What Happens if a Candidate Fails an Employment Check?

There could be several reasons why a candidate might fail a pre-employment background check. If that were the case, how should the hiring organisation or HR team deal with the challenges this brings?

It is crucial to understand some common reasons why someone might not pass a company’s specific background checks. It’s also important to remember that automatic failure does not always immediately mean you should disqualify a candidate. This guide explains some of the most common reasons for failing background checks and what hiring managers should do following the discovery of the failure.

Reasons Why Candidates Fail Employment Background Checks

Understanding why a person may not have passed pre-employment screening checks will help you make an informed recruitment decision. Here are some common failures of background checks.

Education and Employment History

It’s possible that there could be inconsistencies within your candidate’s employment or education history. This could include large gaps in employment, fraudulent education certificates, referees from companies that have dissolved, conflicting timelines, incomplete dates, dubious reasons for leaving, etc.

Poor Driving Record

Companies that hire drivers should pay particular attention to candidates’ driving history and take appropriate action if they spot evidence of points, disqualifications, offences. This could have a detrimental effect on the company if this weren’t spotted before hire.

Incomplete or Missing References

Providing references is standard for any job application, but it proves challenging if hiring companies do not hear back from said references. Whatever the reason, it can be difficult if no response is received within a specific timeframe. In this case, candidates might have to supply alternative supporting documents, such as payslips or P45s.

Bad Credit History

Financial companies will undoubtedly want to ensure they hire people with a proven track record of being sensible with money. Holding a positive credit rating is a good indicator of this, but if it’s poor, it could affect their performance and pose a business risk. Find out more about credit checks for employment here.

Fake ID Documentation

Identity verification is vital whatever industry your company is in. If a candidate doesn’t possess valid ID documents, compulsory checks such as right to work checks cannot be completed.

Similarly, if a candidate’s criminal record doesn’t prevent them from working with specific vulnerable groups, then you’re legally within your right to hire them. However, if they were to be explicitly prohibited, you may have a legal obligation not to hire them.

How to Deal with Failed Background Checks

When reviewing your pre-employment screening processes, you must follow the law. The following steps can be taken to ensure you handle any background check failures legally and appropriately.

Establish a Background Screening Policy

Your pre-employment screening policy should analyse the types of background checks your company requires for prospective and/or current employees. It should also detail what failures you might expect and steps to deal with them. 

You should also ensure all procedures do not pose any risk of discrimination, with the same policies implemented for all candidates regardless of race, gender, religion, etc.

Complete an Objective Assessment

Assess each failure objectively before you contact the candidate. Each assessment should evaluate the nature of each failed background check, with a clear, informed decision on the corrective approach.

As an example, your candidate may not have disclosed previous unspent criminal convictions or cautions. In which case, you should evaluate the potential impact this could have on your organisation.

Contact the Candidate(s)

Once you have assessed any failure(s), you can contact the candidate, providing them with a timeframe within which to clarify or provide further information.

Make a Recruitment Decision

Once the above steps have been completed, you must decide whether to hire the candidate.

Provided their background checks do not flag anything legally detrimental to your company (for example, fraudulent ID documents and thus no legal proof of right to work), you are at liberty to decide whether to make them an offer.

Inform Candidates of Outcome in Writing

You should now notify your candidate how their application will proceed. If their background check prevents you from hiring them for the job role, you must specify why. Again, you should avoid any discriminatory decisions or biases.

Pre-employment Background Screening Services

The recruitment process can be time-consuming and largely ineffective without an established structure in place. Therefore, if you’re struggling with any aspect of your background checks for employment, consider talking to Eurocom CI

We provide a wide range of checks on behalf of numerous businesses across multiple industries, providing them with clear, detailed information that allows them to focus on their business.

If you’d like to see how we can help improve your productivity and efficiency with hiring candidates, please contact us.