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Careers: The Importance of Pre-Employment Background Checks

Pre-employment background checks are being conducted with increasing regularity by companies that want to be more sure of the type of people they are hiring. The information used to determine if an individual will be hired varies from business to business. Some places only require that the work history an individual gives on a resume proves to be accurate. Other companies delve deeper into criminal records and credit scores.

Pre-employment background checks are being conducted with increasing regularity by companies that want to be more sure of the type of people they are hiring. The information used to determine if an individual will be hired varies from business to business. Some places only require that the work history an individual gives on a resume proves to be accurate. Other companies delve deeper into criminal records and credit scores.

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Aside from an applicant having a serious criminal past, the information that can effect an employers decision to hire an individual is the honesty found on their resume. With statistics showing that 30 to 40 percent of people lie about their work histories, employers can use the information given on a resume to test an applicants honesty.

Because of this embellishing one’s past salary or responsibilities can serious hurt their ability to find a new job. For this reason it is important for job seekers to concentrate on listing obligations directly related to past job descriptions when writing their new resumes. This will minimize the likelihood of the previous employer disputing any information given.

Companies that conduct an employment background check are also concerned with the accuracy of the salaries applicants claim to have received in the past. Many people are tempted to “fudge” the numbers here, in hopes of receiving more money from a new company. Instead these individuals often find themselves being passed over because of their lack of honesty.

Although dishonesty is severally looked down upon by companies conducting background checks, one does not have to list the exact dollar amount of compensation they received in the past. Hiring managers understand that most people estimate or round up when asked about the amount of money they received for salary based positions.

It is also OK to include yearly and performance based bonuses when one responds to this question. In this case, listing a previous salary as a range of figures is encouraged. For example, if one’s base pay was $30,000 but one received $5,000 in bonuses a year then the figure given should be written as $30,000 to $35,000. If a potential employer has a question about this, the applicant can more easily explain this than they can give a reason for misrepresenting information.

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When being subjected to this type of recruiting process, one does not have to agonize about a malicious ex-boss giving false information. In many places, laws exist to govern the type of questions that can be asked in these situations. The libel laws of many states also protect past employees by making it illegal for untrue information to be passed on from ex-employers.

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