Are you a job candidate with questions about your background check? We’ve got answers!
Sterling Candidate FAQs
Candidates are at the heart of our business. We want your Sterling background check to be both a positive and seamless experience. Please refer to the following information to help address questions that may arise during the background screening process.
Not a candidate? See Customer FAQs here.
I’ve received a Public Records Notice, what do I need to do?
No action is needed from you. The notification was sent to you for informational purposes.
Why did I receive a Public Records Notice?
You received this notification because the background check that is being performed on you may include public records. Common examples of public records are professional license verifications, driving records, court records of criminal and/or civil cases, and sanctions searches.
If I’ve received a Public Records Notice does it mean there’s negative information in my report?
Receiving a Public Records Notice does not necessarily mean there’s negative information in your report; there may or may not be depending upon what information is returned. The sole purpose of this notice is to inform you that a background check of public information records is being prepared.
Why did I receive multiple Public Record Information Notices?
You received more than one letter because the company you authorized to run a background check has initiated more than one report on you. The most common reason for initiating more than one report is a progressive background screening program in which different parts of the background check are ordered in stages. You also could receive more than one letter if you have recently authorized more than one company that utilizes Sterling services to run a background check.
What type of information is included in a background check?
Every employer has specific background screening requirements based on their industry, regulations, type of positions they hire for, etc. Most employment background checks include a criminal record search to determine if the candidate has been convicted of a crime. Other common requirements may include: past education and employment history, driving records, verification of professional licenses, and drug testing.
How long does it take to complete my background check?
Most U.S. employment background checks are completed within a week, but there can be extenuating circumstances that cause delays in the process. The most common delays are related to court closures or unresponsiveness by past employers or academic institutions.
Will I get hired if I have a criminal record?
Every company has their own hiring criteria, but generally the mere presence of a conviction will not exclude you from being hired. Usually, the employer will conduct an individual analysis before determining eligibility for employment.
How do I prepare for my background check?
Before a prospective employer or staffing agency starts your background check, you’ll need to sign a written authorization permitting them to run a background check. While every company has specific background screening criteria, you’ll most likely be asked for your current address, date of birth, and social security number. Other information often requested is your driver’s license number, educational background (institution attended, dates attended, degree earned, etc.), and past employment history (name of former employers, dates of employment and starting and ending salary).
What should I do if I can’t remember every detail about my past employment or education?
Try to provide as much accurate information as possible. We will compare the information you provide with the information the past employer or academic institution provides.
Are employers required to share the results of my background check with me?
If any information found in your background check is under consideration in your employment decision, the employer must provide you written notice prior to a final decision. This allows you 5-10 business days, depending upon your state, to dispute the findings. Your report includes this notice as well as the Federal and State Summary of Your Rights. In some states, the employer is required to provide a copy of your background check if you request a copy.
Can my employer share the results of my background check with another employer?
No. The results of your background check cannot be shared with a third party unless you have specifically provided authorization to do so. An example where this might occur is if you are being hired by a staffing agency on behalf of one of their clients.
Will an expunged record show up on my background check?
If an expunged record (a record that is officially sealed by a judge) is properly filed with a court, it should not be reported.
Will juvenile records show up on my background check?
No. We do not search juvenile courts for juvenile records.
Will someone contact me if there’s a problem with my background check?
If we need additional information from you, you’ll hear from either the employer requesting the background check or us directly.
How do I dispute the results of my background check?
We’re happy to address your concerns. Please call us at 888.889.5248 between 8 AM - 8 PM EST.
How do I request a free copy of my background check?
If Sterling has prepared a consumer report or investigative consumer report in your name, as per the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act, you are entitled to a free copy of the completed report during each 12-month period. To receive a free copy of the report(s) in your file, please fill in our online contact form or call us at 888.889.5248 between 8 AM - 8 PM EST.
Does Sterling make the hiring decision based on the outcome of my background check?
No. Sterling is never responsible for making a hiring decision. We simply provide the information we find to our clients for them to determine eligibility for employment.
What do I bring to a drug test?
First, make sure you have the proper address for the collection center you chose or was assigned to you. You’ll need to bring a legal proof of identity such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport, military ID, or green card. At the facility, you’ll be asked to follow the center’s specific instructions.
How long does it take to complete my drug test?
Most drug test results are completed in three to seven days.
How do you protect my privacy?
Sterling respects the privacy of our online visitors, employees, clients, and clients’ employees and candidates. We aim to collect, use, disclose, and retain personal information in accordance with your expectations and the law. You can find full details of our privacy practices in the our privacy statement.
What if I am or believe that I am a victim of identity theft?
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you specific rights when you are, or believe that you are, the victim of identity theft. A brief summary of the rights designed to help you recover from identity theft can be found here. A summary of your rights to place a security freeze on your credit report can be found here. You may also find additional resources here.