The hiring process is complex and sometimes overwhelming. Finding and keeping the right candidates can have a positive impact on your company.
But hiring someone who’s not a good fit can lead to a decline in revenue and company morale.
So you can imagine how important it is to fully engage the employment screening process. Bad hires are expensive. And you certainly don’t want to employ someone who can pose a potential threat to fellow employees.
One of the best ways to protect your employees and company assets is to appropriately screen candidates. Here are four things your competitors can teach you about the importance of employment screening.
1. Employment Screening with Permission
Employee screenings of academic transcripts, credit reports, reference checks, and medical records require written authorization.
One dentist failed to obtain written permission for conducting a credit check and declined to employ a woman for a front office position. Although he asserts that his decision not to hire her was not based on the report, the woman sued him.
When conducting any type of employment screening, employers are to obtain written permission from their job candidates on a form that’s separate from the general application materials.
2. Meet Legal Requirements
Familiarity with city, state and federal laws surrounding employment screening is an absolute must.
When seeking out screening services, make sure that the company you’re working with is familiar with the Federal Credit Reporting Act and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – and related entities.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is currently facing a class action lawsuit for questionable screening practices of non-violent offenders. Fair practices should be carried out at all times.
3. Aim for Accuracy
Proof of licensure, employment history verifications, driving records, drug testing, and other background screenings confirm or disconfirm information provided by employment candidates.
Unfortunately, this information isn’t always accurate.
Although some states in the U. S. place little to no emphasis on credit history, credit reports are still factored into some employment screening processes, especially in Canada. One caveat, though, is that the information compiled in these reports isn’t always accurate.
Credit report inaccuracies not only create an unfair barrier to entry for job candidates, but they can also cause employers to miss out on hiring qualified candidates.
4. Choose Third Party Screeners Wisely
When choosing a third party company to conduct employee screenings, making a poor choice can lead to worse outcomes than a bad hire.
A director of the National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence stated that,
“[T]here’s a difference between a cursory scrape of public data and an effective – and relevant – background check.”
The least expensive background check typically yields superficial results. Avoid negative entanglements with potential employees by choosing a background screening company with the expertise to thoroughly acquire information, navigate the legalities, and adhere to compliance standards.
Overall, employment screening should be done ethically and fairly. Regardless of what information is obtained, employers should objectively evaluate screening results in conjunction with all other components of the hiring process.