Red Flags to Look Out for in Pre-Employment Screening – Eliminating Potential Risks

Red Flags to Look Out for in Pre-Employment Screening – Eliminating Potential Risks


Employees are the key elements that hold the power to make or break a venture. For this reason, an organization puts dedicated sincere efforts to filter the best of the bunch. In this filtration process, you are investing time and resources to integrate candidates into your company. Don’t you want to ensure that you are investing safely? That ’s where Background checks come in. An employee background check verifies if a person truly is who they claim to be.

This comprehensive blog will walk you through the crucial aspects of employment screening, that enable you to simplify your hiring process for a successful work environment. Let’s explore each step in a detailed way.

Various Types Of Background Checks

1. Criminal Background Checks

The main step of employment screening is Background checking. This step identifies potential risks and the safety of your workplace. Compliance with relevant regulations is needed to protect the company ’s reputation. Through criminal background checks, minimize the opportunity of hiring individuals with a criminal background for a secure work environment.

A criminal background check involves searching a few records such as:

  • National criminal databases
  • State and National criminal records
  • Criminal court records
  • Sex offender databases
  • Country-wide criminal history

 2. Employment and Education Verification

Another crucial factor that needs to be validated before hiring is checking the candidate ’s employment and education history. By confirming their educational validations and past employment, companies get insights about the candidate ’s performance and experience. Similarly, verifying educational qualifications and degree ensures that the credentials are legitimate. It is crucial to find the professional licenses, certifications, and memberships relevant to the specific position. Verification methods, like contacting previous employers and educational institutions, ensure the accuracy of the provided details.

Different types of verification conducted in employment checks include

  • Job start and end dates
  • Positions held
  • Reason for exit
  • Description of job responsibilities
  • Details of perks

Different types of verification conducted in education checks include

  • Candidate name verification against the university or school records
  • The precise address of the university or school
  • Dates or duration of attendance or graduation date
  • Name of the degree
  • A scan or copy of the release of authorization

3. Reference Checks

Reference checks play a crucial role in getting a candidate ’s suitability. By reaching out to professors, supervisors, or colleagues, you can attain valuable insights into their work ethic, skills, and character. Reference checks also offer an opportunity to certify the candidate ’s qualifications and cultural fit within your firm.

Effective Reference checks include

  • Scheduling a call with the reference to ask questions related to the candidate ’s performance.
  • Sending a structured questionnaire via email to the reference to get detailed written feedback about the candidate.
  • Looking for feedback across multiple references to have a deep understanding of the candidate ’s abilities.

4. Drug and Alcohol Screening

Drug and alcohol screening is important to maintain a safe and productive work environment. These tests determine if alcohol or other banned/illegal drugs are present in the screened person ’s blood. And verify that they are mentally and physically fit to carry out their assigned jobs. Drugs/substance abuse by employees minimizes workplace productivity and will be a potential risk to their colleagues and society in general.

Different types of Drug/screening methods include

  • Urine testing: detects recent drug use in a few days to a week.
  • Saliva testing: finds recent drug use, within the past 24-48 hours.
  • Hair follicle testing: offers a longer detection window of up to 90 days.

5. Social Media and Online Presence Screening

Screening candidates ’social media and online presence offer valuable insights. While conducting social media screening, follow ethical and legal usage guidelines. Get insights on a candidate ’s alignment, communication style, and online behavior with your company ’s values. Examples of social media screening include assessing online interaction quality, reviewing public profiles, and finding out red flags. Transparency and disclosure of your social media screening practices should handle the candidate ’s trust and privacy.

6. Professional License and Credential Verification

Ensuring the authenticity and validity of professional licenses &credentials is high in the hiring process. Employers should verify if candidates have the required qualifications for their desired positions. This includes confirming the legitimacy of certifications, licenses, accreditations, and any specialized training. Engaging with relevant licensing authorities and certification bodies is crucial to obtain official validation of credentials. By verifying professional licenses and credentials diligently, employers could mitigate the concerns of hiring unqualified individuals. Then, the hired candidates will the necessary skills and expertise to contribute to the organization ’s success.

7. Data Protection and Privacy Considerations

Throughout the screening process, securing the candidate data should be your priority. Employers should implement robust measures to secure sensitive information and ensure compliance with privacy laws, like GDPR and CCPA. Getting candidate consent for data collection and processing is important, along with stringent data security practices to drive off any unauthorized access or breaches. Proper disposal of screening information maintains data integrity and mitigates potential risks. By prioritizing data privacy, employers demonstrate their commitment to handling the confidentiality and trust of candidates, creating a positive employer brand image.

In today ’s competitive hiring landscape, effective employment screening is crucial for businesses for making informed decisions and mitigate risks. cFIRST provides comprehensive solutions to simplify and leverage your screening process. With criminal background checks, employment, and education history, checking references, and validating professional licenses, you can select the perfect candidates confidentially for your organization. Simplify your hiring process with cFIRST and create a powerful, trusted, and long-lasting workforce.