What Is A Pre-Employment Screening?
A pre-employment screening is a procedure done that explores the backgrounds of your potential employees. It is often used to verify that everything on their application is truthful and accurate. You are able to see a few things that could prove useful upon the hiring process such as their criminal history, if they've claimed any workers compensation and if they have ever been involved in any employer sanctions.
These screenings are also used to see if the candidate has any character flaws that could affect the job and of course, a criminal record that could hurt your business's reputation or put you and your staff in any danger. Lastly, a screening can be done if they're applying for a job that handles money. You want to make sure the candidate is able to be trusted with finances and possible confidential information they may acquire on the job.
What Can I Find Out From A Screening?
A pre-employment screening can be however in depth you need it to be. You can simply check if they have a criminal history or you can dive much deeper and get much more information we'll talk about below.
Depending on what state you live in, there are different laws stating how you can use criminal information when looking into a potential employee. There are services provided by The FBI and State Identification Agencies that will help you investigate their criminal background if necessary.
Again, depending on which state you live, there are different laws when it comes to drug testing. When you test applicants you must do so in accordance with your state's laws regarding drug testing.
A lot of employers will drug test candidates simply to see if they are trustworthy. Some may do it if the job entails equipment that could cause injury as a way to avoid any unwanted accidents and lastly, to simply make sure that they would make a productive employee.
Social Security Number Tracing
Not too much to explain for this part of the screening procedure but depending on the job they're applying for, you may want to complete a social security number trace if you require a criminal or credit check for the job available.
Believe it or not, as mentioned above, a lot of employers have started using candidates credit status to determine if they're considered to be trustworthy and responsible employees. To do this you do need approval and consent from the candidate.
You must also offer them, and allow if wanted to see the results of the screen. This is all covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act which manages employer investigations when they look into the credit history of a potential employee.
One of the most common parts of a pre-employment screening is employment verification. What this consists of is checking the jobs the candidate listed on their application to make sure the places of employment, job title they held, the dates they worked there and job requirements are accurate.
Many employers have policies set in place that limit what they're allowed to say when they receive these calls. Most of those policies state that the employer is not to say anything negative about the past employee.
As an employer, you are allowed to ask for recommendations when it comes to references, whether it's a past supervisor, a teacher or someone they did a small project for. You can set up an interview with the references provided to see if the candidate is able to complete the tasks on the job they're applying for.
Depending on the position one is applying for, the majority of employers will want to check to see that any degree or certification on an application is accurate and up to date. Like the credit check, applicants have to give their consent for any school to release their records. This is part of the Family Right to Privacy Act.
There are more things that can be researched when doing a pre-employment but we wanted to cover a few of the most popular types. You're able to check things such as if they're a sex offender, their motor vehicle records, a skill assessment test and possibly even a lie detector test if necessary. You can contact the third party you're using to conduct the screening for more information. On that note, let's talk about where you can complete a screening.
How To Complete A Screening
Many businesses already have a third party contact that handles all of the screening needed. If you are a new business or simply don't have a third party to help you here you have a couple of options.
You can talk to businesses like yours, or even competitors and ask who they use to complete their pre-employment screenings. This will give you a good idea of a trusted name in the industry that provides quality and accurate results.
You can also look online for your own provider. When doing so make sure they offer the different parts of the screening that may be required for the position you have available. There are plenty of places that will give you a background check, just make sure it's a trusted source that can provide accurate information.
To Sum It All Up
Whether you're an employer or a candidate applying for a new job, it's good to know what all goes into a pre-employment screening. It's best to remember which parts of a screening you need consent from the candidate from and which vary from state to state. There is so much you can find out by doing a screening that can keep you, your employees and your business safe and sound.