Understanding The Purpose Of Background Checks

If you’re applying for a job for the first time, then you’ve probably come across this page trying to figure out what a background check is all about.

Background checks are performed by most employers, to filter out undesirable and dishonest applicants. There are different levels to background checks in the United Kingdom, some stricter than others.

At the very basic level, a background check will check out against a police database to see whether you have any previous criminal convictions.

In this article, you will find out what the purpose of background checks are explained in detail:

Bad Character

The primary reason background checks are performed by employers is to see if their applicants are of previous bad character.

No business wants to hire somebody that can’t be trusted. The background checking service dbschecks.org.uk says that a background check can reveal the criminal record of an individual.

Unfortunately despite being required to by law, many former criminals don’t reveal their criminal records to employers.

Thankfully, these checks can uncover any unspent criminal convictions.

Higher levels of background checks like those performed by the police, security services, and the government will also uncover spent convictions.


As was mentioned in the previous point, background checks eliminate dishonest candidates.

If a candidate is willing to change it and lie about their criminal convictions in the hope that you might not perform a background check, then they shouldn’t be hired.

While each case should be judged individually and a person’s criminal convictions shouldn’t necessarily hold them back from certain jobs, if a person has lied about their convictions, then they should be immediately disqualified.

Dishonesty isn’t a quality that any employer wants their employees to exhibit.

Background checks allow employers to root out dishonest people from the very beginning.


Background checks also include references from previous employers.

The purpose of this is to find out whether you were a good employee, during your time working for another employer.

If you weren’t and you didn’t work at all, your previous employer will tell the person that you’ve applied to work with and you probably won’t get the job.

They’ll also be able to gauge your experience by speaking to your former employers.

A lot of people include false references on job applications, but this isn’t advisable. In today’s digital age, there’s very little that you can actually get away with.


Background checks will also check an applicant’s educational background.

There have been several high-profile cases in the United Kingdom where people who lied about their educational history to secure jobs have been imprisoned or fired.

Because of this, it’s crucial that you’re honest about your qualifications. Any exaggerations or lies could be considered fraud, which can lead to you spending time in prison or at the very least having to pay a hefty fine.

Background checks are performed to allow employers to check out how qualified a person is for a role according to their educational background.

You’ll likely receive multiple background checks during your lifetime.

Once you’ve had one take place, you’ll know how they work moving forward. Background checks are nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide.