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How to survive a background check

Q. Hi Kim. I love your show. After almost a year of being out of work, it looks like I'll be starting a new job next week. They're putting me through a background check right now. I don't have anything to hide, but I worry that the check might unearth information that is wrong or has nothing to with the job itself. What is included in a background check?
- Ken of Brunswick, GA, listens to my national radio show on WGIG 1440 AM

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A. Great question, Ken. Thanks for listening to the show, and congratulations on your new job.

Most people would be amazed at what a background check can turn up. I know, because I hire a lot of people, and I'm amazed! Before I get into the details about background checks, let's talk about why so many employers now require pre-employment screening.

In tough economic times. many job applicants resort to embellishing their resumes, to put it as kindly as possible. Additionally, did you know that employers can be sued for negligent hiring? Neither did I, until the company I use for background checking explained it to me.

It makes sense: If an employee isn't vetted and ends up hurting another employee or a customer, the employer may very well end up paying a judgment based on their poor decision to hire that person. You just can't hire someone based on a gut instinct and a handshake anymore.

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