Build Trust with Consistent & Transparent Background Screening Process

Consistency is key to fostering confidence in your background checks. You need a robust process that gives you sufficient insight into candidates to make informed decisions and mitigate the risk of bad hires. If your approach is inconsistent, you leave the organization vulnerable to the negative impact of unscreened employees and potential lawsuits for unlawful hiring practices.

Why background screening and hiring is often inconsistent

Changes in management creates inconsistencies in the hiring process. While individual hiring managers might favour certain methods of their own that have been successful, they come and go, leaving the next hiring manager to implement his or her own methods. 

On the other hand, hiring decisions might be made by individual department heads, each of whom will have their own opinions or ideas about to process job applications, which can again result in inconsistencies due to personal bias. 

Having a standardized employee screening method in place ensures consistency and transparency for all concerned, regardless of who’s making the hiring decisions.

3 ways to establish consistency in your organization’s screening and hiring process

  1. Have a well-defined companywide background screening policy
  2. Create background check packages for different positions
  3. Use background screening management tools

1.  Have a well-defined companywide screening policy

Establishing a well-defined pre-employment screening policy for the organization ensures transparency and consistency across all departments when hiring. 

Begin by deciding on the minimum screening and hiring requirements for all positions and then build on those by adding steps to the screening process for increasing levels of responsibility.

Hiring managers have to put aside personal preferences, beliefs and opinions when assessing candidates and basing decisions on information gleaned from background checks. 

Establish adjudication rules to clarify hiring criteria and what constitutes a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ from results of background checks to avoid hiring mangers’ judgement being clouded by personal preferences.

For example, collectively consider and decide on your organization’s policy regarding results of criminal record checks. Do you implement a zero-tolerance policy and automatically reject candidates with a criminal record or do you overlook small blemishes for misdemeanours and petty offences that have no relevance to the job you are recruiting for?

Suppose a criminal background check reveals that a candidate was once charged with a minor public disorder offence for taking part in a political rally or protest. Should that kind of behaviour disqualify the candidate or could such a strong-willed individual possessing the courage to stand up for what they believe in actually be an asset to your organization?

2. Create packages for different positions

Different positions have varying levels of responsibility. As the background screening process comprises a variety of different checks, you can save time and money by creating packages comprising only the checks relevant to hiring for specific vacancies while omitting checks that are irrelevant to the vacancy. Here’s how you could package separate background checks for different roles: 

All Candidates

ID verification; Employment history check; Education & qualification verification; Criminal background check.

Transport & Management Roles

Perform additional driving record check

Financial Controllers & Accountants

Perform additional credit report check

High-level Executive Roles

Perform additional bankruptcy check and directorship search

3. Use management tools

Having companywide screening and hiring policies in place is a good foundation for all hiring managers to follow but it doesn’t ensure consistency and transparency unless you give those hiring managers the right tools for the job.

Use software tools to help all involved in the hiring process to systematically follow the adjudication rules that you established earlier for interpreting background screening results. The benefits of automatically sorting candidates include:

  • Streamline screening and hiring
  • Simplify record keeping
  • Maintain hiring standards across the organization
  • Minimize preferential treatment or personal bias by hiring managers
  • Maintain transparency with consistent report scoring and accountability
  • Disqualify unsuitable applicants
  • Identify applicants requiring further investigation
  • Move suitable applications forward in the hiring process

Automated adjudication tools can be programmed to work within your specific parameters to save you time and resources. Repetitive tasks can be automated with minimal manual interaction and you can easily filter or group applications and candidates by certain criteria.

Staying compliant with local labour and privacy laws is an added advantage of more advanced automated adjudication tools, which can give you advanced notice of ‘adverse action’ if you are about to make a decision not to hire based on background screening results. These automated warnings are very useful when having to adapt the hiring process to comply with laws in different jurisdictions, where rejecting a candidate based on background screening results could leave you open to litigation or a lawsuit. 

Aside from navigating legal minefields, the main objective (and benefits) of implementing the three strategies above is to ensure consistency, transparency and above all, fairness in your background screening process.

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