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Pre-Employment Screening Best Practices – A Guide

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In this ebook we have discussed the most important pre-employment screening best practices that an employer or a HR decision maker needs to follow.

More Information visit our website - https://www.cfirstcorp.com/pre-employment-screening-best-practices-a-guide/

In this ebook we have discussed the most important pre-employment screening best practices that an employer or a HR decision maker needs to follow.

More Information visit our website - https://www.cfirstcorp.com/pre-employment-screening-best-practices-a-guide/

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Pre-Employment Screening Best Practices – A Guide

  1. 1. Pre-Employment Screening Best practices A Guide to
  2. 2. CONTENT 3 5 8 12 14 16 19 21 Introduction Select The Right Background Screening Be prepared in advance before conducting pre-employment background screening of prospective candidates Legal compliance is a must while conducting employment screening Leverage technology to build a scalable process that meets global possibilities Provide a positive candidate experience while conducting pre-employment background screening Conduct ongoing screening to maintain a safe and secure work environment Conclusion
  3. 3. The Case for Background Screening 3 www.cfirstcorp.com There is a famous saying“Never judge a book by its cover”. This saying fits appropriately when it comes to settling on a candidate for a vacant position. It is a harsh truth, but candidates do not always tell everything about themselves and the things that they tell are not necessarily true. Candidates often lie in their resumes. With the aid of an employment screening, recruiters can dig out even the minutest of details pertaining to the candidate before they join the organization. It gives them confidence that the new hire is free from any murky past that can have an adverse effect on the brand image of the organization and your current employees can work without any apprehensions as the workplace is comprised of employees with a clean past. It also ensures that there is no negative impact on the client relationship. Before you consider a candidate for a vacant position, it is recommended that you scrutinize each and every part of their resume including their past employment status, the authenticity of their educational qualifications, the legitimacy of certifications held and many other details. On top of these details mentioned in the resume, recruiters also have to scrutinize other factors, including criminal history, sex offenders list, drug test records and identity verification. Employment screening assists the organization to manage the risk during the hiring process. The extent and type of employment screening to be conducted is contingent upon the country’s laws and regulations. It is even dependent on the nature of the employment. There is an increased freedom given to organizations when it comes to scrutinizing employee records for jobs that deal with the risks to the public and high integrity risk positions. Although, you might have to spend some amount to conduct a professional employment screening it is totally worth it. Since, it can save you the trouble from an unwanted termination and potential legal liability.
  4. 4. 4 www.cfirstcorp.com Best Practices for conducting employee Background Screening Now, that you are aware about the importance of conducting pre-employment back- ground screening it is important to look at some of the best practices that need to be followed while conducting pre-employment screening for candidates. In this ebook we have discussed some of the most important best practices that an employer or a HR decision maker needs to follow to get the most out of their back- ground screening efforts.
  5. 5. 5 www.cfirstcorp.com First of all decide whether you have the acumen to carry out the all-inclusive employment screening process yourself. If you are not good at it, the best option is to outsource this task to an expert background screening vendor. Here are some of the traits of an ideal background screening vendor. SELECT THE RIGHT BACKGROUND SCREENING vendor that can meet your needs 1)
  6. 6. 6 www.cfirstcorp.com Offers full background screening services Your ideal background screening vendor should provide an all-inclusive screening solution taking prior written permission from the individual and abiding by the FCRA or your country specific guidelines. It provides detailed search results for the individual in question ensuring that the right talent is selected. It does comprehensive research pertaining to online databases and conducting personal courthouse visits to scrutinize the criminal history of the individual in question. It even scrutinizes the past employment and educational credentials of the candidate. Meets legal compliance An ideal background verification company complies with the state, federal and local laws governing your organization. It has a written guideline that ensures that the information that they provide to you comply with the law in question. It is FCRA complaint and imparts the training and procedures to its employees by following its rules strictly. It updates itself with the changes in the laws related to background screening of an individual. Gives Utmost Importance to Data Security and Privacy An ideal background verification company will ensure that the data collected by them is highly secure and is kept private so that the information is never breached. It has a written policy in place in the form of a contractual agreement that binds them to never resell the information collected; irrespective of whether it is client related or individual related. This ensures that the information is kept under high security. It even follows the FTC guidelines while destroying the paper and electronic records found during screening. Ensures Fast Turnaround Time A good background verification company understands the importance of conducting employment screening of the individual in question on a timely basis. It does this without sacrificing the quality of the screening. It has a written policy in place related to conducting the background screening processes and TAT that assists in plan their processes to achieve the promised TAT within the set deadline. a). b). c). d). YOUR IDEAL BACKGROUND SCREENING VENDOR SHOULD PROVIDE AN ALL- INCLUSIVE SCREENING SOLUTION TAKING PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE INDIVIDUAL AND ABIDING BY THE FCRA. IT PROVIDES DETAILED SEARCH RESULTS FOR THE INDIVIDUAL IN QUESTION ENSURING THAT THE RIGHT TALENT IS SELECTED.
