Software for the finest computer – The Mind


Posted by Tim Bryce on October 22, 2014


– Something for young people; describing the types of checks an employer will perform.

To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

It used to be, if you wanted a job you would simply complete an application form, attach your resume, come in for an interview, and you would either be selected or dropped from consideration. Case closed. However, due to our litigious society and hyperactive Human Resource (HR) Departments, it is no longer that simple. In fact, it can be a downright painful process. Aside from the application and interview, there are typically seven types of background checks to verify your credentials:

EMPLOYMENT CHECK – to verify the past jobs you have held. HR will ask for references, but this is something typically not offered anymore as it might lead to a lawsuit. For example, if the job candidate is said to be a good worker by his previous employer, but turns out to be a dud, the former employer could be sued for false representation. Conversely, if they say the candidate is bad, they could be sued for character assassination. Consequentially, companies rarely offer references anymore, just verification of employment, including the dates they worked and the job titles they held.

ACADEMIC CHECK – falsifying academic records for the purpose of employment is a crime, and companies take this very seriously. I knew a classmate who falsified his college records and was caught. This cost his dearly, not only in terms of crime and punishment, but in prestige among the members of our class. It it embarrassing, and it is just plain wrong.

CRAFT CHECK – sometimes it is necessary to demonstrate the knowledge of your craft. For example, if you are a programmer, you may be asked to take a technical test to verify your knowledge and demonstrate your skills. If you are a technical writer, you might be asked to solve a test case. Even if you have certification or a degree in a particular subject, be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK – Now it gets interesting. Most medium to large companies today perform a criminal background check. When interviewing, do not lie about your checkered past as it will surely come to light. Discuss your problems of the past frankly and openly. The doors will not always close in your face for a past indiscretion, but the company definitely wants to know about it.

DRUG CHECK – Many companies today insist on a drug free work environment, not to mention alcohol as well. Consequently, you will likely be asked to pass a drug test, not just before being hired, but as an on-going program within the company. Look, it’s simple; do not come to work stoned or drunk.

CREDIT CHECK – Companies often run a credit check on new employees, just to see how well they manage finances. A low credit rating could detect a potential problem and risk to the company, hence another reason to manage your finances.

SOCIAL MEDIA CHECK – This is the one check most young people overlook. What you post on social media (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) will be reviewed by your employer. If there are some risqué photos or comments on your site, remove them now. If you have photos or videos showing tattoos that might offend people, eliminate them. This category alone is the most overlooked by young people and probably the greatest threat to a candidate being hired. Even after you have been hired, if you post pictures of a drunken party you were at over the weekend, you can expect a phone call on Monday. If you cannot project a dignified image on social media, do not do it. Also, do not try to use an alias as someone will eventually find out.

Regardless if today’s application process seems like overkill, this is the world we now live in. It’s true, HR has become an obnoxious bureaucracy, but these checks are designed to minimize the chances for a company to be sued. So you can thank the lawyers as well.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at

For Tim’s columns, see:

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

NEXT UP:  100 WATTS GOES A LONG WAY – How tiny WZIG-FM in Palm Harbor is conquering the airwaves, and presenting our area to the world.


  – Why it is necessary to learn industrial history.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern), and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.



  1. You know Tim… I have seen all this HR crap (I think they are into job creation for themselves) and really believe they are responsible for much or most of the unemployment problems and woes we are experiencing throughout North America. You can say to a panhandler on the street, “Look over there on that store window, they are looking for help… go get a job”, but maybe they haven’t got the $30 (in Canada) to get a police check… they haven’t got credit because they don’t have a job, hell they won’t even have a bank account!

    I have never asked for a job… I have been asked to join companies because I have shown my work ethic and made myself attractive to companies from past performance, which in sales is usually quite traceable… you either perform or you don’t. It may have helped that I played music for money since I was 12 years old and although I know I am far from the best performer around… so are the musicians that ask me to join a band. At 14 or 15 years old, I had at least 4 tuxedos so I looked the part too… look at the average player in a bar or club today… sloppy blue jeans, running shoes and a T-shirt with some lewd remark on it… getting paid zip and working seldom and whining a lot. I have never depended on music for a living (much) and had always been paid well up until the crap started all over with slovenliness, DJ’s, “campfire singers with an “out-of-tune guitar”, jam sessions and later things like karaoke… today those things rule. I still play regularly at 72, I still dress respectably for the people, keep my equipment in good shape and looking good (I play drums). attend any rehearsals on time and ready, set up well before a gig and remove my equipment after “schmoozing” with any attendees that care to talk or sometimes even the next day which of course means another trip. I don’t make a lot here in Mexico except when you compare it to minimum wage… and doing that I make a lot more than my compadres north of the borders.

    I watched “casual Fridays” turn into casual every days, this “business casual” with a suit and a dress shirt opened at the collar tells me one thing and one thing only… the guy doesn’t know how to tie a tie… it looks sloppy!… they even have “casual formal” now with open shirts and cuffs out over the bottom of the sleeves… nice tuxedo and formal shirt gone to hell in a hand cart. You use to see shoe shine places all over… not much anymore because they can’t shine running shoes and ugly sandals or worse yet, flip flops. Whatever happened that men stopped wearing proper shoes? And a quick check of common etiquette will show you that a man should NEVER expose his “ugly bare feet” in public… the geeks who wear socks and sandals are ahead of them. Look at the guys who do wear shoes and don’t wear socks!… what is with that ridiculous “style”.

    And seeing as you are a Mason as well Tim… the way guys show up in a lot of Lodges anymore is absolutely ugly… AND somebody has allowed this all to happen!

    If I offend anyone here it is completely intentional and hope it jars someone to wake up and smell the roses.

    By the way… I have never done a resume AND I never will… that is crap too.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: