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Employment Screening in 2012: Are You Ready?

January 12, 2012

Every year, more and more companies are seeing the benefit of participating in screening their employees in some manner. The term “screening” broadly encompasses anything from criminal checks, to drug testing, to verifying education and work history.

However, simply stating “we do a background check” may not be enough. Changing industry trends as well as access to additional informational resources are reasons for a company to review their employment screening policies.  Here are some questions to ask to make sure your employment screening process is up to date in 2012.

1: What are we doing now?  Knowing the specific pieces of the applicant’s background you are currently screening is a great starting point. Make sure you know what information is being checked for each position, and how far back the check covers.

2: What is relevant to screen? Evaluate each position and decide which screening tools are important for that particular job. Some positions will not require a credit check, for example. It may be imperative in other positions to verify education. Review your screening process to make certain it is fair and relevant for each position.

3: What should I add? A solid employment screening policy 5 years ago may not be the best solution today. Ask yourself what information would help hire the best employee. You may want to add a social media screen, assessment testing, or beef up your criminal checks (check more counties, add a national database search, etc).

4: When should I screen? While most companies are currently screening during the pre-employment process, there is a growing trend to screen current employees periodically.  2012 may be the time to implement the practice of re-checking an employee’s criminal history at certain intervals to protect your workplace.

Employment screening is an integral part of the hiring process. Examining your current policy, educating yourself on the resources available to you, and beefing up the process will maximize the ability to provide a productive, secure working environment.


~Susan McCullah is the Product Development Director for Data Facts, a 22 year old Memphis-based company that provides pre-employment screening solutions to companies nationwide.

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