5 Reasons Your Company Needs a Sound Employee Screening Policy

The right people can make all the difference to your company’s success, but the wrong ones could literally sink it.

Great people make great companies. Or as Sir Richard Branson so often says, “teamwork makes the dream work.” However, while the right people can make all the difference to your company’s success, the wrong ones could literally sink it.

There are companies that choose to wing it when hiring new employees, but they are also often the companies that find that their dream candidate turns into a nightmare quickly. We’ve heard horror stories that range from grossly unqualified new applicants (who looked great on paper!), to discovering that the new hire has a long criminal record under their own or another name.

The fact is, when hiring on the fly goes wrong, it very often goes wrong spectacularly.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Even if you operate in an at-will employment state, getting rid of bad hires can be costly in terms of restarting the hiring process, undoing the damage that’s already been caused, and potentially hiring temporary help during the process. It’s always better to hire right the first time.

The best way to ensure that your company hires the right people is to create a detailed and comprehensive interview and employee screening policy. Here are some of the reasons why this is so critical:

  1. Narrow your candidate list easily. One of the biggest problems with any hiring effort is that you’re likely to get a large group of applicants who all seem to be suited to the job. An in-depth employee screening process can help to eliminate some of those candidates right off the bat.
  2. Eliminate the risk of hiring employees who are unqualified or inexperienced for the role.
  3. Weed out employees who have hidden criminal records.
  4. Avoid hiring employees who have tax troubles.
  5. Ensure that your requests for criminal record checks, medical screening and other potentially tricky checks don’t land you in hot water.

A well thought out, fair and above-board employee screening policy that complies with the law and covers all the important bases might not eliminate 100% of the hiring risks you could face, but it will certainly cut them right down to a minimum.

Create a Lifetime Employment Policy

Many people think that employee screening begins and ends with new hires, but the truth is, it’s an ongoing process, that will require additional steps throughout the duration of your association with an employee.

You may need to implement annual or regular screening of certain types of employees to ensure your compliance with industry regulations, or you may need a policy to “rescreen” before choosing from a pool of employees up for internal promotions.

Proper Screening Is Always Cheaper

Professional employee background screening may carry costs that you’d rather avoid. The process may slow down your HR processes. However, with the true cost of a bad hire estimated to be well over $200,000 (and that’s without any lawsuits that may result in extreme cases!), it’s certainly worth the investment.


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