7 Red Flags You Should Watch Out for When Conducting Employee Background Checks

person assessing resumes

Share This Post


Hiring entry-level employees require you to learn how to hire millennials and Gen Z candidates. Since most of the entry-level workforce comprises individuals from the younger generation, you should know how to interact with them and entice them to become a part of your organization.

Common Problems to Encounter on Background Checks

When doing background checks, you are likely to encounter some red flags. Some of the common ones you should be on the lookout for are:

Multiple Gaps in Employment

Some periods of unemployment are common. Many individuals often have gaps in their employment history because of various reasons, such as career change, illness, and caregiving duties. If you see some gaps in the employment of a candidate, you shouldn’t be alarmed right away.

However, if periods of unemployment seem to be too common in an applicant’s history, you should be concerned. A pattern of unemployment may indicate problems with the candidate, especially their personality and work ethics.

You can support the results of your background check with the outcome of the candidate’s personality test. Through this assessment, you can determine if a candidate’s character is suitable for employment in your company. You can also use it to conclude if their gaps in employment are due to their personality or not.

Various Short-Term Jobs

You should also keep an eye out for several short-term jobs in an applicant’s resume—not including seasonal or temporary jobs. Individuals usually take on these kinds of employment to build their resumes and gain experience.

Instead, you should be wary when a candidate’s resume shows they often move from one job to another. This indicates that they will not work well for your company.

One of the reasons they often change jobs is they were fired or forced to resign because of their personality or lack of skills. To test this, you should provide them with a personality and skills test before offering them employment.

Their frequent job change may also mean that they easily get bored or unhappy with a job. Although this may be sometimes justified, you should look for a dependable applicant who can be more enduring and will not instantly leave your company when times get hard.


When doing a background check, look out for inconsistencies in the information provided by the applicant. If the information on a candidate’s resume does not match the data you find, you should investigate further. An applicant might fabricate information about their education, employment history, or the positions and duties they had to make themselves more appealing for hiring.

You should be wary of applicants who do such things. Although they might be qualified for the job, lying on their resume should provide you insight into their character.

Criminal Record

One of the most important parts of any background check is looking into a candidate’s criminal record. Although some incidents may not be deal-breakers, you should still know your employee’s criminal history. Doing so will allow you to avoid any responsibility should the individual commit a crime.

You should also beware if a candidate lies about their criminal record in a form or an interview. This means that if they can lie about something that big, they can lie about smaller things as well to preserve their image.

credit card

Poor Credit History

If the open position in your company deals with finances, you should do a credit check on your applicants. This is to determine who among your candidates are struggling with debts and loans.

Individuals who are deep in debt or have unpaid loans most often do not have the skills to handle their finances. Therefore, you cannot trust them to fulfill the same duty for your company. However, you should keep in mind that an applicant’s poor credit may be caused by unexpected life events, such as an illness or death in the family.

For more information and inquiries about online personality tests, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

man, men, hand

Bad References

One of the assessments you conduct for hiring is an integrity test. This test allows you to see whether an applicant is a trustworthy and truthful individual or not. Although the results of this assessment may provide you with a glimpse of a person’s integrity, it’s still best to learn more about a candidate’s character from their past employers.

You might hear some negative feedback when you call an applicant’s reference. Keep in mind that these bad reviews may be caused by misunderstandings, personal issues, and other instances that the candidate can’t control. However, if the same negative reviews about the applicant keep coming up, you should take note of it.

Background Check Refusal

Background checks are important for employment because they provide more insights into an employee’s personality, education, and experience than any kind of test. That is why you should be wary of applicants who refuse to have their backgrounds checked.

Even if they calmly answer the questions in an interview or skills test related to their employment experience, you should still be cautious if they refuse a background check. This might mean that they weren’t fully truthful in their answers and are hiding something from you.

Conduct Background Checks Wisely

Screen applicants thoroughly by doing background checks before welcoming them to your organization. Ensure to look out for the red flags listed above to guarantee an efficient background check process.

If you want to ensure the effectiveness of your background checks, it’s best to work with the experienced team we have at Aptitude. You can count on us for top-notch background check and screening services to help your company thrive. Contact us today for more information.

I’m In! What Do I Do Next?

We make it easy for you to hire the right people and build talent within your organization.

Contact us today to improve your selection and recruitment process.