Employment background check or screening is done when an employer has shortlisted a potential new employee they wish to hire and may even extend him/her a conditional job offer with the condition being the candidate successfully passing an employment background check. It is mandatory for the employer to ask the employee for a permission to conduct the background check first before starting the procedure.

The employment background check procedure usually includes: verifying details of the candidate’s past employment, working experience, educational qualifications, conducting a medical check, and investigating if they have any criminal history, as well as any other requirements specific to the job position. The findings from all these checks are an indicator for the potential employer about the potential risks they are facing with the hiring of the candidate – subject to the checks.

To carry out a successful thorough background check the employer might ask the candidate for all kind of background information with little, if any, regards to those being the potential base for discrimination. The acquired information for this purpose shouldn’t later be used for discrimination against that employee and if that is the case the employee can contact an employment attorney to protect their rights. Generally, this information can be categorized as follows:

Work history and education

The employer can ask for more details about the candidates’ work history and education presented in his/her CV such as the specific tasks that the potential employee has done before and the details of the candidate’s former supervisors.

The employer verifies all this information through direct contact with the candidate’s former employers, and the educational institutions the candidate attended.

Medical history

The employer might ask the candidate questions about their medical history, or even, in certain circumstances, about genetic predisposition for any diseases and the presence of these illnesses in the candidate’s family.

Most of the employers are looking for a reason why to hire you; they are trying to see what you can do, what are your strengths and abilities, so be open and honest when answering these questions – don’t look at them as the employer looking for reasons not to hire you.

Criminal history

Every background check is different, and it depends on the employer, the industry, and the role. For some employers, even criminal offense in the candidate’s past might not be an obstacle to hire that candidate. However, for some employers this might be a reason not to continue with your employment application – it depends on their internal regulations and policies.

In most cases, if the criminal background check reveals a past offense, it doesn’t mean that the job application is declined by default as there might still be a chance for an explanation if the employer’s procedures allow that. Usually, the employer verifies the existence or lack of criminal history via the Courts or the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Character and Conflict of interest

It might be a requirement of the employer to check for any conflict of interest the new employee might have by taking on the vacancy. For this reason, the employer might ask the candidate if they know someone already working for the same company.

The employer also has a legal right to ask for character references and referees (such as friends and neighbors) so they can inquire with them about your personality and your relationship with them. The employee should know in advance if this is the case so that they can obtain the permission to disclose the contact details of the intended character reference providers and inform them of this possibility.