Job Applicant Pre-Employment Screening

By Peggy B. — Published March 07, 2018

Job Applicant Pre-Employment Screening

One of the key phases of the hiring process is the pre-employment screening. This is where recruiters decide whether a certain candidate qualifies to move up the hiring process. So, naturally, there are several points on which the candidate must be assessed.

How does this take place and what exactly goes on?
Well, that’s what we are going to figure out in this blog.

The basics
The purpose of pre-employment screening, as we mentioned earlier, is to verify the information submitted by the candidate. This typically includes the information found on the candidate’s resume and job application.

Pre-employment screening often involves investigations into the candidate’s character, that is, their flaws and possible criminal history. These areas are explored as they can end up being a threat to the employer. For instance, candidates with a criminal history could very well end up ruining the organization’s reputation or even put the lives of other workers at risk.

Screening also allows employers to determine whether or not the candidate can be trusted with responsibilities such as the management of financial resources and other sensitive data/information.

The screening process is usually aided by third-party organizations and even government entities such as the FBI and Department of Transportation.

Stages of screening
Here is list mentioning the possible components of a typical pre-employment screening process.

1. Verification of educational qualifications
One of the first things that employers will verify are the educational qualifications held by the candidate. This includes degrees, academic performance in school/college, and performance at previous jobs. The idea is to ensure that the information provided is authentic and accurate.

The candidate might have to provide consent to the employer for accessing their records.

2. Screening of criminal history
Most states in the US have certain regulations regarding how criminal information can be leveraged with regard to evaluation. However, the checking of criminal records itself is permitted. Government entities such as State Identification Agencies and FBI provide information to businesses about candidates to aid the screening process.

3. Lie detector tests
Though it is typically illegal to carry out lie detector tests on prospective employees, it is necessary for certain industries. This includes the pharmaceutical industry, where the candidate might be tasked with the manufacturing, distribution, and dispensing of pharmaceuticals. Other than that, those applying to alarm/guard services and armored vehicle services will also have to undergo a lie detector test.

4. Tracking of social security number
The candidate’s social security number is tracked to determine its validity. This, in turn, helps with other checks such as criminal and credit checks.

5. Drug testing
Employers also conduct drug tests on their candidates. However, they cannot carry it out without first informing the candidate and seeking his/her consent. Drug testing is carried out to make sure the candidate is worthy of hiring and to ensure that they aren’t a hindrance to the overall productivity of the workplace.

Benefits of screening
Screening of a candidate prior to employment is necessary for obvious reasons. The key objective of recruitment is to get the best candidate possible. Needless to say, the above-mentioned tests and checks help ensure that.

Employees serve as the foundational element of any organization and even one poorly chosen candidate can put the entire company at risk. All it takes is one misdemeanor and the organization could be looking at various kinds of liabilities.

So, screening basically allows organizations to minimize risk. For instance, a candidate with a low credit score is likely impulsive and a bad decision maker. If they are handed decision-making powers, it can prove to be a major risk for the organization.

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