As of this blog post, there are 319 million people living in the United States.
With so many people living here, it stands to reason that some folks share the same name and date of birth. This is certainly true for people with common names, but even some people with unique names share these traits as well.
This can create some serious problems, especially when it comes to getting a job.
Consider the story of Catherine Taylor – a stay-at-home mom who wanted to start working again. Catherine applied at the Red Cross and was offered a job, but just a few days later the offer was pulled because her background check showed a lengthy rap sheet with drug felonies.
Turns out, she was confused with a different person by the same name and date of birth. Of course, it took several weeks for Catherine to research and discover this error and by the time she did, the job was long gone.
Most companies today run a background check before making a hiring decision. They do this to protect their workforce, vendors and customers, and to limit their exposure to negligent hiring claims. The background check helps reveal things like criminal history, employment verifications, education verifications and driving history, which helps the company determine a person’s suitability for employment.
Among all of these searches, the criminal history is the most concerning and also has the greatest potential for error, based on the following reasons:
- Criminal records are filed based on name and date of birth only. Everyone should know if their background check may be confused with someone by the same name and date of birth so they can be prepared to disprove a case of mistaken identity.
- Identity theft is another cause for concern. Criminals who possess anyone’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) will likely use this if they get arrested. Arrest records can be considered in hiring decisions so knowing if someone else has been arrested while using your identity can help avoid confusion during a job hunt.
- A third reason for concern is that most background screening companies offer searches from public databases, which may contain bad information based on poor data entry or records that have been manipulated when the data was shared.
Anyone one of these scenarios is entirely plausible and can quickly disqualify a job applicant from future consideration. This is why all job hunters should access their own pre employment background check before they start submitting resumes.
Doing so will reveal any discrepancies that might be a red flag for the employer – and can be fixed (or explained) before the employer runs a background check.
To see what an employer would see, the background check should be ordered from an official pre employment screening company. Some of these companies offer this service to people in transition, but only Precise Hire offers the comprehensive PEEK Report, which combines the following services:
1 – Access to an official and comprehensive pre employment background check.
2 – A Tip Sheet describing how to interpret the background check information and a description of the laws that employers must follow when using background checks.
3 – A 20 minute consultation with a pre employment screening executive to help understand the information and to receive detailed instructions on how to correct any bad information.
4 – A PEEK logo that can be added to your resume and used on social network sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Face Book, drawing attention to your status as a user of the PEEK Report.
5 – An optional service is providing employers access to your PEEK account so they can view your background check first-hand, which can save them money.
The benefits of using the PEEK Report include:
1 – Knowledge: Accessing the PEEK Report will enable you to discover and quickly correcting bad information or shared identities.
2 – Honesty: Anyone who will invest in their own background check and share this information with a prospective employer is demonstrating that they are honest – and honesty is one of the most meaningful character traits to an employer.
3 – Preparation: Running your own background check will enable you to see what the employer will see so you can be fully prepared and effectively explain anything that needs to be addressed during a job interview.
All of this can help distinguish you from other applicants and ensure that you avoid any delays or worse, rejections, caused by inaccurate information.