Why is a Criminal Background Check a Good Idea?
A criminal background check provides a way for a landlord or employer to gather information about someone’s character. Whether you’re approaching a background check as an employer or an applicant, knowing what to expect can help.
The Reasons for a Criminal Background Check
It’s important for employers to consider using background checks. Skipping them could create a liability.
Say you hire an employee to work in your finance department. If this employee were to then commit larceny, the victim of this crime could sue your business. Showing you did your due diligence by looking into this employee’s background will help you avoid blame for the crime. Skipping the background check is risky. The blame will fall on you if it’s later discovered the employee had a criminal history.
Some positions create more risks for an employer than others. For example, if you run a maid service, your staff will be entering private homes and office spaces. The clients who use your cleaning services will want to know you’ve vetted these staff members. Likewise, if your employees manage money or handle sensitive data, a background check should be a required step in the application process.
A Look into the Past: What Shows Up on a Criminal Background Check?
Most background checks include:
- Felony and misdemeanor convictions
- Pending criminal cases and active arrest warrants
- History of incarceration
- A sex offender registry check
A background check typically doesn’t include a credit check. These days, some employers are checking credit, but they need your permission to do so. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires your written consent before a credit check can take place. Most companies don’t need employees to have perfect credit, but it might be a requirement for certain positions.
Moving Ahead After a Criminal Background Check
Waiting on the results of a background check can be stressful. Whether you’re an employer or an applicant, you’ll have to wait and see. Employers can search national and state databases quickly, but other aspects of the background check can take several days.
If you discover an applicant has a criminal history, you’ll need to use your best judgment to determine how to proceed. People can change, so you might consider going ahead with the hire. However, in most cases, working with a candidate with a criminal record should be carefully evaluated on a case by case basis.
Need a thorough background check? Contact us to learn more.