Screening before Hiring

In today’s competitive environment, it has become essential to find the ‘right fit’. Hence, HR today has become overtly cautious and is indulging in extensive background checks before bringing a prospective employee on board. It has become imperative to confirm and reconfirm a candidate’s credentials, his/her character and his/her proposed experience before it’s too late.

Organizations today have become highly alert and are ready to do anything to have the kind of employees on board. The market is booming and the IT industry has witnessed a phenomenal growth and hence, it has become important to ensure that best quality professionals were getting inducted into the organization. It was a customer centric initiative to establish credibility with respect to the caliber of the people they recruit in the organization. In a well known IT company the pre-employment check, more popularly referred to as the ‘Background Check Process’ is a very critical part of the recruitment procedure. Employees are not allocated to projects without the background check being cleared for the employee.

In another Training and Staffing Solutions company, hiring is done only on referral basis and hence it becomes imperative to have referral checks as the first step in the entire pre-employment procedure. Every necessary check is done before calling the candidate for the interview. This company gives more weight age to job performances, work ethics, attendance at work and attitude. Hence, pre-employment checks form the first step. In Xerox, it is mandatory to conduct such screening and it is an auditable process. They collect detailed information about his/her candidature, personal and professional history and analyze it well.

These checks are important because they allow better informed and less subjective evaluations to be made about a person. Integrity and performance on the job are some of the important factors today. With the advent of new MNCs into India, it is getting rather important to do pre-employment checks as companies investing heavily in India cannot risk taking employees with dubious backgrounds. The above is practiced by an organization which is into recruitment for senior level positions it becomes all the more pivotal since these candidates are going to be in strategic/leadership positions and are accustomed to a lot of confidential information.

Pre-employment screening was traditionally done by the police but is now most often purchased as a service from small private business that specifically render such services. Information usually includes past employment records credit worthiness and criminal history. But most companies have their own kinds of checks that they follow prior to recruiting any new hire.

At Patni computers, pre-employment screening is outsourced to a third party with clear ‘Service Level Agreements’ (SLAs) defined. Their screening usually consists of educational qualifications check, previous experience check and database (criminal and credit) checks.

At Enhanzee, Employment Verification means ensuring that the selected candidate actually worked in the positions listed in the application resume, cover letter or otherwise cited by the candidate that quality him/her for the position sought. Background checks, employment verification documents, reference checks, character and personal reference checks are amongst the various checks that are performed in that organization before hiring. And all these procedures are done by their in-house HR team.

They check on various factors like performance on the job, ability to work with teams, integrity, leadership abilities, and ability to take tough decisions, commitment and areas of development which may be a deterrent to a prospective employee’s performance.

Organizations in India can benefit tremendously from an employee screening program. Decreased turnover, reduced expenses and elimination of risks of theft and fraud are just some of the advantages. Being employers, it is up to them to provide their employees a safe and secure working environment. Hence, it is their job to reject those people who might have violent or criminal records. They must be sure about the quality of our software professionals and having clear cases on board makes it that much easier to practice integrity as a value in each of their actions. The only drawback of this practice is the delay in actual allotment that happens due to stringent SLAs. However, breaking up the process into parts is done so that essential checks are completed without delay.

This procedure saves a lot of time wasted in conducting too many interviews. Once all the necessary checks are done, only a few short listed candidates are called for, which saves time and energy. The most important virtues an employer looks for in any candidate are honesty and integrity because all the other traits can be acquired but these can be inherent traits. Pre-employment screening is one way of getting closest to understanding the person’s profile on such accounts.

Today, organizations are being more and more cautious because they do not want to bear the brunt of a faulty recruitment process and bring a misfit aboard and to these organizations, pre-employment screening is a boon as they are employing people almost everyday, every hour.

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  • Durga Mehta

    I feel that at the time of screening we should ask the candidate to produce his original copy of offer letter, appointment letter & recent salary slip then we should check whether the documents are genuine or not & it should be done with lots of care. But doing referral check is not a good idea. Because screening is the first step & candidates never want their previous co. to know about their job search until, unless they have job in hand. Once they are offered the job & they join the co. referral check makes no sense. Coz when the candidate is submitting the releaving letter & last months salary slip so these documents are enough to proof that they were working in that co. But we want to get some extra information about them throug such checks so i do not feel that it would be fruitful. Coz in many case the previous company who never wanted to lose its employee may give misinformation to take the revenge.

