Pre Employment Screening Explained
Pre-employment screening refers to the checks done by an organization on a potential employee’s background. Once a candidate clears the interview and is selected for a job, the organization needs to know if he/she has any criminal background.
This is particularly important if the newly selected employee would be handling sensitive data or involved in financial operations. The organization would like to be assured that the employee has a clean background and they would not have a problem.
This is the reason why organizations resort to a pre-employment screening for new employees before that join or take up employment. Apart from background screening, organizations would like to verify the educational credentials of the candidate, experienced claimed, and other details. Some organizations may also require drug testing of employees. All these come under the scope of pre-employment training.
Why perform pre-employment screening?
The reasons for carrying out pre-employment screening of new employees are:
- It helps to protect the organization and ensure that there are no problems with the employee that could hurt the organization’s image.
- Hiring an employee with a bad reputation can cause problems. Finding out later and having to fire the candidate and hire a new one is a troublesome thing to do. Instead, it is better to save money and time by doing a screening before employing someone.
- A candidate may claim qualifications and experience, but may not have it in reality. So carrying out due diligence by checking it out is advisable.
What pre-employment checks are carried out?
Following are some of the pre-employment screening activities carried out:
1) Criminal background check
Criminal records would need to be checked to find out if the candidate has any cases against his/her name. This can be done through a fingerprint check from the FBI or a check on the national criminal record database. Apart from this, federal, state, and county level checks may need to be done to find out if the candidate has any criminal record.
2) Social trace
Verification of the social security number needs to be done. It can be used to check for criminal records also. Verification using the SSN is a good way of finding out complete details about a person.
3) Sex offender check
The sex offender database needs to be checked to find out if the employee is listed in the database. This would help to prevent any problem in the future.
4) Credit check
The credit of the candidate can also be verified. The credit report would provide details of the candidate like outstanding debts, bankruptcy, or any other problem related to the credit history of the candidate. This particularly is important if the candidate would be handling financial transactions on behalf of the company.
5) Motor Vehicle record check
The candidate’s motor vehicle record can be obtained from the Dept. of Motor Vehicles. This would help to find out details of any license suspension, conviction, etc.
6) Credentials check
The credentials of the candidate would need to be verified. The educational qualification needs to be verified. This would be done by contacting the institution where he/she has studied. Similarly, the organizations where the candidate has worked previously needs to be contacted to confirm the work experience and also to find out the quality of work done by the candidate.
In case of professionals like doctors and lawyers, their license needs to be verified from the licensing authority. Claims of training also need to be verified.
While all these types of screening may not be needed, organizations need to decide which ones are needed for the job the employee would do and ensure that these are carried out.