What is Employment Screening and How to Do Employment Screening

Employment screening enables you to verify the skills, experience and qualifications of a candidate to assist you in making your hiring and recruitment decisions. This provides you with all of the available information about a candidate to make the most accurate decision and safeguard your hiring process. Employment screening also helps to protect your company’s reputation and ensure that your financial and people risk is minimised.

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Many employers will conduct pre-employment screenings before they send you a job offer. Potential employers will typically perform a screening sometime during the interview process to assist in their hiring decision. There are a variety of screenings potential employers can use to get a thorough understanding of your background. In this article, we will explain what pre-employment screening is and how you can prepare for it.

What is pre-employment screening?

Also sometimes called a “background check,” a pre-employment screening is a verification of your information and background. Employers can use screenings to determine if you can handle sensitive or confidential information and to assess skills that are relevant to the position.

Depending on the job, employers can conduct one or more of these common pre-employment screens:

  • Social security number (SSN) tracing is used to find all of the names, date of birth and addresses associated with that SSN. This trace makes it possible for employers to find areas to search for additional records.

  • Criminal history screenings check records in various local, state, national, federal and even international databases. Some criminal history screenings may require you to submit your fingerprints. Criminal record checks will often include a combination of records derived from multiple sources. They can be done at county, state, federal, or even international levels. Companies can commonly access this data from just online databases.
  • Using those databases to check criminal records is referred to as screen-scraping. This process can sometimes turn up charges against job applicants that are very old or have been dismissed.
  • The general consensus is that the most effective method of getting an accurate picture of a job candidate is to have real people looking through hard copies of records, in order to ensure that they are getting information about the correct person and the true outcome of all criminal cases.
  • Pre-employment screening services are offered by government agencies such as the FBI and the Department of Transportation to employers who want information about driving or criminal records.
  • It’s possible that checking criminal records will protect a company in any negligent hiring lawsuits. However, there are laws in many states which specify just how information from these criminal records can be used when evaluating job candidates.
  • Criminal background checks will often include the following:
  • FBI Fingerprint Database Search – Submitting fingerprints to the FBI database will not necessarily result in a comprehensive picture of a job candidate’s criminal history. That is because the database depends upon local jurisdictions to provide information regarding arrests and their final dispositions. A great deal of information may be missing. This search should comprise only one small part of any pre-employment screening.
  • National Criminal Record Search (NCRD) – This database is constructed from information in the repositories at the municipal, circuit, district, and superior court levels, plus the FBI, Department of Corrections, U.S. Customs, DEA, U.S. Marshal, Department of Justice and Secret Service. It identifies criminal offenses not only where the job candidate has worked or lived, but from all over the country. The national database allows instant access to hundreds of millions of records, including the National Sex Offender Registry.
  • Federal Criminal Records Search – Bank robbery, embezzlement, interstate drug trafficking are just some examples of the type of federal offenses that won’t show up on state and county level searches because they fall under federal jurisdiction. That is why a search of federal crime records is suggested for a thorough pre-employment screening.
  • Statewide Criminal Records Search – Records of felonies and misdemeanors are usually found in the central repositories of each state. The information is provided by courts, corrections, and law enforcement agencies all over the state. However, the quality of these searches can vary widely from state to state, since each one gets to decide how data is imported and who is allowed access to it. The information is not always accurate, or up to date. Depending on the state, the records may not even cover all levels of its court system.
  • County Criminal Record Search – Local county and municipal records will be available through this search.

  • Public records screenings can search motor vehicle records, driving history, credit history, bankruptcy records, workers’ compensation records, civil records and sometimes medical records.

  • Verifications and credentials screenings check the accuracy of your education or degree received, previous employment, professional certifications or licenses, professional references and military service records. Particularly for entry-level employees, employers like to verify a job applicant’s degree, academic performance or major. The Family Right to Privacy Act requires that schools obtain consent from the former student before they release any type of academic records.
  • These reports will verify the dates students attended the academic institution, which fields were studied, the degree earned, grade point averages, and the date of graduation. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) covers all of the background checks included in an education verification screening.

  • Controlled substance screenings are conducted by a health care provider to ensure your employment complies with company-wide policies on illicit substances.