  7. 7. 7 www.cfirstcorp.com Has The Right Technology to Automate the Onboarding and Screening Process As Far As Possible An ideal background screening vendor is tech savvy and utilizes the technology to its best advantage by saving time, efforts and costs. It provides a totally paperless mechanism to order checks and track progress and view reports. It has an electronic portal or applicant kiosk that assists in making the employment screening process easier for the candidate. Delivers Quality Results A good background verification company has the knack of delivering quality results by properly analyzing the candidate information. It has a proven track record of providing high quality screening reports with the help of a dedicated quality assurance team that works on screening each and every report before it is passed to you. Should Be Trustworthy A good background screening vendor will be accredited by a professional organization which will help it to demonstrate competence in key performance areas including legal compliance, client researcher and data standards, information security, verification standards and overall business practices. Has Enough Experience and Expertise An ideal background screening partner will have the right experience needed to carry out comprehensive screening services. It will have a great reputation, excellent customer service and excellent client retention capabilities to back their xperiences and expertise. e). f). g). h).
  8. 8. 8 www.cfirstcorp.com Before conducting employment screening of prospective candidates it is important to plan ahead and ensure that you are able to take effective steps in case of any discrepancy found while carrying out the employment screening process:Prepare yourself BEFORE CONDUCTING BACKGROUND SCREENING 2)
  9. 9. 9 www.cfirstcorp.com Have a well-defined background screening policy in place Every organization needs to have a consistent, compliant and cost-effective employment screening policy. A well-devised employment screening policy will bring consistency and efficiency into your hiring process. It is advisable to take the help of a legal counselor while developing a background screening policy. It should consist the following components: Define the purpose and scope of the background screening policy Your background screening policy needs to define the purpose of conducting the employment screening and also define the scope of the program, i.e.; the different types of positions that will be subject to background screening. Designate organizational responsibility and authority to conduct screenings Your employment screening policy needs to designate the people or person responsible for implementation and management of the program. It needs to define the types of employment decisions that can be made by the designated person involved in the administration of the program. There are certain situations where judgment call is required which makes it important to define the person who is going to take the decisions. Define the legal parameters and guidelines to be followed in the process A background screening policy needs to take into consideration any federal, state or local laws affecting your capabilities of conducting the screening. Specify clearly that you comply with the FCRA act requirements, EEOC guidelines and anti-discrimination laws and any other related laws pertaining to screening in your country. The policy should provide a guideline and clear direction so that the employment screening process is followed in a uniform and impartial manner across all candidates. I). a). II). III). IV). Outline the process to be followed for conducting background screening Define the process, including the type of screenings that will be performed, the frequency of the screenings, the positions in the organization where it will be applicable and the criterion that will separate an acceptable from an unacceptable screening result. It is also extremely important to keep all the data collected throughout the process to be safe and secured so that the privacy of the candidates is not compromised.
