8 Keys to a Successful Pre Employment Screen

pre employment screenI am sure Pacers owner Herb Simon and his wife Bui could have benefited from understanding the keys to a successful pre employment screen.  Why?  Because their ex-nanny, Claudia Liete, has sued them claiming she was wrongfully dismissed.  And a CA judge has sided with the ex-nanny. The ex-nanny claims she was wrongfully dismissed after becoming pregnant.  Certainly pregnancy is not grounds for dismissing an employee.  However, it was the post employment screen or better yet, the post-lawsuit-employment screen that revealed a criminal history with the ex-nanny.

Why not before she started working with the Simon’s kids?

During the trial it was revealed during testimony that the ex-nanny had been the aggressor in a past dating relationship.  The ex-nanny had also applied to volunteer at school with the Simon’s children but a criminal background check prevented her from being able to volunteer.  The ex-nanny explained to the Simon’s it was related to an immigration issue and that satisfied the employer’s curiosity.

It is human nature to want to believe people at face value.  Unfortunately, it is impossible to look at somebody or listen to somebody and determine whether they pose a risk of harm.  If only it were that easy.

So I thought it was important to look at 8 keys to a successful pre employment screen:

  1. You MUST be Conducting Pre Employment Background Checks.
  2. Understand the Background Screening Industry is Highly Unregulated.  The most important decision is selecting a quality background screening firm.  You need to understand language such as “7 year felony & misdemeanor search”.  A limited 7 year search is the industry norm.  Quality background screening companies will not limit their searches to 7 years (unless required by law in some jurisdictions).
  3. Pre Employment Screening is not a Commodity.  If you are diagnosed with a cancer, you would not spend hours on Google looking for the cheapest cancer doctor.  That makes no sense.  You want the best.  The highest quality treatment.  The same holds true for background checks.  The background screening industry and the internet has tried to turn this critical service into a commodity.  Lowest bid wins.  The truth is shopping by lowest price will eventually come back to haunt you.  It might not be today, tomorrow or next week.  However, in time, somebody will be harmed because a cheap background check does not work.
  4. Conduct Due Diligence on Background Screening Firms.  Since the industry is highly unregulated that has resulted in very low quality products and services.  You need to conduct your own due diligence when selecting the right firm to work with.  Download our 10 Things to Know Before Hiring a Background Screening Firm and use the questions as a guide.
  5. Avoid the Allure of Instant Background Checks.  There is no such thing as an instant background check.  Instant criminal database searches are a tool that should be included in a larger screening package.  They also are not FCRA compliant for employment background screening purposes.
  6. Understand Legal Compliance.   It is critical to partner with a firm that is committed to keeping you informed of changes in laws or policies that could impact your risk exposure.  There are a myriad of legal concerns with pre employment screens:
    1. FCRA Compliance.  Navigating the FCRA can be a daunting and intimidating task.  A quality background screening firm will provide assistance and sample forms.
    2. EEOC.  Well, how do I explain this in a few sentences?  The bottom line is the EEOC is moving in a direction to further restrict the use of criminal records checks
    3. State Law Restrictions.  States are constantly implementing changes in the use of criminal records, credit reports, etc.
    4. A Pre Employment Screen is More Than a Criminal Record Check.  Quality applications, reference checks, employment verifications, driving records, credit checks, education verifications, E-Verify, and OIG/GSA or financial sanction lists can be important solutions.
    5. Demand Great Customer Service.  You deserve it. Companies that value their clients provide great service.

So the big question you must answer is do you want a cheap pre employment screen or a quality pre employment screening program?  There are two distinct approaches to background screening:

  1. Commodity Focused; or
  2. Quality Focused

If you are a quality focused organization, contact us today and let’s take your background screening program to the next level.