  • Lie detector or polygraph tests can only be required by companies that provide security services or manufacture or distribute controlled substances. Most private companies are not allowed to use lie detector tests as a form of pre-employment screening. However, certain types of businesses are exempt from this prohibition, such as alarm, guard or armored car services, as well as those who dispense, distribute, or manufacture pharmaceuticals.

  • Pre-employment assessments are tests your potential employer may ask you to take to determine your abilities as they relate to the role.

Drug Testing

Drug testing is probably one of the most common screenings that employers use to ensure that job candidates will be productive employees and as a preventative measure against injuries in the workplace.

Drug tests identify illegal substances potential employees may have ingested or been exposed to. It must be done in strict compliance with laws of the state where the business is located.

Worker’s Compensation Claims History

Screening for worker’s compensation claims that a job applicant has filed in the past is not available in all states. Furthermore, in those states where it is available, it must be conducted in strict compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Credit History Screening

Pre-employment screening of the credit history of job candidates is regulated by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Employers are not only required to obtain the consent of all applicants to perform such a search, they must also provide the applicant with access to the results.

Still, many employers consider such a screening to be helpful as an indicator of irresponsible behavior if the search turns up financial problems. On the other hand, it is also considered evidence of trustworthiness and reliability if the applicant has a positive report.

Sex Offender Registry Screening

Employers may conduct searches through registries at both the state and Federal level to find out if job applicants are on sex offender lists. This type of pre-employment screening allows them to avoid endangering their staff or tarnishing their reputation by removing sex offenders from their pool of prospective employees.

Motor Vehicle Records Screening

This information comes from a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and is usually immediately available. Records of license suspensions, accidents, convictions, violation or any disciplinary actions are included in the results from DMV. Companies whose employees operate motor vehicles in the course of their work, such as trucking, delivery or sales, are most likely to require this type of pre-employment screening.

Employment Verification

Employers verify previous employment listed on resumes and job applications using this type of pre-employment screening. It is also used to check the accuracy of dates of employment, job title, and other related details. However, some of the employers which job candidates list on their resume or application may have policies which limit what type of information they will provide about a former employee.

Another important screening element is to verify that a job applicant is eligible to work in this country. All workers in the United States are required to complete an I-9 Employment Verification Form in order to prove their identity and eligibility.

Supervisor/Reference Interviews

Employers will sometimes want to interview references or former supervisors, in order to evaluate the ability of a candidate to perform the job in question. In these cases, the employers will usually be required to provide written permission from the applicant before anyone will speak with them.

This pre-employment screening will provide information regarding the possibility that a job applicant might prove to be a threat to the economy or national security foreign policy of the United Sates.

A county based search of civil records is commonly used by employers as a guide to a job candidate’s character. This pre-employment screening will reveal lawsuits which are based on the applicant’s failure to fulfill the terms of a contract, it will also reveal all civil lawsuits which have been filed against the potential employee.

A civil records search will also make it easy to see whether a job candidate makes a habit of filing lawsuits. It can be a useful tool for determining whether a potential employee is reliable or not.

Licensing and Professional Certification Verification

Companies will always want to verify that their employees have any licenses that are required for their work. This would include attorneys, medical personnel, engineers, accountants, real estate agents, and more.

The pre-employment screening will reveal whether a license is valid, the expiration date, and whether the applicant has been the subject of any type of disciplinary action.

Military Service Records

Records available on veterans will show the dates served, the type of discharge, and the rank held at time of discharge.

Bankruptcy Records

It’s easy to verify whether a job applicant has filed for bankruptcy. However, employers are prohibited from using that information against the applicant.

Medical Records Verification

Companies are not allowed to check a job candidate’s medical records under any circumstances. They are not even allowed to ask specific questions about a candidate’s medical history.

Applicants may be asked whether they can perform all of the responsibilities of a job. If the answer is yes, an employer has no choice but to accept it as the truth.

One exception is when companies make medical exams a requirement of that job, and all similar ones, so that everyone in those positions are required to undergo an exam. In other words, they can’t require a person who is limping to have a medical exam unless all other applicants are also required to undergo an exam as a requisite of employment.

