6 Tips For Effective Pre-Employment Screening

November 2017

Replacing an employee can involve a variety of predictable costs, including recruiting and advertising an open position, travel for interviews, signing bonuses, relocation and training. In addition, high turnover rates can impact your business in unexpected ways, through reduced morale, lost knowledge and lowered productivity.

In many cases, smart hiring decisions can help reduce turnover and its related costs — both obvious and hidden. By implementing a strategic process for pre-screening employment candidates, you reduce the chances of making a hiring decision you may later regret.

Here are six pre-employment screening tips to help you develop best practices so that your organization remains in compliance as you add team members.

1. Verify Previous Employment

More than half of job applications and resumes may contain untrue information, and  70 percent of college students say they would consider falsifying their resumes to get a desired job.

In some cases, false information provided during the application process can result in disastrous hires, including individuals without the proper work experience for the positions they win. Companies that hire unqualified or inexperienced individuals who then cause harm — to other employees, customers, vendors or members of the public — can face claims of negligent hiring.

A reputable employment screening firm will use multiple sources of information to assist you in verifying work history, including position titles, dates of employment and job duties.

2. Use Drug Testing When Appropriate

Employees who have addictions to alcohol or drugs can compromise the safety and security of your organization. The federal government generally does not regulate drug testing except in specific industries, including transportation and military contracting. However, your state or local government may have regulations in place regarding drug testing.

In some cases, state or local laws may require that you properly disclose your drug-testing policies to applicants and that you treat all applicants for a particular job in the same manner. You also may be required to have tests administered by an approved laboratory.

Before you implement a policy for drug testing, it’s important to understand any applicable laws in your jurisdiction and ensure that your testing procedures comply.

3. Follow the Law for Credit Checks

A significant number of employers pull credit reports for applicants, even for jobs not related to finance. Aside from the possibility of embezzlement or theft, employers also may check credit to assess the trustworthiness of candidates.

If you decide to check credit histories for applicants, it’s vital to understand federal law. Employers must follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires that you receive consent from a job applicant before reviewing a credit report.

In addition, the law stipulates that you must warn applicants if you plan to reject them based on the contents of reports, and you must provide copies of the reports in question. If you decide not to hire a candidate based on information in a credit report, you are required to provide official notice of adverse action.

4. Confirm Accreditations and Education

Most employers want to know that applicants provide accurate information about their education, including institutions attended, degrees received and professional licenses earned.

In many cases, specific academic credentials or professional licenses are critical to the ability to perform a job. The lack of a required license or certification may even subject your organization to liability in fields that require compliance with laws and regulations.

A professional pre-employment screening firm can assist you in confirming that academic information listed on resumes and in job applications is accurate.

5. Stay Current on Applicable Laws

Employers have valid reasons for seeking insight into the potential criminal history of an applicant. With safety, security and financial viability on the line, making sure that key employees have a clean record can be vital to ongoing business operations.

Local, state and federal laws can change frequently and often clash with the need for organizations to obtain timely information about applicants. For example, in many jurisdictions, so-called  “ban the box” laws — restricting how and when employers may ask applicants about their criminal histories — have taken hold in recent years.

Employers that check criminal histories must use caution in making adverse hiring decisions to avoid discrimination claims. In some cases, the law dictates that employers must consider details of crimes, including the time since an offense and how the past offense may impact the applicant’s work.

6. Work With a Professional Employment Screening Firm

For busy human resources professionals, hiring managers and employers, screening job applicants can consume significant time and resources. An experienced pre-employment screening company can help you identify the best candidates and reduce subsequent turnover.

Global Verification Network provides an extensive range of background screening services to provide valuable information for important hiring decisions. To learn more about our services or to request a quote,  please contact us.

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