The difference between pre-employment background checks and post-employment background verification is the timing of these activities. However, there is more to it than meets the eye.
No one can deny that employees are the most valuable asset of any organization. As such, employment verification is an ongoing process. It is not a one-time affair, as many HR managers may believe.
The process starts with pre-employment background checks and continues after employment. The post-employment background verification safeguards the company’s reputation by preventing embarrassing situations.
Employment verification—the key to successful recruitment
Many organizations have no strict policy for verifying employees’ backgrounds. It may be because the firm is in a hurry to appoint candidates.
Human resource executives in such firms rely on the documents provided by the candidates during the hiring process. However, it is not challenging to doctor the records. There are several instances of forgery and fraud, leading to complications.
With all this in mind, there’s naturally an increasing awareness about the need to verify the candidate’s background before the actual appointment. Unfortunately, most organizations learn the importance of background checks the hard way but ultimately draft a clear policy for their recruitment team. It helps the company reduce turnover costs and maintains workforce morale.
- Pre-employment background verification: It attempts to determine if the candidate is faking the employment records. Pre-employment background verification involves contacting the candidate’s previous organization to verify their work history. The process requires contacting executives from personnel or HR departments to procure authentic information.
- Post-employment verification: It is a periodic review process to maintain appropriate employee standards. These checks are necessary to rule out any possibility of misconduct or unlawful behavior of existing employees.
Pre-check employment verification is now a standard procedure in almost all organizations. Candidates are also aware that the company will initiate the verification process.
Human resource managers must adopt a rigid approach to verify the applicants’ documents. It is done by referring to the officials who issue the documents. However, it may not be easy to contact the issuing authorities to get the necessary information unless one has a strong rapport.
In light of this problem, using third-party resources to conduct pre-employment screening checks is steadily becoming a standard method in large organizations. Small and medium enterprises should also consider hiring employment verification agencies to onboard candidates with a clean record. In addition, pre-screening helps reduce employee turnover and other potential risks if the company uses established screening service providers.
Post-offer pre-employment background checks
An impressive past can never guarantee a promising future. The lack of appropriate post-employment background checks can be a serious concern. If you are on a hiring spree, knowing what a post-offer background check is essential.
A post-offer pre-employment background check helps employers eliminate the possibility of investing in an unfit candidate. Additionally, a post-offer pre-employment check is cost-effective because one has to screen only one or two candidates.
Blanket screening of all applicants is not advisable. You will invite legal trouble if you select a candidate after conducting background checks on all applicants because it amounts to discriminatory practice.
A stitch in time
The right action at the right time is crucial to prevent possible losses. There must be a greater emphasis on post-employment background verification, as a senior staff member is more likely to commit crimes of embezzlement or fraud. There are instances of employees acting as double agents or secretly sharing critical information with competitors.
Timely screening of employees will prevent them from indulging in these acts. Substance abuse, criminal activities, and other serious issues are some possible scenarios that call for stringent verification policies. Suitable post-employment background check rules help enterprises mitigate the possibilities of crimes or fraud during their tenure.
Pre-employment vs. post-employment background verification
Pre-employment background checks offer a fair idea about the candidate’s past, but they don’t guarantee a similar attitude or behavior during the period of employment. The following differences provide a better perspective of the two employee verification procedures:
- Pre-check employment verification: Almost every organization uses the pre-employment background check as a standard practice. The one-time activity involves only a few potential employees to check candidates on multiple parameters. The process eliminates the liabilities of hiring the wrong candidates.
- Post-offer background check: The activity of a post-employment background verification is periodic. The prime focus is to prevent workspace violence, fraud, and other criminal incidences. Some organizations assess employees once every year or six months with their consent. It may involve screening for substance abuse or a criminal record.
One must consider the legal repercussions before developing a policy for post-offer employment verification. No employee should feel that the process of post-offer screening is discriminatory. Established employment screening services design custom screening programs by understanding the needs of the client organization.