We built BlueRecruit because we want you to be gainfully employed and we are sharing our best tips to help you nail your next interview. In previous blog posts, I covered the most frequent interview questions and how to answer them. I also tackled how to talk about getting fired. Now its time to address the pre-employment background check.
We encourage everyone who visits our site to fill out a profile and we partner with companies that you can use to check your criminal background, your driving record and your professional certifications. Since launching the platform we frequently get the question, “ You want me to pay for my own background check?”
Yes, I do, and let me explain why.
Let me give you an important bit of context. BlueRecruit is a platform, not the hiring company. We don’t use a background check to screen you the way a company does. Instead, we want you to have the right information so you can present yourself in the best light. Here is an example to show you what I mean.
A few years ago one of my buddies was applying for a job. The application asked if he had ever been convicted of a crime other than a misdemeanor or traffic violation. While in college he was involved in a financial aid scheme and he was arrested. His attorney arranged a pre-trial diversion program and he successfully completed the program’s requirements. How should he answer the question on the application? He wasn’t sure so he called me and I introduced him to an employment attorney who could help. Thankfully there weren’t any issues and he got the job. If he had conducted his own background check then he would have saved a lot of stress and anxiety.
Here’s one more example to consider. In the last few years marijuana laws have changed. A few states have removed all low-level marijuana convictions from their criminal databases. If you have a conviction in one of those jurisdictions it may have been removed and you wouldn’t have to disclose the conviction on your application.
Okay, now that you understand the background check, what about the driving record? Obviously a potential employer wants to make sure you can get to work and that you are able to drive any company vehicles. As long as you have a driver’s license and insurance why should you conduct your own driving record check?
Just like with the background check, we want you to have all the information so you can present your best self on the application. Here is an example of how a driving check can help you do that. Almost 7 years ago I got a ticket in VA. My insurance didn’t go up and it didn’t add any points to my license. After a certain period of time the points are supposed to fall off my record. That pre-determined period and how long traffic records are maintained varies by state. Do you really want to blindly rely on someone to process your paperwork properly? I would rather confirm it, especially when it comes to a job.
The last check is the comprehensive check. This includes verifying certifications like a master plumber or master electrician. In NC those certs have to be renewed each year and the renewal periods vary by state. Just last week I was talking with a master plumber who forgot to renew his certification and his license covered several people working on a few jobs. They all had to stop work until he took care of the renewal. Running a comprehensive check ensures that all of your credentials are up to date and available for a potential hiring company.
Okay, now its time to coach you up!
I’m a West Point alum and I spent several years in the Army. My number one rule is “its better to be safe than sorry.” I know its a cliche but there’s a reason people still say it. The job market is extremely competitive and hiring companies use lots of things to exclude applicants. All things being equal, an applicant with a clean background check is going to get the job before someone with an issue in his background. It would be a shame for you to lose out on a job that you are qualified for because you disclosed something that you didn’t have to.
Please take 5 mins to fill out a profile and conduct a background check. Good luck with your job search and we’ll let you get back to work.