  10. 10. 10 www.cfirstcorp.com Standardize the employment verification questions that you are going to ask If you are contemplating on conducting employment screening on prospective candidates, standardize your questions that you are going to ask. This can include, but not limited to: The information that you can get from the previous employers is totally contingent on their disclosure policy, but it is extremely important to ask questions pertaining to the subjects mentioned above. Also, take a note of all the information collected as well as the questions that they were not willing to answer. b). Take the consent of the candidate before conducting pre-employment background check on them The hiring manager needs to ask for the written permission from the candidate before conducting employment screening to check their background history. Even though employment screening can be conducted without the consent of the candidate it will lessen the amount of attainable information. Also, there are certain federal and state laws that limit the information when conducting employment screening without prior consent. If you do not take the consent of the candidate before conducting the screening it can result in facing lawsuits. c). Start and end dates of the past three employment Reason for leaving the current organization Eligibility for rehire (if not, why not?) Payslips of the past organizations Jobs titles held
  11. 11. 11 www.cfirstcorp.com Be consistent with the years of past employment history to be verified for the candidate There needs to be a consistency when it comes to verifying the past employment history of the candidate otherwise it can result in allegations of discrimination. Decide in advance the range of the work history of the candidate to be verified. While there can be a temptation to consider different parameters for different employees in the organization according to position or job level, refrain from straying from the set guidelines on a person-to-person basis. d).
  12. 12. 12 www.cfirstcorp.com Background screening is becoming a standard item on the hiring checklist. This makes it imperative for you to comply with certain local, federal and state laws pertaining to conducting these screenings on potential candidates. This includes the following: Legal compliance is a must while CONDUCTING EMPLOYMENT SCREENING 3)
  13. 13. 13 www.cfirstcorp.com Always be up to date with the global laws governing pre-employment screening In India, there is no specific law governing the employment screening of candidates. But, there is a law : Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 (SPDI Rules) pertaining to the collection and use of sensitive and personal information. However, these rules are limited to financial information, physical, psychological and mental health condition, password, medical records, historic and biometric information along with sexual orientation. While in the US it is compulsory to follow these laws while conducting employment screening: FCRA Act It is mandatory to comply with the FCRA act which regulates how employers conduct employment screening of candidates. It covers all the major background screening reports, including driving records and criminal records obtained from a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA). The FCRA allows employers to carry out employment screening and use the information to take the decisions related to firing, hiring, reassigning or promoting an individual. The Americans for Disabilities Act This law enables employers to ask about the candidate’s ability to perform a specific job without asking for medical records. The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act It disallows any organization based in the US from taking the hiring decision on the basis of the genetic information of the individual in question. The Federal Privacy Act Basic information pertaining to a person in the military service can be obtained. But, special permissions are required to acquire the information. a). I). II). III). IV). V). EEOC It is illegal to take the decision of performing background screening of an individual on the basis of the person’s national origin, sex, race, disability, genetic information, or age. Never bar a candidate on the basis of past criminal history. Evaluate the job in hand and duties to be fulfilled before taking the final decision. But, always give a chance to an individual to defend themselves in case of a past criminal record before taking the final call. VI). Ban the Box There are certain new laws that have emerged in the US that prohibit employers from asking criminal history questions early in the employment application process. This law ensures that there is no discrimination made while taking the hiring process before finalizing the candidate for the vacant position.
  14. 14. 14 www.cfirstcorp.com Many large organizations are looking to capture broader marketplace, it is important to build scalability in the employment screening processes. You can do this by: 4)Leverage technology to build a SCALABLE PROCESS THAT MEETS GLOBAL POSSIBILITIES
  15. 15. 15 www.cfirstcorp.com Build a scalable process that meets global possibilities While building a scalable employment screening process that meets global possibilities, take into account all the applicable laws pertaining to the type of screening to be conducted. These are some of the prerequisites to building a global background screening program: Some of the benefits of having a scalable employment screening solution include: Handle sudden spikes in the search volume A scalable screening solution will have the adequate resources to handle the sudden increase in the search volumes. This can happen during the holiday periods when there is an increased demand for staffing or after a merger when the employees must be re-screened for the organization. Accommodate international employment screening, thereby maximizing your efficiencies With organizations now expanding their reach to global workforce, a scalable screening solution can assist you to screen domestic as well as international candidates with a single provider rather than managing multiple providers. This will minimize your accounting hassles. a). I). II). Responsibility The program needs to comply with all the legal requirements and limitations. Take the help of a legal counselor to determine the laws that are applicable and how to follow them. Relevance The employment screening needs to be relevant to the industry and sector of the organization and the potential roles and responsibilities of the candidate. Requirements Understand the business requirements for conducting global employment screening and turnaround time.
