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Looking for a job? Brace yourself for very invasive background checks…


Having a clean rap sheet isn’t what it used to be.

These days, employment screenings are not a simple matter of checking for a criminal history or even with previous employers, as Reddit users discussed in this recent popular thread about background checks. “Employers want no surprises,” said Steve Langerud, workplace consultant and principal of Steve Langerud & Associates in Grinnell, Iowa.

Nearly three-quarters of employers say they perform a background check on every new employee, according to a 2016 survey from career website CareerBuilder. But a criminal check is just one of the many things employers are looking for today. Here are some of the other ways employers snoop:

Looking for a criminal history is just the start

As many Reddit users commented, what employers look for in a background check (and how extensively they do so) depends on the job. Some examples:

  • Anyone working with children will be screened through the sex offender registry.

  • Employers will pull up a credit history for prospective hires who may handle finances.

  • If the job requires driving a vehicle, the firm will look into speeding tickets and accidents.

Similarly, higher-level jobs or positions that require specialized training often necessitate a more thorough screening. “Any executive position should be subject to more stringent testing than a basic minimum-wage employee,” one user wrote. For instance, a hospital may confirm that a doctor has received certification in their specialty.

Some background checks take weeks and involve multiple sources

On average, background checks take between 24 and 72 business hours to complete, according to a March report from CareerBuilder. But as the Reddit thread showed, there are many reasons why a check can take well over a week. FULL ARTICLE