Pre-employment Screening: How to Ensure You Hire the Right Candidate

Jun 27, 2022

Employees are the lifeblood of any company and could make or break a business. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to find the right candidate for vacant positions in your company.

However, doing so is easier said than done, especially when a candidate’s resume looks promising or when they are great interviewers. Thankfully, completing a pre-employment screening can help you separate the wheat from the chaff.

So, how can pre-employment screening help you choose the right candidate for a vacant position in your business? What should be searched in each package to ensure that you decrease your liability?

In this article, we’ll answer all these questions and more.

Why Is Pre-Employment Screening So Important?

Pre-employment screening isn’t mandatory for most industries, meaning employers can hire employees based on what they read on their CVs. However, this may work to the employers’ detriment.

According to new findings,1 in 3 Americans admitted to lying on their resumes. Some of the most common lies include the applicant’s years of experience (46%), educational background (44%), length of position held (43%) and skills or abilities (40%).

While some of these lies may seem harmless, they can actually cause a lot of problems for employers down the line. Lying on a resume is a red flag and the first indicator that this candidate’s integrity might be questionable.

If you’re wondering if pre-employment screening is worth your time and resources, here are some reasons why you should do it.

Avoid Bad Hires

Employment verification can help you avoid bad hires in several ways.

First of all, it allows you to confirm that the candidate actually has the experience and skills that they claim to have. This is especially important for positions that require specific expertise or training.

Secondly, pre-employment screening can reveal negative information about a candidate that you might not otherwise be aware of. For example, if an applicant has been fired from previous jobs or has a criminal record.

In other words, screening your candidates can give you valuable insights into a candidate’s character and work ethic. This information can help you avoid making a bad hire.

Helps Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft

Employment-related identity theft is a growing problem, and it can have serious consequences for employers.

In this type of identity theft, criminals use another person’s personal information to get a job. They may use the victim’s Social Security number to fill out their job application. They may even use the victim’s name and address when applying for a job.

A pre-employment screening can help you identify this type of identity theft.

Often the first step on a background check is verifying the candidate’s Social Security Number against the SSN Trace database.

SSN trace is a database search that provides the year, state of issuance, and address and name history of a particular social security number. It also confirms if the social security number in question is assigned to a living or deceased person. This is a critical component of a background check and the first line of identity confirmation

Prevents or Reduces Workplace Theft

Pre-employment screening can help prevent or reduce workplace theft in several ways.

First of all, it can help you identify candidates with a history of theft or fraud. This is done by screening a candidate’s criminal history. Oftentimes employers only screen the candidate’s current county but that can be misleading. It is important to ensure that a criminal search is completed in each county the candidate has lived in in order to get the full picture.

In addition, it is recommended to also screen the applicant through a national criminal database. A national criminal database compiles information from many different jurisdictional sources in all 50 states, including:

  • County courthouses
  • State court support agencies
  • State and local corrections departments
  • Other government agencies
  • State sex offender registries
  • Federal security agencies

Even though database information must always be checked at the source, it is a great indicator to identify places where your candidate might have broken the law. After all the places a person has lived aren’t the only places where they can commit a crime.

Skipping any of these steps can allow for crucial information to be missed and will prevent the employer from making an informed decision

Improves Workplace Safety

Employment verification can help improve workplace safety in several ways.

First of all, it can help you identify candidates with a history of violence or aggression. It can also help you ensure that your employees are properly trained and qualified for their positions.

For example, if an individual falsifies their qualifications on a resume and gets hired to operate heavy machinery, the individual may not have the necessary skills to safely operate the equipment. This could lead to a workplace accident.

Avoid Liability

Employers can be held liable for the actions of their employees. This is especially true if the employer knew or should have known about an employee’s history of misconduct, this is called negligent hiring.

Suppose an employee with a history of violence gets the job without a proper background check and then commits a workplace act of violence. In that case, liability may fall on the employer.

Similarly, if an employee is not properly trained and causes a workplace accident, liability will likely fall on the employer.

Completing a pre-employment background check can help employers avoid liability by helping them screen out candidates with histories of misconduct. It also esnures that employees are properly qualified and trained for their positions.

How to Ensure You Hire the Right Candidate

Now that you know the benefits of pre-employment screening, you may be wondering how to ensure that you are screening each candidate appropriately.

Here are a few tips:

Use a Reputable Background Check Company

There are many background check companies available, but not all of them are created equal. You’ll want to use a reputable company that has a good track record.

A credible company, like APTOS Screening, will ensure that you are screening each candidate appropriately while following all federal and state laws. APTOS will also offer customer support in case you have any questions or problems.

Conduct Reference Checks

You’ll want to talk to the candidate’s references to get more information about their work history, skills, and qualifications.

When you conduct reference checks, be sure to ask open-ended questions that will allow the references to share their honest opinions.

Complete a Social Media Screening

Social media can be a great way to learn more about a candidate’s character and qualifications. For example, a candidate’s LinkedIn profile can give you information about their work history and education.

Adding a Social media screening to your pre-employment screening process can help you learn a lot about your new candidate. Keep in mind that this process is considered a background check whether you hire a 3rd party company to complete it or you complete it yourself. Ensuring you are screening candidates only after a job offer has been extended is key to staying FCRA compliant and avoiding any future liability.

Never Overlook Pre-employment Screening

With this knowledge of pre-employment screening, you have the power to collect all of the information you need to make the most informed decision during your hiring process. Establishing a comprehensive verification process allows you to confidently hire the best talent.

Rather than going through the process yourself, you can work with a reputable employee screening service. Working with a reputable service provides you the confidence that your applicants have been thoroughly vetted and that you are spending your time on qualified candidates.

Learn more about pre-employment screening and hire the best. Contact us today for comprehensive employee screening services.

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