“好吧，是的，当然，”你漫不经心地说。但在里面，你很恐慌。不管什么原因，你开始担心。担心可能会变成恐惧，然后您会陷入极度恐慌的状态，在互联网上搜索每种可能情况的答案。你在网上问完全陌生的人，“现在发生了什么？” “如果他们找到 XYZ 怎么办？” “他们到底在找什么？” 甚至，“我完全在我的申请中撒谎！我是不是命中注定了？！”
背景筛选过程有很多部分。当你完成面试过程时，在某个时候（通常是在offer之后）你被告知你的未来雇主将要求进行背景调查，并且你签署了一份授权书，允许你未来的雇主调查通过第三方消费者报告机构 (CRA) 了解您生活中的特定领域。雇主决定将进行哪些类型的背景调查，这些调查通常与职位保持一致，并且雇主对您的背景审查的评估将与为其他候选人审查的完全不同。
在美国，公平信用报告法 (FCRA) 对雇主如何通过 CRA 或背景调查公司申请背景调查有严格的指导。该FCRA和国家的法律还规定消费者权益，因为它们与包含在其信息犯罪，和一般的信用背景报告。
根据 观火背调的 2018 年基准报告，该报告对 6,000 多名人力资源专业人士进行了调查，最流行的背景调查类型是犯罪记录或其他公共记录搜索、先前工作和/或参考资料的验证、身份、教育和机动车辆记录。如果你的工作是银行、金融或任何你要处理金钱的职位，雇主可能会让 CRA 报告你的信用记录。您也可能会接受药物和酒精使用筛查。CRA 检查的内容取决于雇主，因此该清单可能会有所不同。
有用的提示：如果 CRA 无法联系到您的前雇主或该组织不再营业，那么随身携带过去的工资单和/或 W-2 将加快筛选速度。在大多数情况下，欢迎您编辑您的补偿。
CRA 可能会从地方、地区和联邦当局那里搜索犯罪记录。他们能追溯到多远的历史由 FCRA 或国家决定；FCRA 和一些州限制报告七年前发生的定罪，除非满足某些例外情况。
身份搜索可验证您是否拥有有效签发的 ID 以及您的姓名是否已分配给该 ID 号。搜索是通过各种来源进行的，具体取决于您的身份证件所在的国家/地区。您可能会被要求提供您的驾驶执照或护照。
有用的提示：与刑事定罪一样，最好与您的未来雇主进行讨论，并在您的 MVR 上披露可能引发危险信号的任何内容。停车罚单不会出现，但超速或驾驶相关犯罪（如酒后驾车）等违规行为会出现。
如果您未来的雇主要求进行药物筛查，您将前往采集点（诊所或实验室）并提供样本（尿液、唾液或头发）。实验室将筛选的药物由您未来的雇主决定。许多州已将大麻合法化，无论是药用还是娱乐，但在雇主是否需要适应大麻使用方面并不一致，因此取决于您所在的州和您的未来雇主，这可能是也可能不是问题。非法/街头毒品会出现。处方药也会。如果您被问及医生处方的药物，您无需透露您的病史，但您可能需要提供医疗专业人员的处方证明。观火背调 的 2018 年基准调查询问了申请人未能通过药物筛查的借口。如果您想开怀大笑，请查看答案这里和这里。
观火背调最近的基准调查显示，高达 84% 的雇主在组织的各个级别发现简历或工作申请中存在谎言或虚假陈述。这是很多。无论是错误地列出不正确的就业日期还是完全伪造学位，您未来的雇主都可能会发现它。怎么办？
您可以索取一份背景报告的副本。如果雇主在您的背景调查中发现虚假陈述或负面因素，则由您未来的雇主决定如何处理该信息。CRA 不会决定您是否被录用，也不会提出建议。如果您报告的负面影响确实影响了您的报价，您的潜在雇主有法律义务通知您潜在的不利行动，并让您有机会直接与 CRA 对调查结果的准确性或完整性提出异议。在 30 天内，CRA 将与来源调查有争议的信息，并将结果通知您。如果您仍然不满意，您可以选择包含一个简短的声明来反驳调查结果。
“Ok, yeah, sure,” you say, nonchalantly. But inside, you panic. For whatever reason, you start to worry. The worry may grow to fear and then you’re in full-blown freak out mode, searching the Internet for answers for every possible scenario. You’re asking complete strangers online, “What happens now?” “What if they find XYZ?” “What exactly are they looking for?” And even, “I totally lied on my application! Am I doomed?!”
Deep breaths, friend. We have some answers for you.
The background screening process has many pieces. As you moved through the interview process, at some point (generally after an offer) you were provided with a disclosure that a background check is going to be requested by your prospective employer, and you signed an authorization, permitting your future employer to look into specific areas of your life via a third-party consumer reporting agency (CRA). The employer decides what types of background checks will be done, which are generally consistent by position, and the employer’s assessment of your background screening will be entirely different than those reviewed for another candidate.
Video: Everything You Wanted to Know About Background Checks
In the U.S., the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) has strict guidelines about how an employer through a CRA, or a background check company, can request a background check. The FCRA and state laws also provide consumers’ rights as they pertain to information contained in their criminal, and credit background reports in general.
That’s the short answer. Now let’s take a look at these things piece by piece.
