Pre-employment screening – above-standard service of personnel agencies or a must?
Titul: SYNERGIE NEWS Vydavatel: Synergie, s.r.o. Autor:
How can you be really sure that the applicants for a job in your company are not lying to you? There is one service that can help you – the “pre-employment screening” or “PES”, also referred to as a ”background check”. It is already a standard part of the recruitment process in many global companies.
Only a year ago, we would enthusiastically recommend a candidate with the perfect CV, sound references and convincing presentation during the personal interview, now we have to really ask ourselves, whether we can present someone without a verified identity, education and previous employment. It is also a warning to see how some of the applicants change the data in their CV after a year (mostly the dates of employment are prolonged or deleted altogether) and think that the agency won’t notice the difference.
This is where PES comes into play. The basic definition of PES is that it is a verification of the data provided by the job applicant. In the basic scope this is a relatively simple procedure, which includes filling in a questionaire by the applicant and giving it to a specialized company that cooperates with the personnel agency or with the employer. These professionals verify academic qualifications, the last 2-5 years of employment. In the extended scope it can also cover an identity check, 5-20 years of employment and references, criminal records check, compliance database search, professional trainings verification but also such items as a media search or Internet trawl service (any negative articles/references are reported).
The more important, or as the case may be, the more responsible the position you hire for, the greater the need and scope of PES, which may then save the company from risk/damage done by an unsuitable candidate (ie. fraud, risk of damage to business relationships with partners or damage to corporate goodwill). Therefore, for example with financial positions, we strongly recommend to verify also the past of the applicant.
Perhaps, you may ask whether this approach does not discourage the candidates. From our experience, the majority of people find it professional and have no issues with this step.
PES has a number of advantages:
- You increase the standard of transparency of the selection process and at the same time make it possible for the applicants to be sincere/honest in the interview,
- You disclose the applicants who cheat,
- You avoid the accusation of discrimination and will actually demonstrate your relationship to your employees (by detecting a fraud, you protect the rest of your work team),
- You save time and costs related to the selection of a new candidate.
Czech legislation does not really deal with this issue. In other words, PES is not defined by law. Advice on how to proceed can be, however, found in the provisions and laws concerning the protection of the personal data. Prior to the PES process, it is important to obtain written consent from the applicant with the verification of the disclosed information. Then, PES may be classified as one of the methods securing a non-discriminating selection of the employment applicants.
Synergie included PES in its portfolio of services in 2009 and recommends it strongly to its clients. With some positions, it even provides PES free of charge as it is included in the recruitment fee.
So, the Czech old saying: „Trust, but verify!“ will remain true.