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When looking to hire a new candidate, employers will almost always take every step necessary in ensuring they are potentially hiring an asset to their company. That can include comparing multiple applicants based on their strengths and weaknesses, adjusting their audience reached in listing their open positions, and perhaps most importantly, conducting background checks.

The information obtained through conducting a background check can prevent businesses from hiring inefficient or damaging employees by displaying criminal history or past complications, and ensuring current employees are maintaining professionalism within the company. However, there are some pieces of information that legally cannot be displayed on background checks as stated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Many sources the a background check utilizes is already public information, and therefore violating no rights or legalities in the process. Some of this information includes criminal records, driving records, education history, job history, property ownership, and any military records available. While this is a good amount of information to verify whether or not an employee is fit for the position, the time in which it is obtained can play a factor in its availability.

After 7 years, civil suits and arrest records cannot be reported, nor can accounts placed for collection or other negative information other than criminal convictions. After 10 years, bankruptcies are no longer allowed to be reported upon the date of the application. Candidates also have the option of removing their names from marketing lists upon requesting that the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies not share their credit information with insurers.

Though access to this complicated information may not play an enormous role in the credentials of a potential employee, businesses will want to guarantee in every way possible that they are making a smart hire. Conducting background checks is crucial regardless of what information cannot be displayed. Of the information that can, employers are able to predict whether or not said candidate will be a good addition or a detriment to their team. Employers should be straightforward during interviews to best gauge the applicant’s abilities, and while some information may be inaccessible, most that manifests through employee screening is enough to determine their trustworthiness.