Background checks are getting a lot stricter – here are 4 things you need to know before sending your CV

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Background screening—both as a pre-employment due diligence measure and a post-employment monitoring technique—is evolving fast.

This is according to Michael Klazema, lead author and editor for Backgroundchecks.com who was speaking to employment website, Glassdoor.

“Whether you are interviewing for full-time jobs or workers from the gig economy, there is a good chance background checks are going to figure into your professional future,” he said.

“Being cognisant of the trends and changes in background screening will help you prepare for your next job interview and understand what your current employees are thinking”.

Here are four background check trends that every employee and prospective employee needs to know.


Background checks for on-demand workers are becoming more common

For a long time, businesses used nontraditional methods to screen and vet nontraditional workers. Detailed background checks were essential for full-time workers, a little less common for part-timers, and virtually unheard of for contract employees. As the gig economy grows, this habit is dying out.

Businesses are increasingly coming to terms with the importance of having freelancers on their teams.

They are also starting to recognise that freelancers are still representatives and ambassadors for their brand—even if they are a little more removed from the business than full-time workers.

Questions about criminal history on job applications are going to disappear

More employers are removing questions about criminal history from job applications, said Glassdoor.

While this is predominately a US trend, it noted that across the world “ban the box” policies are being used to reduce employment discrimination against ex-criminal offenders.

“By removing the criminal history question from job applications and delaying the background check until after a conditional offer has been made, these policies seek to help ex-offenders get a fair chance at employment,” it said.

Continuous background checks and ongoing criminal monitoring will become the norm

While businesses will be less interested in whether you have a criminal record, they don’t want active criminals working for them.

“Over the next few years, it’s likely that employers are going to come to a consensus on how to screen existing employees,” said Glassdoor.

“What that consensus will be remains to be seen: it could be an every-five-years policy, an annual background check policy, a semi-annual policy, or a continuous real-time monitoring policy. In any case, job seekers and employees should know that what they do after they get hired is going to matter just as much as what they do before they get hired.”

Employers are going to continue using social media for pre-employment screening

“Social media background checks” are relatively sketchy from an administrative standpoint.

Employers like to look at Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to learn more about what their candidates are like in real life. However, findings on these fronts are often misleading, out of context, and based on assumptions.

Worse, social accounts can reveal personal, potentially bias-creating information—such as sexual orientation, gender identification, race, religion, nationality, and political affiliation—that employers cannot use in employment decisions, Glassdoor said.

“Employees and job searchers should be aware that companies are looking at what they do online. Ramping up your privacy settings and thinking more critically about the things you post will help you avoid trouble.”

“You may also want to go back through older posts and photographs and delete anything potential employers or current bosses might find objectionable,” it said.

This article was first published on businesstech.co.za