Pre-Employment Screenings – 5 Things to Consider

Deciding whether or not your company should consider pre-employment screenings should not be taken lightly. Screenings have helped companies and human resource managers narrow their choice of candidates for a position. Consider the following points regarding pre-employment screenings:

What am I actually screening for?

Perhaps you are looking into a candidate’s criminal history for clues that they may be an issue or liability. It could be that the position in question requires math or language proficiency. Sometimes a candidates personality can be the deal breaker whether they will make it in the office. Whatever your screening may be, make sure that your screenings are appropriate for what you are hiring for.

When should I conduct my screenings?

Generally, most screenings are done after an interview or after a conditional job offer is made. Some screenings, such as personality tests, can be done well after a candidate has been hired to help assess their need for further development for their position. Depending on the screening, timing may be imperative to comply with labor laws.

Can I afford to wait?

Some additional screenings can take time to process. Background checks can take between a day to a week or more to process. Advanced drug testing results can take hours to a few days to return back from the lab. Although you may feel confident that you have found the perfect candidate for your position, that same candidate may find another opportunity in that time.

Am I conducting quality screenings?

Cheap or poorly conducted screenings may be worse than no screenings at all as they may give a false sense of security and may not follow legal requirements, leading to further problems. If you do decide to include screenings in your employment process, make sure they are conducted thoroughly. You may have to pay more for the screening and the processing, but you can rest assured that your final candidate will have everything you are looking for and nothing you aren’t.

Do my screenings comply with the law?

Make sure your screenings comply with federal, state, and local regulations. Failure to do so can lead to possible lawsuits and penalties. Federal agencies, such as the EEOC, are on the lookout for hiring practices that may be discriminatory in nature. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, “[t]he EEOC’s guidance emphasizes that any denial of employment for an arrest record should be based on an individualized assessment by considering the applicant, the nature of the criminal offenses in his or her history, and how these offenses relate to the performance of a particular job.” If you include any screenings in your hiring process, make sure that they are job related and consistent with your business needs. Failure to ensure that your screening practices are EEOC compliant can lead to costly fees and even class action lawsuits from former candidates.

Screenings are helpful in narrowing your candidate selection when you are hiring. However, in order for screenings to work effectively, you need to have a clear vision of what you want in your candidates. If you cannot articulate what you are looking for, you cannot expect your screening processes to do it for you.

For more information on how XCEL can help you find the best candidates for your business, contact us!


Pre Employment Screening Infographic