What Does Eligible Mean on a Background Check?

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Posted by: David Garcia February 08, 2023

Background checks are investigations of potential hires. These investigations can be time-consuming and expensive for the hiring company. Many companies outsource this process to a third party or conduct bulk checks.

The results of this pre-employment screening will allow hiring managers to determine whether a candidate is eligible for a position. But hiring managers can determine eligibility to mean different things depending on the job, industry, and even the findings on an applicant’s report.

This guide will help you navigate the eligible status codes and how to navigate different findings on the consumer report.

What Does an Eligible Status Code Mean on a Background Check?

Background checks are important for many reasons, including protecting the public and ensuring that individuals are not involved in criminal activity. When a screening confirms that a candidate is “Eligible,” it means that the person can continue participating in the hiring process.

The process of conducting a background check can vary depending on the company or organization that has requested the check. However, most checks will involve a questionnaire filled out by the individual in question.

Background screening reports will indicate their findings using several status codes. The codes denote eligibility or show how the verification process is progressing.

Two of the most common codes are R1 and R2, which appear when the screening has revealed a mark on a person’s background check. Other codes, such as “decisional,” help hiring managers track the background check progress.

Factors That Determine Eligibility on a Background Check

Many factors determine background check eligibility, varying between organizations and individual job requirements.

The most common factors include an applicant’s criminal, financial, and employment history. Verifications for education, professional certifications, or licensing are also common. 

Criminal History

Criminal history is crucial because it can indicate if the person is a potential danger to the public and the company. It will also show if the applicant is subject to certain restrictions due to criminal activity, such as being barred from working in the financial sector or being unable to work around children. 

In some industries or positions, background checks may impact a person’s eligibility. For example, any position in education may involve more rigorous background screening requirements for high-risk offenders. These safeguards are in place for positions that involve working around minors, the elderly, or vulnerable populations.

Financial History

A financial history screening that covers the credit report allows employers to see if a candidate can pay their bills and maintain a healthy financial status.

Financial history is most common for applicants interested in high-level jobs where a poor financial status may make the candidate more vulnerable to bribery, fraud, theft, or other risks. It’s also a requirement for all jobs in the financial sector. In these cases, a personal history of bankruptcy can be a disqualifying factor.

Employment History

Employment is also vital because it can indicate if the person is a good fit. It should show the applicant’s experience and job performance and may suggest their retention potential.

For example, an individual’s employment history showing a short-term serial pattern may be less likely to stay with the new company long term. The hiring company could decide that the risk does not outweigh the expense of continuing the background check and hiring.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Pending Result Mean on a Background Check?

A pending result means that the background check is still being processed and is not yet complete. If an account has displayed this code for a while, it may mean the company has been unable to reach one of the references or has had trouble verifying the provided information. 

What Does Decisional Mean on a Background Check?

Decisional means that the screening flagged an item on the pre-employment check and requires the attention of the decision maker (often the HR representative, hiring manager, or supervisor). They consider all the factors covered in the background check and weigh them against the job requirements.

What Does Ineligible Mean on a Background Check?

Ineligible is a final decision that a screening provider or the final hiring manager may determine after the background check is complete. It means the person did not meet the stated requirements and is no longer under consideration for the job.

What Does an R1 Code Mean on a Background Check?

The R1 code indicates a minor issue on an applicant’s background check. It is not an automatic disqualification. It means the results require additional input from the first-level or hiring manager. Usually, employers ask the applicant to fill out a supplemental questionnaire about the finding for the manager to review.

What Does an R2 Code Mean on a Background Check?

The R2 code indicates the background check pulled up an issue that a higher authority will need to investigate further and clear. Usually, the applicant calls a phone number supplied by the background check company and answers specific questions. An HR representative will review the recording to determine eligibility.

Final Thoughts

Background checks protect the public and the company by ensuring an individual is qualified. However, background checks often require a lot of time and effort. 

ScoutLogic can save your company time and money with targeted and bulk background checks. We’ll work with you to tailor our approach to your company’s needs. Contact ScoutLogic today for more details.

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