It’s a new year and it’s time for a new career! Statistics show that traditionally the months of January and February are the best times of the year to find a new job. This can be attributed to the fact that hiring managers have been granted full access to the new hiring budget for the year and are looking to make the most of it.
So, as you prepare to look for that new career, you may want to familiarise yourself with what to expect from a pre-employment background check. This is a practice that more and more employers are taking part in, so it would serve you well to be prepared.
What is a pre-employment background check?
If you’ve never been through a pre-employment background check, it’s perfectly natural to feel a little unsure and hesitant about the process. It may seem daunting and scary when you don’t know what it entails.
The way it works is that an employer would use a DBS service, such as uCheck, in order to conduct a background check. The most common background checks that are done by employers are the right to work, DBS, adverse credit, DVLA, and identity, all of which can be done through uCheck. These types of checks usually take 48 hours or less, so employers can get some speedy answers.
DBS stands for the Disclosure and Barring Service, once known as a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau). A DBS check is a safety procedure designed to bar potential employees with certain criminal convictions. These checks are commonly done by schools or any kind of public sector job.
DVLA checks look at your driving license and any issues you may have had on the road, to ensure that you are careful and responsible. In some cases, it’s not unheard of for an organisation to review your credit score to see how reliable an employee you may be.
As far as your role goes, there is nothing you need to do other than sit back and wait to hear from the potential employer.
Can you prepare for the background check?
One question job seekers often ask is, can they prepare for the background check? Is there anything they should be aware of?
It’s always wise to be aware of what’s on your credit report to ensure there is no false information, and of course, you should let potential employers know if you have a criminal record. It’s always better to be forthright from the start rather than let employers find out on their own.
A criminal record doesn’t mean you can’t get a job, but it is something that you will likely want to inform them about. Maybe you made a few past mistakes in your teenage years or got caught up with the wrong crowd growing up – it takes a lot of integrity to admit to these mistakes and show how well you’ve changed. It might not help, but keeping details hidden will make you seem untrustworthy.
In order to perform the background check, the employer will need to enter in some personal details about you, which you will need to provide. How far back and how detailed the DBS check is will depend on the job you are applying for.
A background check cannot be done by an employer without your consent, you will need to do some homework. Make sure to provide all of the necessary identification documents and ensure that they are up to date and accurate with your current address details. When signing up for a DBS you’ll need to transcribe a lot of accurate dates and addresses.
While a company needs your permission before they can do a background check, you may seem untrustworthy if you disagree with having one done. You have nothing to hide, pre-employment background checks are standard procedure and nothing to worry about.
It’s common for these checks to take a while (in some cases between one to eight weeks), so it’s best to take your mind off of them and take some time to relax and prepare for your new job. You’ve already made it this far, you’ll do just fine.