Do Companies Run Background Checks for Promotions? -
Finding Employment

Do Companies Run Background Checks for Promotions?

In looking for a job after release, a felon may have experience working for a business that offers a promotion. This blog post will cover whether or not companies run background checks for promotions.

  • What Is Included in a Background Check?
  • Company Background Check on Current Employees
  • Company Background Check for Promotions
  • Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?
  • Tips for Getting a Job Promotion

What Is Included in a Background Check?

As many as 96% of employers review a job applicant’s background because they don’t want someone who doesn’t succeed after starting a job. This is considered to be a, “bad hire,” which is someone who:

  • Doesn’t produce quality work
  • Has a negative attitude
  • Doesn’t work well with other employees
  • Doesn’t deal well with customers
  • Doesn’t have the skills they stated on an application
  • Has attendance problems
  • Is dishonest on the job

The last question is the biggest challenge for felons. Their criminal history can be a problem when applying at a hospital even if they are now committed to living an honest lifestyle.

An employer may view at least some of the following:

  • Credit reports
  • Driving records
  • Educational records
  • Criminal offenses

Background information helps an employer to determine a candidate’s:

  • Past mistakes
  • Character
  • Financial fitness

This allows an employer to identify hiring risks for security and safety issues for the company.

The criminal record review conducted of a background check includes examining criminal history files for any criminal offenses, which will reveal all convictions and non-convictions, including cases not prosecuted or ones dismissed. Convictions can be reported with no time limit while a non-conviction will show up for seven years. A crime will not show up on a background check if a felon has his or her record expunged.

Company Background Check on Current Employees

A background check is common when considering hiring for a position with the company. There is no legal requirement for companies to run background checks on current employees.

If there is no indication of an employee having done something wrong on the job, an employer must have the employee’s consent before screening them. Some companies have a clause in their original consent form to allow them to do a background check after hiring.

While some companies have an, “honor clause,” that requires employees to report criminal charges whenever they occur, it is still important to repeat a background check periodically.

There are several reasons to conduct a background check on current employees, including:

  • Reassignment – A new position may have different responsibilities not covered under a previous background check.
  • Retention – Some companies conduct a background check when deciding which employees to retain at a company.
  • Promotion – A promotion typically involves increased responsibilities and a new job description. Conducting a background check can help ensure promoting the right candidate.
  • Workplace accidents – Some companies conduct a background check on current employees after an accident to address issues with insurance companies and the legal department.

Company Background Check for Promotions

When considering placement for a management position in a company, that job will be filled by either hiring a new employee or promoting a current employee. Since there is a background check completed on a new hire, it makes sense to do a background check when considering promoting a current worker to a new position.

The more significant the job position is to the company, the more in-depth the background check should be. The more visibility the position has, the more important it is to do a careful background check.

Most companies do not conduct a background check when the promotion is from one lower-level position to another. Typically, observation of an employee’s work on a day-to-day basis is sufficient for managers that interact with those workers daily.

The quality of their work and their demeanor, professionalism, enthusiasm, and dedication to the job and the company are obvious and may be more valuable than conducting an often lengthy and expensive background investigation.

However, promotions to a higher-level position may allow employees greater access to sensitive information. Employees often have a background check run for who will gain access to more:

  • Exclusive information
  • Company data
  • Customer data
  • Company facilities

A change in responsibilities and requiring different skills and education are typical concerns for a company when planning a promotion.

There are several reasons why screening an internal applicant for a promotion is important. Typically, there will be a different set of responsibilities. Often these responsibility differences include:

  • Increased access to financial documents or handling money
  • Requiring travel outside the country
  • Driving a company vehicle as part of a new position

There are certain guidelines and legal restrictions protecting employees’ civil rights. Any company that wants to screen current employees must provide in writing information stating the need to run a background check. Anyone who is denied a new position as a promotion must receive all information related to the discovery and offered the opportunity to challenge that discovery.

Even when there is a background check for a promotion, companies cannot always use the information they find. Laws in many states do not allow companies to use certain information relative to an applicant’s credit as a deciding factor. Bankruptcy cannot be used to fire or deny promotion to anyone.

Conducting a background check for a promotion helps eliminate discrimination against any candidates applying for that position.

Can You Run a Background Check on Yourself?

Doing a background check on him or herself before applying for a promotion will allow you as a felon to know exactly what will be discovered when the company does its review. A felon with any questions can contact an attorney. It is essential to take action and not risk a chance on the results.

There are different kinds of personal background checks that a felon can run:

  • From the court in which he or she was charged
  • A credit report will help determine how financially responsible an individual is
  • Driving records for any job involving driving, such as a truck driver
  • An educational report through the National Student Clearing House

For someone wanting to do a background check on themselves, there are places that can help. A felon would have the best chance at getting a job promotion by having his or her record expunged.

Tips for Getting a Job Promotion

Suggestions for a felon to increase his or her chances to be promoted on a job are:

  • Show initiative
  • Be goal oriented
  • Be team oriented
  • Be irreplaceable
  • Advocate for oneself
  • Show leadership
  • Be involved
  • Stay connected
  • Commitment
  • Pride
  • Don’t miss work
  • Be on time

Don’t hide the fact that you have a felony conviction if it comes up. Instead, explain the facts about that conviction without being emotional.

It is never a good idea to lie about one’s past. This could result in not being considered for a promotion if the company finds out about it. Highlight skills and abilities that qualify you for the new position and focus on them during the interview.

Take responsibility for past actions and explain how you’re putting your life in order. Doing your own background check allows you to know what an employer will see on your record.

Remember that you’re not defined by your crime. You must be willing to see yourself in a different light and establish an honest life. The best opportunity for success in a new life begins with having support from family and friends. After all, felons do make good employees.

So, what do you think about this blog post about whether or not companies run background checks before promotions? Have you or someone you know had a company run a background check before a promotion? What was that like and was he or she successful in being promoted? Please tell us in the comments below.

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