News & Resources

Credit checks help employers assess responsibility of applicants

Aug 18, 2012 Quinn Thomas

Individuals currently in the process of applying for jobs may have noticed a growing number of employers conducting consumer credit checks. However, while applicants may gamely give consent, some may wonder why a business owner needs this information. Performing a credit check on potential employees could involve preventative and security reasons. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that many businesses want this information to protect against possible theft or embezzlement, as applicants in a large amount of debt or financial straits may be deemed a greater risk. But there are other areas of a consumer credit check that attract businesses' attention. For example, the newspaper notes that many owners will look at an applicant's tax liens to check for indications of negligence. "If you have any liens on property because of back taxes due, that shows up on your credit report. For some employers, this may indicate irresponsibility," the Post-Gazette states. "A potential employer might also think you're irresponsible if you have a foreclosure or bankruptcy on the report." However, while these factors are important for employers to consider, a recent study suggests they may not hold as much as sway as supposed. Compared to two years ago, more employers are willing to hire applicants with less-than perfect credit, the Society for Human Resource Management revealed.