Should You Run a Background Check on a Potential Employer?


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The process of finding a new job can be grueling and quite time-consuming. By the time you find an employer interested in your skillset, it may be tempting to accept the offer quickly. However, just as you should examine the salary, benefits, company culture, and length of the contract, there is one more critical consideration. You need to know you who is hiring you.


Just as your employer needs confirmation of who they are hiring, you should be aware of the history of the person or company that has made the offer. Employees have a right to safe and secure working environments just as much as employers. Although much of the information you would want is public record, searching through your employer’s history can be as time-consuming as the job search. That is why companies such as UnMask provide easy access to this critical data.


Employers order background checks on their potential employees for a variety of different reasons. If the job requires working with minors or operating machinery, it might be essential to know if there is sexual misconduct or drug-related history on your record. Generally, employers rely on job applications to make hiring decisions, which is why a background check is one of the last steps in the process.

What is the purpose of a background check?

A background check serves to verify that individuals are who they say they are while providing additional information about their past. It is worthwhile to know whether your potential employer has any arrests, warrants, misdemeanors, or felonies on their record. Depending on the industry, it may also be essential to know if they have acquired any bankruptcies, liens, or even evictions.


For the same reason that employers verify who their new team members are, new employees should be empowered to do the same. Background checks give employees confidence that their future leaders are upstanding individuals. You might consider requesting data for anyone in a decision-making position as well as your direct manager or boss. If a background check reveals criminal activity, it might be in your best interest to seek new opportunities.

Why would I run a background check on my future employer?

There are two primary reasons for conducting a background check on potential employers. The first is that while background checks are standard in the hiring process, they are not required. A lack of established hiring standards means that the person you would be reporting to may have had a criminal background check before employment, but there is no guarantee. The background check conducted on them also might be several years old, as few employers use continuous monitoring. When it comes to your comfort and safety in a place of work, a background check is a simple process for peace of mind.


The second reason to conduct your own background check is that, more often than not, data is verified during the hiring process. Employees may have started work with a clean record. Without continuous monitoring, criminal activity that occurs while employed will not be revealed.


Some employers have established policies that allow them to conduct background checks on current team members. Spot monitoring may be useful if there is suspicion that an employee arrested while employed or if their recent behavior raises concerns for safety and security. However, if your employer does not maintain the right run background checks on current employees, it is all the more vital that you conduct your own.

When can an employer conduct a background check?

If an employer conducts background checks on their candidates, it is most often done after the interviews but immediately before confirming employment. Potential employees are required to sign a consent form allowing employers to request their public records. It is essential to read this consent form or ask the employer if you are also consenting to ongoing background checks. If so, your employer will have the right to conduct a background check at any given point during your employment.


Anytime an employer uses a background check to make an informed decision about hiring a candidate, they must comply with federal laws. Therefore, written consent must be provided by the potential employee. However, when requesting a background check for personal use, all you need is basic contact information to complete the search.

How do I conduct a background check on my potential employer?

Using just an employer’s first and last name, you can conduct an online search that will compile critical data in one report. These reports can be done on one of many personal background check service websites. The results will provide access to view any arrests, convictions, bankruptcies, social media accounts, and more. In addition to confirming their identity, you can also be sure that they are someone you can trust.

Final thoughts

Getting a new job should provide a sense of safety and security. Therefore, you should feel confident in both the company you’ll be working for and the people who lead it. Background checks offer a source of reassurance for both employers and their potential employees.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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