Major Myths Around Background Checks for Employers and Job Seekers

By CareerBuilder, Special for   USDR

Never judge a book by its cover.” A common phrase that in terms of recruitment means something very unique. When it comes to selecting the best candidates to work for your company, going deeper than just face value should be a routine practice. And as a job seeker, you need to be aware of what employers are looking for when background screening and what could cost you the job. Yet, according to a new CareerBuilder survey that outlines myths around background checks, not all companies or workers know the  process.

The nationwide survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 16 to December 6, 2016, among a representative sample of 3,411 U.S. full-time, private sector workers across industries and company sizes, and 2,391 full-time hiring and human resources managers in the private sector across industries and company  sizes.

“In essence, a background check is what an employer uses to help protect against false advertising on a resume and reduce employer risk. After all, a good business is built on people who fulfill their duties responsibly,” said Ben Goldberg, CEO of Aurico, a CareerBuilder company. “But background screenings are surrounded by misconceptions and misunderstandings and our role is to provide transparency for candidates and  employers.”

Myths for  Employees

Myth 1: If I estimate my months and years of employment at each employer, that’s good enough.
Reality: 1 in 8 workers who currently have resumes (13 percent) say they estimate employment dates on their current resume. What they may not realize is their resume will get flagged as inaccurate and may cause an otherwise unnecessary delay in the hiring process or possible removal from of the running. From employment to graduation and everything in between, make sure dates are  accurate.

Myth 2: Most employers don’t even conduct background checks.
Reality: The majority of employers (72 percent) say they do for every new employee before they’re hired. More than half (55 percent) drug test  candidates.

Myth 3: If they conduct background checks, employers typically only look at where I worked.
Reality: In addition to locations of employment, employers check on everything from schooling, locations lived and criminal records to driving records and many other public information sources based on the position type the person is being considered  for.

Forty-six percent of workers say they really don’t know what information employers are checking for when conducting background checks, which can put them at a  disadvantage.

Myth 4: It’s not important to tell people I’m putting them down as a reference.
Reality: It’s a professional courtesy to ask people’s permission to use them as a reference, so they know to expect a call sometimes in the future. If your references respond with surprise and confusion when a potential employer contacts them, it gives the impression that you are unprofessional or  disorganized.

Myths for  Employers

Myth 1: Background checks aren’t always necessary.
Reality: Eighteen percent of employers said they made a bad hire because they didn’t conduct a background check. Given that one bad hire can cost a company $17,000 on average, this can be an expensive  misstep.

Myth 2: All background check systems are created equal.
Reality: Twenty-nine percent of employers made a bad hire because they received bad information about the candidate. 1 in 7 employers (15 percent) have run into litigation for not hiring someone because of what was found in a background check. Make sure your provider keeps up with compliance standards, is National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) Accredited, and makes sure the candidate is informed and  supported.

Myth 3: My background check system provides a good experience for candidates.
Reality: Sixty-five percent of employers have never tested out their system themselves to see what the candidate experience is like. Not only is it important for employers to experience the process first hand, it’s important to seek direct feedback from  candidates.

Myth 4: Background checks typically take 1 to 2 weeks.
Reality: The longer the background check, the higher the risk of losing the candidate because you couldn’t verify information fast enough and they moved on to another employer. Typically, background checks should return in less than five business days, but on average checks take 24 – 72 business hours to  complete.

CareerBuilder’s Background Check  Division
Last year CareerBuilder acquired Aurico, a leading provider of background screening and drug testing serving U.S. and international  clients.

Aurico is a recognized leader in customer satisfaction among screening providers. Over the last 25 years, Aurico has delivered comprehensive background screening and drug-testing services, building a strong reputation for exceptional service, quality and screening  automation.

Focused on enhancing efficiencies during the onboarding process and providing a good candidate experience, Aurico’s solutions help companies meet compliance standards and feel more confident about their hiring  choices.

Survey  Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,391 hiring and human resource managers ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, including 2,391 in the private sector) and 3,411 employees ages 18 and over (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between November 16 and December 6, 2016. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 2,391 and 3,411, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 2.00 and +/- 1.68 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and  varies.

About  CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE: TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

SOURCE  CareerBuilder

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