Why People Fear a Background Check

By: Mark Reardon

There are many reasons why someone may fear having a background check done on their past. Generally, these checks are to determine whether or not someone is worthy of being hired for employment. Gaining employment for some people can be a hard enough task as it is let along having to submit to a check. This may be because of little or no formal education, little work experience, or just the fact that they are competing against others who are just as qualified, if not more qualified, then they are. Unemployment rates have been on the rise for years but are this because there are not enough jobs available? Or could it be that more employers will use such a check on potential employees, see one small negative mark on their record, and automatically cast them off as a risk to the company?

Even the smallest of bad marks could keep someone from gaining proper employment, even if it was a mistake in their past that happened so many years ago. Often times, these mistakes occurred because of young age and credit reports often reflect the damage left behind by divorces and such. Sometimes, there are situations where what is on a background check of an individual, does not truly define that person's character or liability to the company. There are many people getting jobs who come back with a totally clean background only to find out later that they do steal, but just hasn't gotten caught yet.

Also, many people fear credit reports being pulled, as terms of getting a job, as it could reflect credit damage done by someone else. There is also the possibility that there is something on their credit report that was not a cause of their own actions, but yet a case of fraud, which happens to millions of people. Most of the time this is caused by third party fraud and sometimes it is the fault of the credit-reporting agency as they filed something on a person, under the wrong social security number. Typing in the social security number off by even one digit can destroy an innocent person's credit.

And when you do not get a job after undergoing a background check, the employer never informs you as to why exactly you were not hired. They will not call you to explain what they saw on your credit or background check. So, you may never have a chance to defend yourself in regards to a mistake from your past or fraud on your credit report. You simply do not get the job. This is one of the reasons so many people, even with clean records, fear a background check, as you never know what is going to come back from it.

What You Can Do To Protect Yourself

You generally will have an interview with your potential employer before they submit you to a background check, as you will have to sign papers giving them permission to do the search. In that interview is your moment to explain anything in your past that may have a chance of coming up on the search. While it can be embarrassing to talk about such things, they will find out anyways and that interview is your only chance to give your side of the story. Sometimes, good and honest people can end up with a bad mark just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. So speak up in the interview before they do the background check. This may help them in determining that you are still worthy of employment as you were upfront and honest about your past and gave explanations for it.

Also, if the interview goes well and you do not believe that there is anything at all on your record, it would not hurt to ask that if they find anything unusual on your background check, to please inform you so you can further investigate it. This will allow your potential employer the chance to believe that you don't have any record and there may have actually been a mistake. Doing so may allow you to be alerted and possibly given a chance to prove the mistake or get the error on your background checked fixed. By taking these precautions, you can cut down on any anxiety caused and give yourself a better chance at getting hired.

Human Resources
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