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Pre-Employment Screening

Preemployment Screening

What is Pre-Employment Screening?

Pre-employment screening refers to the process undertaken by employers to qualify and evaluate prospective workers before a final decision is rendered, regarding employment. Pre-employment screening, in the simplest of terms, is a background check.

Pre-employment screening is a critical aspect of the employment process because it impedes the hiring of potentially acrimonious or disruptive employees. For a number of business models, one faulty decision during the hiring process can precipitate disaster—the United States Chamber of Commerce estimates that nearly 30% of small business failure is due to employee theft. Effective pre-employment screening procedures can mitigate a business owner or company’s risk concerning the hiring of objectionable, ineffective or potentially dangerous employees.

Strategies Involved in a Pre-Employment Screening Process:

The most efficient pre-employment screening procedure is a background check. Not only will a background check diminish the likelihood of a bad hire, but the process will protect the business entity. A small business, due to time and costs, may choose to forego the background check process. This neglect can prove catastrophic, not only because of the negative externalities present with a bad hire, but because of liability issues.

Any business that employs workers or a direct service to the public is liable if an employee—with a criminal history--does harm to a consumer. Small businesses, in these situations, may never recoup the losses associated with court costs and/or settlements.

Because of liability and to protect the interests of the business, a number of companies employ background screening companies. Before hiring a pre-employment screening specialist, the company must research to ensure the prospective service corresponds to the company’s needs.

In addition to hiring background check companies, an employer may purchase “instant” public records to perform pre-employment screening. It must be understood; however, that these databases are not reliable—the information latent is rarely fact checked and refreshed.

If an employer does not wish to engage in formal pre-employment screening procedures, they may supplement the background check by performing basic Internet searches. Issues with the law—or other red flags--will be listed on a district’s police website or newspaper, which in turn, will be displayed when searching for the seeker’s name on Google or other search engines.

Legality Surrounding the Pre-Employment Screening Process:

To perform a background check, an employer must secure the candidate’s consent. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted to protect an employment seeker’s privacy rights and to award them recourse if a potential employer renders a hiring decision based on misinformation derived from a background check.

To secure consent, an employer must obtain a candidate’s written consent to a background check. Secondly, if the employer renders a hiring decision based on the information found in the pre-employment screening, they must inform the candidate of the source used for the check. Compliance with this legislation is mandatory and is expedited through the inclusion of a reputable background check company.

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