5 Common Red Flags on a Employee Background Check

chicago private investigator employee background checks

It’s estimated that 40% of people lie outright on their resumes, whereas closer to 80% of job applicants lie at some point during the hiring process. All businesses have to deal with resume fluffing and experience exaggeration from time to time, and most experienced hiring managers get a feel for when it’s happening. Now, some exaggeration is relatively harmless and can be overlooked. But when the fabrication can affect the job quality or lead to safety issues, that’s another matter altogether. Here are some common red flags to look for on an employee background check.

Education Inconsistencies

Many jobs require degrees, licenses, and specific coursework to develop the skill sets needed to perform the job safely and efficiently. The salary or hourly wage often reflects those educational requirements, but that can also result in exaggeration and lies during the hiring process. Fortunately, background checks can verify the applicant’s educational background.

Unexplained or Reoccurring Employment Gaps

The unemployment rate has gone down consistently and dramatically since 2020, but almost 30% of Americans have been jobless for over a year. Covid plays a huge role in that, but those gaps can be easily explained during the hiring or application process. Unexplained or reoccurring employment gaps can pop up during a background check and indicate fickle and unreliable job behavior.

Unreported or Hidden Criminal Activity

Between 70 and 100 million or one-third of Americans are estimated to have a criminal record of some degree. In most cases, past behaviors and mistakes don’t negatively affect job performance. Ban the Box rules and laws in many states make it illegal for the employer to ask about criminal activity during the early stages of the hiring process. But eventually, those details are disclosed via background checks. Past mistakes can easily be overlooked and understood when disclosed to a potential employer. However, being blindsided by discovering a serious past offense or hidden felonies during the employee background check can be a major red flag.

Experience Falsification

Experience often trumps education when it comes to hiring the perfect person for a job position. Employers look for candidates who can perform and deliver specific skills needed to perform the job tasks safely and somewhat independently. Inflation of experience is one of the most common fabrications during every stage of the hiring process. However, those lies can hurt the applicant, existing employees, and cost the business money. Bad hires due to lack of experience can also ruin the company’s reputation. The right employee background check can flag experience discrepancies so you hire the right person off the bat.

Refusal to Allow an Employee Background Check

Applicants and employees have to legally give their potential or existing employer permission to run a background check on them. It’s a harmless process of simply signing a form to begin the process. Refusal of permission is rare but it does happen. Of course, the employer can and often will then refuse to proceed with the hiring process since that refusal acts as a red flag that the applicant is hiding something significant. Rather than deal with this all yourself, why not just give us a call to let a competent Chicago private investigator handle your background checks for you?