What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check: Good & Bad News

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 28, 2024

What does consider mean on a background check a man wonders while holding a magnifying glass to a large computer screen that shows a background check result of consider, with a question mark over his head.

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A background check has several statuses which can cause many people to ask, what does consider mean on a background check? Is a ‘consider’ status good or bad news?

A ‘consider’ status can mean two things. First, ‘consider’ means that an applicant did not meet a particular qualification in their driving record during a Motor Vehicle Record search. Second, it may mean that the information appearing after an employment background screening should be reviewed by the hiring manager before handing out the position.

The good news is that a ‘consider’ status does not automatically disqualify a candidate, while the bad news is that the background check report contains information that needs to be verified. To ensure that a background check will be clear for approval, one of the fastest ways to do so is to get a criminal background check done first. By running a level 1 background check , anyone can identify issues that may cause problems and take steps to fix your background check so that a consider status won’t be an issue.

So, what does consider mean on a background check? The following guide explains the term “consider,” when it’s used, and all the ways it can impact your background check results, as well as the other status results that show up on background check reports.

Good News: What Does It Mean When It Says Consider on a Background Check?

Professional services that conduct background checks often award statuses to the reports, and ‘consider’ is just one of them. This status indicates that there is some information on the report that the hiring manager needs to evaluate.1

In most cases, this information contains Motor Vehicle Report violations or criminal records that do not meet the required criteria.

US Governemnt daily federal register screenshot showing a rule of the motor carrier safety adminsitration with a yellow arrow pinting to the linked content.

Sometimes, the report may also contain education or employment credentials that do not match the information submitted in the resume or application form. It’s important to note that a ‘consider’ status does not necessarily mean the applicant is disqualified from engagement or employment.

What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check: The Short Answer

Instead, it alerts the hiring manager to review specific information before hiring the affected candidate.

Whether an applicant is hired depends solely on the company’s standards and the hiring manager. The terms and conditions that affect the hiring process vary from employer to employer. A hiring manager’s decision is based on company laws, regulations, and policies that govern the process. Items marked ‘consider’ in a background check only help make the decision.

The final word comes from the person responsible for hiring.

Bad News: What Does a Consider Status Mean?

The aim of conducting a background check for employment is to eliminate any liability that an applicant may bring to the company. Certain crimes make a candidate ineligible for a position. For example, a person with a poor credit history may often be disqualified from employment in the financial sector or the government. An employment background check examines:

  • Employment history
  • Education credentials and certification
  • Credit history
  • Criminal history

What does consider mean in a background check? If one component does not meet the standard criteria for the company, the professional service conducting the screening will mark it under ‘consider’ status. Therefore, this status is used on background check information that violates company law, regulations, and policies.

As a result, a ‘consider’ status is generally not good as it works against the applicant.2

The hiring manager and applicant wish for a smooth hiring process, but this is sometimes impossible. Once a pre-employment background check reveals information violating company policy, the hiring manager should rescind the applicant’s employment offer.

However, this is not the end of the road for the applicant. The law does not allow employers to revoke employment offers without notice. Once an employer has reviewed the information under ‘consider’ status, they must adhere to the adverse action process if they wish to rescind their job offer. This process has the following three steps.

Pre-Adverse Action

The employer will decline the candidate’s application if the information under the ‘consider’ status is incriminating. The employer is required by law to give the applicant a written notice of a pre-adverse action letter stating why they are not qualified for the position.

The purpose of pre-adverse action is to alert the candidate that the information uncovered in the pre-employment background screening disqualifies them from the job. The candidate will receive a pre-adverse action letter, a background check report, and a copy of their rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.10

Once applicants receive the pre-adverse action letter, they are advised to act immediately. The law allows them to contest the information provided in the background check report.

Waiting Period

The FCRA mandates that the employer waits for a reasonable period before giving out the official adverse action letter, often a week or more. The main objective of the waiting period is to provide the candidate with enough time to defend themselves, highlight any inaccurate information, and plead their case. If the candidates are lucky enough, they may be able to convince the hiring manager to move forward with their application in spite of the background check information.

