There are obvious risks in any hiring process.  Even though a person presents themselves well on paper and in an interview, there is always risk in how a person will react once hired.  There are so many different facets to any employment setting, from the interactions with management to employee camaraderie that often times the true test of a new employee adapting positively to a new environment won’t be realized until they are on the job.  An employment screening, conducted during the interview process, can reveal key facts about a person and their habits, both on the job and off and can be an indicator of how the applicant might function in a particular work setting.

Answers to previous work history can be uncovered through an employment verification that includes speaking with references.  While a verification of employment will provide the prospective employer the dates of employment and the position that was held, a reference verification gives the employer the opportunity to delve deeper into work habits and on the job performance.  Most human resource departments have been instructed to only provide basic information about a former employee, such as what was noted above.  While this verifies whether or not the information provided by the applicant is true and correct, it does not provide information about the personal and professional side of the applicant.  When a reference verification is included in an employment screening, this can help provide the prospective employer with a well-rounded understanding of the individual.  Questions that are asked of professional references need to center around professional competencies, reputation and strengths and weaknesses.  Personal references should also be asked about reputation, but should also be framed to glean information about interpersonal skills that give the hiring manager an idea of how this new employee might get along with those already working.

Obviously, prior criminal activity found in an employment screening can be an indicator of a persons past, but should not be the only piece of the puzzle in determining suitability for hiring.  Another tool used in a background check is a social media screening.  This provides the company an FCRA compliant look into an applicant’s social media presence, and helps to track the applicants social media “footprint.”  This search more than any other can provide a real-time glimpse into the personal and possibly professional habits of an individual.  PeopleG2 advises that if a company decides to utilize social media as part of a hiring equation that this is included in an employment screening package.  Companies that attempt to ascertain information from their own social media investigations open themselves up to possible litigation.  It is beneficial to make social media screening a part of a criminal background check conducted by PeopleG2 if a company wants this sort of information for the decision making process.

When making a hire, an employment screening can only enhance the other aspects of the hiring process.  Personality tests and other sorts of evaluative tools are also beneficial and can be considered as a part of a thorough background check.  In short, utilize as many elements as possible to create a clear picture of an applicant so that you can hopefully avoid hiring a high risk employee.

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