12 On Your Side: Background checks for employment

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- More than 90 percent of employers now conduct background checks on potential employees.

Jonathan Henderson was laid off from a production job three months ago.

"It takes a mental drain on you," he said.

So far, he says, he has applied for more than 50 jobs.

Henderson is in engineer maintenance. He has a four-year degree, several certificates and years of experience.

However, he says he can't get a job because of something in his past.

"I haven't been in trouble in 15 years and turned my life around and still can't get a job just because of that," he said.

Alex Chilton says 9 out of 10 employers require background checks.

"Reputation. It really boils down to that," he said.

Chilton has spent years conducting employee background checks for companies. He says background checks include criminal records, credit scores and even social media websites.

"Employers have become more select and specific in what they're hiring people for," he said.

Chilton says companies can afford to be picky because of the number of people looking for work.

"I think it's the pool of applicants that are out there now -- everybody is clamoring for a job," he said.

Henderson says employee background checks are an invasion of his privacy.

"It needs to be changed immediately. That's stopping a lot of job opportunities for Americans," he said.

Chilton recommends applicants to be honest on their applications. Lying will only disqualify you from a position. Also, be careful what you post on social media websites because many companies use those sites to learn more about you.

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