The three most common pre-employment screenings are background checks, drug testing, and physical exams. You are not required to do any of them. Some companies do one, two, or all three. If you choose to pre-screen, decide if all positions will require it, or if only select positions will require screenings based on the duties of the job. There may be a position that requires a physical and drug test, but another that requires only a background check. It is important that you remain consistent and screen all applicants according to your policy. Let's start with the basics on background checks.
Hiring a reputable company to conduct a background check on people you are considering hiring is a wise business choice. The number of companies starting this practice increases each year, and for good reason. One motive is that conducting a background check will increase your efforts to provide a safe work environment and decrease the likelihood of theft. Another is to catch people who lied on their application or resume, which is where the highest number of inconsistencies occur. Most resume bluffs consist of stretching the truth about dates of employment, positions held, and education completed.
Criminal, driving, employment, education, residence, identity, credit, and workers' compensation are the most common background items to check. It is worth the extra expense to screen nationally. You must have written consent from the applicant before the check, and she must be informed of what areas will be screened and that a job offer is contingent on the results.
An applicant trying to hide an extended period of unemployment, time in prison, or a job from which they were fired tend to stretch the employment dates of positions before and after the event. For instance, if they were fired from a job they held for two years and do not want to list it on their resume, they'll add a year to the positions they held before and after that job.
Education is another area on an application where people may lie. A fake diploma may be purchased from a degree mill, but no matter how authentic it looks for the $400 the applicant paid for it, you won't be fooled if you conduct a background check that includes education credits. Applicants have even been known to go as far as to falsify a Ph.D.
Do not try to save money and conduct your own background investigation by doing an Internet search. It is unreliable for positive identification purposes and will not deliver a fair assessment. Infolink and ADP Screening and Selection Services are two of the biggest companies available to help you.
Criminal background checks are important because you may not want to give someone control of your company's petty cash account if they have been convicted of fraud. If your business caters to children, you have an obligation to keep pedophiles away. Employees who drive vehicles on the job should have a good driving record and a background check can spot out-of-state violations. A person with bad credit could have experienced an unfortunate hardship, which you may choose to overlook, or she may have uncontrollable spending habits that may be a red flag. I-9 verifications will tell you if the person is honest about her identity and eligibility to work in the United States. All of these things can be discovered during a background check. A basic check costs about $20. More extensive checks run $100 or more.