10 Things to Check When Screening New Employees


When filling a vacancy, it is important to hire the person with the best job fit. It is also necessary to know that the applicant has been honest on their resume and in the interviews. There are multiple ways to screen potential employees. Here are ten of the most important checks that are needed.

Pre-Employment Testing

A pre-employment test will tell you if a candidate has the skills your company needs. This will reduce the list of prospective candidates to a few who can do the job. Two disadvantages of this are that it will cost the company to undertake candidate testing and the method is more suitable for some positions than others.

Once you have narrowed the candidates down to two or three possible employees, you can follow up with a paid trial. Having passed the pre-employment test does not mean that the candidate will sustain their performance. A week of monitored work will reveal the person’s soft skills such as how they fit into the team and what their work ethic is. Again, this takes time, delays the appointment, and is costly. However, if you can screen out a bad employee, this will be worth it.

Drug Testing

An employee who is using drugs may have problems with work performance, timeliness, and reliability. Drug testing will help you keep your workplace a drug-free zone. The disadvantage is that it will cost the company to do drug testing. DataCheck pre-employment background screening allows you to customize your requirements, including drug testing.

Reference Checks

Reference checks will indicate whether or not a candidate has been honest with you. They help to confirm the person’s experience and see past exaggerations and outright lies. While you may think this is a rare event, according to a survey, almost a third of employees in the US have lied about something on their resumes. This included falsehoods about tenure, gaps between jobs, and last salary. Some additional items to query during a reference check are punctuality, skills, attitudes, and any contributions they made to the previous company. If the position being applied for is a management post, it may be useful to speak to subordinates they managed.

Background Checks

In a background check you may follow up on identity and citizen confirmation, verify qualification and licenses, criminal record, social media data, and a credit check. You may also confirm past employment. These items are discussed individually below.

Identity and Citizen Check

Federal law does not allow an employer to check if an applicant is a USA citizen before they accept the position.

The Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) Form lists the documents that the employee can present as proof of identification. All employees hired after November 6, 1986, must have their employment eligibility confirmed. The employer must accept any documentation on the list as long as it has not expired. Some employers are required to use E-Verify as per state and federal law.

Past Employment History

Past employment history will show all the jobs a person has held, what position they were in, and salaries. A detailed history will reveal any gaps in employment, and reasons for leaving a job. This history will indicate if the person was self-employed or in a contract position. If an applicant had a long stretch of unemployment, it is important to look into the reasons for this.

Educational Qualifications

The applicant will be asked to provide a certified copy of their diploma or a sealed transcript. Employers may also check directly with schools or universities. A third-party service hired to do background checks will follow the same process.

Online Search

An online search is one of the easiest ways to screen potential employees due to the amount of information that is available. LinkedIn can provide background information on the person’s work record and ensure that timelines match the resume.

A study found that 77% of employees do online checks. Although this method is not 100% reliable, takes time, and may lead to bias, it is a relatively simple screening method and does not cost the company anything unless it is done by a third-party service provider.

Criminal Record Check

Criminal records are open to the public as per the Freedom of Information Act in the US. These records can be applied for or searched online. The former is subject to delays, so an online search is the easiest and quickest. Another way is to ask the applicant to provide proof that they do not have a criminal record. An employer cannot refuse to hire any felons but must show that the type of record makes the person unsuitable for the job.

Credit Checks

Almost 50% of companies do credit checks before hiring an employee. The three consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) are Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) states that the employer needs written permission for conducting a credit check. Employers can refuse to hire an employee who refuses permission. If anything in the report is used not to hire or promote an employee, they must be advised of this, given a copy of the report, and a chance to check its correctness. A credit check is important for certain positions, such as those dealing with finances and executive roles.

A big company is better able to tolerate a bad hiring decision. However, a small company or one that is just starting up will be more seriously impacted. If you want to be sure of your decision, a proper screening process is a must.