4 Signs a Job Candidate Will FAIL the Background Check

4 Signs a Job Candidate Will FAIL the Background Check

We’ve noticed 4 signs a job candidate will fail the background check and will likely disqualify from your position after we finish our investigation.

Deceptive job candidates have something to hide.  Sometimes they have an undisclosed criminal history, a warrant issued decades earlier, a pending case, a degree not received, a position not truly held, or they really didn’t work for the big name corporation you were impressed to see on their resumé. 

The resumé originally submitted to your company may have had little white lies we call Twisted Truth.  Twisted Truth Deception is information intentionally, incorrectly provided by the job candidate in order to prey on your reasonable “assumptions”.  Usually the candidate will already have a prepared response (excuse) if you figure out the deception so you will be unable to accuse him or her of resumé fraud.

Instant background checks are unable to figure out if job candidates are being deceptive because it takes a significant amount of work to get to the bottom of the misinformation candidates regularly supply.

Here are the 4 Signs a Job Candidate will FAIL the background check:

1. Questions and More Questions.  When you give the background check electronic link or paperwork to the job candidate, they may have questions.  A few questions are fine, but a lot of questions concerning how thorough the background check is and how far back the background will go is an indicator the candidate may have something to hide.

The candidate may also preemptively tell your company (or ours) the information we need to verify will not be available; They want to know what we will do when we reach an impasse   Keep in mind this is all before we get the release paperwork from the candidate.  We call this a Recon tactic.  Often job candidates with false claims on their resumé or those with criminal records will call us directly to find what kinds of searches we will do and how far back we will go.  Essentially they want to know if we will find out what they are hiding. The questioning phase may last several days and several times a day.

2.  Paperwork Delay.  After all the questions are asked the job candidate may continue to delay in returning the paperwork.  If you are not sure  you want to perform background checks on your candidates, you should still have the candidates fill and sign the background check (and drug test) release forms.  Job candidates concerned about falsely provided information [on the resumé] or an undisclosed criminal background usually will delay or never turn in the paperwork.  If the background check release is the only hurdle left, candidates with nothing to worry about will fill it out quickly in order to start the job sooner.  See the blog article “The Squeeze” for more information on this topic.

3.  Incomplete or Confusing Information Provided.  When the candidate finally turns in the background check release paperwork (usually after a significant delay), important information will be missing like graduation year, year of birth, social security number, or locations and dates of past Employers.  Abbreviations may be used for schools to cause confusion about which school is being claimed for a degree.  End-Client companies listed but not the actual employer names.  If a handwritten release is returned we may not be able to tell whether a number is a 0 or 6 (for instance.)  Middle name and first names are sometimes switched.  Dates of birth will be one digit off or missing.

4.  Delay in Returning Requested Proof (or Alternate Information.)  After a candidate turns in incomplete paperwork, we have a lot of issues and questions.  The candidate may appear to cooperate and may have reasonable explanations and responses.  Usually we are told the candidate doesn’t have access to proof or will have to find the information and get back to us.  Our favorite was when we were told by the candidate he couldn’t remember the name he had when he graduated and would have to get back to us.

We continue to pursue the information on our own and start receiving back inconsistencies.  When we next attempt to receive the information which was provided incompletely, there will be a very long silence.  The candidate begins to run out of reasonable explanations so just stops giving them.

One of the above signs, in itself, may not be an issue.  The pattern of questions, delay, incomplete information followed by more delays usually results in a background check revealing major inconsistencies and/or a criminal record you will not be able to ignore.


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