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Do Recruiters Run Background Checks?

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Job options may be limited for felons recently out of prison, but a felon can find a job. At some point, felons may want to consider working with a recruiter.

This blog post will cover whether or not recruiters run background checks.

  • What Is Included in a Background Check?
  • Working With a Recruiter
  • Recruiter Background Check?
  • Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
  • Recommended Action


What Is Included in a Background Check?

A person’s background might be reviewed because someone could pose a risk for security and safety issues, mainly because of dishonesty. Their criminal history can be a problem when even if they are now committed to living an honest lifestyle.

A recruiter might view at least some of the following:

  • Credit reports
  • Driving records
  • Educational records
  • Criminal offenses

Background information helps to determine someone:

  • Past mistakes
  • Character
  • Financial Fitness

The criminal record review of a background check includes examining criminal history files for any criminal offenses, which will reveal all convictions and non-convictions, including cases not prosecuted or ones dismissed. Convictions can be reported with no time limit while a non-conviction will show up for seven years. A crime will not show up on a background check if a felon has his or her record expunged.

Working With a Recruiter

A recruiter helps find people find jobs. They also help applicants prepare for interviews, assist with resumes and cover letters, along with managing salary negotiation. A recruiter works on behalf of a company, not the job applicant. The company pays the recruiter’s fees.

Recruiter responsibilities included looking through applications to find the best choices to send to a hiring company. The recruiter will prepare a job candidate for an interview. A recruiter acts as a go-between for the candidate and the hiring company.

A recruiter is different from a hiring manager. The hiring manager is not a full-time recruiter and works for a company, making hiring decisions.

There are different types of recruiters:

  • Corporate recruiters are employed by a company for finding and qualifying new employees.
  • Retained recruiters offer exclusive services to accompany and are typically involved in executive-level hiring.
  • Contingency recruiters are paid a fee if the company hires a candidate through that recruiter.
  • An internal recruiter is employed as an in-house representative of a company.
  • An external recruiter works for an agency as a search consultant.

They may be employees of recruiting or staffing agencies. The recruiter will have input into a hiring decision, but the final decision is up to the company.

Recruiters Run Background Checks?

A recruiter will make critical decisions based on information found in a background check. Checking an applicant’s background is important for a recruiter because candidates will be hired based on the recruiter’s recommendation.

A recruiter’s task is to be attentive to the different ways in which criminal actions may affect a business, including:

  • Employees stealing from suppliers
  • Employees lying to clients
  • Fraud
  • Dangerous situations
  • Theft of personal items
  • Identity theft
  • Local criminal activity
  • County, state, and federal criminal activity
  • Violent or sex offenses

Certain guidelines are in place for a recruiter to follow:

  • Anyone a recruiter does a background check on must give permission in writing.
  • An applicant has the right to see any background report and know what company performed the criminal background check.
  • An applicant must be given time to dispute any information contained in a background check.

High-level positions may require investigation of areas including:

  • Tax evasion
  • Immigration violation
  • Crimes committed in other countries

A basic background check for a recruiter begins by reviewing the applicant’s resume, cover letter, and references.

In conducting a basic background check, there are specific factors for a recruiter to be aware of. As many as 56% of individuals may inflate their resume to make it outstanding. The longer that people are unemployed, the more inaccurate their resume is. The recruiter will want to know information regarding changes in employment and gaps in employment.

After the basic review, a background investigation may look at a candidate on the internet through the following sources:

  • An online check may begin with a Google search.
  • Other sources of information on the internet will be from LinkedIn as well as Facebook since social media can give important information regarding an applicant.

A recruiter’s background check may also include information that fits the job description:

  • As many as 60% of companies conduct pre-employment drug screens.
  • Driving records may be checked for safety in the workplace and for insurance purposes.
  • A credit check may be done on an individual applying for a position handling money.

Depending on the recruiter and the depth of the background check, it may include information from specific sources, including:

  • Criminal records
  • School records
  • Workers Compensation records
  • Medical records
  • Military service records

The criminal records check done by a recruiter will vary according to the position, its level in the company, and the degree of security required by the position. It is essential that the criminal records check be related to the duties of the position according to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC).

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

Doing a background check on him or herself will allow a felon to know exactly what will be discovered when any review is done by a recruiter. A felon with any questions can contact an attorney. It is essential to take action and not risk a chance on the results.

There are different kinds of personal background checks that a felon can run:

  • From the court in which he or she was charged
  • A credit report will help determine how financially responsible an individual is
  • Driving records for any job involving driving, such as a truck driver
  • An educational report through the National Student Clearing House

For someone wanting to do a background check on themselves, there are places that can help. A felon would have the best chance in working with a recruiter by having his or her record expunged.

Recommended Action

Don’t hide the fact that he or she has a felony conviction if it comes up in dealing with a recruiter. Instead, explain the facts about that conviction without being emotional. It is never a good idea to lie about one’s past on any application. This could result in not being considered for a job if the recruiter finds out about it.

Take responsibility for past actions and explain how he or she is putting life in order. Doing his or her own background check allows a felon to know what will be seen by a recruiter on his or her record.

A felon needs to remember that he or she is not defined by his or her crime. We are not defined by our mistakes but in how we recover from them. He or she must be willing to see him or herself in a different light, ready to establish an honest life. The best opportunity for success in a new life begins with having support from family and friends. 

So what do you think about this blog post about whether or not recruiters run background checks? Have you or someone you know had a recruiter run a background check? What was that like and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

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