Recently we investigated who gives input into the employee screening policy in a company and the results were interesting. 50% showed that only the Human Resources department was involved in the development of the employee screening policy, 25% said that Human Resources and the Risk department developed the policy together and only 25% of companies said that HR, Risk, and the C-suite were in agreement on the policy.

Why is it important to have the entire company aligned with the employee screening policy?

A well-written pre-employment screening policy can help you ensure that your background check process is uniform, comprehensive, and complies with all relevant laws. Companies must implement background check policies fairly to protect against potential liability.

A comprehensive employee screening policy must contain:

• Clear, consistent guidelines and procedures

This will ensure that the checks are consistent with all potential or existing employees and one individual is not treated differently to another.

• Ensure compliance with the laws

International laws concerning employee screening are changing constantly and you need to ensure that your policy accommodates all legal requirements for the checks to be conducted.

• Ensure your background checks are relevant to the position for which the candidate is applying

A good background screening policy can help employers ensure that applicants for positions requiring a greater degree of responsibility will include more comprehensive and relevant checks while those who apply for entry-level jobs will still receive comprehensive general pre-employment screening checks.

Checks should extend beyond the mere criminal record check / CV verification and should include various psychological assessments, including integrity assessments and reputation assessments, such as social media risk assessments.

• Consistent procedures for reference and background checks

By involving the Risk department they can use intelligence from past investigations to identify potential risks and ensure that the employee screening policy accommodates such risks.

Once the policy is developed it is essential for it to be approved by the board of directors to ensure the policy is adhered to across the company. This helps to ensure fair and correct screening is done across the board and it does not become an irritating or annoying process which is easily ignored. An international poll recently found that 71% of HR practitioners found employee screening an irritation in the recruitment process.

To maintain the effectiveness of the policy it must be reviewed regularly and whilst 65% of respondents admitted to reviewing their policy in the past 12 months, 6% admitted to not having a policy.

An international survey found that 71% of HR practitioners found the employee screening to be “annoying and irritating”.

Some good news was that 65% of respondents had updated their policy in the past 12 months while 6% admitted that they did not have one.

It is essential to remember employee screening gives you confidence that you are appointing people who will be an asset to your organisation, fit your culture and not cost the company in the long run.

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