Organizations use a number of practices to prevent employee dishonesty, including employee screening services, zero tolerance, reporting and detection, and ethical corporate culture, among others. While most of these best practices can be successfully implemented internally, employee screening is best left to the professionals. When done right, screening your employees significantly reduces the risk of employee misconduct, fraud, and even poor performance due to proactive candidate selection. Alerting the applicants of your company’s screening policy acts as a deterrent to unqualified and unsuitable candidates. Some of the key elements of an effective screening process include:
- Background screening of all applicants for criminal record search, employment history verification, and good financial position
- Employee selection through assessment of character and moral standing
- Due diligence for employee bonding
The Value of a Quality Background Check
Indeed, the employee screening industry has come a long way in the last ten years. At the turn of the century, many companies were not performing background checks on their job applicants. Today, they are a standard procedure. However, there are a few disconcerting trends that employers should be aware of. How to spot fraudulent employee screening services When hiring a company to screen your employees, you can avoid these three common mistakes listed below:
Background Screening Mistake #1 – Relying on Incomplete Databases
Don’t rely on proprietary criminal databases Screening companies that claim to provide a low cost “regional” or “nationwide” criminal database comprising partial records from prison systems, county courts, sex offender registries, state departments of corrections, and other sources can be misleading to work with. Relying on a proprietary database is not enough to perform thorough background checks because databases can be incomplete and inaccurate. Keep in mind that:
- Most jurisdictions don’t keep most of their records in electronic format – meaning that the proprietary database won’t have many criminal records
- Many jurisdictions omit key identifiers – the database could associate some records with the wrong individual
- Criminal records change over time – the database could contain outdated information such as sealed cases or expunged records, and miss deferred judgments that later become convictions In other words, database-only searches are highly ineffective. If a screening company claims to have a proprietary database, it should be used to supplement an official state government repository or county search. Alternatively, find a company that relies on a National Criminal Index Search.
Background Screening Mistake #2 – Performing Searches in the wrong Jurisdiction
Failure to perform criminal search in the right jurisdiction Although automated search processes are convenient, they have a loophole that unsuitable candidates can exploit to gain employment. For instance, if the candidate recently moved to the current residence from a different jurisdiction where he/she had a criminal record, it is unlikely that a criminal search in the new jurisdiction would reveal any arrests, charges, or convictions. As such, the right screening company should examine every criminal search order to identify the most appropriate jurisdiction for a criminal search. This may require the applicant to share their credit report, SSN trace, motor vehicle report, or resume to identify and verify their background. Specialists must be involved in the process, as opposed to performing an automated search.
Background Screening Mistake #3 – Relying on Automated Background Screening Solutions
Failure to customize screening services Taking the previous points into account, some screening vendors may believe that they offer a bullet-proof and affordable package that requires no extra services. But this is obviously not true considering that they may have an incomplete database, or that the automated search checks in the wrong jurisdiction. Instead, find a HR outsourcing and screening company that provides personalized or specialized services, such as customized report packages, asking custom questions for employment or reference verifications, in-depth follow up research on specific candidates, and so on. Final Note Considering that your next employee could have a huge impact on your company’s success or failure, it is critical that you seek professional employee screening services. The ideal company should be able to deliver accurate, timely, and cost-effective drug testing and background checks to help you make the right hiring decisions.