Failed Background Check After a Job Offer [What You Should Know] (2022)

Finding a candidate fit for the job is harder than you think. But what if you decide to extend a job offer only to receive bad news? After a background check, you realize that the candidate’s rap sheet is quite long. This article addresses what a business owner should know and do when dealing with a failed background check after a job offer.

The Wrong Candidate and Your Business

As a business owner, your priority is to protect your business and employees from dangerous job applicants, as well as litigation that may occur if you mismanage the hiring process. Note some effects of hiring the wrong candidate:

Hiring the Wrong Candidate Can Jeopardize Your Business

Hiring a candidate with a bad past can have long-term, negative effects on your business. And finding new investors and attracting new candidates can be quite difficult after hiring the wrong candidate.

Hiring an Unsuitable Candidate Can Affect the Company’s Culture

Each workplace requires a relaxing atmosphere for the employer and employee. But if you hire a person who is the wrong fit for the organization, it can only cause distress and shake the company to its core. For instance, if you hire a candidate whose education background check failed and has a criminal history, it can affect the work environment.

Hiring a Candidate with a Bad Past

Hiring someone with a sketchy past can affect workplace safety. Not everyone feels comfortable working with a candidate that poses some sort of threat not only to the company but to society, as well.

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Financial Side Effects

If the candidate you want to hire was charged in the past with felony theft, it should immediately raise red flags. Depending on the business, hiring such a candidate can lead to theft of all sorts from the office or even colleagues.

NOTE: Criminal background checks have become standard procedure, especially if your company deals with such vulnerable populations as the elderly or children.

Determining a Failed Background Check

Are negative hits on a background check relevant to you? As a business owner, if you’ve determined that a background check failed, what do you do?

  • Create a Fair Hiring Policy

First, you need to make a distinction between what qualifies as acceptable and what is unacceptable for a job vacancy. Employers tend to ask questions about the candidate’s past employment, as well as about their financial and criminal history. But at the same time, the employer needs to follow the laws and regulations that protect the candidate’s rights.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency established with The Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect candidates’ rights against workplace discrimination—no matter their race, national origin, sex, color, religion, disability, or age.

It’s illegal to rescind an offer of employment if the candidate of one ethnicity has a criminal history and fails the background check but another candidate from a different ethnicity with the same criminal record gets the job. The same criteria apply if you, for example, interview an underqualified male candidate and a qualified female candidate and decide to hire the male candidate simply because he’s a male and the job requires more physical strength.

(Video) Revoke Job Offer! Employee Failed Background Check - Human Resources

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) provides advice on how to withdraw an offer due to an applicant’s criminal history. You need to stay current with state laws and regulations. For instance, ban-the-box laws—which forbids employers from asking about a person’s criminal history on a job application—have been accepted in 33 states. This law aims at removing barriers to employment for ex-offenders and allows them to be evaluated based on their qualifications so that an employer doesn’t immediately rescind a job offer.

  • Hiring Matrix

A hiring matrix is a great tool to use for objectively identifying the best candidates for employment. To avoid unintended bias, job qualifications should be concise—without ambiguities—and equally applied to all candidates.

  • Assess Applicants Individually

In 2012, the EEOC added the requirement of individualized assessment. Each candidate is to be individually assessed to avoid any potential discrimination—if by chance there is a failed employment background check. If a candidate has had a faulty past, hiring managers are urged to consider the age of the candidate, the time of any criminal offense, and the rehabilitation efforts of the candidate. The manager should also consider employment history before and after an offense, as well as character references.

  • Background Check Problems

In some cases, the background check on a screening report may not belong to your candidate. It’s rare, but an employer may get a false positive between the recipient of a background check and a convicted felon bearing the same name. For that reason, double-check with the company that did the background check and make sure the company complies with the applicable laws.

  • Pre-Adverse Notice

Even if you have a gut feeling about a candidate, the employee screening policy may reveal otherwise. If you’re considering not hiring the candidate after a failed background check, it’s best to notify the applicant with a pre-adverse notice and a copy of the background check, as well as a copy of A Summary of Your Rights Under FCRA.

(Video) I accepted the job offer, then they took it!! (Background Screenings & Pre-employment checks)

NOTE: To help find the right candidate for the job, you can conduct a background check through certain websites for background checks such as Truthfinder. However, these may come with a fee, so if you’d like to find some thing free of charge then a free Truthfinder alternative may be a better option for you.

Key Takeaways

Hiring a candidate with a bad past could affect workplace safety and jeopardize your business.
Create a fair hiring policy that follows the state laws and regulations.
Create a hiring matrix, so each candidate is equally assessed.
Before rescinding a job offer, inform the candidate with a pre-adverse notice.

