Pre-Employment Screening…what’s the big deal?

As an employer, the hiring process can be tricky. You want to hire people that are hardworking, determined and fit well with your company.  Conducting thorough interviews (as opposed to just relying on a resume) is a crucial aspect of the hiring process that allows you an in-depth understanding of who you may potentially be hiring into your company.  However, interviews are not the only part of the ‘hiring solution’ and should be supplemented with additional information to verify that what the candidate says is indeed the truth and nothing but the truth! 

One critical component as part of a robust hiring process is conducting a thorough pre-employment screening process including background checks.  Protecting yourself and your company is essential and a vital part of an efficient hiring program in an organization. Not doing so, places a company at significant risk which is not worth it for the company and the people that work there.

According to Trusted Employees procedures, pre-employment screening provides employers with the ability to ‘fact -check’ a potential employee’s previous work experience, references and job-related qualifications. This adds significant support in boosting a company’s ability to ‘narrow down’ during the selection process by screening out undesirable applicants (e.g. those that exaggerate their resumes and general application).

So, how does one go about actually doing this successfully? Below are 4-winning strategies that we highly recommend as part of a robust hiring process.

  1. Ask the right questions from the start

Pre-employment screenings begin with the first interaction with an applicant during the initial screening interview process. Interview questions to satisfy this process, are designed to get the answers that the interviewer is looking for.  This said, asking the right questions the right way are critical to any interviewer’s success.  For example, if an applicant is being interviewed for an Office Manager role, don’t only ask if they have worked in an ‘office environment’ as part of their previous experience but follow-up with additional questions that cover their managerial experience as well. Structuring interview questions, as shown above, will ensure that all bases are covered as much as possible.

Asking the right questions in an interview is one thing, but remember that asking the right question in the application form is just as important.  According to Job Search Bible, it’s crucial that a company format the questions correctly. Important question structure considerations include multiple-choice questions that provide options that make sense. For example, asking questions relating to years of managerial experience, an applicant has, could be structured in time periods such as “0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-2 years or over two years” etc. Ensure the question structure is sound to ensure accuracy.

  1. Verify all documentation

A vital aspect of any pre-employment screening strategy should be the verification of documents provided by the applicant. As part of an application, applicants likely asked for identification documents like a driver license number, their employment history and whether or not they have a criminal record etc. Although important questions on any job application, regardless of the position, how can a company verify this information to be accurate?

The candidate information verification process is a detailed one and can demand a significant amount of time from an HR department leading to sub-standard checks being done.  This positions a company in an unnecessarily risky position.  Luckily, there are significantly better options available as the next point solution will show.

  1. Use an external pre-employment screening company

Giving time back to a company’s HR Department and investing in outsourcing the pre-employment screening process will do just this.  Not only will this speed up the hiring process significantly but the company will have a dedicated partner conducting a thorough pre-employment screening service. Detailed information will be delivered to the hiring manager quickly and efficiently ending up being real lifesavers in the company’s hiring process!

In conclusion, it is essential to make sure that all information is collected through a solid process of identifying the right people for the company.  This is done through a combination of thorough interviewing combined with a pre-employment screening service.

This reduces the risk significantly when making hiring decisions increasing a company’s safety, general productivity and overall culture. 


Laura Greene is one of the content managers for TrustedEmployees – creative people who provide businesses, non-profits, and volunteer organizations with a tailored and compliant approach to background screening through personalization, innovation, and dedication.