Businesses today are more aware than ever of the importance of pre-employment job screening. Pre-employment screening is designed to ascertain the accuracy of information supplied by candidates on their applications and resumes.
Investigations are also carried out by employers or third-party service providers to uncover criminal tendencies, character flaws, and habits (concerning drug abuse, handling finances, adhering to laws and regulations, etc.) of job applicants.
Here in this post, we will discuss why your company should perform pre-employment job screening.
1. Verify Information
Job applicants do not always provide accurate information about their qualifications, work experience, etc. in their resumes or applications.
When they apply for a job or appear for an interview, all they want is to charm their way in. It doesn’t matter if it is an entry-level job or a senior position within your company.
Many candidates are prepared to make tall claims about their skills and work experience to prove their suitability for a position.
At the most fundamental level, a pre-employment background check involves verification of all important information such as educational qualifications, professional certifications, references, projects, experience certificates, job titles, dates of employment, etc. furnished by a candidate.
It enables you to find out if a candidate is a good fit for a particular job role.
In addition to a general background check, you may also need to consider testing candidates for specific skills. For instance, if you are looking to hire an editor, your company may include an ‘Edit Test’ as part of pre-employment job screening to gauge candidates’ skill levels.
2. Criminal History Screening
Can you afford to hire a potentially untrustworthy worker or someone who has been convicted of violent crime in the past?
A comprehensive criminal background search can highlight if a job-applicant has been charged with or convicted of a crime in the past.
While convictions for minor, non-violent crimes may be completely unrelated to a vacant position you intend to fill, a candidate’s intention to hide such information from hiring managers indicates a lack of work ethic.
Law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions around the globe provide services to help businesses and other organizations investigate the criminal background of job applicants.
3. Drug Screening
Workers with drug problems are a safety risk for co-workers, clients, and the public. It doesn’t matter if your company employs people in safety-sensitive positions such as in the trucking and transportation industry or a corporate office.
Can you imagine various possible consequences that may follow if a worker high on methamphetamine is driving a truck on a highway, operating a forklift in a warehouse, handling company accounts or customer records in a corporate office, or interacting with customers at a store?
With impaired cognitive function, slow reaction times, high-stress levels, and a tendency to take shortcuts while on-the-job, workers who abuse controlled substances are also likely to be less productive besides posing numerous safety hazards for everyone at the job site, including themselves.
When applicant drug testing is a part of pre-employment job screening, hiring managers can successfully weed out candidates with a recent history of illegal drug use. It is one of the best ways to promote safety in the workplace.
4. Credit History Screening
You may need to investigate the credit status of job applicants if you have reasons to believe that financial problems may result in unethical behavior in the workplace.
For instance, if you are looking to hire a cab driver to ferry workers to and from a job site, you may not need to verify if a candidate lacks financial discipline or has had financial difficulties in the recent past.
However, if you need to hire someone who’d be managing accounts or handling cash, credit history screening can provide vital clues on whether you should hire a particular candidate or not.
5. Worker’s Compensation Claims History
You cannot always screen workers for ‘compensation claims history’ (e.g. it’s not available in all states in the US).
But when you can (in accordance with applicable laws such as the American Disabilities Act in the US), it can provide you with crucial information on whether a potential hire can prove costly for your company in the long run.
6. Motor Vehicle Records Screening
For certain positions, it may be necessary (or even a legal requirement) to conduct motor vehicle records screening. It can help you unravel information such as accidents, license suspensions, traffic tickets, and other violations by job applicants.
This is important if your employees operate motor vehicles while on the job.
7. Legal Liability
In many jurisdictions around the world, employers in certain sectors are held accountable for the actions of their employees while on the job if it’s established in a court of law that they were following negligent hiring practices.
For example, if you mistakenly hire a worker who has been on the sex offender registry simply because your HR department did not conduct pre-employment screening and this worker assaults a woman in your factory or office, your company may be held liable for negligent hiring.
Final Words: Pre-employment job screening
You can no longer solely rely on candidate interviews in order to make sound hiring decisions. A comprehensive pre-employment job screening policy can help ensure that your company is hiring the right candidate for the right position.
A better candidate will one day become a better employee and contribute to your company’s bottom line. A bad candidate, on the other hand, will turn out to be a liability sooner or later.
If you factor in turnover cost, healthcare cost, workers’ compensation claims, employee productivity, workplace safety, and brand reputation, pre-employment screening always provides a healthy ROI in the long run.
Not just large-scale companies, startups too have begun conducting pre-employment screening for this very reason.
Just make sure you follow applicable laws and regulations concerning pre-employment screening. Such laws and regulations vary a great deal across countries, states, and cities.
In many cases, you may need to inform a candidate in advance or get their consent before running a background check.
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I am writing to introduce myself as Leon Reingold. I am the Editor-in-Chief at Drugtestsinbulk, a nationwide supplier of drug and alcohol testing products online.