In this day and age, we have more elements tracking us and our activities than ever before. No, this is not a conspiracy theory! What this means is that we have social security numbers, passports, immigration, credit cards, credit ratings – it seems that almost everything we do is on a computer system somewhere, meaning that essentially everything we do can be tracked. This has it’s pros and it’s cons. In some ways it is protective of society as a whole, but in other ways it is restrictive to individual people. One group of people who it is restrictive to is people who have a criminal conviction.
When someone has been convicted of a crime, they will automatically get a criminal record that is held by the government. This will list all of the details of the conviction – what the crime was, and what the sentence was. They do not necessarily have to have spent time in jail – any sort of conviction by a court will be listed here, even if the person in question only received a fine or community service. Criminal records are kept even if the crime was simply unpaid parking tickets or something similarly small. These records are vital in a democratic society, even though those with a criminal past would probably rather they did not exist! They are there for the safety of the general public.
When someone talks of background verification, they normally mean criminal records. The most common reason for background verification is for employment checks. Employers who have a vacant position and are looking for someone new to hire will often carry out background verification in order to ensure that the person they hire is who they say they are. This will often include things like reference and educational checks, but a criminal background check is something that is used more and more these days. Employers can not be too careful with who they hire – a bad decision can potentially cost a company millions of dollars if the person they hire steals from them, or runs their company into the ground. A criminal background check might not be able to predict this all of the time, but it can give some vital clues.
There are some industries and jobs in which a background verification will be more necessary than others. For example, there might be a job that is being advertised that involves working with children. Working with children is one of the most well-policed industries, and there is always a thorough background check carried out on any applicants. Protecting the well-being of our children is important, so any criminal record that comes up during a background verification for this sort of job will likely be detrimental to someone’s application. Similarly, if there is a job going in which someone will be working for the government, then they will have to undergo background verification. Almost all government jobs will be closed to someone with a criminal record. Also, if you have seen a job in which the person hired will be trusted to deal with large amounts of cash, they will need to have a background verification done to ensure that they do not have any incidents of financial crime in their past.
If you have a criminal record, this does not mean that you will not be able to get a job. Even though this type of background verification is becoming more and more popular, not every employer will do one. There are standard jobs such as in the trades, retail and so on that will generally never carry out a background verification on potential new employees. If they ask you in your interview or on your application, then you should be honest, however it is not required that you should disclose this information if you are not specifically asked. You might be more limited in your options if you have a criminal background, but all hope is definitely not lost! If you are seriously committed to integrating back into society and being a law-abiding citizen again, then you will probably not have any more problems finding work than you did in the past.
Background verification checks are a tool that many more employers are using these days in order to protect their business. For employers, this type of check might not tell them everything about a person, but it can give them a snapshot of this persons past. If you have a criminal record and you are looking for work yourself, do not get despaired – there are plenty of jobs out there for you, you only need to search!