Over the last decade or so, the trend of requiring prospective employees to undergo evaluations, assessments, and screening procedures before being offered a job has varied according to industry and prevailing market conditions. In the IT space, most employers tend to focus on technical skills screening, rather than criminal background checks, credit assessments, and other screening procedures.
Although research has generally shown that pre-employment screening tends to improve the quality and duration of employment for new hires, these assessments can be costly. With current economic conditions unfavorable to the addition of new expenses, some small business owners are suspending their pre-employment screening requirements.
At the same time, however, it’s also prudent to heed the advice to make hiring decisions very carefully during times of economic duress. The data provided by pre-employment screening tools may prove to be valuable when choosing between qualified candidates.
Whether you have used pre-employment screening tools in the past or you’re considering implementing them in the future, now might be the right time to take another look at this approach. Consider both the advantages and the disadvantages of pre-employment screening before you make a decision.
Get the truth behind their ‘best behavior.’ It’s common sense that job candidates are putting their best face forward when applying for a new position. Background screening can be a great way to help you get a more three-dimensional understanding of your applicants. If you like to have a better sense of a candidate’s personality and history before making a hiring decision, pre-employment screening might make sense for your firm.
Consider whether your business model necessitates background investigations. For firms in some sectors, background screening is a must, while in other spheres, an in-depth investigation just doesn’t make much sense. Before you decide to commit to pre-employment screening, carefully consider whether the time, trouble, and expense makes sense for your business.
Protect yourself against potential liability claims. The judicial trends of the last several decades have placed a greater burden on small business owners, holding firms accountable for an ever-increasing proportion of the misdeeds, missteps, and mistakes of their employees. Pre-employment screening may be able to help you limit your vulnerability to such claims in the future, although it shouldn’t be regarded a foolproof panacea.
Make sure your firm is set up to handle sensitive data. With identity theft at an all-time high, privacy issues are a major concern today. If you do opt to subject your job applicants to pre-employment screening, it’s important to make sure that you’ve implemented procedures to ensure the integrity of applicants’ sensitive data. A security breach or even evidence of misused personal data could leave you vulnerable to legal action.
What’s your stance on pre-employment screening? Have these assessments ever changed your mind about a prospective employee? Tell your story in the comments.