It’s not like TV
First, it’s important to understand that there isn’t one source of information about you. Background checks aren’t like those TV crime dramas where the gal with swift computer skills sitting in a dark room can pull up everything about you in the blink of an eye. CRAs source information through various means—calling employers and universities, looking up public records, and even, when required by certain jurisdictions, physically going to courthouses to retrieve information. This process is usually completed in a few days, but can sometimes take two weeks or more and is contingent on returned phone calls, a court’s public record computer systems functioning properly, holidays, even government shut-downs. If you’ve lived, worked or gone to school in multiple states or overseas, the process can take longer.
Understandably, both you and your future employer are anxious to get the results. The CRA works as quickly as possible to gather all the requested information in the shortest time possible keeping in mind that that the information has to be matched to you and complete and up to date to be reported. To learn more about how long a background check should take, take a look at this fun video.
Here’s what they look at:
Based on HireRight’s 2018 Benchmark Report which surveyed over 6,000 HR professionals, the most popular types of background checks are criminal or other public records searches, verifications of previous employment and/or references, identity, education and motor vehicle records. If your job will be in banking, finance or any position where you’ll be handling money, the employer may have the CRA report your credit history. You may also be screened for drug and alcohol use. What the CRA checks is up to the employer, so that list may vary.
With your consent, your future employer can contact past employers. A CRA will contact the employers listed on your resume or application to verify the dates you worked and the positions you held. They may also contact references you have provided to ascertain performance and character.
Helpful tip: Having past paystubs and/or W-2s handy will speed along the screening in the event the CRA is unable to reach your former employer or the organization is no longer in business. In most cases, you’re welcome to redact your compensation.
Like verifying past employment, the CRA will contact the educational or licensing institutions you have listed to verify your course of study and degrees earned. They will also research any professional licenses to ensure that they are all up to date, provided your prospective employer finds that they are necessary for the position.
Note that many educational institutions do not respond directly to requests for information. Instead, they subscribe to an educational reporting provider. These providers verify student records, transcripts and degrees and protect against bogus information supplied by “diploma mills.”
Helpful tip: Just like verifying employment, you might be asked to provide a copy of your transcript, certificate or degree.
The CRA may search for criminal records from local, regional and federal authorities. How far back in history they go is determined by the FCRA or the state; The FCRA and several states restrict the reporting of convictions that occurred more than seven years ago unless certain exceptions are met.
Helpful tip: If asked by your prospective employer it’s best to be honest and disclose up front any criminal convictions on your record. Giving your future employer a heads up about what they might find and the context of your criminal history can help them as they decide what to do with that information. Chances are good they will appreciate your transparency.
The identity search verifies that you have a validly issued ID and that your name is assigned to that ID number. The search is performed through various sources, depending on the country where your ID was issued. You may be asked to provide your driver license or passport.
Motor Vehicle Record
Whether you will drive a company car, a delivery vehicle or a long-haul truck, if your role involves driving, your future employer will likely check your motor vehicle record (MVR). This will be necessary in order for them to insure you in their vehicles.
Helpful tip: In the same vein of criminal convictions, it’s best to have a discussion with your prospective employer and disclose anything on your MVR that might raise a red flag. Parking tickets won’t come up, but infractions like speeding or driving related crimes like DUI will.
If your future employer requests a drug screen, you will go to a collection site (a clinic or a lab) and provide a sample (urine, saliva or hair). The drugs the lab will screen for are dictated by your future employer. Many states have legalized marijuana, either medicinally or recreationally, but are not consistent regarding an employer’s need to accommodate marijuana use so depending on your state and your prospective employer, that may or may not be an issue. Illicit/street drugs will show up. Prescribed medication will as well. If you are asked about a doctor-prescribed medication, you need not disclose your medical history, but you may need to provide proof of a prescription from your medical professional. HireRight’s 2018 Benchmark Survey asked about applicant excuses for failing a drug screen. If you want a good laugh, check out the answers here and here.
Pants on fire:
HireRight’s recent Benchmark Survey revealed that a whopping 84% of employers found a lie or misrepresentation on a resume or job application—at all levels of the organization. That’s a lot. Whether it’s mistakenly listing incorrect employment dates or completely fabricating a degree, your future employer will likely discover it. What to do?
Come clean. (You may be sensing a theme here.) Just be up front about it. If you worked someplace a decade ago and accidentally listed the duration of employment as a year and it was really six months, explain the honest mistake to your recruiter. Life is long and sometimes our memories aren’t that accurate. These things happen. It may not adversely impact your offer.
If there are things on your resume that are out-right fiction, as painful as it may be, consider telling the truth. The employer will find out anyway. Belated honesty may cost you this particular opportunity. Or, if, for example, you don’t have a degree but you have significant relevant experience, the recruiter may be able to work with that.
This could be a good time to adjust your resume accordingly to avoid running into inaccuracies in the future.
And what if…?
You can request a copy of your background report. If an employer finds misrepresentations or negative elements in your background check, it’s up to your future employer to decide what to do with that information. The CRA does not decide whether you are hired, nor does it make recommendations. If the negative aspects of your report do indeed impact your offer, your prospective employer has a legal obligation to inform you of the potentially adverse action and give you the opportunity to dispute the accuracy or completeness of the findings directly with the CRA. Within 30 days, the CRA will then investigate the disputed information with the source and will notify you of the results. Should you still be unsatisfied, you have the option to include a brief statement to rebut the findings.
For a complete breakdown of each party’s obligations and your rights in the background screening process, read the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
It’s understandable that the time during your background screening can feel like limbo. But armed with proper information, you can know that what is found is done so fairly, accurately and with your best interest in mind.
Now, get out there and get that job!