  16. 16. 16 www.cfirstcorp.com As the global unemployment rates keep on diminishing, organizations are finding it difficult to hire talented individuals for their business. It is no brainer that improving the candidate experience has become a prima facie mantra of success for employers. If organizations do not consider the repercussions of a poor candidate experience it can contribute to not only loss of best talents but also negatively impacting the brand of the organization. Therefore, employers are now focusing their efforts on enhancing the interactions with the candidates i.e.; improving the communication methods, better leveraging new technologies and simplifying the application process. Let us look at some of the ways organiza- tions can provide a positive candidate experience while conducting employment screening services: Provide a positive candidate EXPERIENCE WHILE CONDUCTING PRE-EMPLOYMENT BACKGROUND SCREENING 5)
  17. 17. 17 www.cfirstcorp.com Communicate with the candidates throughout the hiring process As candidates advance in the hiring process, it is important to communicate with them on a regular basis to impart a positive candidate experience. This is even more critical as employment screening processes induce feelings of uncertainty in the most confident candidate. With the help of regular communication and educating the candidates about the process, you can deliver a positive candidate experience during the screening process. Providing quick turnaround time results for better chances of meeting the candidate’s expectations In this fast paced recruitment market hiring decisions need to be taken quickly. If you have to wait for the slow-to-arrive background screening reports it does not serve the purpose. It also has an adverse effect on the candidate experience as no one likes to wait for the results for a longer period of time. If you have a quick turnaround time it gives you the desired results in record time meeting the compliance requirements to conduct the screening and ensuring that you meet the expectations of the candidate also. Never discriminate while carrying out pre-employment background checks on candidates While conducting employment screening on individuals ensure that the process is conducted without discriminating against any particular segment or group. We have already discussed the EEOC laws which are quite necessary to ensure that candidates are not robbed of their chance to get selected in an organization based on their sex, caste, religion etc. They should also not be discriminated based on past criminal records held against them. Once you ensure that the pre-employment background screening will be conducted without any bias, it will result in a positive candidate experience. a). b). c).
  18. 18. 18 www.cfirstcorp.com Run the background screening process after deciding to give a conditional offer of employment to the candidate According to Ban-the-Box laws it is not allowed to conduct employment screening on a candidate till the first interview is over in selected US states. Even if the law is not applicable in your state, you should not rush to run the screening. Delay the process till you decide to give conditional offer of employment to the candidates. There are two reasons for the delay: i) It will reduce the accusations of discrimination against candidates having a criminal history; ii) It will save you lots of money. The reason being, if you only screen couple of candidates instead of all the 20 candi- dates applying for the position, you will save money that would have been wasted on unnecessary checks. d). Give a chance to the candidate to explain if anything wrong comes up in the background check report There are chances that the information you derive from the employment screening reports can be incorrect. This makes it important for you to give a chance to the candidate to explain their position pertaining to the information found. By giving them an opportunity you are enhancing their experience during the screening process which is a big plus for your employer brand. e).
