In today's competitive economic environment, companies cannot afford to be sidetracked by employee problems such as dishonesty, theft, false CVs, fraud or harassment. Employers have increasingly turned to pre-employment screening as a critical risk-management tool to try and avoid hiring problem employees in the first place.
Pre-employment background screening works in four critical ways:
1. Just having background screening can discourage applicants with something to hide. A person with a criminal record or false CV will simply apply to a company that does not pre-screen.
2. It limits uncertainty in the hiring process. Although using instinct in the hiring process can be important, basing a decision on hard information is even better.
3. A screening programme demonstrates that an employer has exercised due diligence, providing a great deal of legal protection in the event of a lawsuit.
4. Having a screening programme encourages applicants to be especially forthcoming in their interviews.
Checking criminal records is a good example of a pre-screening process that helps promote safe hiring. It is estimated that 10% of job applicants have criminal conviction records relevant to the hiring process; without a screening program, it is a near-statistical certainty that a company is going to hire someone with a criminal record.
Another important tool is CV verification. Job applicants often use their CVs as a marketing tool, but the hiring company can find itself in trouble when CVs exceed the bounds of honesty. It is estimated that up to 30% of CVs contain material falsehoods that pertain to previous employment and education. A professional screening company can verify whether an applicant has the degrees or qualifications claimed. Even if a past employer will not give details about job performance, just verifying the job dates and job title is crucially important. One of the most critical parts of the hiring process is to look for unexplained gaps in employment. Other tools can include financial background checks (when relevant to the job), ID verification and driver's licence verification.
Both employers and applicants have learned that pre-employment screening is an absolute necessity in today's business world. More importantly, they've learned due diligence in hiring is a way to keep companies safe and profitable in today's business environment.