Self Employment Ideas

For a smooth living, a stable source of income has become an utmost necessity. The modern world grants many employment opportunities to the people to choose from. People choose their career options that suit their necessities and personality. People engage themselves in various jobs to secure their present and future. The 9 to 5 jobs are considered to be the most common and safe option for people that promises a good salary at the end of the month. In the present time of crisis, many people lost their jobs and with no source of income, life has definitely come to a standstill for them. To keep going with the flow of life, people have started to utilize their passion in a professional way that would fetch them money to lead a good life.

Self employment is that job opportunity where a person is his own boss. Although being self employed is not at all an easy task because there are challenges at every step. Initially, a self employed person might face many downfalls, monetary losses, uncertainty about continuity of the job and many such issues. Apart from that, stress, anxiety, feeling of despair, under – confidence, societal pressure, unfulfillment of economic needs etc might crush the person. But if a person believes in himself and his ideas, is determined and hard working, no challenge can break him. Ideas and proper execution of ideas are the key to a successful self employment opportunity.

10 Self Employment Ideas

1. Freelancing

Freelancing refers to that self employment idea where a person puts up his skills on the concerned websites so that they could be hired by companies for a period of time. Freelancers don’t work as employees rather they work on the basis of contract. Freelancing includes works like Content Writing, Proofreading, Web designing, Copywriting etc.

2. Blogging

Blogging is the most common self employment idea presently. To become a good blogger, one needs to have an internet connection, a laptop or maybe a smartphone and a lot of ideas on varied topics that would catch the attention of the readers. For example, right now, ‘Fashion’ is something that everyone is interested in and blogs on fashion would fetch a blogger with lots of readers and ultimately profit. The same goes with health and fitness blogs, travel blogs etc.

3. YouTube

YouTube has become the most popular platform on the internet where people showcase their talents. Some use this platform for entertainment purpose and for some it is a source of income. People post their music, dance, acting, cooking, painting and other such videos on YouTube. YouTube pays people when their videos cross a certain limit of views, likes and subscribers. Some people even earn around lakhs monthly from YouTube. It is a perfect platform to earn name, fame and money.

4. Make – up Artists

Make – up Artists are in great demand nowadays. A training certificate from a well known institute is enough to start with the job. Although the well established Make – up Artists have customers throughout the year yet the business of the Make – up Artists bloom more during the wedding season.

5. Home Bakers

In the past few years, home bakers have come up in huge numbers. People who are interested in baking have taken an opportunity to use their skills to earn money. Home bakers bake at the comfort of their homes and sell their eatable items.

6. Selling hand – made products

People good at art and crafts can make use of their crafting skills to start their own line of business. There are many websites where people sell their hand made products. Social media applications like Facebook, Instagram etc are used for promoting their products. Some of the hand – made products are so well crafted that it gives a tough competition to machine – made products.

7. App designing

With the popularity and necessity of smartphones, app developing industry is getting popular. With a proper training in an app developing course, one can start his career in this industry even remotely.

8. Social Media Influencers

This profession is the most discussed and popular profession of recent times. With the growing popularity of social media, social media influencers are growing in numbers. These influencers specialise in specific content and work on those contents. They make regular posts on their social media accounts on their specialised topics in an interesting way to attract the attention of the viewers. Because these influencers have a massive fan base, they are approached by the top brands for promotion of their products. This is of course a great self employment idea.

9. Tuitions

If a person thinks that he is good at any subject, he can start teaching students. Initially there might be one or two students but gradually if his students appreciate his teaching process, many more students would enroll themselves in his tuition. Because people give so much importance to education, taking tuitions is a good idea to start one’s career.

10. Photography

The photography industry is also growing rapidly. A person with photography skills can easily turn his passion for photography into profession. To begin with, one should take mini steps like concentrating on creating his own portfolio, learn from or intern under skilled photographers to enhance their already existing skills. After building a strong portfolio and promotion of his works, he could be approached by people to cover various events from which he can earn his living.

These are a few self employment ideas that people can make use of to earn their daily bread. Before taking up any self employment idea, one has to self introspect and self discover to know what he wants in his life. When a person turns his passion into profession, his zeal towards working immediately doubles than ever before.