A pre-employment screening, also known as a background check, is a term that implies to any process carried out by a potential employer for acquiring details about a prospective employee.
Simply put, they are a way of determining the future actions of an individual depending on his or her records. Such checks enable the employers to make informed hiring decisions in a timely, systematic, and foolproof manner.
Need of a Background Check
The recent IT boom at a global level has made pre-employment screenings necessary. Many companies have come across falsified information on resumes. These botched-up resumes may pass in the initial stages and may also provide the individual with a job, but it may create problems for the company in the future.
Further, the number of employees outside the state, as well as outside the country, has increased. Therefore, companies may well invest in an international pre-employment screening rather than face the trouble afterwards. Employment screenings are used by companies to know the professional background of the potential employee.
Some of the factors taken into consideration are the employee's employment history, academic history, and other credentials. Such screenings are said to increase safety for the company, as well as increase the employee's productivity. It ensures that the company has hired a person with the necessary skill-sets, qualifications, and experience.
Employment background checks also minimize chances of negligent lawsuits, and ensures that the potential employee has a clean criminal record. If a background check is not initiated, the company may be blamed for any illegal actions done by the individual after he or she is employed with the company.
Also, it decreases the attrition rates of the company, since the company knows the past of the employee, and therefore can create the atmosphere catering to the employees.
An employment screening is of utmost importance in some verticals that require complete confidentiality and an increased level of assurance for both the company and the employee. Some industries like banking, finance, childcare, health care, law enforcement, and military do have compulsory background checks for the would-be employee.
How it is done
Many companies have their own background-check departments, however most companies prefer hiring a third party for this job.
These companies do a check through various public and personal domain facts to decide whether an individual is employable with the company. Some of the records these companies check are:
- Criminal records
- Driving records
- Educational verification
- Sex offender lists
- Patriot Act
- Litigation Records
- Drug Tests
- Financial Information
- Social Security Number
- Military Records
Institutions offering employment verification services go through information about an individual available in the personal as well as the public domain. This information can also be abused by unscrupulous individuals and institutions. Therefore, there are laws pertaining to the pre-employment screening.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is one such act that regulates the use of consumer reports. While a majority of individuals do not mind people raking up their professional and personal past, there are some who do. Some people do not appreciate the investigation into their credit or drug reports included in the background checks.