  19. 19. 19 www.cfirstcorp.com Although rescreening current employees is a necessary task, it may not always be necessary. Follow these best practices to use the rescreening process judiciously: 6)Conduct ongoing screening TO MAINTAIN A SAFE AND secure work environment
  20. 20. 20 www.cfirstcorp.com Do not leave senior staff while implementing a rescreening program for the current employees working in your organization According to a Hireright,“24% of organizations admit it is possible that their board members have never been checked”. It is a common perception that many CXOs go through less background screening than the average college graduate. So, don’t leave senior staff while implementing a rescreening program for these employees. Rescreen employees when they are promoted or given additional job responsibilities to ensure that they are fit for the role being offered Employers need to make it a standard practice to rescreen employees when they are promoted, transferred to another department or given additional job responsibilities and duties. It might have been several years since any background check was done on the candidate. On top of that, there can be additional screening requirement for the new position which were not considered at the time of their appointment. Before giving the additional responsibilities to the employees, it is important to ensure that they meet the screening standards and criteria that are applicable to the new hires for the same position. Rescreen contractual workers every time they are hired for work Organizations need to rescreen contractual workers based on the relevant job roles. It is the right time to adopt“staged”screening as it is not only cost-effective but also efficient. Implement a system that enables you to rescreen the contractual workers on a periodic basis. Educate the contractual workers upfront about your expectations, which will assist you to complete the process quickly and they will be happy with the overall process. Reduce employee risk by rescreening all or selected staff annually by taking proper measures in accordance with the rescreening program If your organization wants to run screening on a continuous basis, it is best to let the employees know about it from the very first day of their hire date. Implement a policy where each and every employee or a selected staff is rescreened on an annual basis consistently. This way the employees in your organization will consider it to be a common practice in your workplace. a). b). c). d).
  21. 21. CONCLUSION 21 www.cfirstcorp.com In the end, organizations need to keep in mind that employment screening should be conducted by keeping in consideration the job position applied by the candidate. The employment screening services need to be relevant and specific to the requisite skill sets desired and associated risks of the designation in question. The best practices mentioned in this eBook can be summed up in the following points given below: Have a consistent and fair policy for employment screening that scrutinizes each and every candidate irrespective of the designation applied for. There should be no bias or relaxation of rules for any candidate irrespective of whether it is for a leadership position or a junior level position. Take the advice from a professional legal counselor while conducting the pre-employment background screening process. Remember, there are legal implications that need to be considered while conducting the screening process. It is best to be aware of the local, federal and state laws affecting your screening process. This will make you save your organization from facing any legal hassles. Always conduct the employment screening process by taking into consideration the country specific laws and guidelines to ensure that you do not end up in legal trouble. If you are not able to conduct the background screening process comprehensively, it is best to take the help of a professional background screening vendor that can take into account the quality and information security standards while conducting the pre-employment screening process.
  22. 22. 22 www.cfirstcorp.com There is no one size fits all approach. For the jobs that are more important like leadership roles there should a different screening package than an ordinary clerical jobs. Remember, the higher the risk, the more comprehensive the background screening should be. If you find any information in the screening report that can have an affect on the candidate’s qualification for the job position, take necessary action. Never conduct background screening just for the sake of it. Always take requisite steps to mitigate risks for your organization. Always let the candidates know the result of the employment screening irrespective of their status. Inform them about your findings and if there is something questionable, give them an adequate chance to explain and justify themselves. Finally, ensure that the employment screening that you are conducting provides a win-win situation for both the employer and the individual in question so that there is a seamless experience for both of them! FOR THE JOBS THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT LIKE LEADERSHIP ROLES THERE SHOULD A DIFFERENT SCREENING PACKAGE THAN AN ORDINARY CLERK JOB. REMEMBER, THE HIGHER THE RISK, THE MORE COMPREHENSIVE THE BACKGROUND SCREENING SHOULD BE.
  23. 23. What is cFIRST? cFIRST, based in Cincinnati, Ohio and Bangalore, India, provides cost-effective and customized background screening solutions. We are ISO 27001:2013 certified, NAPBS and NASSCOM NSR empaneled and a trusted source of background check information for organizations ranging from small, local business owners to global Fortune 500 companies. +91 953-889-5291www.cfirstcorp.comsales@cfirstcorp.com

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