Adverse Action

An employer will send an adverse action notice if they decide to terminate the application despite the candidate’s response. The law allows employers to withdraw their job offer because of background check results.3 The manager administers this withdrawal through an adverse action notice which contains:

  • A summary of the applicant’s FCRA rights
  • Notice of adverse action
  • Contact information for the Consumer Reporting Agency that gave the report
  • A notice indicating that the employer is solely responsible for the decision and not the CRA

Solution 1: Run a Background Check

The first step is to know the process of running a records check on yourself. Evidently, the information found in a background check significantly impacts a person’s employment status. As such, it’s important to make sure that all the information available is perfectly correct. Running a background check on yourself will promote peace of mind and successful job hunting.

It’s imperative to check personal public records to ensure that the disclosed details are accurate and complete. The checking will also help the applicant know what kind of personal information future employers will uncover during a screening.

Second, candidates should double-check their social media accounts when applying for a job and remove any controversial, inappropriate, or offensive comments. Generally, the applicant should delete any post that they don’t want any potential manager to see.

Third, the applicant should investigate what the current state allows to be included in a background check for employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)11 and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)12 provide federal regulations restricting employers from accessing and using certain information during background screening.

Fourth, an applicant should conduct a background check regularly. Anyone with something incriminating on their record should search again after seven years. State and federal regulations limit the period when convictions appear on a person’s record.

Criminal Background Check Options

The most crucial step when conducting a background screening is to run a criminal background check on yourself. This is a very important step because most employment background checks focus primarily on a candidate’s criminal history. The candidate will need to set enough time to conduct the check because it will involve looking into multiple information sources.

A ‘consider’ status mostly appears on the results because of information located on the criminal record.

Screenshot of US Courts portal with yellow arrow pointing to court records access menu item.

Candidates can find their personal public information through:

  • Departments of public safety (Dept of Motor Vehicles)
  • State police
  • Local police departments
  • Court Clerks’ offices
  • State Bureau of Investigation
  • FBI

Alternatively, the applicant can pay a small fee to a background check company to receive a consumer report. This method is the preferred alternative because the applicant will receive the same information that a potential employer will access. These agencies conduct some of the most comprehensive background checks out there.

As such, they take most of the investigation burden from the applicant.

Solution 2: Check for Disqualifying Offenses

Reviewing a background check is not always black and white. The discretion of the manager determines certain grey areas. Even so, some offenses translate to an automatic no and remove a person from the recommended list.

Hiring managers can either use a level 1 records check or a level 2 check which brings up different results. The latter is more intensive than the former, and it’s important to know which background check a hiring manager will use. A background check will consider several criteria. They include:

Criminal History

A person’s criminal history is a major deciding factor on whether they get the job. Factors that are put under ‘consider’ status include:

  • Outstanding charges
  • Convictions (this includes arrests without conviction)
  • Recent arrest
  • Pending court case or charges
  • Dismissed charges

A person’s criminal record is delicate, and it may contain some bias, such as records of when a person was falsely arrested or convicted. A criminal record is a significant determining factor for employers. If it’s a choice between two people and one has something on their record, they will be automatically disqualified.

A criminal record brings into question a person’s morals and character. Employers don’t want to have a liability in their company. Even though a spotty criminal record impacts a candidate’s ability to land a job, employers must treat criminal information with an unbiased point of view.

As a result, applicants may be given a chance to defend themselves and create an open relationship with the employer.

False Credentials

Some people embellish credentials to make themselves more employable. This is one of the main reasons why employers conduct background checks. In this case, the hiring manager will use social security background checks to confirm some previous employment claims.

Dishonesty is a major disqualifying factor in the hiring process. Anyone who lies about their identity, experience, and past will automatically fail a background check.4 A pre-employment screening will uncover a person’s employment and education history, as well as other certifications.

