Expert Insights

Why every employer needs a complete, customized screening process

Why every employer needs a complete, customized screening process

By: John V. Page, VP of Sales

Employers are in a tight spot for talent – and some are leaning on unconventional strategies such as hiring candidates with criminal records to help fill open positions.

According to an Adecco USA study, 49% of companies surveyed have “loosened” their hiring requirements solely because there aren’t enough qualified candidates. Another 35% said they would be willing to hire a temporary worker with a criminal conviction on their history, assuming their skills matched what the employer was looking for.

While some industries still have strict rules around hiring convicts – take financial services for example, where Citigroup was recently fined $1.25M for failing to run adequate background checks and hiring convicted criminals – blanket restrictions and cultural attitudes are changing.

Whether your organization is loosening its requirements or not, every employer needs a full, accurate picture of a prospective candidate to make a truly informed decision and avoid negligent hiring.

Hiring due diligence: Trust, but verify

As second chance hiring programs and “ban the box” laws suggest, what matters first and foremost when considering a candidate isn’t their past, but what they can do in the present to drive growth and business initiatives. Once a hiring manager feels they’ve found the right fit for the job based on skills and experience presented in the interview, the role of background screening isn’t necessarily to hold history against a candidate, but to confirm candidates are who they say they are and ensure hiring managers have all the facts before making a decision.

For organizations considering workers with criminal history, hiring decisions should be made based on the type of work the candidate will be doing. If the position is based in a warehouse or distribution center that doesn’t require interfacing with the public, direct access to customers or handling sensitive information, an employer looking at all the factors might decide they’re willing to take a chance on the candidate, with a plan in place to hedge against any risks.

Effective screening isn’t one-size-fits-all

Organizations have diverse requirements and hiring for some roles requires more or different due diligence than others, which means screening needs to be conducted on a per position basis and customized to the employer’s unique needs. Every employer should pick screening qualifiers that drill down into the elements of a candidates’ background most relevant for the specific business, industry and position.

Checking candidate theft history, for example, is a key step for retail companies, whereas drug testing and confirming active motor vehicle licenses are top of mind for transportation and logistics firms where employees will be operating trucks and other equipment. Validating professional licenses and certifications is important for specialized roles, such as those in healthcare, education and finance.Even if a candidate is upfront about their criminal background, some could be tempted to stretch the truth around their skills and experience to make up for their criminal history and look more attractive to employers.

In other cases, candidates might unintentionally leave important insights out of an application, or not know they must disclose certain pieces of information. Thorough background checks give employers a second chance to catch these details, avoid non-compliance and make a hiring decision based on fact, rather than assumption.

Confident employment decisions start with complete and configurable pre-employment screening. Don’t just pick the lowest cost option, rather a solution that truly suits your needs.

Ready to take the next step? Let us help you find the screening process that works for you.

About the Author

John V. Page is the Vice President of Sales for Quick Search in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Page is active in the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) and has been on both the Best Practice and Provider Committees.

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