconsistency.

2. Employment Gaps

The first reason an employer may flag this finding is that it can indicate a person’s inability to hold a job, making them less reliable. This is especially important for employers who want their workers to remain with them long-term.

3. Short Employment Terms

Also known as job-hopping, this pattern in a person’s work history can also indicate a lack of reliability. However, there are scenarios where this can be excused.

First, employers should consider if the positions are temporary, seasonal, internships, or contracted. These kinds of positions do not last since they usually have a termination date. 

Also, consider reasons for leaving: was this due to a family emergency out-of-state, or due to serious workplace issues like harassment? In these cases, the short employment may not be at the fault of the applicant and shouldn’t be held against them.

4. Criminal Records

As previously stated, not all criminal records deserve to be a reason that an employer turns away a job seeker. However, employers should consider the relevance of the crime.

For example, a job in accounting or finance should not be fulfilled by someone with a history of fraud or embezzlement. Similarly, someone with a history of theft should not be working in inventory.

Taking this precaution will ultimately save the employer from liability cases. So consider the job that the person is applying for and how their criminal record could negatively impact the business.

5. Negative References

Reference checks are a classic way of confirming someone’s good character and work ethic. While some small criticisms may not be concerning, employers should take note if a pattern arises during the check.

For example, being late for work one time with one employer may be small enough to overlook. However,  if multiple references had the same experience, then this may be something an employer should take into account.

6. Failing a Drug Test

As we previously covered, only a tiny fraction of employers require a drug test with background screenings. However, some industries have testing mandates since substance use can impair work and hinder safety.

In these cases, failing a drug test is a major red flag. Employers should proceed with caution if a test comes back positive for substance use.

7. Refusing a Background Check

Employers need explicit consent from job seekers to run background checks. Therefore, an applicant’s refusal shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, this could mean that they have something that they don’t want an employer to know about.

Background Checks with Soteria

Soteria Screening Laboratories is affiliated with the National Crime Search, Inc. (NCS). With our screenings and background checks, we’ll ensure that your workplace is safe and protect your intellectual property. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

Skip to content