Many times employers run background checks in order to avoid hiring someone who potentially doesn’t fit their company. Oftentimes new highers seem great when they’re first interviewed, but then not long after starting they begin to raise some concerns. Unfortunately, many times the employee end ups being dismissed from their position. What employers need to understand is that a background check doesn’t tell you everything about a person.

Knowing too much, and knowing just enough to give each applicant a fair chance, is a fine line. However, there are things that a background check doesn’t tell you that could make or break a candidate being qualified for the position. Take into consideration these points when screening your next candidates.

  1. How do they respond to stress: The work environment is stressful one way or another. Some situations are high levels of stress, where your life is on the line, and others are lower levels of stress like dealing with frustrated customers. An easy way to see how they respond to stressful situations is to make a trial exercise part of the hiring process. Test them on situations they will have to deal with, before hiring them. 
  2. How do they interact with other people: This is not shown on a background check, and is pretty much just a risk that needs to be taken when hiring new employees. It can all depend who they work with, and how well they get along with their fellow employees. The only time where a trial run may need to be done, is in the customer service industry. 
  3. Do they show up on time: The only way to find this out is to ask their previous employers. If they don’t have any previous employers, then you either chose to take the risk and see what they do or decide on someone who has previous recommendations. 
  4. What are their medical records: Legally a background check does not show medical information, and you can’t ask medical questions during the hiring process. As an employer this can be very important information for a couple of reasons. First, if they are going to call into work frequently due to medical issues. Second, are there medical issues that can hinder them from completing the assigned duties. Many applications will ask if there is any reason why the applicant wouldn’t be able to complete the described duties. Just because nothing is filled out, doesn’t mean that they are being completely honest. 
  5. Any juvenile records: Depending what the crime was and when it was committed, juvenile records will be hidden from a background check. Now granted there is a reason for this, so that if kids make a mistake at a young age it won’t haunt them for the rest of their lives. However, as an employer be aware that they may have a whole past you have no idea about. 
  6. Their employment history: Almost all applications ask for previous work history. It is illegal to lie on an application, so the applicant should be completely honest when filling this portion out. However, as stated before that does not mean that every applicant is telling the truth. According to Hire Right’s 2017 employment screening benchmark report, 85 percent of employers caught applicants lying on their resumes or applications.

Although background checks can give you a lot of valuable information when deciding whether or not to hire a candidate, they do not tell you everything. Make sure to use other resources like references and previous employers to get a well rounded opinion on the applicant.


By: Christa Vandenburgh