Rescind a Job Offer

Before deciding to take any adverse action, an employer needs to reconsider all the facts and consult with the internal policies of your company. These five steps should help when deciding what to do with candidates who have a failed background check after a job offer.

Consult Your Hiring Policy

If you have a candidate with a risky background, you should consult your hiring policies, which should describe the circumstances under which an offer of employment can be affected by the background check results.

Consider How Long It Has Been Since a Candidate’s Last Criminal Charge

Before hiring those with a criminal history, you should consider the type of offense committed, when it was committed, and any rehabilitation measures taken by the applicant.

Allow the Candidate to Respond

Not every candidate is aware that the information in their background could impact their employment. Even if there is a criminal history, you should give candidates time to prepare a response and make a case for themselves. Many companies give the applicant around five days to prepare a response.

(Video) What Actually Shows Up In An Employment Verification Check

Carefully Make a Decision

To retract a job offer after a background check is not an easy task to do, especially if the candidate is a great fit for the company. So before you proceed with rescinding a job offer, take everything into account—consult resources to ensure you’ve covered all the bases, including hiring policies, legal counsel, and any laws that apply to your industry.

Hire or Send an Adverse Action Notice

Take the time to carefully examine all the information before making a final decision. If you decide to proceed with the hiring process, simply contact the candidate and inform him of the good news. But if you decide to rescind a job offer after a background check, then send the candidate an adverse action notice.

NOTE: 72% of employers conduct a background check on candidates as a part of the hiring process. But they need to know what to look for in a background check for the best results.

Adverse Action Notice

An adverse action notice is used to inform candidates that they have been denied the job they applied for. When withdrawing an offer, due to a background check, employers need to retract the offer in writing with an adverse action notice. The written statement should pinpoint the reasons behind the decision (because the background check failed) and abide by the legal guidelines of the FCRA and EEOC.

The employer should also provide the candidate a copy of the background check, as well as the company’s information that conducted the background check. Furthermore, the employer needs to notify the candidate that the decision was made by the employer and not the background check company. Carefully examine the document and strictly follow the rules when you decide to rescind a job offer after a background check.

(Video) What employment background checking companies don't want you to know.

NOTE: Job posting sites exist for those looking for candidates online. Many of the sites have a huge resume database.

Conclusion

Background checks serve a crucial role when hiring candidates. While they can reveal some negative hits or results and raise red flags, it doesn’t always mean a firm refusal for the candidate. You need to carefully examine what is legal and what is not and base your decisions using fair hiring policies and individualized assessments. If the employer decides to retract a job offer after a failed background check, the candidate should be notified with an adverse action notice.

FAQs

Can a company Ghost you after offer letter? ›

Ghosting is when there has been some positive direct engagement with a company and then they have dropped you and never spoken with you again. This can happen after email communication, a screening interview, a first interview, or subsequent follow up interviews. It may even happen to you after a verbal job offer.

Can I reject an offer after checking background? ›

Yes, you can.

Can a company withdraw a job offer after accepting? ›

Yes, but there could be legal consequences, so an attorney's advice should always be sought before rescinding the offer. Even if an employer has stated on all offers that employment is at will and can be terminated at any time, there is the concept of the employer making a "promise" of a job.

Can a job offer you a job and then decline? ›

Yes. Technically, anyone can turn down a job offer, back out of a job already started, or renege on an acceptance at any point. Most states operate with what is called “at will employment.” This means the employee and the employer are not in a binding contract.

Can a job hire you then fire you because of your background? ›

If the Employer Finds Something Negative in Your Background

Also, if the problem was caused by a medical condition, you can ask for a chance to show that you still can do the job. Sometimes it's legal for an employer not to hire you or to fire you because of information in your background, and sometimes it is illegal.

What is a red flag in a background check? ›

One of the most common red flags on a background check is inconsistency. If a background check for employment pulls up different information than what the candidate and their resume told you, you need to investigate the matter.

What happens if employment background check fails? ›

Usually, failing an employment screening will mean that you need to find a different job. An offense or red flag that leads to disqualification from one hiring process might not have the same impact everywhere. Some employers are more lenient and are willing to give candidates second chances.

Is background check after offer letter? ›

A background check usually comes at the end of the hiring process. Employers will typically conduct a background check before they're about to make an offer. They may be conducting a background check on a handful of candidates they're considering making an offer to.

Does an offer letter mean I got the job? ›

A job offer letter typically is sent after the offer is made over the phone or by email. But even at the point of offer letter receipt, the job offer isn't necessarily set in stone. Many companies set contingencies before employment begins, like a completed background check or drug screening.