Unreliable References

References are very important because they help verify an applicant’s credibility, personality, character, and experience. If references speak poorly about the applicant, the employer will refrain from taking on the liability. When conducting a background check on yourself, remember to reach out to your references to avoid getting a poor review on the next job application.

Failed Drug Tests

Some background checks may include drug tests, especially for those applying for technical work. A failed drug test will usually result in automatic dismissal. An employee who uses illegal drugs will put the company and the workers in danger, and employers do not want to take that risk.

Inconsistencies in Education, Work Experience, Unemployment, and Multiple Short-Term Jobs

A background check will involve performing due diligence checks on an applicant’s history to determine the missing gaps in internships, jobs, or education. Additionally, an intensive background check can help find someone’s employment history.

A history of multiple positions in a short time will be put under ‘consider’ status. This kind of history portrays an applicant as an unreliable, poor, and uncooperative worker. Since the hiring process is costly, no employer wants to invest in someone who will leave after a short while.

Similarly, long periods of unemployment may require an applicant to explain before hiring. Though this isn’t always a disqualifying offense, employers need to know that they can rely on a potential employee.

Solution 3: Correct Errors and Criminal Records

Since criminal records are a huge determining factor, it is vital to learn how to remove a criminal record from the background check. Expungement is a general term that means removing criminal history information from public records. Applicants may undertake expungement to eliminate certain convictions (felonies and misdemeanors) from their public criminal history as long as they have served their sentence.

Expungement of Conviction and Arrest Records

Laws and regulations governing expungement differ from state to state. Record removal is restricted to a few felonies. For instance, violent crimes and sex crimes cannot be expunged in most states. An applicant must follow state guidelines regarding background checks and criminal records.

Some states require applicants to wait for a certain period before requesting to have their records removed. In other states, applicants may have to fulfill probation requirements before petitioning in court. Once the court expunges the records, the conviction and arrest information will not be available to the public.

An applicant should consult a qualified attorney if they need their records expunged. Records that pertain to dropped, dismissed, or never filed court charges are the simplest to delete.5 Convictions are a whole different matter. State laws determine eligibility for record expungement.

Additionally, many states enact ‘ban the box’ laws that require employers to consider applicants before conducting criminal background checks. These laws benefit applicants with low-level crime convictions such as drug possession and non-violent misdemeanors.

For states that do not have ‘ban the box’ laws, it’s still possible for applicants to petition for sealing or expungement through the court system.

Post-Conviction Relief

Besides sealing and expungement, several other types of post-conviction relief are available. They include:

  • Motions to vacate: This can be used in a case that involves a false conviction or accusation that violated a candidate’s constitutional right.
  • Guilty plea withdrawal: This is available to those who pleaded guilty due to coercion. For example, pleading guilty without an attorney present or when the prosecution threatens to increase charges upon losing trials.
  • Pardons: This helps get records erased or sealed from the court systems.

Consider Status Background Check

Company Background CheckWhat Does Consider Mean?
What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check DoorDashThe background check agency has processed the applicant’s background check, but the results need an additional internal review from DoorDash.
What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check UberUber is looking into the applicant’s application and background check.
What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check PostmatesPostmates uses Chekr for background checks. A consider status means that there is some information that the company (Postmates) needs to review before hiring.
What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check Sterling
  1. The applicant did not meet a particular qualification related to their driving record.
  2. The company has to review the information that appears on the background check report (Sterling).
What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check AmazonSome information in the background check is under review.
What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check LyftLyft uses Sterling to conduct its background check; therefore, a ‘consider’ status will mean:
  1. The applicant did not meet a certain qualification related to their driving record.

The information that appears on the background check report has to be reviewed by the company (Lyft).

