What Does a Red Flag Mean on Your Background Check?

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To represent and run a company, the best of the best is expected. Hiring a new employee can be tough, and the inclusion of running a background check as part of the hiring procedure can make it even harder. While nobody’s record is likely to be perfect, factual troubles will cause managers to count a candidate out.

What composes a red flag can vary by company and position, but the most common red flags are criminal records, discrepancies, and derogatory marks. Understanding all the common red flags on background checks, and how they encompass a candidate’s qualifications, will help you hire the best person for the job and your company.

There are considerable background check red flags to look out for. Any one of them may indicate that you should opt for a different candidate.

#1 Multiple Intervals of Unemployment

Gaps in career aren’t uncommon, and several employees may have periods of unemployment on their resumes. Individuals may have made a career change, fallen ill, or taken time off to look after a loved one. If unemployment seems to be a pattern in the candidate’s history, however, you may need to explore further. Multiple gaps in employment could imply that the candidate is tough to work with, unpredictable, or otherwise struggles to keep a job.


#2 Considerable Short-Lived Jobs

Similar to having multiple periods of unemployment, somebody with many short-lived jobs could also cause concern. While seasonal or abrupt jobs are perfectly fine and incredible for earning experience someone who continuously moves from job to job perhaps won’t work well for your firm. It could signal that they were fired or compelled to resign, or that they get easily bored or unhappy with their role. You want your firms to invest in dependable, more enduring employees, and this category of a candidate is far less likely to fulfill those goals.


#3 Inconsistency in Experience or Education

One of the most frequent red flags on a background check is inconsistency. If a background check pulls up varied evidence than what the candidate and their resume told you, you want to examine the matter. While many job applicants embellish their resumes to make themselves sound as promising as possible, the minute these exaggerations turn fraudulent, you must move with caution. Even if they have the right qualifications in other areas, this insight into their nature demands significant consideration going forward.

#4 Missing Past Jobs

While fabricated experience on a resume is wrong, the opposite should also inflict concern. Applicants need to put their best selves forth when job searching, but the absence of any applicable jobs signifies they may wish to hide something about those positions. Your potential employee might have a justification for the missing evidence, but it’s also a fair idea to follow up with these past positions to get as much data as possible.

#5 Criminal Record

Probably the most crucial part of any background screening check is verifying a candidate’s criminal history. Arrests don’t certainly equal convictions, and years-old or minor incidents might barely be a conclusion of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. While criminal history findings like these might not be deal-breakers in and of themselves, if the candidate lies about them in an application or interview, you should think twice about assigning them. A forthright candidate and one who takes the time to clarify the situation exhibits more trustworthiness than one who lies about their records.

#6 Job-Relevant Convictions

While minor convictions or incidents that occurred years ago might not certainly be red flags, keep in mind how a candidate’s criminal record could affect the job at hand. How a past crime influences the job and company is far more critical than when it took place and how serious the sentence was.

#7 Failed Drug Tests

You may instruct to request a drug test if the position implicates operating machinery, driving, or carrying out any activities that expect the employee to be free from the influence of drugs and alcohol. A failed drug test is essential, as it could infer that the candidate may put your clients or other employees at risk.

#8 Social Media

Another means to realize a candidate’s identity is to have a look at the social media profiles. Whereas it’s an unethical business strategy to rule out someone based on political beliefs, you may like to opt for a different application if you find a candidate has questionable values or is posting hate speech. This could protect your company from trouble in the future.

#9 Poor Credit History

A credit check isn’t essential for many background screenings, but any position that deals with finances should pertain to one. Keep in mind that a candidate’s poor credit might have resulted from other life events, such as divorce or death, and it might not influence their proficiency to do their job. However, if you plan to hire for a job that employs handling money, you want to stay wary of applicants who battle with debts and loans.

#10 Refusing a Check

If during the application or interview technique, a candidate calmly and honestly answers any questions about their criminal, financial, or employment history, that might reflect they’re a competent and dependable employee to hire. On the other hand, if someone lies about their past, or simply denies the information on a background check, they may be hiding something worse than what you originally expected. You want trustworthy, reliable people working for you and your company, and someone who strives to hide relevant parts of their background even if they only lie about minor problems is probably not a decent fit for the job.

#11 Bad References

References contribute a great way to learn more about a potential employee’s personality and work ethic, and speaking with former employers can skillfully confirm the experience. When calling past employers, you may also hear a negative response about your candidate. It’s vital to keep in mind that bad reviews can come from misunderstandings, personal issues, or varied situations that the candidate can’t control. However, if the same negative impressions keep coming up, you should take that into account when assuming how this potential employee will fit in this job and work environment.


As with all things, you need to have as much information as possible and consider any context or justifications you have for these red flags. Millow helps you to realize more about a candidate’s history or background verification which will help you make a better, and more conscious decision when it comes to hiring the exact person for the job.