Running a background check is one of the most important things you can do when hiring a new employee—it is one of the only ways that a business can protect itself from bad employees. However, you may struggle to weed out the bad candidates from the good ones. The best way to do so is to look for the common red flags on a background check.

Poor Employment History

One of the signs of a potentially poor worker is a bad work history. Many people take time away from work, and sickness and job changes are common reasons for breaks. However, multiple long breaks from any work can warrant some questions.

Criminal Records

A criminal past is a very major red flag, especially when the crime relates to the workplace. Thievery and assault point out major issues in potential employees. However, you shouldn’t weigh all crimes the same, and there may be very good reasons for these charges. Also, do not hold old crimes against someone; take the time that has passed since the crime into account.

Credit History

The credit history of an individual may illustrate their character, especially when the job position deals with finances. You want to ensure someone that is responsible, and a good credit score does indicate responsibility.

Lying on Their Resume

The biggest red flags that you will see on a background check are contradictions from what the employee said on their resume. Lies about where they worked and what level of education they have are major issues. Therefore, you should prioritize getting employment verification forms. Lying is a major sign of a bad employee, and you should take it seriously.

These are the most common red flags on a background check that you need to keep an eye on. Take each one seriously and in context. Still, above all else, listen to your gut—after all, you will have to work with whoever you hire.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.