Background Check Status Codes Explained

Background Check Status CodesDefinition
ClearThe background check is complete, and the information therein does not contain adversity on any of the screenings.6
CompletedThe applicant’s background check is done. There is no question, reportable, or actionable information in this report.
ConsiderThe report is complete, but some information needs to be reviewed. This information may include motor vehicle report violations, criminal records, and employment and education discrepancies.
DecisionalA decisional status occurs when a hiring manager uses an adjudication, decision, or hiring matrix.7 This matrix contains a list of criminal offenses that the employer reviews. It standardizes offenses that need review.
EligibleThis indicates that the background check is clear and the candidate is qualified (eligible) to assume the position (be hired).
DispositionDisposition is the final status of a specific criminal case, prosecution, or arrest. Or it refers to the final resolution of a case.8 In a background check, disposition means either the final word or status update.
Suppressed LicenseSuppression means that information has been kept confidential or forcibly restricted. Therefore, a suppressed license implies access to the record has been restricted.
Record JudgedThe official decision of a court on a specific record
CompleteThe background check is done or has been completed. The report contains no actionable or reportable information.
SuppressedInformation has been kept confidential or forcibly restricted.
AdjudicationThis refers to the process where the employer evaluates a job applicant’s background check against the company’s policy. This process helps to identify qualified or eligible candidates and decisional candidates.
UndefinedThis status occurs when a background status comes back as ‘not eligible’ or ‘undetermined .”Not eligible’ means that the applicant should not be considered at all, while ‘undetermined’ means that the applicant can still be hired.
UnperformableThe Consumer Report Agency could not process the background search. This status occurs when the order information is invalid, such as an inaccurate driver’s license number.
DisabledThis refers to a person with a physical or mental impairment that affects certain functions. The ADA restricts employers from using disability during a background check.
PassThis statement refers to meeting all the necessary criteria in a background check.
UnspecifiedThis means insufficient information was provided; thus, an initial determination cannot be made. A specific charge in someone’s record is unknown.
DiscrepancyThis indicates that the information given and the information found on the background check do not match.
No BillAlso called no true bill, it indicates a grand jury’s decision to not indict the accused based on the accusations and supporting evidence put forth by the prosecutor.
NolleThe state dismissed a case against an accused. The prosecutor has dropped the criminal charge.
DismissedThe case is expunged or erased. As if it never happened.
CanceledThe employer has withdrawn the request to conduct a background check.
NCRDThis stands for National Criminal Records Database. It’s used by background checking agencies to uncover criminal offenses outside the current jurisdiction.
FTIThis refers to a person’s Federal Tax Information.
ReviewThe employer is looking into the background check results.

Complete vs Clear on Background Check

Clear on a background check indicates that the report is done or complete. Additionally, this report does not contain any adverse information; therefore, the candidate is eligible. Complete also suggests that the background check is done; however, there is no actionable or reportable information in this case.

By understanding the reason for the status code system, anyone who asks, what does consider mean on a background check, can recognize how it pertains to their particular situation and take steps to ensure that it won’t negatively impact the result.

Frequently Asked Questions About What Does Consider Mean on a Background Check

What Does Consider Mean on DoorDash Background Check?

The background check agency has processed the applicant’s background check, but the results need an additional internal review from DoorDash.

What Does Sterling Complete Report Consider Mean?

The applicant did not meet a certain qualification related to their driving record. The company has to review the information that appears on the background check report.

What Does It Mean When a Background Check Says Completed?

Complete status indicates that the background check is done. However, in this case, there is no actionable or reportable information.

In summary, it’s important to understand all the statuses and nuances involved in a background check. A ‘consider’ status means the report contains information the hiring manager should review. Now you can answer what ‘consider’ means in a background check.

What Does Past Employee Consider Mean on a Background Check?

Past employee consider is a result that is generally used when a previous employee reapplies at the same company, and indicates that the hiring manager should use the previous work history as guidance.

What Does Complete Consider Mean on a Background Check?

When used together, “complete consider” typically indicates that the check has been run, but there is a catch that the hiring manager should evaluate.


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