3 Essential Tips For Pre-Screening Employee Candidates

22 October 2015
 Categories: , Articles

In today's digital era, all vigilant recruiters should be screening potential employers prior to holding interviews. Pre-screening gives recruiters a chance to build a complete character profile, from which they can accurately pinpoint those candidates that fit their company's ethos. If you are looking to pre-screen candidates, there are a few key points to keep in mind: 

Social Media Is Invaluable

The widespread use of social media gives recruiters a wealth of invaluable information when screening candidates. In fact, an entire profile of a potential candidate can be constructed simply by spending some time on a couple of different social media platforms. 

When it comes to checking social media, make sure to check a number of industry-focused professional networking websites. These days, most professionals will have their CV and resume uploaded to one of these sites; however, there are also a number of other valuable pieces of information to be found on these sites. Besides the obvious aspects such as career progression and education, play close attention to the candidate's professional aspirations and industry engagement. Professional social media platforms are great for sharing industry-related articles and other information, and by identifying candidates who actively engage in their field, you will be able to set the real go-getters apart from mere job hunters.

While not quite as useful as professional platforms, consider checking a candidate's personal social media accounts. From these, you will be able to build a profile of the candidate's personality and interests. And while you should never punish a candidate for their personal interests, you will be able to gauge what type of employee they will be by how they behave online. 

Use Credit Checks as a Character Reference

Detailed credit checks shouldn't only be used to screen mortgage or credit card applicants. Rather, you can use these reports as an employer to gain some vital information prior to interviewing a candidate. Of course, a candidate's financial history shouldn't matter as much as their professional history. However, credit reports contain a significant amount of information that can be used to your advantage.

Firstly, it's always good to cross-check that a candidate is indeed who they say they are. Carrying out a credit check allows you to determine their real identity, where they have lived in the past, and if they have any fraud charges against their name. Employee fraud is a big thing - it is estimated that companies in the United States lose 7% of their annual revenue because of employee theft or fraud. Don't put your company at risk because of negligence when carrying out a background check.

Secondly, it's important to gauge each candidate's responsibility prior to conducting an interview. How a candidate handles their financial business says a lot about their character, and having this information during the interview process will help you pinpoint honest and responsible employees. 

Understand the Law

Before carrying out a detailed financial background check, it's important to understand a few salient issues on employment law. This is particularly important for small businesses that don't have a recruitment department well-versed in background checks. The reason for this is down to something known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which outlines the potential employee's privacy rights and your responsibilities as an employer. 

The main caveat of the FCRA is that you must first obtain the candidate's written consent prior to conducting a financial background check. This written agreement must outline what checks will be conducted, the reason for conducting them, and how they can influence a candidate's chances at securing a position. 

The FCRA also outlines your responsibilities as an employer should you choose to make a decision based on information obtained. The most important part to remember is that if you make a decision based on the background check, you must inform the candidate and give details on the source(s) used. This ensures that no information is held back from the candidate, because if information is withheld and a decision made, the candidate could take your company to court. 

You can do this employment screening yourself, but if you don't have time, you may want to work with an experienced employment screening company