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What is pre employment screening? Is Pre-Employment Screening In The Interests of the Job Seeker?
by Scott Boyd


Pre-employment screening is the process of carrying out background checks on potential candidates (i.e., you the job seeker). It is considered (by employers, but more so by those promoting pre-employment screening services) to be necessary in this day and age.


Why?


Well it's like insurance. Employers pay out a lot of money to hire employees and a bad decision can really burn a hole in their pocket.So, it's argued that by pre-screening candidates, they can deter those who would try to falsify their application (with a fake background or education for example).


So what does pre employment screening involve then?


Presumably it varies from country to country (and within the US, from
state to state).I had a look at a few US firms offering pre
employment screening services and they included:
Search of multiple sources including, public and private records,
schools, licensing bodies and former employers.


Criminal history search.
Addresses history.
Credit report.
Driving history.
Quite a lot of other stuff too!


So it seems that employers can gain quite a lot of information about candidates for a relatively low price (prices from $15).


Surely that's a good thing then - better for everyone?


Having never been submitted to pre-employment screening (to my knowledge!!), I'm hesitant to comment on the issue.I do fully appreciate an employers wish to protect their investment as it were, but I am concerned that pre employment screening can lead to a form of discrimination. Indeed, in researching this article I found a company offering pre-employment screening who stated on their site that one of the benefits of it is that it deters people applying if they have a criminal record. It goes on to claim that "regular" job seekers are anxious to work in a safe environment, so pre employment screening is in everyone's best interest. Not being too familiar with the legal system, I will assume that this is all perfectly acceptable business practice.It just seems to me to exclude certain groups of people unfairly. However, I should note that I don't know how this information is dealt with. It could very well be the case that employers don't exclude those with criminal records unless it could directly affect their business.


What to do if you are asked to submit to pre employment screening?


Have a look at this article on about.com: "Background check". It covers your rights and related information so there is no real need for me to repeat it all here.


For further reading you can also check out JobseekersAdvice.com's Employment Issues links. As with all areas of your job search, it's best to go in prepared and sites like this (and other career advice sites out there) can help you do that! We don't have all the answers, but we can certainly help point you in the right direction.