5 Signs That Your Business Needs Pre-Employment Screening

Posted by on March 5, 2013 in Employee Background Checks [ 1 Comment ]

Employers use a variety of pre-employment screening procedures to help them identify job candidates who are most likely to do the job well. When used judiciously, pre-employment screening can save time in the hiring process, help reduce employee turnover, and improve workplace morale. Screening tests include cognitive tests, personality tests, skills tests, and background checks, and they are legal as long as:


Here are 5 reasons your business may need to implement pre-employment screening.

1. You’ve Been Burned by a Poor Hiring Decision

For a small business, a poor hiring decision can result in business failure, and for larger businesses, bad hiring choices can be very costly. Negligent hiring lawsuits can cost millions of dollars in legal fees and damages, but many of the situations leading to negligent hiring lawsuits can be avoided by sound pre-employment screening. If such screening is not carried out, or is not executed well, your liability in the case of a negligent hiring lawsuit could be even greater.

2. The Employee Will Be in a Position of Trust

As technology advances, the incidence of employee fraud increases. Employees with authorized access to secure computer systems or company finances can cause enormous problems by disseminating company secrets, altering financial records, or embezzling company funds.

3. The Job Has Special Security Concerns

Employee access to sensitive information makes pre-employment screening a particularly important issue. Whether the employee has access to personal medical information, financial information, academic records, or other valuable private information, the employer must take every precaution to ensure that the employee is worthy of being trusted with the information. As just one cautionary example, in 2012, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee paid $1.5 million just to settle potential HIPAA violations after a hard drive containing protected health information was stolen.

4. The Job Requires Knowledge of Specific Technologies

If your new hire will be using Microsoft Office software all day, then a skills test involving the software is a valid way to determine if a job candidate is capable of doing the work. Likewise, if you’re hiring restaurant servers, you need job candidates to have the basic mathematical skills necessary to do their work accurately.

5. You Want to Reduce Employee Turnover

Personality tests, skills tests, and background checks can go a long way toward helping reduce employee turnover. Hiring job candidates who pass written integrity tests has been shown to reduce employee terminations due to theft, violence, and illicit drug use and to reduce retail “shrinkage” due to employee theft.

Pre-employment screening is a process that is complex, and important enough that many businesses now hire pre-employment screening companies to do it for them. The number of companies outsourcing pre-employment screening has increased dramatically over the past decade as many businesses realize that expecting management to screen potential employees adequately is unrealistic. When administered correctly and in accordance with applicable employment laws, pre-employment screening can help businesses streamline the hiring process, boost productivity, improve employee morale, and keep turnover rates down.

Photo Credit: bpsusf

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