Answered by Dana, Hiring Expert at ManpowerGroup, on Thursday, April 23, 2015
In my experience, this will depend greatly on the company doing the hiring, where the company is located, and the type of department you will be working in. Some smaller companies might not run background checks at all, but I’d say most companies probably do complete at least a criminal check for all new hires.
Typically, a criminal background check is conducted on everyone (7 years’ worth), plus a verification of education, and a verification of past employment. The verification of education may include a verification of any special credentials or certificates, including your high school diploma or GED. The verification of past employment may include only your most recent employer, your most recent three employers, or perhaps 5 years’ worth of employment. It all depends on their process.
A drug screen may or may not be part of the process, too, as well as a credit check (if you will be working in a Finance Department, for example) or a Motor Vehicle Report (if you will be driving a company car for any reason).
If you are concerned about any component of the background check and the possibility that the results could prevent you from being hired, it’s a good idea to talk to your recruiter about it, or the Hiring Manager. Your best bet is to be honest, since many companies have policies in place which allow them to hire people with different sorts of backgrounds for different positions, and you may indeed be qualified for the role and able to be hired without any problems.
It’s not a good idea, however, to be dishonest during any portion of the application process. Make sure you are filling out your forms honestly and accurately! That’s important.