  • Barkha Singh

    With due respects to Ms. Mehta’s views, i would like to share my views on the same. Background screening is a master process to know one’s employees be it pre or post i.e whether screening is done before joining the company or after. Submitting the docs is not the only way to prove that the candidate has an experience. The docs can be forged as well. Background check is done to find out whether whatever info provided by the candidate is true or not. And as far as ex – employers are concerned, the verification associates are well trained to handle the HR officials who may be difficult in the process.

    The background screening includes intensive research, verifications etc. Its a very intresting process.

    I think the idea of a background check is very noble as it helps a lot.

  • Soumya

    I feel in employment verification check there is a third party verification where even candidate when he apply for the job will be informed about the verification and which is going to help candidate to produce all genuine documents, and also as a process the company will get the information in wrting by third party. The screening by its way will be done in intial step itself, If the candidate is not confident about his employemnt as well as the proof submitted by him he will may not proceed with the next step of interview. If he is daring enough to tell this to his company he is looking out for the job and the reporting authority may recevie call from the new company which show his sincerity and the trust he caries in his present company. By all mean such candidates may bring weightage to the company where they work. As well in todays senario it is quite common even the companies have started accepting such excuses.

  • Barkha Singh

    Yes Ms. Soumya, the screening includes third party as well. The verification is done by the third party.

  • anil kumar chauhan

    first of all we have to find out why screening is required, now a days every company either large, medium or small has adpoted policy of hire & fire in these circumstances screening of previsous check is , not adviceable. Once the candidate has shown all the original letters such as appointment letter, salary slip, educational certificate & reliving letter its enough further you will go for any check means you have not faith in your own system, but you can check for any fraud or theft done by candidate thru third party.

  • Durga Mehta

    I 100% agree with Anil, There are so many new companies who do not forget to take revenge if the employee leaves the org. against their wishes. They may give wrong or irrelevant information which may completely spoil the career of the candidate. The original documents, all certificates , salary slip you have but instead of trusting these documents you want to check with the person of other co. you have never met or even seen.

  • Could you pls let me have the detailed address and contact phone no of any organization /agency doing pre employment reference chek on behalf of principal employer before selection of any candidate .We need to out source this area to any professional organization.


    Subir K Ghosh


    + 255 784 800 460

  • Minakshi

    Hi All,

    Warm Greetings !

    There is no doubt that today IT Companies are rapidly hiring, and being HR I myself agree for any kind of employee verification for the candidate we are hiring.

    Dear Anil, in today’s market there are no. of agencies present who print the forged Letter Heads and Appointment Letters, Releiving Letters, Service Letters or for that matter Payslips, as I myself have experienced this. Candidates have accepted this in written, so to avoid any such mischief, backround check is necessary.

    I want to know from you all……..Pls let me know if there is any expert/reputed agency in Hyderabad for Employee Verification.

    It would be a gr8 help.



  • anil kumar chauhan

    I agree Ms Minakshi there are no of agencies present who print the forged documents. In our contry insipte of having no.of IPC sections crime rate is going in upward direction rather than downward and still we have faith & belief in our law.

    Insipte of that if check to be done take out formal/informal details of his previous employment such as(Name of HOD,colleagues,Juniors HOD other deptt) bcoz nobody will forged these informations & check whether correct or false rather than to check name wise detail of canditate.

    Root cause of false statement is uncertainity in Jobs

    Bcoz every candidate is not coming up from a large organiztion. Most of the candidate are coming from small or medium size industries, they have lots of problem such as lack of proper infrastucture,improper working conditions,lengthy working hrs, low payscale & tranportation. And due to these reasons few candidates gives false statement when they are getting opportunities of a job in organised sector or a good organization.

    We all are HR professional and we are able to read human psychology nobody can forged talent, skills, attitude, behaviour. Though it is a tough task but being a HR professional we all are able to find out true facts while interviewing a candidate rather than to go for screening from third party.

  • Khwaja Shaikh

    Screening is an adjunct to the selection process. The better the Interview process (I mean the Exp. of Interviewers, Preliminary shortlisting criteria, understanding the sensitivity of the profile in the organisational gameplan) the lesser the need for Screening. The importance or need of screening corresponds to nature of profile, most cases do not require screening.

  • Fazal Khan

    Please let me know the third party verification processs, because company like Dr Reddys Lab Ltd do the verification of employee after making the candidate to resign from current company and signing appiontment letter, though they are Best Employer of 2010 in Pharma Industries. Dr Reddys want to join them without any notice period to previous company, which is very unprofessional practice. They fire the person once they found any difference in their exprience or educations.
    Dr Reddys dont care whether employee will live or die after that.

    Doing any third party verification after hiring the person, will this be justified???? Is there any law to stop this?? Please help me.