Berkshire Hathaway and Background Checks: A Guide

Initially founded in 1839, Berkshire Hathaway is one of today’s largest conglomerates. The company owns major brands such as Geico, Dairy Queen, and others. It has partial ownership over a large number of other brands, too. Active in real estate and insurance as well, BH covers diverse ground. Famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett leads the company. This company could be an attractive opportunity for those looking to start a career. If you apply to work at Berkshire Hathaway, are background checks on the table?

Answering that question requires the appropriate scope. Because of Berkshire Hathaway’s extensive portfolio, policies can differ. In this article, we’ll look specifically at BH as a corporate entity. We’ll also consider, to a lesser degree, some of the company’s direct holdings that carry the same name. The management of subsidiaries in the company’s portfolio is independent. Policies can be different across divisions within Berkshire Hathaway, too. Let’s look at what you can generally expect.

Will There Be a Background Check to Work at Berkshire Hathaway?

Yes, you will likely have to complete a background check for a position inside Berkshire Hathaway. Ultimately, the hiring process you face will depend on the subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway in question. In most cases, you should expect to face some level of screening. The company notes that it may require drug testing “before starting employment.”

Consider an example using Berkshire Hathaway Energy. The company states that it makes job offers based on references and background checks. A physical exam may also be a requirement in certain job roles. Other checks would apply to another division, such as Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. The company will want to ensure that someone has the appropriate licenses for working in real estate. This check would take place in addition to any other forms of background screening.

Each subsidiary sets its own rules. However, all must abide by the hiring laws in their areas. As a result, Berkshire Hathaway may “ban the box” in certain jurisdictions. That means they won’t ask about criminal history on the job application. They may also only begin the screening process after making a conditional job offer.

Can You Work at Berkshire Hathaway Without a Background Check?

Generally, companies that use screening apply the rules equally to everyone. Otherwise, there could be the risk of negligent hiring or unfair practices. The Berkshire Hathaway background check process applies to everyone seeking a job with the company. You may not have to explain criminal history until later in the process. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission encourages employers to consider the context around criminal convictions. This includes the nature of the crime and its relevance, plus how long ago it occurred. If you’re worried about your report and its impact on the hiring process, you may have a chance to discuss it with a hiring manager.

What Will Berkshire Hathaway Look for During a Background Check?

Companies like Berkshire Hathaway use background checks to prevent negligent hiring. Negligence may occur when someone without qualifications or with serious red flags gets the job. If that person goes on to cause otherwise preventable harm, the company could be responsible. Background checks help companies identify potential issues ahead of time. A criminal history search of an extensive database is usually the first step.

Berkshire Hathaway employee background checks involve looking for misdemeanor and felony records. What exactly disqualifies someone will vary from case to case. A serious violent felony record might be an issue for some job roles. An old record of a non-violent misdemeanor might not be much to the hiring manager. These decisions occur on a case-by-case basis and involve an in-depth risk assessment. However, the company will likely consider your record in the full context of your application.

If a job role requires operating company vehicles, there will be a driving records check and a Department of Transportation drug test. The company is also likely to contact and check your references. The company may contact prior employers listed on your resume to verify your information. Likewise, they may also confirm that you have the educational credentials you claim. For licensed positions, such as real estate agents, there will be a professional license check.

How Far Back Does the Company Check Your Record?

So-called “lookback” periods differ by company and according to state law. The most common lookback period for employment background checks is even years. In some states, Berkshire Hathaway may see up to ten years of your criminal history. However, felony records never “disappear” off someone’s background report. Even very old convictions can appear on a report except where state law prohibits their reporting altogether. To better understand what appears in your criminal history, you can order a copy of your own report today.

Does Berkshire Hathaway Hire Felons?

Yes, the company may hire felons. The nature of the crime and its relationship to the job role will majorly impact the decision-making process. The company does not exclude felons as a general rule, as doing so would be illegal. Those with felony convictions that are old, and those who have not re-offended in years are more likely to receive favorable consideration from a hiring manager. Even so, the decision is ultimately in the company’s hands.

Is There a Cost to the Background Check?

Like many employers, Berkshire Hathaway covers the costs of background checks for its applicants. If you receive a conditional offer, the company will pay for both background checks and drug screens. Job applicants should not anticipate having to spend their own money to complete the hiring process.

How Long is the Wait Time on a Berkshire Hathaway Background Check?

Background check turnaround times vary by industry and state. The amount of information the company must verify can also add to wait times. Some background checks may take a week or two to complete when in-depth verification is required. In other job roles, the background check may come back very quickly. Delays that are outside of Berkshire Hathaway’s control may also occur. For example, there could be an issue with county court systems that report criminal history data. Always contact a hiring manager if you need to know more about the status of your background check.

Understanding Rejections and Background Checks

If Berkshire Hathaway chooses to reject or “fail” an applicant because of their background check, they must say so. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires an “adverse action” notice. This notice states that background information led to the decision to disqualify the applicant. This letter must also include a copy of the background check used in the decision. You then have a few business days to reply and open a dispute. If you believe the report is in error or inaccurate, provide evidence or explanation to that effect. The background check agency will review the information again.

That may lead to a reinstatement of your job offer if an issue did occur. Otherwise, the company will stand by its decision and rescind any conditional offers. When you receive a final adverse action notice, your application to Berkshire Hathaway ends.

Find Out More Before You Apply

Applying to work at Berkshire Hathaway could be the start of a long career path. Applicants must have a strong resume and good interview skills to get in the door. They will also need to pass a background check and, in some cases, a drug test. Going into the hiring process with a clear understanding of what to expect during the vetting stage is essential. For those with a record, it provides an opportunity to prepare.

How can you tell what a hiring manager at Berkshire Hathaway sees in background checks? You can start by ordering a copy of your own criminal history report using This detailed report lets you see the same type of information that companies may see. Use this information to understand whether you may expect additional questions during hiring. Ordering is easy, and results come back quickly. Find out more today.

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