Can a company reject my employment after I have accepted the offer letter? ›

In any company,recruitment is done on the basis of the manpower requirement. If you have been selected for a particular post in any company and they have issued an offer letter to you ,then ethically they can not reject the offer ,they had offered you.

Should I keep interviewing after accepting an offer? ›

Ideally, even interviewing after accepting a job offer is not a great thing to do. However, sometimes it is unavoidable. There is no right or wrong way about it, but you need to think through all the possibilities before you make the decision.

Can a company change their mind after offering you a job? ›

An employer can withdraw a job offer if the conditions of the offer are not met. For example, if your references show you might not be able to do the job. You can ask an employer why they have withdrawn a conditional job offer. An employer does not have to tell you the reason.

How often are job offers rescinded? ›

There are no clear-cut statistics on the number of jobs employers rescind, and we can only say that layoffs and discharges were at 21.7 million in 2019. Annual hires were 70 million in 2019, but no data shows how many job offers went out and got reversed before the workers started.

Does an offer letter mean I got the job? ›

A job offer letter typically is sent after the offer is made over the phone or by email. But even at the point of offer letter receipt, the job offer isn't necessarily set in stone. Many companies set contingencies before employment begins, like a completed background check or drug screening.

What is the process after getting offer letter? ›

You accepted verbally but you also want to put it in writing. Whether you send an email or a letter formally accepting a job offer, it's important to restate the final offer details and express enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity. Ask if there's anything needed from you prior to the start date.

What do you do when a recruiter ghost you? ›

So join us below.
  1. Follow up with your recruiter but don't spam their inbox. Send a simple and polite email to the recruiter. ...
  2. Learn your lesson and move on. Analyze the process and bounce back. ...
  3. Don't take it personally. Understand that recruiters receive thousands of applications for a single position.
29 Aug 2022

Should I follow up after signing contract? ›

If the hiring manager doesn't reach out in an email or send you an employment contract to sign, you may want to send a follow-up email. This can help you confirm your employment and learn additional information about the position. Consider sending a follow-up email one or two business days after your interview.

When should you walk away from a job offer? ›

1. The Salary Isn't Right. Obviously, you need to make ends meet and, ideally, you'd like to do more than barely cover your bills each month. But if the salary isn't enough to cover your basic expenses and you've tried to negotiate a higher salary without any luck, it's probably a good idea to walk away.

When can a company withdraw a job offer? ›

A proposal may be revoked at any time before the communication of its acceptance is complete as against the proposer, but not afterwards." The job offer once accepted becomes a basic legal contract between you and your new employer and when your employer withdraws that offer then it falls under 'Breach of Contract'.

Can a company reject my employment after I have accepted the offer letter? ›

In any company,recruitment is done on the basis of the manpower requirement. If you have been selected for a particular post in any company and they have issued an offer letter to you ,then ethically they can not reject the offer ,they had offered you.

Is background check after offer letter? ›

A background check usually comes at the end of the hiring process. Employers will typically conduct a background check before they're about to make an offer. They may be conducting a background check on a handful of candidates they're considering making an offer to.

Can an employer change your offer letter after employment? ›

Key Takeaways. Employers can rescind job offers for almost any reason unless that reason is discriminatory, e.g., based on disability, gender, race, etc. There can be legal consequences for employers for revoking an offer.

Why do recruiters go silent? ›

Potential causes of recruiter ghosting

Hiring managers and departments might disagree about what they're looking for in a candidate. They could not have full approval from leadership before posting the position. Their company might freeze the hiring process to focus on a more immediate concern or crisis.

Do recruiters let you know you didn't get the job? ›

Yet it's very common for companies to not notify applicants when they are rejected for a job. In fact, you might even interview with the employer and never hear back.

Why do recruiters ask if you have other offers? ›

Interviewers ask a variety of questions to potential candidates to determine whether they're a good fit for a job. Asking whether you're interviewing with other companies allows an interviewer to learn whether you're a competitive candidate with other job options currently available.

What happens if you accept a job offer and then get another one? ›

While it may be considered the ethical choice to stick with your the original job offer, you have every right to take back your acceptance if you're hired as an at-will employee. If you signed a contract, check the fine print to look for stipulations about rescinding your acceptance.

Should you keep interviewing after accepting a job? ›

Ideally, even interviewing after accepting a job offer is not a great thing to do. However, sometimes it is unavoidable. There is no right or wrong way about it, but you need to think through all the possibilities before you make the decision.

How long does it take for HR to approve a job offer? ›

There is no fixed rule or standard for how long this process can take. It can be anywhere from a few days to weeks or even over a month. One way to find out how long it will take for HR to approve a job offer is to do some research online on previous employees who may have disclosed this information.

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